It might sound weird to you: Villages in Amsterdam. But it’s real. They’re real. Amsterdam is a big city for Dutch standards, so you might think that you won’t be able to get the authentic Dutch village feeling here. Well, I have a pleasant surprise for you. While there are tons of villages near Amsterdam that you can visit, there are also villages in Amsterdam that you can explore, which brings you into a completely different area and shows you a side of Amsterdam that you didn’t know existed.
This article is filled with some of the most beautiful villages in The Netherlands. And it’s especially great if you’re looking for things to do in Amsterdam North because that’s mainly where we’re heading in this article, but some are found in the West of Amsterdam and other regions.
I love myself a historic Dutch village, mainly for the cosy atmosphere that you can usually find there. And that’s something that you can find in these traditional harbour towns and villages near Amsterdam.
Whether you’re searching for calm spots in Amsterdam, or an answer to the question ‘where should I go near and in Amsterdam?’, then you’re going to like this travel blog. It’s filled with things to do in Amsterdam Noord, nature near Amsterdam and tips on the best places to visit in Amsterdam.
I would certainly add this to your two-day itinerary in Amsterdam, as it includes not only free things to do in Amsterdam but also off the beaten path places to visit. Your Amsterdam trip will be even better when you have these secret spots in Amsterdam to your itinerary.
What to do in the villages in the countryside of Amsterdam North, The Netherlands
Visiting the rural North of Amsterdam is recommend, whether you’re spending three days in Amsterdam or a week. Add these beautiful places around Amsterdam to your itinerary, and I can guarantee that you will love it. The Dutch countryside is found so near Amsterdam, and you will be in a completely different world. Not only is that where you can find nature near Amsterdam, but also some of the best villages and towns to visit around Amsterdam. The region has so much to discover, and I cannot wait for you to explore it.
So, I’ve created a cycling route from the North of Amsterdam into the Dutch countryside. It’s pretty long (almost 40 kilometres), but it’s worth it. And if you think that there’s no way that you’ll cycle that much in one day in the Amsterdam countryside, then you can simply spend a night or two in the Dutch countryside and take it easy. That’s kind of the point of visiting the rural part of Amsterdam anyway, to relax and to enjoy. I promise you that the stunning Dutch scenery will be worth it. Plus the tons of monuments and gorgeous Dutch streets that you will find here are a beautiful bonus.
I would recommend you to cycle to all of these places in Landelijk Noord; public transportation is often not available there. Except for calling a special bus for the exact time that you want to go there (or go back), you can find the phone number and steps via 9292.nl/en/. Also, this is not a promotion even though this website is shown endless of times in this article; it’s one of the travel apps that we all use in The Netherlands. At the bonus parts, you can find public transportation nearby. You can rent a bike in Amsterdam Noord at NDSM.
One tip before you go, make sure to bring cash with you, as many restaurants, shops etc. in the rural North of Amsterdam don’t have an option to pay by card.
History & facts about the area of Landelijk Noord in Amsterdam
Landelijk Noord, translated to rural North, is a part of the North of the municipality of Amsterdam and found South of the Waterland region. It’s home to Dutch villages and hamlets in this part of Noord (North)- Holland near Amsterdam and has approximately 2.200 inhabitants.
Interesting to know is that this part used to belong to the Waterland, which in turn belonged to the region of West- Friesland, which is where you can find cities such as Enkhuizen and Hoorn. Until 1921, the municipalities of Buiksloot, Nieuwendam and Ransdorp were on their own. But, they were annexed by the municipality of Amsterdam on the 1st of January 1921. It was something that happened with the permission of the villages in the region, but only because they were penniless due to a massive flood in 1916.
A big part of the municipalities has been used for new neighbourhoods for the Amsterdam Noord region. They say that everything North of the A10 Noord is Landelijk Noord. Only the village of Schellingwoude is found within the circle, but still officially part of this countryside region in Amsterdam.
There are three villages in the rural North of Amsterdam that has protected cityscapes, and those are Durgerdam, Holysloot and Ransdorp.
I hope you enjoy some of the must-sees in Amsterdam and will understand why I want you to visit the most beautiful villages near Amsterdam city. If you’re looking for more places to visit near and around Amsterdam, I would recommend you to scroll to the end of this article for perfect day trips from Amsterdam.
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History of Ransdorp
The village of Ransdorp is another beautiful Dutch hamlet you need to visit near Amsterdam and part of the rural North. Ransdorp used to be called either Rarop or Raerop, but today they prefer it to be called Ransdorp. The village is mainly famous for its stubby church tower. Ransdorp’s main activity and the economy is dairy farming. In the good old days, the fresh milk went with special milk boats to Amsterdam to be sold home-to-home. In the 15th century, Ransdorp was a very wealthy town and made a fortune in the shipping industry and with trading. That’s also the reason why they were able to afford the creation of this enormous church. Until the money ran out, and that is precisely why there’s no top on the church tower.
