Looking for things to do on Texel Netherlands? I recently visited this island in the Netherlands and found many great things to do and eat on Texel!
The below post dives into how to get to Texel, how to get around Texel, things to do on Texel, restaurants in Texel and places to stay – it’s a pretty complete guide to Texel!
Here’s how my trip to Texel started:
I missed the ferry by 3 minutes!
If I had arrived 3 minutes earlier, I would have caught the ferry to Texel. And a journey to Texel is definitely a good choice!
Missing the ferry was no problem, which gets us straight to the first useful info when you want to spend your vacation on Texel…
How to get to Texel
Texel is an island, two hours North of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. You can easily reach it by car or via train to Den Helder. When you arrive in Den Helder, there is a ferry crossing every 30 – 60 minutes. At the moment they expect more travelers, so they operate the short route with two ferries.
It’s easy to just drive there and see which ferry you’ll make, especially if you already bought your ferry ticket online. With your online ticket you don’t need to wait in line to buy one on arrival. You can even register the license plate, which opens the barriers quicker for you via a video identifying system.
And the tickets bought are return tickets. So you only need to buy one.
Ferry ticket prices to Texel:
- Passenger car: ~€25 (traveling to Texel on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday)
- Passenger car: ~€37 (traveling to Texel on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday)
- Motorcycle: ~€8.20 – €11
- Pedestrians: ~€2.50 (3 years of age & younger travel for free)
- Cyclists: ~€5
Find more info online at teso.nl.
If you should come by train, there is a bus shuttle from Den Helder train station to the ferry. And when leaving the ferry on Texel, there is also a nicely timed bus on arrival.
Getting around Texel
Texel is a relatively big island, compared to others in the region, which is good, as it provides lots of activities and variety. Still, it’s small enough that you can reach the different parts of the island easily and quickly by car, bicycle or public transport.
The island of Texel is 23.7 km long and 9.6 km wide and it’s flat, making cycling a great option. You might want to rent an e-bike though, as the winds can get strong. Texel provides great cycling infrastructure with cycling paths everywhere, and the hotels usually provide safe parking spaces, too.
Exploring Texel with your own car
If you want to be really flexible and free, you most probably will decide to arrive by car. You have your luggage problem solved and can travel any time you prefer. On the opposite, you have to expect to stand in line when leaving the island with the many other cars. Plus, you have to fuel up your car, find parking spaces and pay for those.
There is not a crazy amount of traffic in the shoulder season, so finding parking spaces won’t be an issue. But I could imagine that it looks different in high season and that’s where it might be smarter to come by train, or at least park your car for good while exploring the island.
Texel provides their guests with a parking vignet. You get that one online and it costs €2.50 per hour, €10 per day, €20 per week (8 days valid) and €30 for the annual card. At some spots you are only allowed to park for two hours. There you need to add the parking disc.
You enter your number plate when purchasing the e-vignet and the rest is taken care of automatically. Your number plate becomes the parking permit.
Get your Texel parking vignet here texelevignet.com.
Electric cars are becoming more and more popular in Europe. If you arrive or rent an e-Car, then the VVV Google map with EV charging stations will be very helpful.
And you’ll get regular fuel here:
Exploring Texel by bicycle
There are around 145 km of cycling paths on Texel. So bring your own bike or rent one in one of the many bicycle renting shops, which you’ll find on arrival at the ferry or in the towns and villages. The VVV Texel provides a good overview list here. Friends chose the “van der Linde” store in Den Burg and were very happy with the quality of their e-bikes and service. There are also e-bike tours of the island.
Texel has a great cycling route network. There are 57 cycling junctions and each has easy to read and understandable signs, which lead you where you want to go. At each junction you can choose your direction and route, which you could also set up on your own before.
The VVV Texel also recommends four bike and 10 hiking trails, where you’ll see the highlights of Texel.
When planning your own route, simply add up the kilometers between junction points from the scanned map and make sure to end where you have started.
Or, you can also hire an e-scooter for the day!
Exploring Texel by public transport
Using public transport is another great way to explore the island, even for families!
There are two options:
- The regular bus, which takes you without reservation from the ferry to Den Burg & to De Koog at fixed times.
- The smaller Texelhopper bus goes pretty much everywhere else with 130 possible stops. Use their app (android / ios) or website to book & pay your route (minimum 30 minutes before you would like to depart). You could also pay in the bus or in a store.
They operate between 5am and 10pm.
Let’s get to the Texel public transport prices:
- Single ride: €3
- Day ticket: €7.50
- Family ticket: €17.50 (2 adults, max. 3 children (4-11)) per day
- Week ticket: €37.50
Pretty cool, right?
