After you've enjoyed the many attractions of Amsterdam, it's easy to hop on a train or join a tour to see many other places in the Netherlands that are worthy of attention.Because the country is relatively small, you can reach most of its highlights in day trips from Amsterdam.Other features of note are its large collection of still functioning windmills, including an oil mill, a paint mill, mustard mill, and sawmill, as well as a cheese-making dairy, an old bakery, a grocer's shop, clog-maker's workshop, and clock museum.Guided tours are available, as is a very pleasant boat trip on the Zaan offering great views of the old houses and windmills from the water.About 42 kilometers north of Amsterdam on the North Holland Canal - and just eight kilometers from the North Sea - the charming town of Alkmaar is filled with fine architectural monuments and old guild-houses from the 16th to 18th centuries.But the highlight of an excursion to this picturesque town is its world famous Cheese Market, one of the best-known tourist attractions in the Netherlands.
Afterwards, pop into the Alkmaar Cheese Museum in the Weigh House for its exhibits on the history of cheesemaking.
On the Ijsselmeer, a shallow lake that was part of the former Zuiderzee, Enkhuizen is one of the prettiest towns in the Netherlands.
Enkhuizen has a number of historical attractions, among them two 15th-century churches; 17th-century town walls and gates; and the Dromedaris Tower, a relic of the town's fortifications built in 1540.
An easy way to get to the museum is on a Zaanse Schans Windmills, Marken and Volendam Half-Day Trip from Amsterdam, which adds to the experience by including two picturesque old villages.
The tour includes entrance to one of the windmills, a visit to watch the wooden-shoe maker at work, and a visit to a cheese factory to sample local cheeses.