Holland countryside is a very general term which refers to the whole Netherlands except for the big cities. Here we should include all the beautiful windmills, colourful tulip fields, medieval castles and small and cosy villages the country has.
One, two or three days are not enough to explore the whole countryside, but if you want to focus on a particular region and see a little bit of what this country has to offer, then the best thing you can do is to set your camp in a big city and take daily trips to the nearby villages.
I know that big cities like Amsterdam are very expensive, but you should not book your accommodation in the centre of the city, but somewhere close to a metro station. So you have quick access to Amsterdam city centre and easy access to public transport which help you get to some iconic destinations from the country.
We did so! We set out camp in Amsterdam at Crown Plaza Amsterdam and from there we take daily trips to the nearby area. The rooms were clean and spacious, the breakfast was tasty and varied and the services were good. And we were just 15 minutes away by metro from the city centre.
Zaanse Schans, Volendam, Edam and Marken best of Holland countryside
These 4 attractions are representative of the Netherlands countryside and are located really close to Amsterdam.
You can make a tour to all of them in one day or you can take your time and explore each of these places in multiple days.
Let me tell you a few words about each of them!
1. Zaanse Schans
Zaanse Schans is the most popular windmill village in the country and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for years.
In the XVII century, more than 600 windmills were built, the area becoming the first industrial zone from the country. The main purposes of the windmills were to produce paint, make oil and grind spices.
In the area, there are multiple museums, like The Bakery Museum which shows you how an old bakery looked like, or the Museumwinkel, which presents the grocer’s store from the past.
It is a great way to discover how people used to live dozens or even hundreds of years ago.
Volendam is a very nice town in the Holland countryside, a traditional fishermen village. Its cosy atmosphere, wonderful museums and old harbour make from this town an ideal escape from big-city stress. From the old harbour, you can take a boat and stop in Marken, another beautiful village located just a few minutes away from Volendam.
Marken is a small village with a total population of 1770 people. It is unique because of its little houses made from wood and its landscape. The village is located on a peninsula which was isolated by the mainland because of a storm from the XIII century. For many years, the inhabitants of this city earned their daily bread by fishing and nowadays their traditions are kept alive by most of the inhabitants.
This is the place where the cheese with the same name was born. Cheese lovers, you know about this cheese, but let me tell some words about this cheese to the ones who don’t like cheese that much.
Edam is a mild cheese flavour cheese, not very smelly if we compare it with other cheese. Its flavour is sharper and becomes firmer as the cheese ages.
You should try and taste it! With good wine, it is incredibly tasty!
Holland countryside offers many other great attractions! Some of them are located further to Amsterdam, while others are the ideal destination for a day trip from the Netherlands capital.