Good to know about transport in Texel
If you arrive by train in Den Elder, the bus journey to the ferry costs €3 and it includes the return journey back to the train station after your holiday.
Make sure to enter & leave the ferry always on the right side, so that you can catch the buses on time!
Things to do on Texel
There are many exciting things to do on Texel. You already know that it’s a very cycling-friendly island. So it makes sense to combine cycling with visiting the local sights.
I personally love to get lost and explore a destination with a bit of luck. Usually you’ll stumble upon many popular points of interest like that as well, but also find many others.
Cycling is a great way to do this, as you are closer to your surroundings and you hear, smell and find more little travel gems. Plus, it’s easier to stop or do a little detour (and, you’ll cover more ground than walking).
Here is our list of popular sights and things to do outside on Texel
The Texel Lighthouse is a must-see… hey, it’s a lighthouse! And people love lighthouses.
If you do as well, then head to the far North of the Island and make sure to have enough time so that you can climb the 118 stairs to the top of the lighthouse. From the top you’ll get a great view towards the North Sea and Vlieland. In the South you’ll see the Wadden Sea. And with a bit of luck, you might even see the dozens of windmills in the South-East, which stand in the IJsselmeer.
But there is more to explore than ‘only’ the great panorama view. The lighthouse is full of history. It was under heavy fire in World War 2, even after it ended. To keep the lighthouse, they had to build a second outer wall. At one part you can walk between the two walls around the tower. There you’ll be able to spot several bullet holes in the wall.
Climbing the historical and riveted steel stairs to catch the wind at the top is worth it!
Location: Vuurtorenweg 184, 1795 LN De Cocksdorp, Netherlands
Plus code: 5VJ4+V5
Ecomare – Seal Sanctuary & Nature Museum – Seal Feeding
With a bit of luck, you might be able to spot seals when visiting Texel. But remember, you are on a North Sea Island. 😉 If you are not that lucky, then no worries, as you can visit Ecomar.
Ecomar is the oldest seal sanctuary in Europe and it lies beautifully hidden between the dunes.
They have several outdoor pools where you can see the seals. There are even two pools, where you watch the swimming skills of the seals from underneath the water. Pretty impressive!
Ecomare takes care of injured seals and they help the seals return to the wild when they’re ready. The smaller ones get fed in an extra area, which you can see through a window.
Apart from the seals, you can see birds, fish and other marine animals up close at Ecomare.
Outside is a bird care center, where sick, injured, weakened and oil-polluted birds can regain their strength, before they get released into nature again.
If it should rain in between, there is a Nature Museum inside, where you can discover everything about the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea, the North Sea and Texel.
And there are also several aquariums on the lower level, which contain different species of fish, shellfish, mussels and starfish. You can walk around those nicely and observe the different animals.
Make sure to be there at 11 am or 3 pm, as that’s when you can see how the seals get fed. This is definitely a highlight for kids and adults.
There is also a cool “ebb-and-flow” playground, where the kids can play with the tides. Or you can head into the dunes. You can decide between a fun and challenging children’s hike or a 1.5 km round hike.
Entrance: €14 adults; €10 children (4-13 years)
Location: Ruijslaan 92, 1796 AZ De Koog, Netherlands
Plus code: 3PHW+54
When did you last get to cuddle a lamb?
I loved getting to spend time with these little guys at the Schapenboerderij Texel Sheep Farm in the Netherlands. The farm is home to more than 25 different breeds of sheep – before visiting I didn’t know that many existed!
Before going, my expectations were quite low. I mean, what can you expect when someone invites you to stroke lambs?
When I arrived, there were already a few cars in the parking space. At that moment I expected a pretty touristy attraction where you’ll find a few lambs behind fences and with a few chosen ones, which kids can touch a bit.
And I was so wrong!
A chicken welcomed us at the entrance, which hopped onto the front desk. Actually, there were several hens and roosters running around. And I thought it’s only about the sheep here.
When you walk further, you have to make sure not to stumble over sheep as well. There are quite a few running around freely. Others take it more relaxed in their stables, which you can go to. You can stroke the different sheep and lambs.
Outside you’ll also find 2-3 ponies, which the kids can ride on. There is also a pretty cool area for kids, where they can run around and play, even on a tractor and forklift. Another highlight are the demonstrations of herding the sheep with the Australian Kelpie Sheepdogs.
And maybe the best is the cafe, where you can sit down, drink a coffee and eat some cake – while the kids are having a fun time outside!
It’s a superb activity for kids and parents!
