Amsterdam is probably the most amazing city to visit in the Netherlands. I am not even able to tell you something different, as it is the city I grew up in and always love to come back, after my travels around the world. But the area around Amsterdam has so much to offer as well, from small photogenic villages, to lakes, farms, castles, and of course the famous flower fields. In this article you will find my tips for daytrips to explore the countryside of Amsterdam, including suggestions for less known flower fields.
- Discover the countryside of Amsterdam with 10 tips for daytrips!
- Explore the Beemster
- Visit the flower fields
- Enjoy lilacs at the Westeinderplassen
- Try the Dutch cheese
- Learn about Dutch flower history
- Have lunch at brasserie de Kerckhaen
- Discover the Dutch windmills
- Explore art and views in Aalsmeer
- Sail on the Loosdrecht Lakes
- Observe the mansions during a Vecht cruise
- Visit castles and fortresses
- Hotels in the countryside of Amsterdam
- More about the Netherlands
Discover the countryside of Amsterdam with 10 tips for daytrips!
Explore the Beemster
Ever heard about the Beemster countyside area of Amsterdam? Beemster is an area located in the region of Laag Holland with towns such as Middenbeemster, Westbeemster, Zuidoostbeemster and Noordbeemster. It is famous for its unique polder systems. These water management systems, have been utilized by the Dutch for centuries to control water levels and create fertile land. It is even declared UNESCO World Heritage for this reason. De Beemster is a great place to visit if you want to discover the typical Dutch landscapes, with its straight roads, farmhouses, grassy meadows wih cows and flower fields. Looking for a cool way to get around? Make sure you rent a Twizy. This electric vehicle gives you the opportunity to drive around and make many stops along the way.
Fort Resort Beemster is one of the most beautiful spas, the countryside of Amsterdam has to offer. This former fortress is transformed into a luxury spa, including boutique hotel and restaurant. A perfect place to pamper yourself before you head back to the city. Curious about Fort Resort Beemster? Check prices and availability here. The hotel is 30 minutes by car from Amsterdam.
Visit the flower fields
One of the most famous seasons to visit the countryside of Amsterdam is between the end of March and mid-May, because of its incredible flowers fields. But many tulip and flower fields such as Lisse and de Keukenhof became so crowded, that it is not always fun anymore to visit. Looking for a place to enjoy the tulips with only a few other visitors? Visit Nicolaashoeve in Middenbeemster. The owners will give you a tour around their farm and show you their colorful tulip fields. It is one of the best places to take pictures.
The crocus season starts in March, followed by hyacinths. The tulips and lilacs are best to be seen from mid-April until the first week of May.
Enjoy lilacs at the Westeinderplassen
Did you know that growing lilacs is an incredible hard job? During a boat tour on the Westeinderplassen, a nature reserve, you will pass different greenhouses full with gorgeous purple and white lilacs. Not only the tour on the lake is nice but it will also give you deeper insight why Aalsmeer is one of the most famous places for growing lilacs. The lilac growers will take their time to show you around and believe me, you don’t want to leave anymore. The smell is so good.
Try the Dutch cheese
When you think about the Netherlands, I am sure Dutch cheese comes to mind as well. In the countryside of Amsterdam, you will find many cheese farms. Kaasboerderij Groot is famous for its Beemster Cheese and other delicacies. Make sure to go for a little cheese tasting at the farm, while overlooking the tulip fields. Moreover you can take a tour, learn about cheese making and have a look in the small museum.
The Beemster area is known for is tender grass, providing perfect grazing conditions for cows, something that is resulting in the unique flavor of its dairy products. Looking for more regional products? Have a look at little farm shops such as BeemsterValery, Bij Moeders, Eerlijk en Heerlijk en Cono Kaasmakers, all located in the Beemster countryside area of Amsterdam.
Learn about Dutch flower history
Want to see more flowers and learn about 350 years of Dutch flower history? The historical garden of Aalsmeer is a living open-air garden museum, showcasing tools and pictures with information on how flowers and plants were cultivated back in the beginning of the 20th century. Moreover you are able to enter different types of greenhouse and flower fields. It is also possible to attend and learn about a flower auction.
