Amsterdam Metropolitan Area
If by now you’ve seen the museums, scoured the markets, sailed through the canals and explored the cosy Jordaan district, you’re in for a treat. 'Cause there’s more to discover in Amsterdam than just the city centre. Lots more! In just a half hour, you could be cycling through the wide green pastures of the Dutch countryside - just like a scene in a Rembrandt painting. Holland’s expansive white sandy beaches are also within easy reach of the city. Why not shop till you drop at outlet heaven Batavia Stad, or wrap yourself in luxury at Schiphol Airport. Or visit the elegant city of Haarlem – it’s an art lover's jewel. Variety is the spice of life in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, and that’s what sets this area apart. Thanks to an extensive public transport network, it's easy to get anywhere in just 45 minutes. Just decide where you’d like to explore, and each day of your holiday is sure to be a day to remember.
Zandvoort has a direct train link to Amsterdam. In less than 30 minutes you can go from the beach to Amsterdam Central Station, which means you can lie on the beach in the sun and still go to visit the special sights and museums of the capital.
Behind the sea visitors find a varied nature reserve with sloping dunes, lakes, forests and rare animals like deer and wisent. This landscape is unique for Europe and ideal for walking. The Dutch Dunes contain all sorts of surprises like military bunkers and magnificent viewpoints.
Haarlem has been a city of artists for centuries. Frans Hals painted his most famous pieces here, which can be admired in the Frans Hals Museum. Combine a day of culture with a historic walk through the city, shopping, a drink and a nice bite to eat. Be amazed by Haarlem’s overwhelming beauty and classic features.
Flowers of Amsterdam
When people think of Holland, they automatically think of flowers. Purple hyacinths, pink tulips, yellow narcissists – you’ll see them everywhere in the Bollenstreek flower growing region during the season. And don’t miss the world famous FloraHolland Flower Auction, where millions of flowers and plants are sold each year.
Castles and Gardens
Simply follow the Amstel River and before you know it, you’ll be cycling past grazing cattle, imposing mansions and historic villages. Along the way, stop at any one of the charming restaurants and cafés that line the river bank with their sunny terraces. Or rent an electric boat and sail serenely down the waterways for a trip you won't forget.
In the traditional Dutch towns of Edam, Volendam and Marken, it seems as if time has stood still. Traditional folk dress and wooden shoes are even still worn here by some of the residents. You can also find similar surroundings in the Zaanstreek region, with its windmills, old warehouses and factories.
With dikes, dams and more, the Dutch have been fighting the water for centuries now. The province of Flevoland - the world’s largest polder - was reclaimed from the sea by inpoldering.
The Netherlands’ largest lake is the IJsselmeer, northeast of Amsterdam. The lake was created in 1932 by damming it up with the 32-kilometre-long Afsluitdijk. Sail, surf, swim and enjoy this magnificent area of natural beauty