Entrance: €6 adults; kids: €5 (2-12 years)
Location: Schapenboerderij Texel, Pontweg 77, 1791 LA Den Burg
Plus code: 2QRW+G6
Shrimp boat tour
Who fancies a delicious shrimp cocktail? Have you ever made your own? It’s easier than you think, right? Unless you also have to catch your own shrimps.
Well, now you get an excellent opportunity to do this, or at least stand right next to the experts on the TX 10 Emmie or TX 20 Walrus (shrimp cutters).
Soon after leaving the harbor in Oudeschild, you’ll see how the crew cast the nets into the water to catch the shrimps.
The vessel is an original fishing vessel, so not a tourist attraction. Though they changed it slightly, so that there are enough seating areas to rest safely.
The vessel slows down in the Wadden Sea and the two nets slowly roll over the ground. The bigger and quicker fish will flee away, but others will land in the net. Apart from the shrimps, you’ll be able to catch starfish, crabs, flatfish, gurnards, petrels and it could even happen that the crew catches a sand shark.
After a couple of minutes, the nets are pulled in and you’ll be able to see what the catch of the day is.
The whole catch gets sorted, while the crew explains a bit more about the different animals. The fish, crabs and starfish go back into the water alive and the kids can help the crew here. But the shrimps get boiled in hot water while you are on board. And after 10 minutes they are ready to be peeled and eaten by you. You can’t get them fresher than that!
And if you have caught enough, you can take some home. So you can create your own shrimp cocktail.
This activity is actually also a fun one when the weather isn’t bright and sunny. A proper fisherman doesn’t mind getting a little wet. So bring the right clothes and go for it no matter what the weather looks like!
Tickets: €20 adults; €15 children (3-12 years)
Times: 10:30 am and 2 pm; make sure to be there 15-20 minutes earlier; 2 hour boat ride;
Location: Haven 8, 1792 AE Oudeschild, Netherlands
Plus code: 2RQX+PW Oudeschild, Netherlands
National Park Dunes – De Slufter
The Dutch found their way to live with the sea. Huge parts of the Netherlands are beneath sea level and people can only live there because of a pumping and dam system, which pushes and keeps the water out.
It’s the same for Texel. There are seven pumps on the island which make the island ‘livable’.
There is one spot in the entire Netherlands coast, which has an open connection to the sea and that’s De Slufter.
Okay, there you will also find a dam behind it, but they have a relatively large open sea gate. When there are storms or spring floods, the creek system of De Slufter gets flooded, which happens regularly in the year.
The largest part is a breeding and resting area for birds. But there is also a big part, which is open for visitors and where you can freely stroll around. Just make sure that you don’t cross into the protected zones.
There is a lookout and several paths, even one which is wheelchair accessible.
Take a walk and see which plants and animals you can spot. Watch out for sea lavender, marsh samphire, saltmarsh, eider duck, shelduck, avocet and maybe even a seal near the gully.
Make sure to wear waterproof shoes, as it can get muddy and wet and maybe you also have binoculars.
One highlight is to see De Slufter in July and August, when the beach lilac and grass carnations are in bloom and turn the whole area purple-pink.
Also the Flora Beach Property Museum has a nice outdoor area. As there are quite a few buildings, I would place it in the list with…
Popular sights and things to do inside on Texel
Weather changes quickly at the coast and especially on islands. It’s no different on Texel.
So it’s good to be well prepared with different activities. The sheep farm, Ecomare and the lighthouse are fun things to do on Texel which combine the inside and the outside areas.
And then there are still other points-of-interests, which I would recommend for rainy days. Here are a few things to do on Texel on rainy days.
Flora beach property museum
I can’t remember when I last jumped into an oil rig escape pod. That’s because I’ve never done that and I guess you haven’t either.
If you’re interested in what it looks like in one of those escape pods, then make sure to visit the Maritiem-en Juttersmuseum Flora.
It’s only one of the highlights, as there is sooooo much more to explore!
I was stunned by all the different beach finds, which have been collected over the last 80+ years. Apart from a lot of “trash”, there are quite a few gems you’ll spot.
I’m pretty sure that the owners Judith and André will be angry with me now, as I called some of their collected items “trash”. And I apologize right away, as it’s not really trash in the way we know it. Apart from the really interesting items, it’s just sad to see how much stuff gets washed ashore.
There is a “tree” with used rubber gloves and a complete wall decorated with working helmets for example.
The museum is like a different world, a world of beachcombers and ship strandings.
The rooms are filled from top to bottom with incredible and unbelievable items, like signs, dollies (even for sex), fenders, rescue rings, swimming fins, flip flops, flags, toboggans… And yes, even an escape pod from an oil rig was found at the beach.
