Planning a Dutch Countryside Tour

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Planning a Dutch Countryside Tour

Metropolitan areas tend to be the primary destination for most travelers. It isn’t hard to see why. Their locations tend to become the central hallmark of a region with everything else radiating out around them. All the lights and the cosmopolitan atmosphere can easily distract you from the fact that most countries have far more to offer than the things you’ll find in a city. For instance, Amsterdam may be one of the places most people feel they have to visit in The Netherlands, but they Dutch do have plenty of countryside despite their densely urbanized nature. The countryside is where you can still get a glimpse into less commercialized aspects of Dutch culture. It certainly is a stereotyped country living only with clogs, but it does have a soul all its own that remains distinctly Dutch. A decent transportation system¬†also means you have plenty of ways to make a day trip of a visit to the country.

Edam, Netherlands

Breakfast and a Show
The idyllic picture of the Dutch countryside may be long past, but at least some towns like Edam do their best to still give travelers a taste of the look and feel of an older version of The Netherlands. Some of the town traditions carry on from long before and the regular selling of local goods in the city is sometimes accompanied with more enthusiastic merchants dressing the part for any international travelers passing through. The biggest reason to stop in Edam are the cheeses. Their popularity may not be as high as they were in centuries past, but you can be sure the local cheeses are made with care by the locals with an eye to maintain a long history of quality. Since the town thrives on tourism these days you’re sure to be able to make the trip and overnight stay at one of the town’s many choices for accommodations.

Marken.

Fishing for Some History
Marken, by contrast to Edam, doesn’t necessarily go out of its way to become a tourist attraction. It simply became one by virtue of ceasing to be a bit isolated from the mainland. Travel to the island is entirely possible by car thanks to a bit of engineering and now it doesn’t have to make its living from the sea. People flock to it to see what an old, Dutch fishing village would have looked like in times past. It hasn’t stopped some of the locals from continuing to make their living in the sea or at least making it an industrious past-time. Notably, you’ll find the car won’t get you far beyond to the actual village itself. The locals prefer to walk or bike if they need to get around. So prepare to get a little exercise while visiting.

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans
If you don’t mind somewhere foregoing all pretenses, this not-quite village is more of a museum than it is a town. The locals rearranged things themselves to recreate the genuine look and feel of a 17th to 18th century Dutch village. Don’t mistake everything you see for simply being part of the presentation though. The iconic windmills are present, yes, but they’re still fully operated by their owners to suit their own needs. Most of the museum town is devoted to providing access to more traditional museums as well as a look into the trades that were traditionally valued by the Dutch. You can see how various things are made such as the iconic clogs, how they make cheese, and even pewter working depending on where you go in Zaanse Schans.

Taking a quite trip out into the Dutch countryside from Amsterdam is incredibly easy thanks to the rail system and roads. You can find plenty of idyllic real and not so real locations to visit that can give you a look into an older version of The Netherlands. The dense urbanization of the country means you don’t have to travel far and there are at least some trappings of tourism almost anywhere you care to go. This shouldn’t discourage you from looking to see a bit of idyllic countryside with a picturesque windmill or three.

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