Randstad, Alkmaar, Haarlem & Zaan River

Most people when they go to the Netherlands they tend to go straight to Randstad.  This is the most populated area on earth and stretches all the way from Amsterdam to Rotterdam.  Here you will find Dutch towns and cities of Den Haag, Haarlem Leiden, Gouda, Utrecht and Delft.

Haarlem is full of canals, gabled buildings and cobblestone streets.  You find bars, restaurants, museums, antique shops and churches and markets.

Some sights to see are:  Town Hall, Grote Kerk van St. Bavo, is a Gothic Cathedral, where Mozart at the age of 10 played the Müller Organ it has 5000 pipes; Frans Hals Museum, Corrie ten Boom House.

Alkmaar this towns main feature is cheese, plenty of cheese.   If you are a cheese lover you’ll love this town.   The market dates back to the 17th century.  You can sample the cheeses.   There are 30 tons of cheese on display at this market.   Some cheeses that must be tried are the Edam and there is an Edams Museum, you can go for a taste at the Gestam from April to October.  And there is the Gouda the most famous cheese is the world it’s the oldest cheese dating back to 1184.   The town of Gouda is small and has old buildings and canals and a very large cheese market.   You can visit and taste in the summer months.

Zaan River is an open-air museum, which holds the original windmills you must take a ride here if you are interested in windmills and see how they work.   There is a  charge to enter  the windmills.    Visiting hours are from 10am to 4pm.  You can stop at the cafes and restaurants located there.

Transportation:  Your best bet would be to go by train from Amsterdam Centraal Station there are four trains leaving every hour.

 

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