Have lunch at brasserie de Kerckhaen
Looking for a typical Dutch lunch? Make a stop at brasserie de Kerckhaen. You will not only enjoy a mustard soup and Dutch kroket, but you can also stroll around in their lovely garden, just behind the building.
Discover the Dutch windmills
I am sure you’ve heard about the Zaanse Schans. A place you shouldn’t miss if you want to see windmills and learn about Dutch countryside life. But it is always crowded. If you want to have a mindmill almost all to yourself, make a stop at De Nachtegaal. The people will give you a little tour in this cute windmill and explain about its function. The little shop offers some nice local products to bring home.
Explore art and views in Aalsmeer
Aalsmeer is the countryside village of flowers and water, only 30 minutes from Amsterdam. It has the biggest flower auction in the world, the Royal FloraHolland Flower Auction, and you will find several flower attractions, that you can visit all year. One of the places to visit in Aalsmeer is the is the flower art museum, hosting different contemporary art exhibitions, where artists got inspired by nature and especially flowers. And I have to say that during every visit I am surprised about the exhibitions. It is not a place to spend hours but definitely nice to include in your itinerary.
One the best things to do in Aalsmeer if you want to enjoy views and take pictures is to visit the watertower. 214 steps will take you to the of of the tower for panoramic views.
Aalsmeer is located 20 minute away from Amsterdam. Curious about Aalsmeer and its flowers? Read more in my next article.
Sail on the Loosdrecht Lakes
Many people who visit Amsterdam don’t know that there is a big lake district just south of the city. It is one of the best daytrips, if you want to unwind from busy Amsterdam and enjoy a day in the Dutch countryside. Loosdrechtse Plassen consists of several lakes that are separated from each other by dikes and islands. It is located around the town of Loosdrecht, 30 kilometers away from te capital. The area has been designated as a special protection zone for birds and plants and includes polders and ponds. You can go sailing, rowing and canoeing and even rent a board and go supping. Check out Jachthaven Kortenhoef for more information.
Want to read more about places to visit and daytrips from Amsterdam? Check out the next article.
Observe the mansions during a Vecht cruise
Another nice daytrip to the countryside of Amsterdam is a cruise on the Vecht river. Along this river you will find 17th and 18th century mansions of the former rich merchants and administrators of Amsterdam. It is a lovely and pieceful area to fully relax and observe the surroundings. The best place to start your sailing trip is in Nieuwersluis. From here you can choose to sail in the southern or northern direction. The southern route takes you through historical towns such as Breukelen, Maarssen and Oud-Zuilen. The northern route brings you along Loenen aan de Vecht, Vreeland, Nederhorst, Den Berg and Nigtevecht.
If you want to sail in style, there is the option of going with an originally restored saloon boat from the beginning of the last century, with rederij de Kampioen. Make sure to book a high tea or afternoon session, with bites & drinks.
Visit castles and fortresses
Other places to the countryside of Amsterdam, include the castles and fortesses of De Hollandse Waterlinies, a former defense line of 200 kilometers long. Between 1815 and 1940 this line played an important role in the defense of the Netherlands. In wars, soldiers could quickly flood wide swaths of land, making the area inaccessible for the enemy. Nowadays you can visit some of these places.
The Muiderslot, located in the medieval fortified town of Muiden is one of the most famous castles near Amsterdam. You can visit the castle and its gardens and see how the former residents used to live. Other fortresses to visit include Fort Uitermeer, Fort Nieuwersluis, Fort Spijkerboor and Fortress Island Pampus. What they have in common is an interesting history of the defense of the Netherlands and a setting in the countryside of Amsterdam.
Tip: when you are at Fort Spijkerboor make sure to have a drink at the Theethuin Fort Spijkerboor, a lovely place for a tea, drink and lunch.
Hotels in the countryside of Amsterdam
Need a rental car for your trip around the countryside of Amsterdam? Use Rental Cars to search and compare your car rental options. A quick and easy tool and no need to have up multiple tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. They also have great discounts and cancellation policies.
More about the Netherlands
Did you enjoy reading this article with tips for daytrips in the countryside of Amsterdam? Do you want to read more about the Netherlands? Check out all my articles with tips and inspiration.
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