#1 Visit a museum
The Netherlands is a country filled with art galleries and museums. And what a perfect time to soak up some culture than when the weather is miserable outside? Do some research and find out what museums are most popular in your local student city.
You could even take the opportunity to jump on a train and explore. If you’re a fan of art and fancy a trip to the capital, head to Amsterdam and check out the Van Gogh museum, the Rijksmuseum or Rembrandthuis. If you’re ready for a museum-marathon, you could visit the city of Leiden, which is well-known for having fourteen different museums, including the famous science museum, Naturalis.
#2 Relax with a book in a cafe
Head to a cafe or coffee shop (no, not that kind!) and soak up the atmosphere of a rainy, dark day in the Netherlands.
You could take some university work or give yourself some time off and relax with a book. What better way to spend a rainy day than to watch the world go by with your nose in a book as you drink coffee and eat cake?
#3 Hit the shops
Okay, so this may result in you getting slightly wet as you dive in and out of one shop to the next. But using rainy days as an opportunity to exercise your student discount could be a great way to keep busy.
Get ready for the festive season and buy yourself warm winter clothes and accessories that will get you through the next few months or get a headstart on your Christmas shopping.
Go to Utrecht to wander around the city’s shopping district and indoor shopping centre or head to a designer outlet like the one in Roermond or Batavia Stad to try and find a luxury bargain.
Remember that in the Netherlands shops open later in the day on Sunday and Monday and that some shops may only open towards the end of the week. If it’s a Thursday however, you may be in luck as many cities operate late-night shopping.
#4 Check out the cinema
Visiting a Dutch cinema is a unique experience in itself. If you were too busy enjoying the weather to visit a cinema over summer, now is the time to visit the cinema and check out the latest movies.
Unlike other countries such as Germany, English-language films remain in the original language and are not dubbed here in the Netherlands. They have subtitles in Dutch instead. That means you can enjoy a great film and brush up on your Dutch reading skills at the same time.
Then there’s the fact that many cinemas will have a break in the middle of the movie. Cinema-goers can buy snacks and even order a beer at the bar. You’ll wish it were rainy every day when you’re cosy in a Dutch film viewing.
#5 Go to a spa
Much like their Belgian neighbours, the Dutch are famed for their love of a relaxing spa. If it’s wet outside, you could beat the weather at its own game and treat yourself to a swim and sauna.
Check out this list of wellness retreats from Culture Trip. Or do some research and find the best spas in your hometown.
Remember that in many Dutch spas, swimming costumes and trunks are not allowed except for on specific clothing days. So check which days they are in advance - or simply embrace the free-spiritedness of Dutch nudity and throw aside your clothes and underwear.
#6 Eat your way through a food hall
Many Dutch cities have indoor food markets that are best explored on a cold day. Comfort eat your way through a foodie paradise such as Rotterdam’s Markthal or Amsterdam’s Foodhallen.
These indoor markets boast food from all around the world and can give you a taste not only of traditional Dutch fried snacks but also tasty food that is popular with the Dutch such as Surinamese roti. If you’re feeling fancy you could even spend your day munching fresh seafood at a wine and oyster bar.
#7 Ski indoors
Get ready for winter and prepare for snow by practising your skiing skills at an indoor slope. Not only is indoor skiing much cheaper than a trip to the Alps but it’s a great way to tone your body, improve your aerobic capacity - and have a lot of fun in the process.
Indoor skiing slopes can be found in Dutch towns such as Zoetermeer, Limburg and The Hague. A quick Google will show you the nearest locations to you.
#8 Throw a dinner party
If there’s one thing Dutch people love more than Bitterballen and bicycles, it’s a dinner party. Invite all of your new friends from university around to your home for a dinner party so that you can escape the rain together.
This could also be a great opportunity to try out traditional Dutch recipes such as Stamppot and pea soup - even better if you have a Dutch friend to help you out.
If you’re on a bit of a budget you could invite all of your friends to bring a dish from their home country instead. This also means you’ll end up with a delicious buffet of food from around the world. The more international your friendship group, the better the dinner party will be!
And if you’re still stuck on things to do on a rainy day, join the Student-Helpr community and keep your eye on our social media for fun events, trips and activities for you to get involved in.