Until 1921 Ransdorp was a municipality. From 1818, both the villages of Holysloot and Durgerdam were part of this municipality and then Schellingwoude joined in 1857. All the towns had a lot of damage from the enormous flood in 1916. That’s why they voluntary were annexed by Amsterdam, on the condition that the municipality of Amsterdam was going to take care of the infrastructure and more.
During the 80-year-war against the Spanish, Ransdorp was destroyed by both the Beggars and the Spanish. The leader of the Beggars, Diederik Sonoy, was a representative of William of Orange and led a terror mission against Catholics as the Royal Family was protestant. Before that time, Ransdorp was a wealthy town and home to a lot of sailors. After the destructions, however, they mostly fled to Amsterdam.
In 1840, the village of Ransdorp had a population of 292 inhabitants living in approximately 44 houses. Nowadays, the village is home to around 120 houses and has about 300 inhabitants. There are mostly wooden buildings found in Ransdorp, and there’s a good reason for that. Ransdorp is located on a soil of peat, which isn’t the most stable foundation for your house. Luckily, wood is a lot lighter than bricks, or other materials, which means that these houses in Ransdorp aren’t sinking as fast as the heavier buildings.
What’s interesting to know is that Ransdorp, together with Holysloot and Durgerdam, is part of a silence area in The Netherlands. Because of that it has become a location for cycling and walking near Amsterdam.
Where to stay in & near Ransdorp
There is quite some accommodation to choose from if you want to spend the night in Ransdorp (which I totally recommend you to do). Below you can find the best places to stay in the Dutch countryside near Amsterdam.
The Amsterdam Cardinal: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Gardenhouse on wheels: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Amsterdam Farmland: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Skaap Amsterdam Waterland: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Your Cozy Waggon at the Cows’ Paradise: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Restaurants in Ransdorp
If you’re visiting Ransdorp and you’re looking to get some tasty food, then I would recommend you to go to Hotel- Café De Zwaan and if you’re looking to buy (and eat) the tastiest pies, then you must go to Patisserie Kevin van Velthoven.
Things to do in Ransdorp
Admire the beautiful sights in Ransdorp
Ransdorp is filled with old, wooden Dutch houses, and many of them are monuments. At Dorpsweg Ransdorp 59, you will find the historic town hall of Ransdorp that dates back to 1652. Many of the wooden houses and old farms that you will see in Ransdorp either date back to the 17th or 18th century. There are also many that date back to the 19th century, due to the flood that washed a lot away in 1916.
Climb the church tower in Ransdorp
The church of Ransdorp can be seen from kilometres away and is 32 metres high. The first church was built between 1502 and 1542 in a Gothic style and designed by Jan Poyt. They originally wanted a top on the tower, but money had run out. Then in 1615, the old church was lost in a fire due to a lightning strike. In 1719, the medieval church was replaced, and it was partially rebuilt in 1833. In 1936, the church was rebuilt op its old foundations with 18th-century materials. The church has been used as a baken for centuries for sailors to navigate. And the main reason why this church in Ransdorp is famous is due to the sketches of Rembrandt van Rijn; it was the village where his second wife (Geertje Dircx) was born. If you think that sounds lovely and cute, you couldn’t be more wrong. Rembrandt and Geertje were continually fighting, etc. It was only when Rembrandt bribed the brother of Geertje that they got rid of each other, but not in a good way. Geertje was put in prison for a couple of years…
Enough about the horrible personality of Rembrandt, one of the things you have to do in Ransdorp, is to visit their church and to climb it for an incredible view of the Dutch countryside and Amsterdam. I think that this is one of the highlights in The Netherlands. It generally can be climbed from the 27th of April until September during the weekend from 11:00- 17:00. During July & August, the church can be visited from Tuesday until Sunday. On the first floor, you can find an exhibition.
How to get to Ransdorp
There is currently no public transportation in Ransdorp that runs frequently; however, it’s only a ten-minute bike ride from the outer part of Amsterdam Noord away. If you want to see the closest bus stop, metro station, etc. I would recommend you to check 9292.nl/en.
History of Zunderdorp
The Dutch village of Zunderdorp, previously called Sundeldorp, has around 460 inhabitants and several dozen houses. ‘Sundels’, the name where Zunderdorp comes from, refers to small creeks that were flowing from the village to the Ij- river. It is said that it already was found in the 12th century. Originally, Zunderdorp was the main village of the jurisdiction of Sundeldorp/ Sindeldorp. But, the town of Nieuwendam expanded its wings. So, Zunderdorp was part of the municipality of Nieuwendam until 1921, as that’s when Nieuwendam became a part of the municipality of Amsterdam.
