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Top Sights Near Amsterdam

As the Netherlands is not a big country and from Amsterdam which is situated almost in the middle, you can reach all Dutch cities in a maximum of just a few hours, making a day trip outside the capital can be a real adventure. You can either visit the big cities such as Rotterdam with its peculiar architecture, the Hague – home to many international institutions, and smaller, more charming Utrecht. If you wish to head away from the urban jungle to find some peace and quiet, consider going to Marken and Volendam – two old fishing villages with wooden houses or Kinderdijk and Zaanse Schans – picturesque windmill villages. You can also visit the spectacular Keukennhof which is said to be world's largest flower garden, and see a flower auction in Aalsmeer or a typically Dutch Cheese market in Alkmaar.

Amerongen Castle
Address: Drostestraat 20
Phone: +31 30 601 1955

Amerongen is a town located in the central area of the Netherlands amidst a recently established national park – Utrechtse Heuvelrug. The landscape is moderate and ranges from flat water meadows to very hilly. The former emperor of Germany, Wilhelm II, who had been exiled to the Netherlands, lived in this small town, more particularly in the Amerongen castle, from 1918 until 1920. The Medieval castle of Amerongen was actually destroyed by the French in 1673 and what we see today is only a part of the keep. A new castle was later built between 1676 and 1681 and the interiors were completely remodelled to be in tune with the 19th-Century tendencies. It was modelled by P. J. H. Cuypers. Pay close attention to his ceiling paintings in the Upper Gallery, the Dining room and the Tapestry room. The castle has quite a nice collection of a variety of blue Chinese porcelain, portraits, books, wall tapestries and French furniture.
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Cheese Market at Alkmaar
Address: Waagplein 2
Phone: +31 72 511 42 84

One of the first associations that people often have with the Netherlands is cheese. There are five cheese markets thriving in the country. While Woerden is a fully modern and commercial cheese market, there are four others which are considered to be reproductions of the traditional merchant cheese markets that operate very similarly to those in the Middle Ages. The markets are usually surrounded by stalls that sell various kinds of traditional Dutch items that, of course, include cheese. The city of Al kilometresaar is located 50 kilometres from Amsterdam, making it less than an hours train ride away. The cheese market at the Waagplein is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions.
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Address: Visitor Information: Raadhuisplein 1
Phone: +31 5935 41769

The province is located in the northeast of the country with Assen being the capital city and bordering Germany. The province is marked by extensive cycling paths, enabling you to hire a bike and go out for a solo tour. In addition, there are numerous prehistoric monuments, particularly around the village of Havelte and the Saxon villages. Although the area has always been sparsely populated, there is evidence that the province has been populated since prehistoric times. Such evidence includes the appearance of dolmens built around 3500 BC. Of these dolmens, 53 of the total 54 present in the Netherlands can be found in the Drenthe province, particularly in the northeastern part.
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Address: Visarenddreef 1

Flevoland is a province located in the centre of the country with Lelystad as its capital. The area is known for its scenic nature and large number of forests. Amateurs of water sports will be thrilled to find out that at the heart of the province lie Ijsselmeer and Markermeer, two large lakes that offer a multitude of activities. In addition, there are a number of smaller and but equally charming lakes such as Veluwemeer, Gooimeer and Eemmeer. You can hire various types of boats - from sailing yachts to motorboats - in order to enjoy some beautiful moments on the water.
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Flower Auctions (Aalsmeer)
Address: Legmeerdijk 313

A famous flower auction opens mornings on weekdays in Aalsmeer. The town is located in the province of North Holland and borders the Westeinderplassen Lake, the largest open water of the Randstad. The town is situated a mere 13 kilometres southwest from Amsterdam, making it a perfect destination for a day trip, although in this relatively small country there are no long distances at all. Aalsmeer is sometimes referred to as the flower capital of the world because it hosts the largest flower auction with numerous nurseries and an experimental station for floriculture every year. The flowers are often exported by plane in order to preserve their freshness.
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Address: Visitor Information: Markt 27
Phone: +31 182 511 300

If you are fan of Gouda cheese, you will be happy to find out that there is actually a strong connection between the cheese and the city. This city, located in the province of South Holland, is famous precisely for its production of Gouda cheese. Located about 20 kilometres southeast of Rotterdam, it is easily accessible by train. Initially, the city took its name from the Van der Goude family, which built a fortified castle alongside the banks of the Gouwe River. The world famous fromage, or ‘fresh cheese’, is still traded on the cheese market that is held each Thursday.
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Address: Visitor Information: Stationsplein 1
Phone: +31 0 900 616 1600

Haarlem city, not to be confused with the notorious NYC neighbourhood, is located 20 kilometres west of Amsterdam. Haarlem is situated near the coastal dunes, which are best visited during the summer months. Historically, the city is the centre of the tulip bulb-growing district and has been nicknamed Bloemenstad, or the ‘Flower City’. The oldest mention of Haarlem comes from the 10th Century. The city itself has quite a history, starting from the 12th Century when Haarlem became a fortified town and the residence of the Counts of Holland, to the Golden Age when the city really came alive with new infrastructure, cultural life, its rise as a tulip centre and a thriving brewery (until the 20th Century when production slowed down after the two World Wars.)
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Hoge Veluwe National Park
Address: Apeldoornseweg 250
Phone: +31 55 37 88100
Price: 0 - 7 EUR

The National Park De Hoge Veluwe is located in the province of Gelderland and spans over a total of 55 square kilometres. The park forms one of the largest continuous nature reserves in the Netherlands. It consists of woodlands, heathlands, lakes and quicksand. In the park you might come across boars, red deer and roe deer. The park was in fact founded by Anton and Helene Kroller-Muller as part of their estate. The park is the home to the large St Hubertus hunting lodge, designed by architect Hendrik Petrus Berlage. The art collection that once belonged to the Mullers is now exhibited in the Kroller-Muller Museum with famous pieces by such artists as Van Gogh, Picasso, Mondriaan, Rodin and Moore.Together with the museum and the sculpture garden, visitors can see a unique combination of art, architecture and nature.
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