Explore Amsterdam Countryside: 4 Hidden Gems Await

Welcome to the charming and picturesque Amsterdam countryside in the Netherlands, where the hustle and bustle of the city are replaced with serene and idyllic landscapes that are sure to take your breath away.

In this article, I will explore four quaint and inviting places that are a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the true beauty of the countryside in Amsterdam.

From quaint villages to sprawling fields of vibrant tulips, these locations offer an authentic perspective of the Dutch countryside near Amsterdam that you won’t find anywhere else.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to book. Please check out my privacy policy and disclosure for more information.

Is the Amsterdam Countryside in Netherlands Worth Visiting?

Absolutely! The countryside in Amsterdam countryside is a hidden gem that is worth visiting. The picturesque landscapes and charming villages offer a refreshing break from the busy things to do in Amsterdam.

Whether you’re interested in exploring quaint villages, cycling through fields of vibrant tulips, or simply enjoying the fresh air and stunning views, the area surrounding rural Amsterdam has something for everyone.

Be sure to add the countryside near Amsterdam to your travel itinerary and you’ll be surrounded by the most serene environment.

After you’ve had your best brunch in Amsterdam, it’s time to hit the countryside with these 4 beautiful villages near Amsterdam.

1. Volendam – a picturesque fishing village

green buildings on pier in dutch countryside near amsterdam

Welcome to Volendam – a charming fishing village that’s picture-perfect!

You’ll be greeted by the sight of cute colourful houses and fishing boats lining the harbour of Lake Markermeer, beckoning you to explore this small village near Amsterdam.

Take a walk along the cobbled streets and browse the shops selling traditional Dutch clothing and souvenirs, or sample some of the local delicacies at one of the many restaurants and cafes. This village is known for its fresh seafood and vibrant folk music – so be prepared to see and hear both.

The only downside to Volendam is, it’s a bit touristy (well, not a bit, a lot). There’s no denying that this town is worthy of the hundreds of visitors it receives daily. Just be prepared and embrace it, as it is definitely worth seeing!

How to Get to Volendam from Amsterdam

canal with boats amsterdam countryside in netherlands

The journey from Amsterdam to Volendam by bus is 30 minutes. Take Bus Number 316 from Amsterdam Centraal and you will arrive at Volendam Centrum. Right around the corner is the Volendams Museum and Information Centre. 

The journey from Amsterdam to Volendam by bike is 25 km or about 90 minutes. Dedicated bike lanes take you alongside the highway for most of it before it diverts through scenic countryside and quaint villages, like Monnickendam and Broek. Making it ideal if you have the extra time and weather on your side. 

Your last option is to join a fully guided coach tour from Amsterdam to Volendam, Edam, and Zaanse Schans.

Visiting the Dutch countryside tour from Amsterdam check prices and book your dates!

2. Edam – a charming cheese village

Nestled in the heart of the Dutch countryside lies the charming town of Edam, famous for its delectable cheese and picturesque canals.

Stepping into this town feels like stepping back in time, as the traditional Dutch architecture and cobbled streets have been lovingly preserved for generations. The town’s most famous export, Edam cheese, can be found in shops throughout the town.

Historically, local farmers would bring their cheese by boat and horse to be weighed and traded. Although the cheese market closed down in 1920, a re-enactment of this tradition occurs every Wednesday in the main square.

Take a stroll along the canals and admire the beautiful homes and quaint bridges, or explore the town’s many galleries and the Edam Museum that showcase the rich history and culture of Edam.

The Edam Museum is housed in a 400-year-old historic residence that provides visitors with a glimpse into what old canal houses once looked like. The house is particularly interesting for its floating cellar, designed to accommodate changes in water level without destabilizing the structure.

How to Get to Edam from Volendam

canal with houses in amsterdam countryside in netherlands

The journey from Volendam to Edam by bike is 3 km or about 10 minutes. That’s if you decide to take the direct route. I opted for a more scenic route, and was it ever!

Follow the trail along the shores of Lake Markermeer – sea on one side and grassy countryside on the other. You will cross over drawbridges and see many windmills along the way. 

3. Marken – a quaint island village

bridge, canal with houses in amsterdam countryside in netherlands
Holland countryside in Marken

Tucked away on a small island on Marermeer Lake lies the beautiful village near Amsterdam called Marken, a quaint and charming destination that is steeped in history and culture.

Marken was separated from the mainland in the 13th century by a storm. After centuries of isolation for this population, Marken was connected to the mainland in 1957. The building of an embankment made Marken a peninsula ever since.

This idyllic village is known for its traditional Dutch houses, many of which date back hundreds of years, and its winding streets and stunning waterfront views. Pop into a museum to learn more about the rich maritime history of Marken. Or, simply wander through the charming streets and soak in the idyllic atmosphere.

The village is also known for its vibrant cultural traditions, such as the colourful costumes worn by locals during festivals and celebrations. This authentic village has so much charm and character that it’s impossible not to fall in love with it.

How to Get to Marken from Volendam

canal with boats and houses amsterdam countryside in netherlands
Countryside Amsterdam on a bike ride to Marken from Volendam

The journey from Volendam to Marken is easiest via the Volendam Marken Express, a ferry that crosses Lake Marermeer taking about 30 minutes.

The journey via a 1.6 km long embankment, allows you to cross by bus or bike. This requires you to be close to the village of Uitdam. 

4. Zaanse Schans – a quintessential windmill village

sea with windmills in amsterdam countryside in netherlands
Countryside Netherlands in Zaanse Schans

A visit to Zaanse Schans is an open-air museum that transports you back in time to the 18th and 19th centuries when windmills and wooden factories dominated the landscape.

Here you can explore the working windmills, see how traditional Dutch clogs are made, or visit the cheese farm to sample the delicious local cheeses.

Take a stroll along the winding streets and admire the beautiful houses and shops that line the canal, or simply soak in the idyllic atmosphere and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

With its unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, Zaanse Schans is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the authentic charm and character of the Netherlands.

How to Get to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam

There are a few options for the journey from Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans.

  • The easiest way to get to Zaanse Schans is by train. Take a train from Amsterdam Central Station to Koog-Zaandijk Station, which takes approximately 17 minutes, and then walk or take a bus to Zaanse Schans. The total journey time from Amsterdam Central Station to Zaanse Schans is around 25-30 minutes.
  • Take a bus departing from Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station to reach Zaanse Schans in about 40 minutes. This option is less convenient than the train, as the bus schedule is less frequent and may take longer due to traffic.
  • If you prefer to drive, Zaanse Schans is located approximately 20 km north of Amsterdam. Take the A8 motorway towards Zaandam. From there, follow the signs to Zaanse Schans. (Note: parking can be limited and expensive, especially during peak season).

FAQ: Countryside in Netherlands

canal with trees, houses on riverbank in amsterdam countryside

Is there countryside in Amsterdam?

Yes, there is countryside in Amsterdam! The countryside of Amsterdam is a picturesque and idyllic destination that is home to charming villages, historic windmills, and stunning natural beauty.

What is the best time to visit the countryside in the Netherlands?

The best time to visit the countryside of Netherlands is April-May when the tulips are in bloom or in the summer June-August for warm and sunny weather.

As a Holidaymaker

Sometimes it’s the places we go beyond the main destination itself that surprise us the most. While Amsterdam definitely has a lot to offer, it’s the day trips that added a little something extra to our holiday.

A chance to get a glimpse into the everyday life of the people and culture of the Netherlands. Go and explore the rural Netherlands countryside, where life is a little simpler and dare I say it, a little more beautiful.  

If you enjoyed these four small villages near Amsterdam, I have a couple more suggestions for you: