Take the bus (33 and 30) or bike to the extreme north of the city. Direction Durgerdam. On the other side of the motorway you ‘ll find yourself standing right in the middle of the typical Dutch Waterlands. Reed, ditches, the IJsselmeer, wind, silence, pastures, cows, water birds, cheese farms and tea gardens. Small villages with wooden dike-houses: it is like you’re in an open-air museum, only it’s for real. If you climb the Ransdorp tower, you can have a magnificent view of this Dutch landscape and of Amsterdam. Also, you can learn about the laborious struggle of the Dutch against the water.
If you want to visit a museum-like version of traditional Holland, you can visit the Zaanse Schans. There you will find 18th century houses, sheds and farms. The very first Albert Heijn supermarket (very tiny!) You can also take a look at a mill in operation, and you can see how clogs and cheese are made.
A dynamic port totally different in character than Amsterdam. Less ancient history – the heart of the city disappeared after the heavy German bombardment in 1940. But modern architecture, the cultural Witte de Withkwartier and Hotel New York (the former Holland-America line office) makes it an energetic town to visit.
See both Rotterdam and the mills? Take the waterbus to Kinderdijk (UNESCO World Heritage)
The political heart of the Netherlands is not Amsterdam, but the Hague. The Binnenhof is the oldest building of Parliament in Europe that is still in use. You may want to pay it a visit.
Amsterdam knows thousands of entrepeneurs who organize trips and activities for tourists. A safe option is taking a tour operator that is recommended by the Amsterdam tourist agency IAmsterdam.
Recommended tour operators
Do you find Holland too small? This bus trip will take you from Amsterdam to the central and southern parts of the Netherlands, crossing the big rivers to the Belgian towns Antwerp (culture and diamonds) and Brussels (the administrative centre of Europe).