12 Fun Things to Do on Texel

Texel is an adorable island to the north of Amsterdam with white-sand beaches. It is a popular summer-holiday destination for the locals. Most international tourists visit the island only for a day. However, staying longer is strongly advisable as there are so many things to do on Texel.

Here you will find information about

  • How to get to Texel – including tips on getting to Texel from Amsterdam
  • What to do on Texel – a selection of the best things to do on Texel with practical information about all attractions on Texel
  • Where to stay on the island – a selection of the best accommodation on the island

Is Texel your next island escape? Read further to plan your trip to this Dutch island.

white-sand dunes with a bit of grass against a blue sky with white clouds, sand dunes on Texel

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Fun fact: 600 years ago Texel got city rights, and although it’s not what you gonna call a city, it is still basically the largest city in the Netherlands with an area of 585,96 km2. To put things in perspective, Amsterdam has an area of 219,3 km2. Today Texel is a municipality comprising of 7 villages: Den Burg, De Cocksdorp, De Koog, De Waal, Den Hoorn, Oosterend and Oudeschild

How to get to Texel

Texel is the first of the row West Frisian Islands (or Dutch Wadden Sea Islands) just above the mainland. Getting to Texel is not that straightforward, but the island is still easier to reach compared to the rest of the West Frisian Islands.

Before getting to Texel, you need to get to Den Helder. From there you can take the ferry to the island. Once on the island, you can use the services of the Texelhopper bus line, or use your own car, which is not that advisable. The island is really small, so the best way to discover it is on your bike. You can rent one on Texel, if you arrive there by car or by public transport.

people sitting on a ferry boat and watching the sea and the seagulls flying around, the ferry to Texel

Wherever you are in the Netherlands, you can check and plan your journey to Texel from this website. Click on the button to open the website in a new browser.

Getting from Amsterdam to Texel

If you are travelling by car from Amsterdam to Texel, head to Den Helder via A7 or A9. It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes. In Den Helder take the ferry to the island. The trip is about 20 minutes. Make sure you check the ferry schedule before you go.

If you are using public transportation, take the train from Amsterdam Centraal to Den Helder (about 1 hour and 15 minutes) and then bus line 33 from the train station in Den Helder to the ferry terminal. You can board the ferry as a pedestrian. Once on the island you can use the Texelhopper or rent a bike.

a view from a lighthouse to a white-sand beach and blue sea, view from the Texel lighthouse

Day trip from Texel to Amsterdam

If you don’t feel like organizing everything by yourself, the best option will be to book a day tour from Amsterdam. The guided tour includes transportation to the island (including the ferry), e-bike rental for the day, and food and drinks. This would be perhaps the best way to discover the island if you are staying only during the day.

Tip: Check out which other places you can visit on a day trip from Amsterdam.

Here you can read reviews and book the tour:

Things to do on Texel

Texel is for those who enjoy slow travel combined with relaxed activities. Although you can do there some adventure activities like parachute springing or sky-diving, Texel is more about beaches, walks and relaxing.

Here are some of the best things to do on Texel.

a forest with pine trees on Texel National Park

1. Visit the Dunes of Texel National Park

Once Texel was actually two islands, which in the 17th century were connected to form today the island as we know it. Although the Dutch were manipulating the nature on the island through the centuries, 100 years ago the nature has been left to itself. In 2002 the east coast of the island has been proclaimed a nature reserve and it became one the Dunes of Texel National Park (Nationaal Park Duinen van Texel). You can walk there through pine forests and along sand dunes, which doesn’t feel like your average Dutch landscape.

Fun fact: There are 20 National Parks in the Netherlands. Among them are Loonse en Drunense Duinen, De Biesbosch, De Meinweg, De Veluwe, and Alde Feanen.

large white-sand beach with blue sea to the right and sand dunes to the left and a small group of people walking in the distance almost unnoticeable, beaches on Texel island the Netherlands

2. Stroll along the white-sand Texel beaches

You will be surprised by the large white-sand beaches stretching along the western side of the island. Most of the island is not touristy, excluding De Koog, which is quite popular among youngsters, so a greater part of the beaches are just empty. And there are about 30 km of white-sand beaches on Texel. If you are spending the day on the beach, you can rent one of those small beach cabins.

