If you’re looking to get away from busy Amsterdam, consider taking a step back in time and visiting the village of Zaanse Schans.
The little historic houses now contain souvenir shops and demonstrations of traditional methods of cheese and clog making. The coast is lined with windmills, and the old mustard mill is still functioning and open to the public. The town also has the country’s first Albert Heijn (now the largest grocer chain), and you can still see people wandering around in traditional clothing. The village really does embrace all the cheesy historical elements that have been termed as quintessentially Dutch.
Zaanse Schans is easily reached by train from Amsterdam’s Centraal Station. The train ride is 20 minutes, with trains departing 4 times per hour. You need to buy a train ticket to Koog-Zaandijk for 5.30 Euros for a day return. From the station, it’s a 10 minute walk to the historic Zaanse Schans village.