Zaanse Schans:We took the day trip to Zaanse Schans , as recommended by a friend and we fell in love with this place. A picturesque town surrounded by river with charming windmills take you back in history.Getting there:The local 1/2 day pass won't work and don't even think about booking expensive tours. Zaandam is easily accessible by train and doesn't need a guide if you are not too much into museums. The nearest station is Koog-Zaandijk, which takes around half an hour from Amsterdam Centraal. The train frequency is every half hour. It is 10-15 mins walk from the station. Pretty little houses with beautiful garden lined up on streets will give you some serious house goals.Things to do:Zaanse Schans is all about taking you back in simpler times. It displays the rich dutch heritage with numerous museums, well preserved windmills and giant clogs. They do have a beautiful collection of handicrafts as well. Cheese tasting is something you can do across Netherlands and it is Yum; with the various types and flavors it is every cheese lovers dream come true. Zaanse Schans also has a chocolate making experience for those who love it.You can spend a whole day at leisure by drenching in the spectacular beauty , walking over small bridges ,getting lost in fields and of course, clicking numerous pictures.Day 3 in Amsterdam concluded with Canal ride in the evening and strolling in the by lanes of this perfect city. We rode through Jewish quarter, watched dancing houses (They are caller such due to their structure), searching for a flea market. There are many walking tours available for Jewish quarter, which boasts of stunning Synagogue, Holocaust memorial.With all it's startling anomalies, Amsterdam in its true spirits, doesn't weigh itself down on you. It just lets you be, the ever merry, fanciful, unapologetic you.With the sweet taste of brownies still lingering (wink), we headed to out next destination Copenhagen via Brussels.
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188 Kms from Zaandam
History: “Bos” is the Dutch word for forest and “Halle” is the place where it is located. With around 6 square kilometres area, Hallerbos is like one of that purple-blue kingdom coming straight out of a Disney movie film making you question its existence in reality! The uniqueness of Hallerbos lies in its natural phenomenon of blooming blue bells (wild hyacinths) that blossom everywhere in the forest between late April and May making it look like a blue carpet (check my video here).
226 Kms from Zaandam
If you've seen the cult dark comedy In Bruges, you know exactly what to expect in this peculiar city. It's a prominent world heritage site according to UNESCO and that automatically makes it a haven for art connoisseurs. It's also called the "Venice of the North" so you can imagine how many new fairytales of your own you can create whilst walking down the cobbled roads to the whitewashed facades of historic churches. Spring is meant for daffodil carpets spread all over the city.Famous for: Beer and art.Things to do: Climb up the 366 stairs of the medieval Belfry Tower. Admire the flemish primitive artworks at Groeninge Museum.Weather in January: Average temperature is 5 degrees celsius. Remains dry, but nippy.Average budget per head for 5 days (excluding flights): Rs. 62,000For more details, read this.
198 Kms from Zaandam
Beautiful Small Town with amazing churches and lots of history.