a sunset above the see with the sky purple-orange and a bird in the sky, sunset on Texel

3. Watch the sunset

One of the best things to do on Texel is watch the sunset. Texel has one of the most amazing sunsets. Make sure you are on the western shore of the island. You can walk around, sit on the beach, or at one of the beach cafes and admire the sun playing with the water and setting sky and sea on fire.

people sitting in a cafe on a a small square under trees, Den Burg on Texel

4. Visit the quaint villages

One thing is for sure, Texel is all about quaint little village. Do not miss to visit the adorable Den Hoorn with its timber-gabled fishermen cottages and white church, or the charming Oosterend with the imposing Maartenskerk (St. Martin’s Church), located in the middle of the village. The biggest village on the island Den Burg, is also a must see. In Den Burg, get to the top of the church tower (it’s open though only on Monday morning) for some amazing views. Another lovely place to visit is Oudeschild, famous as the local fisherman’s port.

an improvised shop selling eggs at the side of a house on Texel

5. Try the local produce

Cheese, smoked fish, jam, beer, wine are only some of the local produce you can find on Texel. When walking around pay attention to those improvised little shops in front of almost every house. You can take what you want and leave the money in a box or a jar.

a bottle of Texels beer Skuumkoppe

When on Texel you should try the local beer. There are a few breweries that offer tours with beer tasting: Texelse Brewery (Texelse Bierbrouwerij) (this is the most famous one), Diks family’s brewery (Familiebrouwerij Diks), De Boei beer brewery (Bierbrouwerij De Boei), and TX Brewery (Brouwerij TX).

Practical info about Texelse Brewery:
Address: Vuurtorenweg 184, 1795 LN De Cocksdorp
Entry fee: 12,50 EUR
Opening times: high season (April – October): Tuesday – Saturday; low season (March, November and December): Tuesday – Thursday & Saturday; winter (January and February): Wednesdays and Saturdays;
Tuesdays – Fridays: from 10:30 am till 5 pm
Saturdays: from 10:30 am till 6:30 pm
Website: Texelse

small yellow balls of sheep cheese from Texel island, the Netherlands
Photo by Tessa Jol via VVV Texel

Sheep cheese is another popular product on the island. You can visit one of the local farms –Wezenspyk Cheese Farm, and see how cheese is made and of course taste the famous sheep cheese from Texel. Some of the restaurants on the island offer also special cheese tastings.

Practical info about Wezenspyk Cheese Farm:
Address: Hoornderweg 29, 1791 PM Den Burg
Opening times: Monday – Saturday, from 9:30 am till 5 pm
Website: Wezenspyk

a church at the background with a small village and sheep grazing on the foreground, Den Hoorn on Texel

6. Enjoy the idyllic views

Texel is famous for its sheep. They say that there live more sheep on Texel than people, which is kind of true, as the population on the island is only about 14.000 (not counting the tourists, of course) and there are more than 17.000 sheep. Texel has even their own breed – the Texel (sheep). You can have those pastoral views with sheep grazing on the fields everywhere on the island.

a red lighthouse against blue sky and a sand dune with a bit of grass in the front, the Texel Lighthouse

7. Climb the Texel lighthouse

Another popular thing to do on Texel, is climbing the 118 stairs of the 53-m high Texel’s Eierland Lighthouse in De Cocksdorp. From there you can see the seals sunbathing on Vlieland (the next from the row of West Frisian Islands). You will be surrounded on three sides by the sea. The view is simply breathtaking!

Practical info:
Address: Vuurtorenweg 184, 1795 LN De Cocksdorp
Entry fee: 5 EUR
Opening times: Friday – Monday, from 10 am till 5 pm
Website: Lighthouse

a board witha picture of a seal's head and a text: Ecomare
Photo Tessa Jol via VVV Texel

8. Visit Ecomare

Ecomare is a nature museum dedicated to sea life in the Wadden Sea. Wadden Sea is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site. The museum serves also as a shelter for seals in need. An average of 100 seals per year are taken to the shelter on Texel island. These include seek or injured adult seals, or abandoned baby-seals, which get the needed help and later are released in the nature.

