It would be very difficult for anyone to run out of things to see and experience in Amsterdam. It is a charming city filled with friendliness, history, life, and some of Europe’s most interesting (and tolerant) culture – with much of it located around Amsterdam’s dozens and dozens of historic canals. But here are five short escapes out of Amsterdam, for when the travel bug bites.
Alkmaar cheese market: Alkmaar is a historic town a short drive north of Amsterdam, and home to what was once a thriving cheese market. Although the old market doesn’t exist anymore, the cheese tradition is still very much alive, and along with the high quality cheese that you can buy and taste here, there is a replica cheese market run by with cheese porters in traditional costumes.
Dutch windmill tour: It’s been said that the Dutch and their windmills, are inseparable. They were used extensively throughout the country since the early medieval ages to drain land for agricultural or building use, and also to prevent flooding, and they have now become a symbol of the nation’s struggle with water. One of the most popular spots to see windmills (that is also nearby Amsterdam) is at Zaanse Schans, just north of the city. There are dozens of classic wooden windmills, barns, houses and museums here, all built in the traditional Dutch wooden architectural style.
Euromast abseil experience: Standing at around 180 metres high, the Euromast is an observation tower in Rotterdam (two-hours by road from Amsterdam) that provides panoramic views of the city from its various lookout decks. The Euromast also offers you the chance to abseil off one of its 100 metre-high observation decks. It’s a thrilling experience and afterwards, you can make your way to the restaurant and hotel near the top of the tower, where you can enjoy dinner, stay the night and wake up the next morning to spectacular views.
Tulip tour: The Dutch are very serious about their love for tulips, and there are tulip auctions, picking gardens – as well as a tulip museum, in Amsterdam itself. There is also a National Tulip Day held in January every year. But for anyone that wants a truly unforgettable tulip experience, they should book a half-day or full-day tour to the tulip fields. The most well-known tulip growing regions near Amsterdam are between the towns of Haarlem and Sassenheim. This area includes the Keukenhof Gardens, which are home to an estimated seven million blooming tulip bulbs, and countless other floral displays.
Delft Earthenware tour: The world-famous Delft ceramics have been an important export product for the city of Delft, and the Netherlands, for more than 400 years now. In 2012, the Royal Delft Company presented to the world what they named the official ‘Royal Delft Experience’, which is a tour that takes visitors through the present, past and future story of this classic, hand-painted, white and blue earthenware.
Oman Air flies you to Amsterdam 4 times a week.