One hour from Rotterdam or from Amsterdam in the small village of Kaatsheuvel you’ll find Efteling. A fairy-tale theme park with a history that dates back more than 65 years. Yet – you’ve probably never heard of this theme park…
From our experience at Efteling, I’m unsure why this place isn’t spoken about more on the internet and travel blogs around the globe. Mr Walt Disney visited this place himself as market research for Disneyland… Do you need any more convincing that this place is worth a trip?
Well, if you do… Then here’s our ultimate guide to the fairy-tale theme park that is, Efteling.
Where Is Efteling
As I previously mentioned, Efteling is situated one hour by car from either Amsterdam or Rotterdam. Making it the perfect day trip when visiting either (or both) of these fantastic cities.
If you don’t have access to a hire car while in the Netherlands then you can access Efteling from either of these cities via public transport – however, it does take a little longer.
Below is the screenshot from a mid-week schedule from Amsterdam to Efteling via public transport (details of which can be found here). As you can see you can see you’ll be taking an intercity train to ‘S-Hertogenbosch before transferring to a bus at the centraal station.
In the terms of public transport from Rotterdam things are slightly less frequent – as you can see the times – some journeys are taking 1 hour 41 minutes, others upwards of 2 hours 30 minutes. Again, if you’re travelling from Rotterdam via public transport to Efteling you can plan your trip using Google Maps.
If you’re taking your own car, or a hire car to Efteling then you’re going to need somewhere to park it once you get there. Luckily, Efteling has a fantastic car park where you’re able to park your car for €10 a day.
However, if you’re staying on-site in one of Efteling’s hotels or village resorts then you’ll be able to park your car for free!
Hotels Near Efteling
There are plenty of hotels near Efteling theme park which you can stay in. Staying in a hotel near Efteling is a great idea if you’re really planning to make the most of your day at the park – or maybe visit the park over more than one day!
Below is a list of some of the very best deals on hotels near the theme park. Adjust the dates to suit your dates of travel and you’ll be able to find real-time prices;
On-Site Efteling Accommodation
In recent years Efteling has invested a lot of time and money into their own on-site accommodation. The types of on-site accommodation at Efteling include;
So, you can be assured that if you want to stay on-site at Efteling theme park there’s certainly an accommodation type for you!
Stay in one of the hotel rooms in the four-star Efteling hotel. With rooms suitable for solo travellers, couples or families in a variety of themes you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Prices start from as little as €200 when booking in advance for one night for two adults.
If you’re looking for something a little bigger then check out the four-star Efteling Village Bosrijk where you can stay in a variety of six-person houses. All of which come with fantastic amenities to further accommodate your stay.
If you’re looking for the holiday home feel without four or five other people then consider getting an apartment on-site at Efteling theme park at the Efteling Village Bosrijk. Here you’ll be able to stay in a luxury one bedroom apartment filled with fantastic amenities.
Again, apartments have to be booked for a minimum of two nights. With prices for the two nights starting from €430 for 2 adults sharing.
Finally, if you’re travelling to Efteling as a large party then you can stay on-site in one of the six, eight or twelve person accommodation.
All of the Efteling on-site accommodation can only be booked via the Efteling website.
Efteling Ticket Prices
You can save €2.00 on an adult or child (over the age of 4) ticket by purchasing your ticket online at the Efteling website.
Online you also have the option to pre-pay for your €10 parking pass for the day as well as upgrade your ticket to one of the upgrade packages;
If you happen to be travelling in a party with 20 people or more tickets are available for €33 each. However you’ll need to call Efteling offices on +31 (0)416 537 777 to book.
Once you’ve made it through the gates at Efteling you’re likely to be overwhelmed by the site. It’s no Walt Disney World. However, the forest-like feel makes it so there really is something around every corner.
Therefore knowing how to navigate the park can be of great advantage to ensuring you see all of Efteling during your visit – whether you’re there for one day, or four!
First up, of course, we have the traditional way of navigating pretty much anywhere. That is by using one of the many large scale maps available around the park.
To assist you with any form of navigation in which you choose while at Efteling are these directional signs pointing to key attractions around the park. They help us check we’re going in the right direction – usually at the key point in a debate about how we’re probably going the wrong way…
However, being modern-day travellers our prefered method of pretty much navigating anywhere in the world is via a mobile based application. In this case, Efteling has their own mobile app that you’re able to download from the Apple or Android app store.
This application includes a map which uses the GPS on your smartphone to show you where you are in real time. It also provides you with clear step-by-step instructions / a guide to get you to the attraction (or facility) you wish to visit within the park.
So, we’ve bought our tickets, we know how to get around the place. What else do we need to do at Efteling theme park?… Ride the rides of course. Efteling has rides suitable for those scared of heights and those looking for thrills. During our time at Efteling theme park, we experienced it all.
Efteling Fairy-Tale Forest
One attraction within Efteling that has to be spoken about separately from those above is the fairy tale forest. It is with this attraction that Efteling originally opened more than 65 years ago.
As you wander through the forest you’ll be able to see sights from famous and familiar stories such as Hansel and Gretal.
The majority of the attractions within the fairytale forest were animated. This quality feature only adds to the story told, and the ‘awe’ in which this part of the Efteling park provides.
Of course, a fairy-tale forest provides you with a number of great photo ops. Helen was a huge fan of getting a photo outside (and inside) a giant mushroom.
The Food At Efteling
After all the excitement of the rides and attractions within Efteling, you’re going to need a bite to eat. Luckily, Efteling provides a range of different foods suitable for different budgets and dietary needs.
We opted to eat at De Gelaarsde Kat a self-service restaurant within the park. Here we managed to pick up delicious baguettes as well as a refreshing soft-drink.
De Gelaarsde Kat also happened to be next to what I can only describe as the best ice-cream parlour in the world… With the option to add a variety of fruits and chocolates to strawberry or vanilla flavoured ice-cream.
If you’re after a quick sugar boost as you walk around the park you’ll also find plenty of sweet shops and souvenir shops stocking a variety of chocolates and sweets.
You’ll also find vending machines just outside the park entrance if you’re looking to grab a quick drink for the ride back to your accommodation.
So, there we have it. Our day – and guide to Efteling. A fairy-tale theme park which in our opinion is just as suitable for adults of all ages as it is for kids and a location that makes for the most perfect day out during your time in the Netherlands.
As always, we’d love to know if you’ve been to Efteling theme park and what you thought of it? – Let us know in the comments below.