It’s a great place for young and old. The younger ones can do a scavenger hunt, play some games and there is a great playground outside.
And if you are hungry or thirsty, there is also a cafe inside.
Tickets: €6.50 adults; €5.25 children (4-11 years)
Location: Pontweg 141A, 1796 MA De Koog, Netherlands
Wezenspyk cheese farm
Love goes through the stomach, right? So make sure to visit the Wezenspyk Cheese Farm.
The Wezenspyk family has produced cheese for over 35 years now and you can choose from over 13 different varieties. Some examples would be cheese in combination with nettle, mustard, caraway, sambal, Jalapeno, salt aster and I chose to buy one with garlic.
Their cheese is made with the milk from local cows, mostly their own, and sheep from other Texel farmers. And they also produce one cheese with mainland goat milk.
When you enter, you can watch how the experts produce the cheese in their dairy through a big window. In a room behind the dairy, the cheese is stored, before you can try and buy it in their little shop.
There are 2-3 different flavors you can taste right away or you simply buy several pieces and make your own cheese tasting at home. There are also smaller cheese versions, which are great as gifts.
If you have some extra time, make sure to visit their Cheese Cafe. I haven’t tried it, but friends recommended their cheese fondue. I chose a cheese biscuit kind of cake, which was really good as well.
But it’s not just about eating and trying out different cheese forms. You can also get smarter here, as they have their own little Sheep museum, which you’ll find after a short walk via their sheep-landscape-trail. If you walk the whole trail, it’s 3 km long and includes a fun rope ferry, so that you can cross the canal.
That trail and museum is free and fun for small and big.
Location: Hoornderweg 29, 1791 PM Den Burg, Netherlands
Plus code: 2QMQ+84
No matter where you’ll go, you’ll find Texel’s Special Beers. There are 12 different tastes to choose from, but not a single Pils, as that’s what enough other brew masters focus on.
If you visit Texel more than once, make sure to visit in the different seasons, as you’ll then be able to drink a different Texel beer each time. And if you’re lucky, you might be able to drink their “Secret” beer. That’s a completely new one then, which might find its way into bigger production. But this also depends a bit on you. You won’t find out the name or anything else, but your honest feedback is appreciated.
The most popular one is the Texels Skuumkoppe. That one is a top-fermented dark wheat beer. And of course it’s brewed from natural ingredients such as barley from Texel. The name ‘Skuumkoppe’ is from the white foam crowns on the waves… and yes, a proper beer needs a good cover of foam, which keeps the beer fresh and tasty.
Like I said, there are various ones to taste. One good way to taste a few different ones is by joining a brewery tour, which includes a tasting at the end. That way, you’ll find out more about the history of the brewery, which was actually a milk factory before. The tasting itself includes the pairing with a few different snacks in the tasting room. That’s obviously the highlight, but looking over the shoulders of the brew masters and finding out more about the history and background of Texel beer was also really interesting.
Fun fact: There isn’t enough freshwater on the island of Texel to brew so much beer. So the brewery has their own pipeline through the sea, which delivers them with fresh dune water from the mainland.
The grain, which gets used to brew the beer, grows on several farms on Texel. In the brewing process, you’ll get the leftover treber. And that treber gets eaten by the Texel sheep again.
Brewery Tour Tickets: €12.50 per person (kids 5 years and younger are free of charge)
Location: Schilderweg 214 b, 1792 CK Oudeschild, Netherlands
Plus code: 2RVH+P3
Great restaurants on Texel
To be honest, the Dutch cuisine isn’t really popular. Well, I have experienced it differently now and it was really yummy. Not just that, it was a great experience and in great locations!
Let’s start with…
Drank- en Spijslokaal ‘t Schoutenhuys
The Schoutenhuys restaurant is centrally located in Den Burg and you won’t find a standard menu here. You’ll experience Texel tapas in Asian style. Yes, what a funky combination, right? But I think this explains the six courses best, unless you choose a smaller menu or a la carte. Each course includes a kind of “tapas”, which the chef prepares with local ingredients and which gets presented in an Asian style, which could then look like sushi rolls, Asian noodles or dumplings.
Pair these six different courses with five fitting wines. Oh… you think one wine is missing for the desert? No, just order the local Schnapps and you’ll have the perfect nightcap.
The owner is not just a wine expert, but he also loves beers. So instead of a wine pairing, you also have the option to go for a beer pairing. With each course you’ll be served a matching beer.
You will also love the interior of the restaurant, as you actually breathe in history here. The ‘t Schoutenuys dates back to the year 1652 and it’s the oldest stone house of Texel. The richly decorated entrance door stands out as well and is its own highlight.
