Welcome to Cassandra's list of Top 5 places to visit outside Amsterdam!!
1) Zaanse Schans
Step out of the city bustle into the peaceful countryside of windmills and farm animals. Zaanse Schans is truly picturesque with windmills dotting the horizon and small streams reflecting the gorgeous blue skies. Some windmills house adorable shops while others have live demonstrations of how windmills grind spices. Marvel at this classic Netherlands sight!
According to Buzzfeed, this is one of the places you must see before you die. Giethoorn is often nicknamed the Venice of the Netherlands because there are no roads except bike lanes because all transportation is done by water. With 180 bridges and 200-year-old farm houses with thatched roofs, Giethoorn is an escape into a fairytale land.
Haarlem contains some of the oldest buildings in the Netherlands that are still standing today. This medieval city is a quieter but equally cute version of Amsterdam. You’re likely to find a bustling farmer’s market in the central square, and don’t leave without peeking inside the Grote Kerk, the magnificent cathedral.
Did someone say COOKIE FACTORY? Take a trip to Gouda’s Syrup Waffle Factory, where you can take a tour and see how a version of Amsterdam’s stroopwafels were invented and continue to be made today. Of course, the tour begins and ends with waffle tastings, so make sure you go on an empty stomach. After that, explore the town of Gouda, whose central square also offers farmers’ market. It is also the town that gave name to Gouda cheese, so if you’re a cheese-lover like me, check out the many cheese shops here!
Upon arrival, you will be greeted by a set of medieval gates straight out of a fairytale. Beyond that, Amersfoort offers bustling shopping streets that are a wonder to wander. Don’t forget to check out Spakenburg, a small port just outside of Amersfoort filled with old boats and lovely food markets.