NETHERLANDS BEYOND AMSTERDAM

Holland is a charming country, full of attractions and lush nature. But there is an important feature for travelers: it is a geographically very small country. Approximately 400 km separates the north; the south of the country. The rail system is very comprehensive and the roads are among the best in Europe. You can take many short trips from Amsterdam. See what you definitely can’t miss:

Keukenhof Gardens.

The interior of the Netherlands presents beautiful landscapes and charming towns where you can have remarkable experiences on your trip. Only 30 km from Amsterdam, you can visit the Keukenhof Gardens, considered the largest garden in the world. You will certainly be amazed by the 800 varieties of tulips, as well as several other types of flowers that delight the 1.5 million people who visit the place every year.

There you will also find themed gardens and flower pavilions produced in greenhouses, as well as several attractions for children that can be visited throughout the year.

The park has an area of ​​approximately 32 football fields. So, don’t forget to get your free map at the park entrance to better explore all the beauty of the place and not get lost there.

When to go
In spring, more specifically in the month of April, it is when the tulips bloom. The chances of finding the park in full bloom are greater at this time of year. But it all depends on the climatic conditions. A very hot season does not help the flowers to remain firm and beautiful for a long time. To keep an eye on the Keukenhof’s annual schedule and the condition of the tulip blooms each year, click here to access the park’s website.

TIP: If you don’t want to worry about organizing the entire tour and getting there in peace, without taking long lines, buy the 5-hour tour, with transportation and guide included. Access the authorized ticket sales website and guarantee your tour in advance.

Zaanse Schans, the mill village. One of the most popular attractions in the Netherlands, Zaanse Schans is a small Dutch village, north of Amsterdam, where there are still many houses with traditional architecture, windmills, workshops and warehouses. Many houses in the village today are museums and souvenir shops, but there are still many residences of local residents. There you will also find chocolate shops and a cheese shop with free tasting. You can also visit the interior of some windmills.

When to go
Zaanse Schans can be visited all year round, but it is much more interesting on clear, rainless days. It is the ideal place for pictures of windmills and typical Dutch countryside. The entire outside of Zaanse Schans can be visited free of charge. There is an entrance fee for the mills and museums, parking is also paid.

How to get to Zaanse Schans
You can go to Zaanse Schans by public transport. From Amsterdam, the easiest way is to take the Conexxion bus at Centraal Station. Departures are every 30 minutes, usually on platform C, but be aware that sometimes there is a change of platform. The duration of the trip is approximately 45 minutes and the stopping point is right in front of the village entrance. You can’t go wrong.

TIP: If you prefer more comfort and speed, you can go to Zaanse Schans with a 3 and a half hour guided tour, with transportation included. Access the authorized website for tour and ticket sales and plan your tour in advance.

North Holland – Marken, Volendam and Edam. Northern Holland has beautiful landscapes, small villages, windmills, a cheese factory and much more. There you will find the true Dutch traditions still preserved today. In the picturesque villages you can still see residents in traditional dress. The most interesting cities in this region are Marken, Volendam and Edam.

To really get to know everything that this beautiful region has to offer, the best option is to buy a tour. The guided tour in Spanish and English lasts all day and departs from Amsterdam. The first stop is in the fishing towns of Marken. The guide will take you on a walking tour through the streets full of colorful houses and a shoemaker’s studio to watch a demonstration of how wooden clogs are made.

From Marken the trip continues by boat to Volendam. In the small fishing village, you can explore the place on foot and participate in a tasting at a traditional Dutch cheese factory.

The next destination is the city of Edam, famous for the cheese of the same name. Get ready for another cheese tasting. Also learn about the history of the city’s old shipyard and the largest church in the Netherlands.

The last stop on the tour is the open-air museum of Zaanse Schans, where a magnificent collection of historic windmills has been preserved since the 18th century. Enter one of the windmills to learn more about this Dutch icon of industrial architecture. Stroll around the picturesque houses, wooden barns and the small animals around.

TIP: Included in the tour are the round trip bus, ticket for the boat trip, the guide, cheese tasting and also lunch. So you don’t need to take any snacks. Click here to buy this tour on the authorized site.

But if you prefer to go on your own, the best option is to rent a car to explore the region. Always rent a car through the company’s website. It’s a lot cheaper than going to an agency and renting in person.

Giethoorn, the Venice of Holland. This small Dutch village is only accessible by boat. There are no streets and all transport is done through the canals. Giethoorn looks more like a fairy tale. It is very quiet and has just over 2,700 inhabitants. Totally surrounded by canals, its old thatched-roof houses are beautifully adorned with colorful flowers. It is possible to walk through its 150 bridges and get a closer look at the atmosphere of this charming village.

