Amsterdam is the city of dreams, and there are many hidden gems of places around Amsterdam that will quench your wanderlust.
A little far from the bustling city life, these rural villages will amaze you with their picturesque scenarios and their calm country life.
The following places are must-see if you are planning an Amsterdam countryside tour:
1. Zaanse Schans
The windmills in Zaanse Schans are spread across the Zaan river. It is difficult to believe that it was arguably the first industrial site in the world, producing the likes of tobacco, paint, mustard, paper, and linseed oil.
These windmills are still in working condition and cared for. Even if the place seems like a tourist trap, take your time and explore the site listening to its history and trust me, it will surprise you.
Monnickendam is a 15 minutes car ride from the main city center of Amsterdam. Getting off the car, you will feel transported in a Dutch Fishermen’s village from 200 years back. There are colorful little cottages and personal small boats along the line of the harbor.
Nothing is happening in the countryside, and you can explore the whole of Monnickendam in an hour or so. This is a must-see in any Amsterdam countryside tour.
3. Broek, Waterland
Only 9 kilometers north of Amsterdam, Broek is not far from Amsterdam canals, Dam Square and Rijksmuseum. You will want to visit Broek if you have an hour or so to spend in a quiet place just away from Amsterdam.
This fishermen’s village was an isolated island until 1957 when it was unified with the mainland. The town center is car-free and looks like a picture straight from the history books.
If you are visiting Marken, try to visit the museum and the clog-making workshop in traditional dress.
Edam is the place where the pale yellow Edam cheese originated. The traditional cheese market opens on only Wednesdays, and all the participants wear traditional dress.
A half-hour car ride from Amsterdam, Edam used to be a shipbuilding city.
Giethoorn is known as the Venice of the Netherlands. If you always wanted to visit Italy but never got to, then have a boat ride along the canal in Giethoorn.
Giethoorn has 180 bridges in its area and is extremely popular with Chinese tourists.
7. Alkmaar’s Cheese Market
Countryside tour in Amsterdam is incomplete without a visit to Alkmaar. A 40-minute train ride from Amsterdam will take you to Alkmaar’s Cheese Market which started in 1593.
From April to September, every people gather to watch a re-enactment of a century-old tradition.
They weigh more than 2000 cheeses stacking them on trucks. You can buy Gouda and Edammer cheese from nearby stalls.
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