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The next round of action from the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) takes place in Assen, Netherlands this weekend. Assen is a small city in the north of the country, offering museums of historical significance and green spaces to explore.
Assen is well worth a visit, whether you’re watching the racing or exploring Dutch culture. Your trip to Assen can also easily be combined with a visit to the nearby city of Groningen, or one of the country’s major coastal cities, Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
The Assen circuit is always an exciting feature on the Superbike World Championship and MotoGP calendars. This sleepy region of the Netherlands comes alive with the sound of revving engines and cheering fans filling the air.
When the bikes are out of town, the city of Assen becomes an ideal place for a chilled-out break. It’s the perfect base for exploring the surrounding quaint villages on bicycle and discovering the history of the surrounding region. Head to the Drents Museum to discover Assen’s past, and modern art from around the world.
If you’re looking for somewhere a little livelier after the track action, head 17 minutes north of Assen by train to Groningen, a progressive metropolis with a large student population.
As well as plenty of bars and restaurants, Groningen also offers a plethora of museums and historical landmarks. You won’t be able to miss the striking exterior of the Groninger Museum as you arrive by train.
Like the rest of the area around Assen, Groningen is very cycle friendly with minimal traffic in the city centre.
Assen is just under 2 hours by train from the Dutch capital, perfect if you’re arriving or departing on the new Eurostar route.
Amsterdam and its Golden Age canal-woven centre needs little introduction. The city plays host to an eclectic mix of sights and sounds, from eras old and new. The city’s narrow lanes are bursting at the seams with florists, jewellers, breweries, art galleries, trendy cafes and renowned restaurants.
Like most Dutch cities, hiring a bicycle is an excellent way of exploring the city but if you want to give your legs a break you could always take a canal cruise. Explore the UNESCO protected canal ring and discover plenty of interesting facts about the city along the way. Many cruises last around an hour but there’s hop-on-hop-off services too.
Off the boat, enjoy the delightful smells and tastes of the Albert Cuypmarkt, one of the city’s largest markets. Here you’ll find plenty of traditional Dutch treats including pancakes, fries and stroopwafels. Pop into a brown cafe (traditional pub) for good beer on tap before wandering around one of the city’s many galleries, such as the Van Gogh Museum or the Rijksmuseum.
Just over half an hour from Amsterdam is the port city of Rotterdam – which also features on the new Eurostar route.
The city’s 17th-century Delfshaven neighbourhood is home to Rotterdam’s very own intricate canal system, but the city is better known as a modern metropolis following post-WWII reconstruction.
Indulge in a day of shopping along Meent and the surrounding area where designer labels, concept stores and quirkier shops can be found. Then head to the top of a high rise for cocktails with a view – check out the terrace at the top of Hotel New York.
Continue the evening at one of the city’s great nightlife venues, whether you prefer a pub, club or intimate concert.
The biggest party of the year is the celebrations for King’s Day (April 27th, but the party usually starts the night before) when there are citywide street parties to celebrate the Dutch monarchy.
The local currency in the Netherlands is the euro. Cards are widely accepted across the country, so are an excellent way of carrying your travel money securely.