Have you ever been in three different countries at once? Earlier this month we headed to Vaals, Germany, aka the Drielandenpunt (“three country point), and we bounced around the exact point where Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands meet.
While that’s cool in and of itself…there’s actually a heck of a lot more to do at the three country point tourist stop than what meets the eye, which is especially great if you have kids.
So much to do at Drielandenpunt
Honestly, I was really surprised at how much there is to do at the three country point. I thought we’d go stand in three countries and that would be it.
But there’s SO much more than that. Truly, there’s something for everyone at any age.
THE OBVIOUS: TRI-POINT MONUMENT
Visitors flock to the Drielandenpunt for the obvious reason: to see and be in the spot where three countries meet.
If you blink, you might just miss the actual tri-border monument—a cement, 4-foot-ish monument with lines in the ground for the countries borders that almost look like slices of cake. In fact, we drove right next to it and didn’t realize that was it.
Fun fact: it actually used to be a four-country point. Neutral Moresnet was a small—like, really small—country from 1816 to 1920. It was a mile wide and 3 miles long.
We arrived around 10 am, and it was empty, but an hour and a half later and that spot was packed with people.
While I prefer zero crowds to tons of people, around 11am they put out the flags of each country, so it would’ve been cool to have them in the photo. However, I still pick no people over fun flags.
Hours: open all the time, but flags for each country seem to go out at 11 am
Address: Viergrenzenweg 97, 6291 BM Vaals, Netherlands
GET LOST IN A MAZE
Oh my great goodness, this was SO much fun…even though we went on one of the hottest days of the summer.
A hop, skip, and a jump away from the tri-point monument is the Labrynth, and it’s worth carving time into your schedule for an adventure.
This labyrinth is thoughtfully designed for kids and adults.
Plan on getting twisted and turn in all sorts of directions while you try to make your way to the center. That’s the goal, by the way; just make it to the middle, and then you can easily find your way out.
The average person spends 30-45 minutes wandering around inside the tall hedges.
I scoffed at that time, figuring we could totally do it faster. But one wrong turn after another proved we weren’t as clever as we thought.
For the record, we kept at it, and totally made it to the middle, and this cute little ivy covered hideaway awaits you once you get there.
Fun Around (almost) Every Corner
To keep things fun, there are different spots along the winding path that get a little interactive: games for kids, fun sculptures, and hints to help with directions.
You Will Get Wet!
But want to know about our favorite part of the labyrinth? We loved the water features!
Oh yes, water features, which was extremely welcome when it was 90º outside.
The water features turn on at 11 am, and if you’re a party pooper and don’t want to get wet, have no fear.
They don’t stay on the entire time, so you can always bypass them.
And speaking of water features, there’s actually an entire splash pad just before you enter the maze (right after you pay).
We skipped it on the way in since we wanted to beat the heat and get through the maze, but before we exited the labyrinth we let the kids go play for a little while.
Make a note to bring an extra set of clothes and maybe even a towel depending on your plans after the maze/water play. The kids were drenched by the time we left.
Cost: Adults, 6 euros; kids 0-3, free; kids up to 12, 5 euros
Hours: 10am—6pm, but check the website first to double check
Bring an extra set of clothes
GO UP THE TOWER
We’re taking a raincheck on the tower for our next visit (I’ll update this section after we actually go up). The tower doesn’t open until 11 am, and by the time we finished the maze and lunch, the line was long, kids were antsy and tired, and it was even hotter outside.
From up top—I’m told—you get a gorgeous 360º view of the tri-point area, and you’ll also officially be at the highest point in the Netherlands. The glass elevator goes up 50 meters, giving a stunning view of all three countries…or you can take the stairs up or down.
There is a cost for this, and I apologize for not having the specific info. If you want to go up the tower, make sure you plan and bring some cash!
GO ON A HIKE
There are several trails all over the place. We almost saw more bikers and hikers than we did people out to enjoy Drielandenpunt.
Check out this page for everything from short walks to longer hikes.
EAT, PLAY, DRINK A BEER
After a good hike or a trip around the maze, a nice cold beer and food awaits you at one of the several places to eat.
Along with beer, you can get everything from a full-blown meal at Taverne de Grenssteen, to a snack or a treat at one of snack bars within walking distance.
You can even order a picnic, which sounds like a lot of fun!
While you’re relaxing, let the kids burn off more steam at the free playground.
How to get to the Three Country Point
Plug this into your GPS, and you’ll be good to go:
6291 BM Vaals, Netherlands
There are several parking lots before the monument and one parking lot after.
Check out this site for more info.