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Efteling – A Fairytale Theme Park in the Netherlands

Efteling is a theme park in the south of the Netherlands based on traditional fairy tales that opened in the 1950s. It attracts millions of visitors per year and is firmly ingrained in Dutch cultural identity. Book your Efteling tickets here

Although the Efteling park has continued to modernise over the years, it certainly retains a unique charm and friendliness and makes for a great day out for the whole family.

fata morgana
Fata Morgana

The enchanting Fairytale Forest (Sprookjesbos) part of the Efteling remains a very popular attraction for those with small children. The iconic Long Neck (Langnek) has been greeting visitors since the park first opened on 31 May 1952.

efteling langnek (long neck)
Efteling – Long Neck

There are around 30 attractions in the Fairytale Forest including Red Riding Hood, Pinocchio, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Tom Thumb, the talking Fairytale tree and the Indian Waterlillies.

efteling indian waterlillies
Indian Waterlillies
efteling talking tree
Talking Tree
efteling sprookjesbos
holle bolle gijs
Holle Bolle Gijs

“Papier hier” – the amusing Holle Bolle Gijs family of talking bins ask passers-by for some paper to eat.

Next to the Fairytale Forest is Anton Pieck Plein, a traditional Dutch town square which has historic carousel fairground rides and a playground. There is also a snail-themed monorail ride suitable for small children.

efteling carrousel paleis
Carrousel Paleis
anton piek plein fairground rides
Anton Piek Plein Fairground rides

At the Reizenrijk section, the Gondoletta is a beautiful and relaxing 20 minute boat ride around the main lake of the park.

efteling gondoletta boat ride
Gondoletta boat ride

A spectacular panoramic view can be had on the Pagode, a rotating Thai-temple which rises to a height of 45m.

efteling pagode
Pagode ride
efteling pagode views
Pagode views

For rail enthusiasts, an old steam train makes a loop of the entire park with stations at Marerijk and Ruigrijk.

efteling steam train
Efteling – steam train

The Ruigrijk section of the park contains more exciting rides for older children and adults alike.

This includes the Python (a corkscrew roller-coaster), Joris en Draak (a classical wooden roller-coaster), De Vliegende Hollander (a water-coaster) and the recent Baron 1898 (a dive coaster). The new Max & Moritz ride is a dual track family roller-coaster.

baron 1898 roller coaster
Baron 1898 roller coaster

Fata Morgana is a dark indoor ride based on an Eastern Palace theme.

Come evening the park is lit up with beautiful illuminations. Aquanura is a water fountain light show played to musical melodies.

You can get a paper map of the Efteling park at the entrance. Otherwise you can download the Efteling app which has an interactive map showing the current waiting times on rides around the park and gives the times of shows.

There are multiple restaurants around the park. On our previous visit the park was very busy and there were long queues in some of the restaurants and at the toilets.

There is also the option to stay in the Efteling Bosrijk holiday village which is about 10 minutes walk from the theme park.

In summary, for anyone into theme parks the Efteling is really well worth a visit. There are a wide variety of rides and attractions that suit all ages. We would advise staying the whole day until closing time to make the most of your entry ticket.

It is possible to make a day trip from Amsterdam though total travel time by public transport will be about 2 hours each way.

Other great days out in Holland are Keukenhof Gardens (spring only) and Madurodam.

Efteling Essential Visitor Info

Opening Times & Dates

Opening times vary depending on the time of year.

Generally 1000-1800 daily in winter/spring, closes 2000-2200 in summer.

Efteling Tickets – Admission Fees

€44-€48 for a standard entrance ticket (age 4+). FREE entry to children 0-3.

Book your Efteling tickets here


The Efteling is located in the town of Kaatsheuvel, just north of Tilburg.

Tilburg can be reached by train from Amsterdam in just under 90 minutes with a change at ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Arriva bus 301 serves Efteling from Tilburg.

If travelling by train with a group, consider buying an NS Group Ticket (online only) here which allows 2-7 people to make a single journey between any 2 stations on the Dutch rail network for a reduced rate.

Car parking costs €12.50 per day.


Efteling, Europalaan 1, 5171 KW, Kaatsheuvel

First published 2023, last update 10 Oct 2023.

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