For centuries the leading economy in Zunderdorp has been dairy farming. In the early days, the ships with milk went directly to the city of Amsterdam to be sold door-to-door. Living in Zunderdorp wasn’t easy, as this village (and the surrounding villages) were always battling water.
Currently, you can still see how this Dutch village is surrounded by canals and creeks, especially since there are dozens of bridges to be found throughout the village.
Where to stay in & near Zunderdorp
There are a few places to stay in the calm Dutch village of Zunderdorp, and it all together brings you back in time, while at the same time you’ll never be as relaxed as you’ve been at this accommodation in Zunderdorp.
B&B The Shoemaker: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Appartement Klein Waterland: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
In de Oude Zagerij – I Saw: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Restaurants in Zunderdorp
There are currently no restaurants in Zunderdorp.
Things to do in Zunderdorp
Visit a farmers market in this Dutch village
Once every three years (the next one is in 2021), there’s a farmer’s market held in Zunderdorp on one Saturday in June. The money goes to three good causes in the region, and it’s one big event for the hamlet of Zunderdorp, but also the region. There is music, there are tons of local products (think: fruits, flowers, gifts, food, plants, games & so much more), there’s even a flea market.
See the sights in Zunderdorp
You can find a few 19th-century houses in Zunderdorp, but the church is the main highlight of this village. The ship was made in 1711. The tower dates back to the 15th century. However, it was rebuilt in 1711 as you know how that goes with old buildings, weather, fire etc.
How to get to Zunderdorp
There is currently no public transportation in Zunderdorp that runs frequently, but, it’s only a ten-minute bike ride to the outer part of Amsterdam Noord. If you want to see the closest bus stop, metro station, etc. I would recommend you to check 9292.nl/en.
History of Schellingwoude
The village of Schellingwoude is also found in the rural part of Amsterdam Noord. Schellingwoude is located on the dyke between Nieuwendam and Durgerdam. Most of the houses in this village are found on the Schellingwouderdijk next to the IJ lake. Schellingwoude used to be an essential village, and Buiksloot was even a part of it. But over time, the town decreased in size. In 1857, the remaining 25 houses were added to the municipality of Ransdorp. Then in 1921, this municipality was also added to Amsterdam.
It is said that the name Schellingwoude comes from a forest (woud) that separated the land from water. Scheling is the old Dutch word for scheiding or separation. Others say that it refers to a story about ‘schellingen’, old Dutch silver coins, that were found in the forest.
Interesting to know is that this area of the Waterland region in The Netherlands was quarried at the beginning of the 11th century, from the (back then) small river IJ. The land, at the time, mainly existed out of peat which was found several metres above sea-level. The inhabitants dug rivers to remove the rainwater, which in turn created fertile land for agriculture. However, due to the water flowing away, the ground began to sink, and agriculture became more and more demanding on the land after several centuries. After storm floods in 1170, dykes were created to protect the ground, but with several other storm floods, parts of these dykes broke. You can still see this on the dyke east of Schellingwoude: look for the sharp curve in the dyke, and this is a part where the dyke broke.
During the storm flood in 1570, another dyke broke, but this time at the western side. At that time, the dyke couldn’t be repaired due to the 80-year-old war against the Spanish. Then in 1571, Schellingwoude was plundered by the Beggars. In 1572, the South of the Waterland region was occupied by Spanish troops. They burned down the town of Schellingwoude (and tons of others) and killed and chased away the inhabitants. Only in 1580, the dyke could be repaired again. From the 17th century, Schellingwoude mainly focused on dairy farming, and the dairy was mostly sold to Amsterdam.
Where to stay in & near Schellingwoude
If you’re looking for accommodation in and near the town of Schellingwoude, then you’re in luck. I’ve found the best places to stay in Schellingwoude below and trust me when I say that you don’t want your vacation to end when you visit here.
Amsterdam Houseboat: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
B&B BLoom: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Fenelli BnB: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Restaurants in Schellingwoude
There is a supermarket in Schellingwoude where you can only buy local products in Amsterdam Noord, called Landmarkt. Fresh and local flowers, meat, vegetables, fruits, cheese, bread, fish, etc. You can also sit down in their restaurant in Amsterdam Noord/ Schellingwoude for a bite from 12:00- 21:00.
Things to do in Schellingwoude
The main thing you need to do in Schellingwoude is to walk, or cycle, along the Schellingwouderdijk as most of the village is located along this old sea dyke. When you’re done with that, you can walk to the Schellingwouderkerk, which is the church in Schellingwoude which dates back to the 17th century. Archaeological remains have shown that there was already a church on the same location since the 14th century. The current look of the church comes after the significant renovation in 1866. Interesting to know is that this church was used as a stable for the cattle of farmers in the region during the flood in 1916.
