North Holland
Outdoor Activities

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Our most recommended North Holland Outdoor Activities

From Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans Windmills Half-Day Tour

1. From Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans Windmills Half-Day Tour

Join a guided tour from Amsterdam to visit the windmill village of Zaanse Schans which is an open-air museum housing working windmills, wooden houses, barns, and shops dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Enjoy live commentary from your guide, a clog workshop and a cheese-making demonstration. Meet your guide and driver at a central meeting point just across from Central Station in Amsterdam. Settle in for a comfortable, air-conditioned ride on a single deck bus that will take you to your destination in just 20 minutes. Upon arrival in the village, follow your guide for an orientation tour of the village. Visit the clog museum for a live wooden shoemaking workshop. Then, taste some Dutch farmer cheese on the cheese farm. Get a sense of Zaanse Schans' prosperity from the 18th and 19th centuries in the windmill village. Alongside windmills and barns, see houses that were originally built as homes for rich windmill owners and merchants. Admire their colorful facades painted in traditional hues of green, beige, and light blue. Finally, it is time to further explore the village on your own. Before you set off, take insider tips from your guide and learn about the region's local history and culture. At the end of the tour, hop back on the bus for your return journey to Amsmterdam.

Amsterdam: Small-Group Bike Tour of Central Amsterdam

2. Amsterdam: Small-Group Bike Tour of Central Amsterdam

Discover the sights of central Amsterdam 2ith an expert guide riding by your side. You’ll learn about the city’s culture, see important historical sites, and famous hotspots as well as lesser-known local favorites.  Start your journey near the central station, pass the impressive A’DAM Tower, and ride over to the Western Islands, which are filled with charming drawbridges, old warehouses, and chic artists studios.  Continue along the Brouwersgracht Canal and visit the trendy Jordaan and 9 Street districts flanked by indie boutiques, cozy cafes, and hip eateries. As you ride deeper into the city center, you will enter the Grachtengordel neighborhood and zoom past the Westerkerk (Western Church) and the historic Anne Frank House.  Feel the buzz of music and street performers around Leidseplein Square, a busy theater district with a buzzing nightlife.  After so much excitement, enjoy a pleasant break in the Vondelpark, the largest park in Amsterdam and the most famous park in the Netherlands. Feeling recharged, circle the Museum Quarter and ride through the narrow streets of the Bohemian-influenced De Pijp neighborhood.  Cross the iconic Magere Brug (skinny bridge), a wooden drawbridge over the River Amstel, and arrive at the famed Artis Zoo leading into the Maritime Quarter.  Admire the impressive replica of a 17th-century Dutch East Indian Company ship at the Salt Harbour, before returning to back where your bike journey began.

Amsterdam: Culture & History Walking Tour in German

3. Amsterdam: Culture & History Walking Tour in German

Visit famous sites of Amsterdam downtown and get an overview of the city on this 2.5-hour walking tour dedicated to culture and history. Profit from tips every adventurous traveler needs to know and make the best of your trip. Find out which food you should taste and which districts can be discovered independently by bike. Listen to your guide telling you which architectural designs were popular in the past and get an idea of the people of Amsterdam. Hear stories about how merchants, salesmen and the poor used to live in the Middle Ages, why the world of art blossomed in the Golden Era, how World War II has changed the people of the city and what it feels like to live in the tolerant, multicultural city today. Start your tour in the heart of the city at Dam Square, where Amsterdam was founded. The tour leads you past the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, the New Church Nieuwe Kerk and past the former main post office, to Torensluis Bridge. See one of the tiniest houses of the city and learn more about the colonial times at the statue of Multatuli on Torensluis Bridge.  Stroll past romantic canal-side houses and cross Spui Square to get to the pearl of Amsterdam — Begijnhof. With its entrance hidden in a narrow side street, this very special hofje is waiting for you to be discovered. On the way back to Dam Square you will see the river that the city owes its name to: the Amstel. The city tour ends at the national monument that was originally built to remember the victims of World War II, but is now a memorial to all victims who lost their lives in any war worldwide.

Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam & Marken Bus Tour

4. Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam & Marken Bus Tour

Depart Amsterdam by luxury bus on this exciting tour and head north of the city to see the historic windmills of Zaanse Schans on the banks of the river Zaan. Explore the traditional 17th-century houses and a collection of beautifully preserved windmills from the nation’s industrial heritage. Continue on to visit Edam, a beautiful town known worldwide for its cheese. Before the end the day, go to Volendam and Marken, passing many authentic polders, the name given to land reclaimed from the sea. Wander down narrow streets, past colorful houses and visit the harbors full of fishing boats. You will have some free time to shop for souvenirs and sample the local fish specialties. Back in Amsterdam, you will be dropped off at the meeting point.

Amsterdam: Giethoorn, Volendam, and Zaanse Schans Tour

5. Amsterdam: Giethoorn, Volendam, and Zaanse Schans Tour

You will begin with to a trip to the enchanting village of Giethoorn in the north of the Netherlands for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Known as the “Venice of North”, the village is notable for its many canals and complete lack of roads. You will explore this fairy tale village, where less than 3,000 people live, throughout a 1-hour guided boat tour. Explore the preserved village on foot, and see how each farmhouse is built on a small man-made island. Wander the narrow footpaths to discover hundreds of bridges, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the village. Your trip will continue to the village of Volendam, where you can admire brightly painted wooden houses and see locals wearing their colorful regional attire. Your guide will take you on a short walk through the Volendam harbor, which has been one of the most popular tourist attractions in the village since 1875. This is a great place to pick up souvenirs and gifts for those at home or for yourself, and to have photos taken in traditional Dutch costume in one of many photo studios of the village. Your last destination is to explore the most picturesque traditional 17th-century Zaanse Schans village which contains houses and a collection of beautifully preserved windmills from the nation’s industrial heritage. In Zaanse Schans village you can stroll past the charming greenhouses and visit a factory where the clogs popular in this part of the country are made. There’s also nothing more Dutch than cheese, and whilst there you can try some at the Catharina Hoeve Farm where you will also learn about its production.

Zaanse Schans: Authentic Dutch Windmill Entrance Ticket

6. Zaanse Schans: Authentic Dutch Windmill Entrance Ticket

Enjoy an afternoon learning about the inner workings of windmills in the village of Zaanse Schans. To begin, find out how the mill saws a tree into a plank and then learn more about the history of the famous Dutch windmills at an exhibition in the basement of the mill. Next, come inside the world's last-remaining, still-working paint windmill, which is dated back to 1782. If there is enough wind, you can even experience the grinding process and watch how the mill grinds chalk under the large grind stones. In the back of the mill is where the loggers stands, and it is where tropical wood is chopped. Be sure to check out the impressive working wooden interior of this "old" industrial factory.

Amsterdam: Giethoorn and Zaanse Schans Small Group Day Tour

7. Amsterdam: Giethoorn and Zaanse Schans Small Group Day Tour

Your experience begins as your guide meets you near Amsterdam's Central Station, from where you travel to the typical Dutch windmill village of Zaanse Schans. Zaanse Schans is an open-air museum complete with a cheese farm, clog factory, diamond museum, bakery museum, and Kuiperij, where barrels were made to transport goods, green timber houses, traditional crafts, and windmills. Following noon, be transferred to the unique Dutch village of Giethoorn, heading further north out of Amsterdam. As you travel, listen to nice stories including the history and significant elements in the region of Giethoorn throughout the roughly 2-hour bus ride, with a break included to ensure a pleasant journey. Giethoorn is beautiful in all seasons, and contains a simple beauty which hardly seems real. Discover this as you glide gently through its small canals, passing old but pretty thatched-roof farmhouses. Throughout this 1-hour boat trip around town, be accompanied by a local guide who also doubles as your captain. Get to know everything about Giethoorn throughout your boat trip, with extra time included to walk along a narrow footpath by foot or by bike, or to learn how to operate the ''whisper boat'', an electric-motor boat. In the evening, arrive back to Amsterdam's center with the rest of your night to look forward to.

