One of the best ways to take amazing photos and make videos of the Netherlands is from the air, with a drone. Nowadays, its rather easy to get your hands on a drone but before using it, there are some important details to know. Choosing the right place to fly your drone is key to fly your drone in the Netherlands.
The best spots to fly your drone in the Netherlands are:
- Most of the Northern Sea coast: for instance, Alkmaar, Ouddorp, Domburg and Bloemendaal.
- The Ijmeer coast and the Rhine river bed.
- The small cities inside the Randstad: Gouda, Hilversum, Leerdam…
- Coast of the Frisian islands
The Netherlands has pretty strict legislation to protect privacy, military and commercial airspace and any other party that may be affected by the use of personal drones. If you want to learn more about the best spots to fly your drone, where you can take good photos and avoid getting into trouble, keep reading.
Where to Fly your Drone
First of all, do you know all the places that come to mind when you think about taking cool photos and making amazing videos of the Netherlands? I mean the canals in Amsterdam, the center of Utrecht, the fields of Keukenhof and the amazing Palace and churches in The Hague? Well, all of those places are forbidden.
As I was saying before, there are very strict rules about where to fly a drone and where it is forbidden. Most places are not allowed because they have too many persons, which would simply invasion of the privacy; you can’t fly if close to official buildings; you can’t fly it close to any airport or airspace, military space or heliport.
Above you can find a map of the Netherlands and the information provided by the Government to indicate the spots where flying a drone is allowed and where is not:
- Green: it means that unless explicitly denied, those areas are ideal for particular drone flies.
- Orange: limited and restricted areas for drones. It may be because of the proximities with airports and airspace, the bigger concentration of population or proximity to military areas.
- Red: it means it is completely forbidden to fly a drone in those areas.
Here there is some list of amazing places inside the green zones were taking photos and making videos with a drone would be the following spots:
Northern Sea Coast:
Most of the Dutch coast is considered to be a green zone, but here there ae some of the best beaches, some old favourites that won’t disappoint you. If you want to know more about them, you can read the 13th Best Beaches of the Netherlands, but here they are:
- Scheveningen: in the Hague. It is worth shooting the pier, a Brighton-like and Long beach-like scene in the Netherlands.
- Zandvoort: Bloemendaal and Zandvoort are the beaches of Amsterdam. They are like most Dutch beaches, a never-ending line of sand, windy and immense.
- Egmond aan Zee: in the North of Holland, close to Alkmaar, Egmond aan Zee offers scenes of wild horses and the famous lighthouse and amazing pictures.
- Texel: like most of the Frisian island, Texel is one of them, included inside green zone. The cities of the Frisian Islands are forbidden areas, yet all the coast surrounding them is considered to be drone-friendly. Texel is the visitor’s favourite, a populated yet wild island in the cold Northern sea.
- Cadzand: in the south of the Netherlands, in the province of Zeeland, Cadzand is the most beautiful beach. Here you will be able to fly your drone over the 11-km of sandy beach surrounded by beautiful dunes.
- Hoek van Holland Beach: another southern beach in the province of Zeeland, 30 minutes away from Rotterdam. There are dunes, promenade, harbour and polders, something very Dutch to see with your drone.
- Berkenbosch Beach: this beach near Oostkapelle is another gem of Zeeland. These beaches are all very similar, big, with plenty of dunes and windy.
- Katwijk: close to Leiden we have Katwijk and Noordwijk, green zones.
- Ameland Beach: another Frisian Island.
- Wijk aan Zee: in the windy north of Amsterdam.
- Terschelling: another Frisian Island.
Ijmeer Coast and The Rhine River:
- Pampus: Ijmeer is the unknown big lake in the inside of the Netherlands and it has many secrets. One of the main interesting things to see is Pampus, the Alcatraz of Holland. It is created to defend possible attacks on the popular sea routes of the Ij-lake in the 19th Century. Originally it was a fort to defend but now it is open for visitation and can be rented out for events as well. You can fly your drone from here or from the shores.
- Naarden: this is one of the Medieval cities of the Netherlands. Its walls and structure have survived throughout the centuries and they have ended up being an amazing touristic spot. This small town belong to the green area and it is worth seeing its star-like structure from above. (more here)
The Randstad and Small Towns:
- Gouda: besides being the paradise for cheese lover, Gouda is also a city that belongs to the green zone, the closes one to Rotterdam and Den Haag that is far enough from airports, the airspace and more forbidden places. Definitely a must when visiting the Netherlands.
- Hilversum: this is the closest to Amsterdam where one can freely use a drone. Like all the cities in this country, it is clean, historical, beautiful and calm.
- Leerdam: this is a small town in the Middle of Gelderland, close to canals and with amazing windmills. It is also the “glass” city of the Netherlands. It is a great opportunity ro fly your drone, see the Dutch countryside and visit a typical village.
- National Park Utrechtse Heuvelrug: for a green panorama this is the ideal place. There are forest, canals, green fields and many more amazing and natural features.
What to Consider to Fly a Drone
Before choosing a place to fly your drone when you are in the Netherlands, you have to consider your location in their map areas, and many other indications that the Government ask their citizens to do. These are some of the things you have to consider when choosing a place and flying your drone:
Drones are only permitted to fly in uncontrolled areas of the Airspace
This is a general rule for those who haven’t been given permission to break the law. The green areas are considered uncontrolled sections of the airspace, which gives you permission to use them freely to fly your drone. It does not matter if you are using your drone for recreation or to earn money. In addition to whatever specific rules may apply to the area where you have chosen to fly, you must always comply with the general rules for flying drones.
Weather in the Netherlands
We are talking about a very windy and rainy country, two characteristics that definitely affect the drones. Here you can find more information about the weather: meteo . In general, Buienradar is a great website to consider this meteorological information for whatever activity you want to do in the Netherlands. Moreover, beaches and open spaces tend to be very windy due to the lack of obstacles the wind coming from the Northern see find in this country. Another reason why windmills have always been so popular on this land.
No-fly Zones for Drones
All these areas are marked with red. This is because certain sections of airspace are temporarily or permanently off-limits to drones for safety and control reasons. Some of them are the airspace above the Royal Palace in Amsterdam or major events like Sail, parks like Keukenhof, Museumplein and so on.
If you decide to fly your drone in a forbidden area, you can be charged for breaking the law and risking the national safety. You can be fined for a maximum of 7800 euros for doing it. If you repeat this “crime” you can even face criminal charges, so it is better to make sure and ask in case you don’t know if you are allowed to fly your drone.
Every year there are a few incidents inside airport areas, where drones are noticed by the control towers at airports. This is a relevant case and a real problem for the drone owner. In most cases, you will only be asked to eliminate the footage and asked not to do it again.
General Drone Rules:
If you want to know everything there is to know about drones and all the laws there are about it in the Netherlands, I recommend you read my other article: Can I Fly a Drone In Amsterdam? Amsterdam Drone Laws and Map. These are the general rules you need to know:
- Never fly more than 120 meters above any water surface.
- It is forbidden to fly in the darkness.
- You can’t fly on top of people or animals.
- Respect other people’s privacy.
- Respect the airspace, airports, heliports and any other air traffic interference.