How to get to Schellingwoude
There is no public transportation that frequently runs to Schellingwoude. For the nearest continually running bus to Schellingwoude, I would recommend you to use 9292.nl/en/.
History of Durgerdam
Durgerdam is one of the dyke villages in The Netherlands, and it is a protected cityscape. From 1818 until 1921, Durgerdam was a part of the municipality of Ransdorp until Amsterdam annexed it. Durgerdam is found in the southeastern part of the region of Waterland, but also at the IJ lake and the Markermeer (former Zuiderzee).
Interestingly, Durgerdam was founded in the corner of the dyke that you still see today. In 1422, permission was granted to build a dyke after the Sint- Elisabeths flood in 1421. It was named the Waterlandse Zeedijk, or the Waterland sea dyke.
The name of Durgerdam has changed a lot through the centuries. Originally it was named Ydoornickerdam after the destroyed and the flooded village of Ijdoorn by the Sint Elisabeths flood. This hamlet was found near Vuurtoreneiland in the polder Ijdoorn, which is currently a nature reserve near Amsterdam.
The leading economy of Durgerdam was the shipping industry and trading goods. But during the 18th century, the incomes were going down, which resulted that many went into the fishing industry. Then in 1932, that industry also largely disappeared when the Zuiderzee was closed off from the Wadden Sea by the Afsluitdijk. Nowadays, most inhabitants are commuters to their jobs.
Where to stay in & near Durgerdam
There are a couple of places where you can stay in Durgerdam, and I would recommend you to do so. Durgerdam is a perfect village to relax and take a step back.
Amsterdam Dykehouse: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Holiday home Landelijk Amsterdam: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Het Witte Huis: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Floating B&B Amsterdam: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Restaurants in Durgerdam
There are a few places in Durgerdam where you can eat. The first one of Bike & Bites and the second one is Thee Tante Durgerdam. Both sites are great to visit.
Things to do in Durgerdam
Visit the Durgerdam beach
Between Schellingwoude and Durgerdam you can find a river beach near Amsterdam. So, when it’s summer in Amsterdam, and you’re looking for things to do, head to the beach of Durgerdam and you’re settled.
Enjoy the beauty of Durgerdam
Another thing that you need to do is to admire all the 17th and 18th-century wooden buildings that you can find on the Durgerdammerdijk. Don’t forget to head to Durgerdammerdijk 101, where you will see a square building with a tower. This building dates back to 1687 and was used as plenty of things, such as a school, fish market, but currently, it’s a home. Funnily enough, this building is known as ‘de Kapel’, or the chapel, but it never had a religious function.
Another building you need to see in Durgerdam is the protestant church of Durgerdam. The current church dates back to only 1840. However, before this church was built, there was another church found on the same location that dated back to 1642. This church was torn down due to many storms and the massive flood of 1825, that they had to build a new church.
Discover a hidden park in Amsterdam Noord
Park Kweeklust is the most eastern garden/park that you can find in the Amsterdam North region. It’s located at the foot of the dyke of the Ijsselmeer and borders the nature reserve Waterland. It was founded in 1936, and since then many animals are flourishing here. During the day, a part of the park in Amsterdam is free to visit, and they even have a particular walking route. Keep in mind that this park is closed from October until March. It can be freely visited from the beginning of April until the end of October from sunrise until sunset, and the entry is found at the Durgerdammerdijk.
How to get to Durgerdam
There is no public transportation that frequently runs to Durgerdam. For the nearest bus stop for buses nearby Durgerdam I would recommend you to use 9292.nl/en/.
History of Holysloot
The village of Holysloot can also be found in the rural part of the municipality of Amsterdam and is a protected cityscape. From 1818 until 1921, Holysloot was part of the municipality of Ransdorp, which was added to the municipality of Amsterdam on the 1st of January 1921.
Holysloot only has one street (which is also a dead-end) and is one of the more rural and isolated towns in The Netherlands. If you’re looking for calm places to visit in The Netherlands, then this is it. Interesting to know is that east of this village you can see tracks of the Goudriaankanaal.
The creation of this channel was never completed. It was supposed to be a strategic connection between Amsterdam and the Zuiderzee and building started in 1826 but was discontinued in 1828. The reason for this channel was the fact that Amsterdam was having trouble with the fact the IJ river was always clogged. They wanted to dam the IJ by placing a dyke between Durgerdam and Diemen, and the shipping industry had to sail via a newly dug channel from Durgerdam to Marken. But, Amsterdam was against. In the end, they did start the digging, but eventually, they found that the depth in front of the island of Marken was as terrible as in the IJ river, so ships wouldn’t be able to use the channel plus the costs were too enormous.