You can’t choose wrong and you’ll receive an unforgettable culinary evening!
Location: Vismarkt 1, 1791 CD Den Burg, Netherlands
Plus code: 3Q3W+MR
Paal 17 Aan Zee
Texel is an island and islands are about beach life. And it won’t get better if you can pair a sunset at the beach with an amazing dinner experience.
You’ll find Paal 17 Aan Zee on the West Coast and right on the beach, which is 30 kilometer long. Strolling along the beach to get there could take some time and make you feel hungry.
There are several seating options. If the weather is good, go for a table outside. There is also a nice seating area inside, which includes big windows so that you can view the sea.
You’ll get a great sunset view on the first level, which is cozy and also has a small terrace.
The restaurant on the first level serves you a culinary multi-course dinner experience, paired with quality wines. You can choose between the four, five or six meal menu (or a la carte) and it’s a tough decision. The chefs are using mostly local ingredients from Texel, including local caught fish.
I really liked the tuna tartare (obviously not local, but still really good). The beef tenderloin, which followed, was also excellent.
Though all the restaurants we visited were outstanding, this one was my favorite.
Location: Ruijslaan 94, 1796 AZ De Koog, Netherlands
Plus code: 3PJP+8F
Gastropaviljoen XV – Paal 15
When you have had one lunch or dinner at the beach, you will want a second one!
The Gastropaviljoen XV – Paal 15 is another excellent choice, as it welcomes you with a very special atmosphere.
It reminded me a bit of a modern ski hut, as the interior has a lot of wood, clean design, cozy couches, a welcoming fireplace, but… huge windows to watch the waves. A great place to relax and enjoy a tasty meal, especially after a walk along the shore.
There is also a nice terrace to sit outside.
With the open kitchen you can see how the team prepares all those really tasty dishes, like shrimp cocktail or sous-vide venison steak. While I normally prefer starters more than desserts, my favorite dish was the cheesecake with mango, black sesame, lime sorbet and chili jam. What a combination of flavors! And so yummy!
If you want to enjoy some fine dining at the sea, this is another good choice.
Location: Westerslag 4, 1791 PP Den Burg, Netherlands
Plus code: 3P7F+VJ
Strandpavillon Paal 9
When you have had two lunches or dinners at the beach, you will want a third one!
And what a surprise, with Paal 9 I can recommend you another good beach location to satisfy your hunger.
But let’s start with the arrival. You have to cycle or drive through the dunes to get here. Such a beautiful landscape. You might also see some Scottish Highlanders strolling around.
Paal 9 is a beach pavilion how you would expect it. Not especially chick, but with cozy elements and of course the beautiful seaview.
The staff is super friendly and to support them, you can order your drinks and meals via QR code.
I decided to go for the Hamburger, which is made with their own Black Angus beef and gets served with homemade pickles. The sandwiches also looked really good.
A nice extra touch is that they have taken extra care of the ecological footprint when they reopened their pavilion. Guess, for example, where they get their cheese from? If you have no idea, read the activities and things to do section further up in this post and lookout for the cheese.
Location: Hoornderslag 8, 1797 RT Den Hoorn Texel, Netherlands
Plus code: 2PC6+FF
Where to stay on Texel
There is a huge variety of different accommodation types on Texel.
We stayed at the…
Hotel De Lindeboom
The Hotel De Lindeboom is centrally located on the island and in the center of Den Burg. The old building is from 1891 and it’s also where you’ll find breakfast in the morning and where you can have lunch or dinner or simply drinks in the evening. Their second restaurant is the excellent Schoutenhuys. See the section further above.
They also have a nice sunny terrace.
I stayed in the newer building in one of their modern Deluxe Rooms. The bed was welcoming and soft, perfect after a day full of fun activities. The bath had a tub and a rainshower. The only thing I missed was a second choice of pillow, but I’m sure I could have gotten one if I asked.
They have a wide variety of different room types. There are even rooms where you have your own private sauna.
The breakfast had everything to offer what I was looking for. A good choice of bread, cereals, fruits, bread toppings and drinks.
The location makes it a good hub to explore Den Burg, as you just have to step outside and you are in the center of the town. You can wander through the alleys with all the different shops and cafes.
And if you should arrive by car, let them know in advance, as they have a few parking places behind the hotel.
Den Burg is in the center of the island and it’s easy to reach, also from the ferry, which makes Hotel De Lindeboom a great choice to explore the whole island.
Location: Groeneplaats 14, 1791 CC Den Burg, Netherlands
Plus code: 3Q3W+MQ
For more Texel accommodation options, search below: