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Amsterdam Countryside: A guide to 4 Charming Places to Visit

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  • The charming Dutch Amsterdam countryside offers a peaceful contrast to the bustling city. Within an hour’s travel time you’ll find storybook villages, vibrant flower fields, classic windmills, and peaceful farmlands.
  • Book a hassle free and convenient private day tour with a guide and driver to see the highlights of Amsterdam’s Countryside
  • Top places to visit include Zaanse Schans windmill village, the bulb fields & Keukenhof Gardens, Marken island, Edam & Volendam villages, and countryside bike routes.
  • The best times to visit are April-May to see the tulips blooming and summer for nice weather. Travel by rental car, bike, or guided tour bus from Amsterdam.

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Amsterdam Countryside : A guide to 4 Charming Places to Visit 

You Need to Make Time to Venture Outside the City!

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Escape to the Charming Countryside Near Amsterdam

Amsterdam offers no shortage of canals, cafés, and culture. But you would miss out on experiencing the full charm of Holland if you didn’t explore the Dutch countryside surrounding the vibrant capital city.

Within less than an hour’s drive, train, or bus ride from Amsterdam, a peaceful pastoral landscape unfolds. Here you can discover the windmills, waterways, and tiny brick-lined villages that define the quintessential Dutch countryside.

Visiting these rural areas offers a delightful contrast to buzzing Amsterdam. You’ll find flower-filled fields, stroll along dikes lining tranquil ponds, sample cheeses produced on nearby farms, and get snapshots in front of picturesque windmills.

Why You Need to Visit the Countryside Near Amsterdam: Amsterdam countryside things to do

Many visitors coming for the first time only explore cosmopolitan Amsterdam. While the capital certainly dazzles, you would miss out on seeing the full scope and heritage of the Netherlands without enjoying easy country day trips.

Venturing an hour outside urban Amsterdam provides several appealing reasons to balance your travels:

  • See the Real Holland: The windmills, waterways, cows, bicycles and brick houses define the storybook Dutch countryside. Meandering canals, vibrant flower fields, and peaceful villages encapsulate traditional Holland.
  • Avoid Crowds: Amsterdam bursts with tourists, especially in peak summer months. Escaping to the peaceful countryside offers open space and solitude.
  • Relaxation & Recreation: Built heritage abounds, but so do opportunities for biking, walking, and boating surrounded by nature. Open skies and wide horizons soothe a traveler’s spirit.
  • Easy Access: Thanks to transit links like trains and tour buses from Amsterdam to villages like Edam and Volendam, you can easily fit in a refreshing country day.

Countryside of ansterdam things to see and do

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/amsterdam-countryside/

You Can Discover Historic Windmills, Vibrant Flower Fields & Peaceful Villages

Many vacationers who only stay in Amsterdam itself never experience views of the quintessential Dutch landscape. Outside the stimulating city, a delightful countryside dotted with windmills and laced with canals spreads across the lowlands near sea level.

  • Pastoral countryside scenes abound with cows grazing green fields crossed by canals bordered with willow trees. Locals frequently bike along countryside lanes and embankments.
  • Iconic windmills from the 17th & 18th centuries that used to drain water from the land to make it habitable still spin picturesquely today.
  • Tiny brick-walled fishing villages look like they’re frozen in time, little changed for 300 years with boats bobbing in small harbors.
  • From March through May, vibrant bulb fields burst into blooms of color including the famous Dutch tulips as well as daffodils, hyacinth and more.

With this irresistible landscape beckoning just outside Amsterdam, you’ll want to devote at least a day to soak up the pastoral beauty and heritage. Fortunately, it’s convenient to reach delightful countryside spots by public transportation or on guided day tours.

Our Top Pick: Best Amsterdam Countryside Tour

#1 TOP PICK
Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/amsterdam-countryside/

Best Amsterdam Countryside Tour

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • 5 star reviews
  • Must book a tour to see all the highlights
  • private driver
  • flexible cancelation policy

Top Places to Visit in the Amsterdam Countryside

You Can Easily Reach Charming Villages & Must-See Attractions on Day Trips

Many inviting locales in the expansive Dutch countryside make for wonderful day trips from Amsterdam. The top places capture quintessential windmills, breathtaking spring flowers, and charming historic villages.