It is said that the name Holysloot means something like a low-lying area next to a creek. The first mention of Holysloot dates back to the 13th century. In the 13th century, Earl Floris V gave several privileges to Ransdorp and, at that time, Hoolesloot.
Where to stay in & near Holysloot
If you’re looking for accommodation in the village of Holysloot, then these options below are the closest near the village.
The Amsterdam Cardinal: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Gardenhouse on wheels: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Amsterdam Farmland: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Skaap Amsterdam Waterland: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Restaurants in Holysloot
Het Schoolhuis in Holysloot is one of the best cafe- restaurants you can find in the entire region.
Things to do in Holysloot
Admire the monumental buildings
Holysloot is essentially one street, but it is a pretty nice looking one. The church of Holysloot is built on the terrain of a former church which was first named in 1613. The current church dates back to 1846.
Rent canoes and boats in Holysloot
While Holysloot is one of the small villages in the municipality of Amsterdam, there are more things to do here than in some of the others. For instance, you can rent whisper boats and canoes in Holysloot. This way you can explore the small rivers and the surroundings of the beautiful Amsterdam countryside in a perfect way.
Cross the Holysloter Die by ferry
Then, North of Holysloot you can find the river Holysloter Die. From spring until autumn there’s a small ferry that runs there for pedestrians and cyclists. It runs from the 15th of April until the 1st of October, but in spring and autumn only on Saturday and Sunday. During summer this ferry in Holysloot runs daily approximately from 09:00- 17:00. When you cross the river and reach the other end, you can use an old path to get on the way to Broek in Waterland and Zuiderwoude.
Buy local alcohol from Holysloot
What’s a better Dutch souvenir than local alcohol? Right? It’s pretty at the top of the list. Anyway, Holysloot is one of the many Dutch villages, towns and cities that have their own drinks under the brand name ‘Holystook’. You can get it at Dorpsstraat 24 A in Holysloot. If you cannot buy it then, head to Slijterij Luno in Amsterdam Noord, this is where you can also buy it.
How to get to Holysloot
There is no public transportation that frequently runs to Holysloot as it’s pretty rural, except for the special call bus.
History of ‘t Nopeind
‘t Nopeind is one street and hamlet in the municipality of Amsterdam. It’s found only a couple of hundred metres North of Zunderdorp. The entire hamlet has three roads: Het Nopeind, Het Voorwerf and Termietergouw, but most houses are found on Het Nopeind. They say that ‘t Nopeind refers to ‘op het einde’, or at the end. The name has been in use for centuries but was made official during a meeting of the municipality of Amsterdam on the 10th of July 1957. It has around 150 inhabitants.
Where to stay in & near ‘t Nopeind
If you want to spend the night in the beautiful and relaxing Dutch countryside, then you’re going to enjoy these beautiful accommodations below.
B&B Zunderdorp: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Bed and Stay Owls nest Amsterdam: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Bed and Stay Amsterdam: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Your nice waggon at the Cow’s Paradise: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Restaurants in ‘t Nopeind
There is not a restaurant in ‘t Nopeind. However, you can find an ice cream shop here. At Jersey Ijssalon (found at ‘t Nopeind 20), they have great creamy and delicious ice cream made from milk from their cows.
Things to do in ‘t Nopeind
There isn’t a whole lot to do in ‘t Nopeind, but admiring the beautiful surroundings and the few 18th-century buildings is always a good idea.
How to get to ‘t Nopeind
Frequently run public transportation is, well, not exactly a thing. But, you could have a look at 9292.nl/en/ to see the nearest bus stops.
History of Het Schouw
Het Schouw, also called ‘t Schouw, is a hamlet that’s found both in the municipality of Amsterdam as well as Waterland. It’s found east of the Noordhollandsch Kanaal and North of Amsterdam. Originally Het Schouw was located in the municipality of Landsmeer, but the southern part was added to the municipality of Amsterdam in 1966.
Since 1991, the northern part (along the Broekervaart and North of that) to the municipality of Waterland, but officially they already say that this part belongs to the village of Watergang. More North, you can find the nature reserve of Varkensland.
From 1894 until 1949, you could find the separation of the tramlines of the Waterlandse tram from Amsterdam Noord to Edam on one side and to Purmerend on the other side.
Where to stay in & near Het Schouw
Staying near the village of Het Schouw is like entering a magical dream, with nature reserves around every corner and a typical Dutch landscape to admire.
Appartement De Molshoop: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Idyllic Farmhouse: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Guesthouse in the backyard of Amsterdam: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Restaurants in Het Schouw
In Het Schouw you can find one fantastic restaurant, called Restaurant Dijks. If you’re hungry, or simply want to sit down and relax, then this is the perfect place to do so.
Things to do in Het Schouw
Take the ferry to Landsmeer
From Het Schouw you can take the ferry that crosses the Noordhollandsch Kanaal to Landsmeer. This ferry usually runs daily from 07:00- 19:00 and on Sunday from 09:00- 19:00.
How to get to Het Schouw
There is a bus stop, with a frequent connection from Het Schouw to the city of Amsterdam. Just type in ‘Het Schouw’ as your destination on 9292.nl/en/ and then you’re settled.
Bonus Amsterdam ‘villages’
These villages below aren’t separate of Amsterdam anymore, but they were. Some up until the 1960s and others to the 1920s. Most of these former villages were absorbed and annexed by the city of Amsterdam. These are now neighbourhoods or part of areas in Amsterdam, but here you can still find the traditional village feel that you get when you travel to the Amsterdam North region, except for the views of endless meadows. Here you will also find more non-touristy things to do in Amsterdam; including must-visit sights in Amsterdam and even quirky things to do in Amsterdam.
History of Nieuwendam
Nieuwendam is found in Amsterdam Noord in the municipality of Amsterdam. This village in Amsterdam is called Nieuwendam after a dyke broke down and a new dam was created in 1516. On this dyke a new village emerged, which kept the name of the dyke: Nieuwendam, or new dam. Nowadays, it’s entirely surrounded by the city of Amsterdam, but it used to be a village on its own.
During the 80-year-war, Nieuwendam suddenly was laying in the middle of the fighting area against the Spanish occupation in The Netherlands. All inhabitants had to flee, and most of them headed to the town of Monnickendam. The Spanish army destroyed everything they could find in Nieuwendam, even dykes, in 1573. Later, the dykes and Nieuwendam were rebuilt with money from William of Orange.
The leading economies in the harbour of Nieuwendam were in the shipping industry, grain trading and whaling. However, the port of Amsterdam took a lot of the trading to the city in the 17th and 18th century. In the 18th century, there were eight Dutch windmills found in the Dutch village of Nieuwendam, all of them disappeared, but the Nieuwendammer Molenpad is named after the windmills that were found there.
In the 19th century, the power of Amsterdam decreased, which was great for Nieuwendam. The shipping industry was flourishing in Nieuwendam until the middle of the 20th century.
In 1916, after the last terrible flood in the region of Waterland, Nieuwendam gave up their independence due to money issues. Amsterdam annexed Nieuwendam in 1921.
Where to stay in & near Nieuwendam
What I love about the accommodation in Nieuwendam, is that it feels like you’re in the middle of the countryside in some stunning Dutch village. Still, in reality, you’re spending the night in The Netherlands biggest city.
Houseboat Vliegenbos: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Family House Amsterdam: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Boutique B&B Wharf – FREE PARKING: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
The Quay Amsterdam-Noord: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Restaurants in Nieuwendam
I would recommend you to head to Cafe ‘t Sluisje for lunch, dinner or a nice drink. Broodbakkerij Ex is an excellent bakery in the Nieuwendam neighbourhood, and at Ijssalon Ijskoud De Beste, you can find incredible ice cream in Amsterdam North. At De Pizzabakkers Noord, you can find fantastic pizza’s. Go to Bakkerij Sjoerd van Willes for a traditional, region treat, called Duivekater. Liever Hier is also a nice and cosy restaurant.
Things to do in Nieuwendam
What you absolutely need to do in Nieuwendam is to walk along the Nieuwendammerdijk. This is a beautiful and authentic street in the village in Amsterdam.
The wooden building next to the protestant church at Brede Kerkepad 8 is the house of the churchwarden but was an orphanage before that. It dates back to the 17th century. There are other (former) churches found in Nieuwendam. The catholic church can be found at Nieuwendammerdijk 227, and the house of the pastor can be found next to it. It’s not a church anymore, but was designed by Alfred Tepe and built in 1889. Then you have a wooden church at Meerpad that dates back to 1843.
How to get to Nieuwendam
It’s effortless to get to Nieuwendam by public transportation. The nearest metro station in Nieuwendam is Noorderpark, from there you can walk to the Nieuwendammerdijk. Don’t forget, always check 9292.nl/en/ for the current timetables, updates and routes.
History of Buiksloot
Buiksloot was both a municipality and village in the province of Noord (North)- Holland, but it’s currently a neighbourhood in Amsterdam. The old (and most beautiful) part of Buiksloot can be found at the Buiksloterdijk. Amsterdam annexed Buiksloot due to the big flood that left many villages and municipalities in horrible shape in 1916. After this happened, the town was quickly expanded to what the Buiksloot neighbourhoods are today.
Where to stay in & near Buiksloot
If you want to stay in this picturesque spot in Amsterdam, then I wouldn’t blame you as it’s definitely beautiful. There are quite a few spots in the middle of this old village, so there’s enough choice.
