Amsterdam Day trips

The most beautiful villages near Amsterdam you must visit

Villages near Amsterdam: the most beautiful villages near Amsterdam | Your Dutch Guide

Countless windmills, historic churches and fisherman’s cottages. The good ol’ fashioned Dutch villages near Amsterdam seem to have stood still in time. Some parts of them still look the same as they did 100 years ago. In some places you can even see men and women dressed in traditional costume, mostly on public holidays. If you’re keen to visit some typically Dutch villeges near Amsterdam, please read on as I will tell you where to go, how to get there and what to see.   

Plan your trip to Amsterdam

Villages near Amsterdam: the most beautiful villages near Amsterdam | Your Dutch Guide

Visit the villages near Amsterdam

  • Take the bus. You can reach most villages near Amsterdam simply by using the regional busses that leave from Amsterdam Central Station. This website helps you to plan your trip.
  • Plan a day trip. From Amsterdam lots of tours leave daily for full day and half day trips to the villages near Amsterdam. Most day trips will take you to Zaanse Schans, Edam and Volendam.

Must-visit villages near Amsterdam

Zaanse Schans

Villages near Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans | Your Dutch Guide

Zaanse Schans (Piet Hermans Fotografie)

The impressive amount of windmills clustered together at Zaanse Schans were pretty much the first industrial site in the world? Hundreds of windmills along the Zaan river once produced linseed oil, paint, tobacco, mustard and paper. The dozen of windmills you can see and visit today are actually still working the traditional way. Other buildings in Zaanse Schans have been brought in from all over The Netherlands to create a Golden Age village.

Bonus tip! Stay at Inntel Hotel Amsterdam Zaandam

Inntel Hotel Amsterdam Zaandam

In Zaandam, just a stone’s throw away from Zaanse Schans is Inntel Hotel Amsterdam Zaandam. This unique building is a sight in itsself: consisting of seventy different typical ‘Zaanse huisjes’ (houses traditional in this area) in four shades of green, stacked togethet to make this amazing hotel. Every room of the Inntel Hotel Amsterdam Zaandam has a traditional Dutch photo wall. The hotel has a spa, indoor swimming pool and a restaurant to relax in. The train station is next door and a train will take you to Amsterdam is just over 10 minutes. 

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Dutch villages near Amsterdam: Monnickendam | Your Dutch Guide

A couple of years ago I had a work appointment in Monnickendam. When I got off the bus in the small town centre of Monnickendam my jaw hit the floor. Basically, I ended up in what I imagined Holland fisherman’s towns would have looked like 200 years ago. With colourful, wooden cottages and small boats along the harbour, lace curtains in windows and a very relaxed pace of life. I highly recommend going to Monnickendam on a weekday morning, when it’s quiet. You won’t be sorry. 

  • Take the bus from Amsterdam Noord to Monnickendam. The journey will take about 15 minutes.
  • Visit Waterlandsmuseum de Speeltoren, a museum in the historical tower of Monnickendam.

Broek in Waterland

Dutch villages near Amsterdam: Broek in Waterland | your Dutch Guide

Broek in Waterland is only 9 kilometres north of Amsterdam, yet it feels like a completely different world from the Dutch capital. Broek in Waterland is the perfect getaway if you would like to have an hour or two of quiet away from the city. In the 17th-century rich merchants came to build their summer houses here and a lot of these rich houses still make up most of the village today. Broek in Waterland is surrounded by water and the best way to explore is by boat.

  • The bus trip from Amsterdam to Broek in Waterland takes about 15 minutes.
  • This e-bike tour takes you from Amsterdam to Broek in Waterland and finished with a cheese tasting at an authentic Dutch cheese producer.


Dutch villages near Amsterdam: Edam | Your Dutch Guide

Edam is one of Holland’s best kept secrets. It’s a fabulous treat to wander the historical centre and take in all the monuments, canals and squares. The town is as charming due to it’s rich history in trade. It had the perfect location for ships to dock, makin Edam the ideal place for trade to take place. If you take a look at the façades of the houses that line the canals, you can still see how prosperous Edam used to be. And yes, Edam is of course the city of cheese. The traditional ball of cheese has been a popular export product since the 17th century. If you visit Edam in Juli or August you can visit the traditional cheese market.

Do you like Dutch cheese? Visit the Dutch town of Gouda!


Villages near Amsterdam: Volendam | Your Dutch Guide

Volendam has to be the most popular of villages near Amsterdam. French historian Henry Havard wrote about Volendam in the 19th century ‘as one of the most picturesque villages with wooden houses and traditional costume’ causing artists from allover Europe to flock to Volendam. Which is how the village became a real ‘artists village’. But most of all, Volendam is a fisherman’s village, where tons of eel and herring where caught and sold or smoked. Even today, eating a herring whilst overlooking the water is a great thing to do in Volendam.

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Dutch villeages near Amsterdam: Marken | Your Dutch Guide

Marken is one of the most remarkable villages near Amserdam and a visit to Marken is very special, even to Dutch people. The fisherman’s village used to be a rather isolated island until it was linked up to the mainland in 1957. The car-free town centre, with wooden houses and clogs standing outside, seems like a picture from a history book. Visit the clog-making workshop and the museum with traditional clothing.


Villeages near Amsterdam: Muiden | Your Dutch Guide

Muiderslot castle | Your Dutch Guide

Muiden is located just south of Amsterdam, where the Vecht river meets IJmeer lake. It’s a small town full of beautiful traditional houses and a bustling harbour. Definitely take a boat trip to Papmus island, the island where ships heading to Amsterdam used to be quaranteend before they were allowed acces to the city’s main harbour. But the real attraction is the stunning castle of Muiderslot, dating back to 1280. It’s absolutely worth admiring the exhibit on medieval life in the castle as well as roam the beautiful gardens. 