Volendam: E-Scooter Rental

8. Volendam: E-Scooter Rental

After picking up your fantastic E-scooter, you will depart from the harbor to discover picturesque Dutch villages. See magnificent meadows, working windmills and countless cows as you ride through the famous Dutch dikes.  When you pick up your E-scooter, you will receive plenty of advice on different routes, so your journey is entirely up to you! Within an hour, you can take a trip to Edam, a nearly 800 year old town famous for its peaceful narrow alleys and small canals. Get a true taste of the Netherlands and sample some delicious cheeses in Edam's markets.  Discover the town of Monnickendam, also within an hour-long ride of Volendam. Admire the town's stunning houses made of light bronze brick, or take a trip to the old harbor with its charming terraces and pretty boats. If you're looking for some refreshment, head down to the beer brewery to learn more about the brewing process and savor some homemade sausages as you sit on the waterfront.  If you want a longer excursion, travel from Monnickendam through beautiful countryside to the former island of Marken, now a spectacular town with its bridges over the small canals. From here it is possible to take a boat back to Volandam, just hop on board with your E-scooter!

From Zaandam: Windmills, Clogs & Cheese by Electric Scooter

9. From Zaandam: Windmills, Clogs & Cheese by Electric Scooter

With this 1-day electric scooter rental, you get to decide what time you’ll start out, when and where you’ll stop and how long you’ll spend at the numerous attractions. Before you start the activity you get instructions from an instructor and have a test run. After that, you can go off on your own (not in a group). Your route starts in Landsmeer, a small village just above Amsterdam. It takes about 20 minutes by taxi, car, or bus to get to the starting point from Amsterdam. After a cup of coffee or tea and an explanation of the navigation app routiq, head out to discover the beautiful countryside. With your scooter rental, you’ll get a digital route to the Zaanse Schans, with its traditional Dutch houses and windmills.

Zaanstreek Bus Day Ticket to Zaanse Schans & Zaanstreek

10. Zaanstreek Bus Day Ticket to Zaanse Schans & Zaanstreek

Go to the bus platform of Amsterdam Central Station and get on the red/grey public transport bus 391. Show your ticket to the bus driver, then take a seat and make yourself comfortable. Enjoy the beautiful city of Amsterdam before you go under the IJ-tunnel. Once you leave Amsterdam, you be surrounded by stunning landscapes as you soon enter the city of Zaandam. Either choose to depart there, or remain on the bus and go directly to de Zaanse Schans, one of the highlights of the Dutch history. De Zaanse Schans is a residential area in which the 18th and 19th centuries are brought to life. Stroll past the bakery museum and enjoy the smell of fresh cookies, or take a look at the warehouse where clogs are made. Be sure not to miss the cheese factory, pewter foundry, and the various windmills.

Frequently asked questions about North Holland Outdoor Activities

What are other things to do than Outdoor Activities that are worth visiting in North Holland?

The other unmissable things to do in North Holland are:

Which North Holland Outdoor Activities are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

These North Holland Outdoor Activities are taking additional COVID-19 precautions:

Other Sightseeing Options in North Holland

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What people are saying about North Holland

We bought entrance only tickets and should have bought tickets that included transfer. We ended up buying the transfer in Amsterdam and it would have been easier to have done it all at once. The park is stunning and lots of photo opps of the tulips but also cute vignettes all over the park for individual or group photos. Some with an old windmill, boats, vespa, wooden shoes, etc.

We had a really great experience on this tour. Learning more about the history of the red light district helped us appreciate and understand this unique area better. Keep in mind that there are some areas that the guide cannot show the group themselves, so they may ask you to explore it during or after the tour.

Just what I was looking for. Bram was really knowledgeable, personable and answered all our questions. He was great at making sure all of us stayed together. Highly recommend

This is a good experience if you have parents or dependents with you... This trip is totally effortless.. Just go with the flow.

Very easy to get to the gardens. A family/friend Event not ti miss