Bastion Hotel Amsterdam Noord: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Noorderpark View free parking 300m top location: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
SWEETS – Buiksloterdraaibrug: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Klavergeluk: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
B&B HutSpot: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Restaurants in Buiksloot
In the Noorderpark in Amsterdam, which is found directly opposite of the Buiksloterdijk, you can find the Grand Café Noorderpark and Pompet; both are great places to eat and to go for a drink.
Things to do in Buiksloot
Admire the beautiful buildings
Walk along the Buiksloterdijk is one of the must do’s in this neighbourhood in Amsterdam. Then you can admire the Buiksloterkerk. This former village church in Amsterdam North is found a bit below the Buiksloterdijk (dyke) and dates back partly back to 1609, but the most recent reconstruction was in 1710. It hasn’t been in use as a church since 1980. The original bell in the tower was taken by the German occupiers during the Second World War and melted. Nowadays, there’s a century-old historic bell from the church in the village of Barsingerhorn found in this church. That church was broken down, and then the bell went to Buiksloot.
Visit the special Dutch windmill in Amsterdam
In Buiksloot, Amsterdam, you can find a very rare type of Dutch windmill that was used to grind tuff and chalk. It was built on the assignment of Roelof de Leeuw by Symon Krol in 1792/1793. You can visit this windmills for free when it’s open. You can find the opening times of this windmill in Buiksloot, Amsterdam, here.
How to get to Buiksloot
You can take a bus or metro to get near Buiksloterdijk by public transportation. Just use 9292.nl/en/ to get the best routes, updates and more.
Things to do in Sloten
History of Sloten
Amsterdam annexed the municipality and village of Sloten (there’s also a village in the province of Friesland called Sloten) in 1921. While nowadays Sloten is part of a neighbourhood in Amsterdam, Sloten was first mentioned in 1063. This means that Sloten its first mention is at least two centuries older than that of Amsterdam.
Until 1529, the village of Sloten was mainly focused on the city of Haarlem, but gambling was already something that frequently happened in that time. Trust me; I’m going somewhere with this. Lord Reinoud III van Brederode lost during gambling, which left Sloten in the hands of Amsterdam instead of Haarlem. After the time of the French occupation in The Netherlands, Sloten became a separate municipality from Amsterdam.
The leading economy of Sloten was fishing, livestock farming and agriculture. At the time, Haarlemmermeer (where Schiphol Airport is found) was a lake, and it always threatened the town of Sloten. As time passed, the lake repeatedly swallowed parts of the peat landscape, including nearby villages. In 1836, a massive flood happened which placed Sloten and its surroundings, until the city gates of Amsterdam, entirely underwater. This was when it was decided to do some Dutch magic to this lake and create land.
The village was found on a road from Haarlem to Amsterdam, which was famous for the miracle in 1345. Until the beginning of the 16th century, the Sloterweg was the most crucial road between Amsterdam and the rest of the Holland region. However, one day a part of the route to Haarlem was swallowed by water. Finally, the Slootermeer was reclaimed in 1644. Surprisingly, three centuries later, the Sloterplas (Sloterlake) in Amsterdam was dug again.
In the 1990s, the municipality of Amsterdam wanted to build houses and tram rails on a beautiful and one of the final countryside parts of Amsterdam. The inhabitants of Sloten asked for a referendum. They won. It was one of the only referendums that weren’t positive for the municipality of Amsterdam, but it saved a stunning piece of both history and nature. Since 2017, the former Dutch village of Sloten in Amsterdam is a protected cityscape.
Where to stay in & near Sloten
If you’re looking for hotels, B&B’s and more to stay in one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in Amsterdam, then these accommodations are perfect for you. It’s almost exactly what you would’ve imagined Amsterdam to be, but better.
Greenstay: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Idyllic Sloten apartment: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Boathouse Amsterdam: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Amrâth Apart-Hotel Schiphol Badhoevedorp: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Restaurants in Sloten
There are a few great restaurants in Sloten, such as Café Restaurant Kerkzicht and de Halve Maen. Don’t forget to visit Ijshoeve Sloten for incredible ice cream in Amsterdam.
What to do in Sloten
Enjoy the beautiful buildings
Walk along the Sloterweg and Osdorperweg for some beautiful buildings. You can also head to Dorpsplein 1 in Sloten, where you will find the smallest police station in The Netherlands, which was in use until 2015. The prisoner had just as much space as the police officer. It has been in use as a little shop and tourist office for Sloten since 2018.
Then you can also walk to the Sint Pancratiuskerk. This church was built as a replacement of another church dedicated to Pancratius which was in bad shape in 1901. The church was the first religious building Jan Stuyt designed.