Dutch villages near Amsterdam: Naarden | Your Dutch Guide

Naarden is one of the villages near Amsterdam that was built as a ‘fortress town’. The Netherlands has many ‘fortress towns’ built in a unique star shape with watch towers in every star point and citi walls built between them. Naarden is one of the star shaped fortress towns close to Amsterdam that is really worth visiting. Walking the streets of Naarden feels a little like throwback into time.

Beautiful Dutch villages a little further afield


Beautiful Dutch villages: Giethoorn | Your Dutch Guide

Giethoorn is one of the most beautiful villages in The Netherlands and well-worth a day trip from Amsterdam. Giethoorn is also named as ‘Venice of the North’ as the town mostly consists of islands that are connected by canals and bridges. There are hardly any roads in Giethoorn and the best way to explore the village is by boat. From the water you’ll be able to see the beautifil 18th and 19th century farms and town houses, as well as some lovely gardens. 


Most beautiful villages in The Netherlands: Kinderdijk | Your Dutch Guide

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed village of Kinderdijk. This village is located in South-Holland, not too far from the cities of Rotterdam and Dordrecht. Kinderdijk is, of course, known for the 19 historical windmills that have kept this area safe from floods for centuries. You can explore the stunning surroundings by foot, bike or boat. Some windmills are open for visitors. 


Day trip to Lisse and Keukenhof Gardens from Amsterdam

Are you visiting The Netherlands in April or earky May? The you have the opportunity to visit the tulip fields in The Netherlands. From Amsterdam it’s easy to visit the village of Lisse. The village is, of course, home to famous Keukenhof, but is also surrounded by beautiful flower fields. A day trip or half-day trip is absolutely in order in the right season.

Beautiful villages near Amsterdam
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Dutch villages near Amsterdam: visit the most beautiful villages near Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide
Dutch villages near Amsterdam: visit the most beautiful villages near Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

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  • Reply
    May 25, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Really love this! I’ve not been to Marken, but really want to visit. A lot of people don’t realize how close Amsterdam is to so many cute villages!

  • Reply
    May 26, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    Ah, these villages are a photographer’s dream come true! Absolutely adorable! Your blog is such an inexhaustible source of information for great places to visit in the Netherlands. I’ll definitely add these to my list of places to visit.

  • Reply
    Rhonda Albom
    May 27, 2018 at 12:53 am

    I love the way the Inntel Hotel Amsterdam Zaandam looks like individual houses stacked on one another. Zaanse Schans is a town I’d like to visit. The effect of bringing in historic buildings and the working windmills showing how industry used to be is fascinating. Monnickendam looks like a village I would like to stay in overnight.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2018 at 5:03 am

    I love this! Those towns all look like postcards! Would love to visit there someday!

  • Reply
    May 27, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    This is fantastic! We hear and read so much about Amsterdam; it’s nice to read about these close-by areas. The fact that they are so easily accessible is great, and makes it even more of a mystery that you don’t often read about them. Zaanse Schans is right at the top of our Must See list, but every one of these villages seem idyllic!

  • Reply
    May 27, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    I loved my one and only visit to Amsterdam but it was entirely too short. I’d love to go back and also visit these villages. I find that I enjoy visiting cities but I really love to get outside of cities and catch glimpses of life in small towns or the countryside.

    • Reply
      May 28, 2018 at 9:46 am

      Ah, in that case a trip to The Netherlands, in general, is a good idea, Jill. As you can basically see so much within 30 minutes from Amsterdam. You could even consider skipping the city altogether (yes, shock horror).

  • Reply
    May 27, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    We visited Zaanse Schans and loved it. It is a very romantic place, isn’t it?

    • Reply
      May 28, 2018 at 9:47 am

      Haha, Zaanse Schans is not really my idea of romantic (I know better romantic spots in The Netherlands I guess), but yes, it is special.

  • Reply
    Elaine Masters
    May 28, 2018 at 7:15 am

    What wonders! Love the colors and architecture. Amazing too that some of the locals still wear traditional garb, even if only for holidays. The seaside pictures make me think of famous painters. Beautiful.

  • Reply
    May 28, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    I’ve been to Zaanse Schans twice now and loved it! But the rest of these are just stupidpretty!!!! I love them so much and I have wanted to see that awesome mixed building! Don’t know the name!

  • Reply
    May 28, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    All of these villages look worthy of a visit. The one I like the best is Zaanse Schans. That green coloured windmill is calling my name. Thanks for linking up this week.

  • Reply
    Lars and Michelle
    May 28, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    Such gorgeous little spots in the Netherlands! We visited Monnickendam- such a lovely little fishing village. Beautiful photos.

  • Reply
    Julie Lim
    May 29, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    These villages look so quaint and adorable. Will put at least one of ’em in my must-see places when I visit The Netherlands. Your photos are lovely too.

  • Reply
    June 1, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Amsterdam definitely seems like a good place to base yourself when in the Netherlands. I’ve known for a while I want to visit Zaanse Schans but the others are new to me. Marken especially catches my eye. Great ideas for my next Dutch trip!

  • Reply
    June 18, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Wow! Amazing villages! Love the windmills, such amazing scene. Also love the architecture and the colors of the buildings. Great work, thanks.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Tuharsky
    March 30, 2023 at 9:54 pm

    Hi Esther Any suggestions as to which one we should stay at?

    • Reply
      April 19, 2023 at 10:45 am

      Hey Cheryl, Zaandam definitely. As you can just catch a train there to Amsterdam (and basically everywhere).

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