The aquatic village of Giethoorn is located in the province of Overijssel, in the east of the Netherlands, approximately one and a half hours from Amsterdam. The boat has been a popular tourist attraction in the region for years. You will find a multitude of canals and lakes ideal for boat trips and pedal boats. Take a canal cruise and learn about Giethoorn’s history and what life is like in that region.

There are a wide variety of cafes and restaurants around the canals.

TIP: It is best to book a canal cruise in advance, as there are a limited number of daily departures and the city has become increasingly popular with tourists. To visit Giethoorn in peace, the best option is to buy a tour of the city. The tour lasts all day and departs from Amsterdam, with transportation included. Also included are an hour-long boat trip with an English-speaking guide. Children up to two years old do not pay

Rotterdam. Rotterdam is a big, modern, vibrant and full of options. It is the city of skyscrapers and the largest port in Europe, the Port of Rotterdam. There you will also find a variety of interesting museums and attractions. In addition to all this, there are great shopping centers. As it is a big city, Rotterdam deserves a longer visit, of at least two days. One of the city’s must-see attractions is the cruise through the Port of Rotterdam. You will be aboard a huge, modern ship for a little over an hour. You will be able to see the intense traffic of ships inside the port, as well as an impressive view of the city. You will browse the shipyards, the docks and see the incredible number of containers arriving and leaving the port daily.

Plan your trip
Rotterdam is 81 km from Amsterdam. You can get there by train, bus or car. Trains run daily from Amsterdam Central Station and there is no need to buy a ticket in advance. The drive takes approximately one hour. One advantage is that Rotterdam is a much cheaper city than Amsterdam, so it is easier to stay for a few days in the city and enjoy everything it offers more calmly.

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Bruges, Belgium. It is very common for tourists in the Netherlands to take a trip to Belgium. The distance is not very long and is well worth a visit. Our suggestion is Bruges, a medieval city considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco, 255 km from Amsterdam. It is a charming place, and its historic center reminds us of a very distant time, present only in history books.

With more than 3 million annual visitors, Bruges is the most visited city in Belgium, surpassing Brussels. It is one of the best preserved medieval cities in the world. It was founded in the 11th century, around an old 9th-century fortress. Its extensive network of channels has led it to be compared many times to Venice.

What to do in Bruges

Major Square: Also called Markt, it is the heart of Bruges. A traditional street market takes place every Saturday.

Belfort: It is the most characteristic tower in Bruges. After climbing its 365 steps, you will have one of the best views in the city.

Burg: Another beautiful square in the center of Bruges. It is there that you will find the most famous building in Bruges, a city hall building, in Gothic style. Its facade dates from the end of the 14th century.

The Church of Our Lady is the most famous in Bruges and its 122 meter tower is the tallest in Belgium.

If you like to visit museums, there are two that are worth a visit: the Gruuthuse Museum, a medieval mansion, and the Groening Museum, the most important art museum in Bruges. Also try to take a boat trip on the canals.

How to go and how long to stay
Bruges is a very small city, but it definitely cannot be left out of your itinerary. It is quite common for tourists to take a one-day tour of the city. If your intention is a quick visit, the ideal is to buy the tour from Amsterdam. This is a very interesting option, as you don’t have to worry about anything or spend money on hosting.

The tour has a Spanish-speaking guide and lasts 12 hours. In addition to the guide showing you the most important places, you will still have three hours to walk freely around the city, have lunch, visit chocolate shops and buy souvenirs. The tour departs at 8:00 am from the center of Amsterdam, and you will be back at 8:30 pm.

To buy tickets for this tour and get more information, visit the authorized sales website and guarantee your tour in advance.

Staying a couple of days in Bruges is also a good option
I do not recommend taking the train, as it is necessary to change trains and the price can be quite steep. If you are not in a hurry, buses may be a more interesting option, although the journey is a little longer, approximately 6 hours. The most reliable bus company in Europe is Flixbus. We have already tested some routes between countries in Europe and the service is impeccable. They are super punctual.

Considering all the options, our suggestion is to rent a car. You will be able to explore the region better and have much more comfort.

TIP: There are always good discounts if you rent a car through the rental company’s website. It is much cheaper than going to an agency and renting in person. Click here and access the car rental website in europe.

To book your hotel in Bruges, the best option is through Booking.com

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