Most prime places lie within roughly a 30 to 60 minute drive or train/bus ride from Amsterdam. So don’t leave without penciling in these bucket-list countryside attractions into your itinerary:

Best villages in the netherlands countryside 

1. Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans ranks as the ultimate countryside spot to capture images of traditional windmills. Located just 20 minutes north of Amsterdam, this is a “must photograph” spot.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/amsterdam-countryside/
  • This outdoor museum features 6 iconic windmills in one water-filled spot, with 5 still functioning. The photogenic green wood structures reflect on the still waters, creating double images.
  • The village recreates life in the 18th and 19th century when windmills dominated the landscape. Workshops feature engaging demonstrations from cheesemaking to wooden clog carving.
  • Low-slung traditional green wood houses line the banks of the river with waterfowl paddling around.

How to get to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam

Train to Koog-Zaandijk then short connecting bus ride (25-30 minutes total)

2. Lisse, Tulip Fields & Keukenhof Gardens : countryside in netherlands and places around amsterdam

Each spring, vibrant fields of red, yellow, white and purple spring bulb flowers color the Dutch countryside. The extensive fields surround the small town of Lisse, located about 40 minutes southwest of Amsterdam.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/amsterdam-countryside/

The best blooms occur through April and May when millions of colorful tulips, hyacinths and daffodils blossom. Prime events include:

  • Keukenhof Gardens – the world’s largest flower exhibit, some 7 million bulbs bloom annually at this 79-acre park. Pavilions and landscaped paths display the vibrant flowers.
  • Tulip Farms – The area around Lisse contains the highest concentration of commercial flower bulb farms. Take a tour through the fields bursting with color.
  • Flower Parade – This creative parade with floats completely decorated with fresh-cut blooms occurs annually in April.
  • Easy to visit on bus tours or public bus #858 from Amsterdam (around 40 minutes)

3. Edam & Volendam: Historic Harbor Villages near amsterdam

Quaint brick-lined fishing villages like Edam, Volendam, and Marken offer windows into historic Dutch life with boats bobbing picturesquely in small harbors. Wandering the narrow streets transports you back centuries.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/amsterdam-countryside/
  • Volendam & Edam – Two adjacent villages on the IJsselmeer Lake contain photogenic rows of tiny cottages lining the waterfronts. Sample seafood, cheese & chocolates from local purveyors.
  • Marken Island – Reached by a causeway or ferry, this insular fishing hamlet looks nearly identical for centuries. Green wooden houses cluster along tranquil canals crossed by tiny footbridges.

4. Marken Island: Waterland Region & Countryside Bike Routes:  places to visit close to amsterdam

Laced by canals and punctuated by windmills, many pretty villages beckon along bike paths through the Waterland district north of Amsterdam. Routes meander over narrow bridges and past boats and grazing cows.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/amsterdam-countryside/
  • The small historic towns of like Monnickendam, Broek in Waterland, and Durgerdam contain wonderful old architecture and scenery. Multi-day routes connect villages.
  • Guided bike tours from Amsterdam travel through the idyllic pastoral landscape to reach top villages and countryside attractions.
  • Reach scenic Marken Island via a short ferry ride from Volendam (only takes around 30 minutes total)

When to Visit the Countryside of Amsterdam 

Avoid Winter & Target Tulips in Spring or Summer for Ideal Travel Conditions

Since the Netherlands sits at a northern European latitude, winters tend to be cold, windy and raw. Lingering chill and the possibility of rain continue well into spring most years. As a result, the optimal travel seasons to soak up the lush green fields and vibrant flowers center around later spring into summer.

Spring (Mid-March to Mid-May) in countryside of netherlands

If your priority is to witness vibrant swaths of red, yellow, white and purple spring flowers blooming, April and May are prime times. The world-famous Dutch tulips, hyacinths and narcissus burst forth, blanketing fields and gardens. In mid-April, don’t miss the Flower Parade’s incredible floats decorated with colorful fresh-cut blooms. Weather varies from cool days to pleasantly mild stretches.