Practical info:
Address: Ruijslaan 92, 1796 AZ De Koog
Entry fee: Adults – 14 EUR, children (4 – 13 yoa) – 10 EUR
Opening times: daily from 9:30 am till 5 pm
Website: Ecomare

Read more: Wadden Sea – a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Netherlands

a room with walls covered with beachcombed things like life belts and other things connected with the ships and a boat in the middle of the room, Flora Beachcomber Museum on Texel
Photo by Visser FW via VVV Texel

9. Explore the beachcomber’s museum

This is a super quirky museum, exhibiting anything that has been beachcombed around the island. In the Maritiem- en Juttersmuseum Flora you can see anything from shipwrecks to lighters and in-between that was washed on the beaches of Texel. This museum is a must-see on Texel for those who love weird and eccentric museums.

Practical info:
Address: Pontweg 141 A, 1796 MA De Koog
Entry fee: Adults – 6,25 EUR, children (4 – 11 yoa) – 5 EUR
Opening times: daily from 10 am till 5 pm
Website: Flora

interesting building like a shed with pointed roof at 4 places letting lots of light through, Kaap Skil on Texel
Photo by Annette Barhorst via VVV Texel

10. Learn about Texel’s fishing past

Another interesting museum to visit on Texel is the Kaap Skil museum. It tells the story of Texel as a fishing island and is located in the fisherman’s village Oudeschild. At the museum you can visit the grain mill, the eel-grass shed and two fishermen cottages, one functions as a bakery and the other one as a smith’s workshop. However, the eye-catcher of the Kaap Skill museum is the main building, which has won in 2012 the prestigious Daylight Award for architecture.

Practical info:
Address: Heemskerckstraat 9, 1792 AA Oudeschild
Entry fee: Adults – 9,50 EUR, children (4 – 13 yoa) – 6,80 EUR
Opening times: high season (March – September): daily from 10 am till 5 pm; low season (October – February): Tuesday – Sunday, from 10 am till 5 pm.
Website: Kaap Skil

people with backpacks and shorts walking through mudflat on the bottom of the sea on Texel island in the Netherlands

11. Venture on mudflat walking

If you want to do something really unique, then you should try mudflat walking or wadlopen in Dutch. Mudflat walking is walking on the bottom of the sea when the tide is low. You will be amazed by the variety of sea life found in the mudflats. The hike is a bit challenging and is not suitable for people who are not fit. At some places you’ll get knee-high in the mud. Needless to say, make sure you venture on this exploration well-prepared – wear warm clothes and suitable shoes!

12. Spot butterflies in Texel Zoo

Texel Zoo is not your average zoo. The zoo evolved from a garden centre with tropical plants and a butterfly farm. It is the newest zoo in the Netherlands, established officially in 2016. The butterflies and the tropical garden are still the centerpiece of the small-scale zoo. There are more than 40 animal species and 500 birds in the zoo.

Practical info:
Address: Schorrenweg 20, 1794 HG Oosterend
Entry fee: Adults – 9 EUR, children (4 – 11 yoa) – 6,50 EUR
Opening times: from 10 am till 5 pm, closed on Fridays and Mondays
Website: Texel Zoo

a small house with green wooden gable and some plants in front, a fisherman cottage on Texel

Where to stay on Texel

Texel will surprise you with the variety of accommodation option it offers: from cute little B&B, to fishermen cottages, lovely hotels and holiday parks. If you want to stay on the beach than you should stay in De Koog. As Texel is not that large, you can also choose to stay in Den Hoorn or in Cocksdorp – the beach then will be just a short walk.

If staying on the beach is not a top priority for you, then you can stay in Den Burg – the biggest village on the island, or in De Waal, or on the east side of the island at Oudeschild or Oosterend.

Here is just a small selection of the best places to stay on Texel:

Het Polderhuis

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De Moerbei

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Hotel Tesselhof

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Do you have questions about Texel? Join the private Facebook Group dedicated to travelling in the Netherlands and I’ll be happy to help you.

About Daniela

Daniela has been living and travelling in the Netherlands since 2009. She has actually been to all the places she writes about. A linguist by education and a writer by profession, Daniela is on a mission to help you plan the perfect trip to her home country - the Netherlands.