The Sloterkerk is another church in Sloten. The first version of the Sloterdijk was built on a different location in 1063. Then in around 1200, the village of Sloten was relocated to where it’s currently found. That’s where a new church was built, which was destroyed by the Beggars during the siege of Haarlem. In 1664, the church was reconstructed, and Rembrandt even made some sketches of the church. In the 19th century, that church was in such bad shape, that a newly built church was the only solution. The new church, and current Sloterkerk, was first taken in use in 1861.
Visit the only constantly operating windmill in Amsterdam
Sloten used to have a windmill, but it had to leave due to the expansion of De Nieuwe Meer in 1956. Luckily, in 1991, Sloten got a new windmill. And what is surprising about this Dutch, traditional windmill in Amsterdam is opened almost every day. That doesn’t happen often. The windmill of Sloten, or Molen van Sloten, also is home to an elevator, a museum and next doors you can find one of the fantastic beer breweries in Amsterdam: De 7 Deugden.
In the windmill, you can find exhibitions, the history of Sloten and learn everything about the way a windmill works. In the museum, the Kuiperijmuseum, you can learn everything about an old craft called coopery.
Explore Natuurpark Vrije Geer in Sloten, Amsterdam
This is the only park in Amsterdam that is home to a peat-meadow area. Not only that, but its creek and channel pattern is centuries old and is not often seen within a city.
How to get to Sloten
It’s very easy to get to Sloten in Amsterdam. Just make sure to head to Sloterweg or Osdorperweg, Amsterdam at 9292.nl/en/.
History of Sloterdijk
Sloterdijk is currently a neighbourhood in the city of Amsterdam; however, that wasn’t always the case. Sloterdijk was a village and municipality but annexed by Amsterdam in 1921. Next to the little river Slooter, the Slooterdam was found in the 13th century. Near this dam, a harbour was located. In 1465, the village got the privilege to built their own weighing house for the farmers. The town was named Slooterdyck (after the dam) and was able to grow. In 1632, the Haarlemmertrekvaart was dug and brought a wealthy period to Slooterdyck, and a toll was also raised.
After the annexation, the village of Sloterdijk mainly held onto its rural character. But, this all changed rapidly, and not in the right way. In 1956, the creation of the new station of Sloterdijk, the Coentunnelweg and several business areas in the Westelijk Havengebied destroyed almost the entire village of Sloterdijk. Hundreds of years of history, it is gone. The only thing that remains today is the historical Petruskerk, which dates back to the 16th century, as well as a few houses.
Interesting to know is that the first train in The Netherlands left Sloterdijk (not Amsterdam at that time) to Haarlem on the 20th of September 1839. The new railway was found next to the river that was dug to Haarlem, which was the end of ‘normal’ transportation that they had at that time.
Where to stay in & near Sloterdijk
As it’s found relatively close to a train station in Amsterdam, there are tons of options. But the best places to stay in Sloterdijk can be found below.
Dutchies Hostel: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
XO Hotels Park West: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Hotel2Stay: Check rates & availability on Booking.com
Restaurants in Sloterdijk
Near the former village of Sloterdijk you can find the Admiraal De Ruijterweg, along this road there are tons of great restaurants to visit. I wouldn’t recommend you to head in the direction of the Sloterdijk train station, as it’s mainly a business area.
What to do in Sloterdijk
The Petruskerk, or Petrus church, is the oldest building that remains from the former village of Sloterdijk. It was rebuilt (after the Beggars destroyed it) in 1663 on an assignment of churchwarden Jan Claesz van Dijk, who was supported by the Lord of Sloterdijk. It was taken in use on the 19th of July 1664. The former 15th-century church tower of the previous building is still found on top of the building. This church in Amsterdam is still the same as it was in the 17th century.
I would also recommend you to walk to Molenwerf. This is the former square of station Sloterdijk and also has an interesting statue. The statue is called ‘De Verdwenen boer’, or the disappeared farmer. It remembers the farmers and their families that were forced to leave for the urban expansion of Amsterdam in the 20th century.
How to get to Sloterdijk
It’s very easy to get to the old village of Sloterdijk, just add Spaarndammerdijk 681 to your route via 9292.nl/en/ and you’re settled.
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Other The Netherlands travel blogs & guides to day trips near Amsterdam
I hope this article has shown you must visit attractions in Amsterdam and incredible Dutch villages near and in Amsterdam to visit. Hopefully, you’re going to explore these unusual things to do in Amsterdam and will enjoy some of the offbeat locations in Amsterdam.
The city of Amsterdam is filled with amazing things to do, but not everyone gets to experience that. And you will. Whether you’re looking for hidden places in Amsterdam or simply cool things to do, this Amsterdam villages travel guide has shown you what else there is to explore that you probably didn’t know about. You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy your visit to the top quiet places to visit in Amsterdam and that you will enjoy your Amsterdam and The Netherlands vacation. Share this post!
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