Summer (Mid-May to early September) 

For reliably pleasant weather bringing long sunny days ideal for countryside bike rides, summer is best. Fields and waterways remain vibrant green thanks to plentiful rainfall. Vast fields may show colorful crop flowers like gold rapeseed. Summertime allows flexibility to spontaneously hop on a bike, take a stroll or enjoy patio dining at a waterside café. Due to the moderate maritime climate, summer days feel pleasant not steamy hot. But hotel rates and crowds escalate in peak months of July and August.

How to Get to the Countryside from Amsterdam

Trains, Buses & Guided Tours Make Day Trips Simple

Thankfully getting out to the pastoral Dutch countryside from Amsterdam poses little challenge. Frequent trains and buses connect the capital city with prime villages and attractions. Guided tours eliminate navigation hassles. Or independent travelers can rent bikes or cars. Here are the best transport options for your day escape:

Guided Amsterdam Countryside Tours

For ease, especially if you have limited time, opt for a guided full or half-day bus tour from Amsterdam. Experienced guides will flawlessly transport you to multiple iconic sites like Keukenhof Gardens, Zaanse Schans windmills and picture-perfect fishing villages. Packed itineraries enable you to maximize sightseeing.

Public Buses to rural netherlands

Frequent express buses depart Amsterdam for top sites like Volendam and Edam villages, operating daily. Use public transit maps and apps to connect the dots. Buses typically require heading first to Amsterdam North Station with transfers involved.

Trains to netherlands beautiful villages 

Passenger trains efficiently zip from Amsterdam Central Station to stations reasonably near top attractions like Zaanse Schans. But you’ll still need to walk 15 minutes or catch a short connecting bus ride. Check schedules closely.

Rental Cars or Amsterdam countryside bike tour 

Avid cyclists will love pedaling through the Dutch countryside past winding canals, cows and cottages. But distances add up if you only have a day.

For more efficient touring by vehicle, rental cars allow independence to freely customize sightseeing. Just prepare for convoluted navigation.

Insider Tips to Maximize Your Day Touring the Countryside

Follow These Pro Tricks to Make the Most of Your Time Exploring the Charming Villages & Scenery

Spending a day soaking up the delights of the villages, flower fields and windmills in the countryside near Amsterdam makes for an idyllic escape. To help you maximize sightseeing pleasure, keep these Netherlands travel pros’ top tips in mind:

  • Avoid visiting on Monday when some attractions like villages and windmills close – plan another day if possible
  • For tulip season, target mid-April for vibrant colors; crocuses and daffodils pop first
  • Bring clothing layers for changeable weather; the Netherlands wind makes things feel cooler
  • Pack along picnic provisions to nibble beside a canal or in a flowery meadow
  • Ride along the free little ferries that continuously cross the enclosed inland lakes
  • Wear good walking shoes with support; you’ll likely stroll over 5 miles without realizing it
  • At flower fields, respect the crops by not trampling through them for photos
  • Capture your own iconic windmill photo, but also buy professional images as souvenirs
  • Relax beside canals, watching birds glide by as boat masts rock gently up and down
  • Savor moments alone escaping the crowds, pausing to inhale the fresh air scented faintly like cocoa

Our Top Pick: Best Amsterdam Countryside Tour

#1 TOP PICK
Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/amsterdam-countryside/

Best Amsterdam Countryside Tour

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • 5 star reviews
  • Must book a tour to see all the highlights
  • private driver
  • flexible cancelation policy

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/amsterdam-countryside/

Venturing Out to the  Amsterdam Countryside

Balance Your Energizing Amsterdam Sightseeing with a Tranquil Pastoral Escape

When you head home after a rewarding trip to Amsterdam and the Netherlands, you’ll likely reminisce about meandering canal front neighborhoods and world-class museums. But some of your most endearing memories may come from day trips escaping the city’s frenzy.

Picturesque windmills reflected in still waters… the sight and heady aroma of vibrant fields bursting with colorful tulips… happy picnics on river banks watching boats drift by… These snapshots of your peaceful countryside explorations will warm your heart for years to come when you need an escape.

So promise yourself you’ll venture outside bustling Amsterdam at least once. Immerse yourself in the quintessential Dutch landscape – you won’t regret falling under the pastoral charm that persists practically unchanged for centuries just beyond the city

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