Amsterdam Metropolitan Area

Amsterdam Metropolitan Area

For the visitors who’ve already seen the beautiful canals, visited the highlights, pioneered the Jordaan and got the hang of our never-ending nightlife… Here’s news for them: Amsterdam is bigger than they think! We introduce you to 17 special characteristic areas. All of these destinations are within reach of an hour using public transport.

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1. Wind Water Beach
The beach at IJmuiden aan Zee is popular for wind and water sports. Go kite surfing, drive a blokart or jump in a kite buggy on the beautiful beach.

2. Industrial Heritage
The Zaanstreek was the world’s first industrial zone and is now a wonderful piece of industrial heritage with countless warehouses, factories and windmills.

Zaan area

3. Amsterdam Waterland
Go cycling through the flat Dutch polder landscape with its old farmsteads and expansive fields. Discover the low country by bicycle, on foot or with an electric boat.

4. Village Harbours
In the old Dutch villages such as Volendam and Marken, it is as if time has stood still. The canals, the harbours, the cheese market, the houses with crow-stepped gables – it’s still exactly as it was 100 years ago.

5. The Big Lake
The Netherlands’ largest lake is the IJsselmeer, northeast of Amsterdam. The lake was created in 1932 by damming it up with the 32-kilometre-long Afsluitdijk.

6. Sun Kissed Beach
The wide beaches, fine sea and many beach cafes are typical of the Dutch coast. Hip and trendy in Bloemendaal, lively and pleasant in Zandvoort and there are many opportunities for wind and water sports at IJmuiden beach.

7. Old Haarlem
Haarlem has been a city of artists for centuries. Frans Hals painted his most famous pieces here, which can be admired in the Frans Hals Museum. Combine a day of culture with a historic walk through the city, shopping, a drink and a nice bite to eat.

8. Amsterdam City
Why do people love Amsterdam so much? Is it the canals and little bridges? Is it the city’s rich history or the cultural variety? It could also be the charming and lively districts with their cafes and antique shops or the municipal parks where people fall in love with our capital.

Canal Bus

9. New Land
With dikes, dams and more, the Dutch have been fighting the water for centuries now. The province of Flevoland (the world’s largest polder) was reclaimed from the sea by land reclamation.

10. Bubbling Boulevard
With its luxury hotels, lively restaurants and cafes, Zandvoort is a seaside resort that Empress Sissi liked to visit 130 years ago.

11. Dutch Dunes
A varied nature reserve with sloping dunes, lakes, forests and animals like deer and wisent. The dunes contain all sorts of surprises like military bunkers and magnificent viewpoints.

12. Amstel River Countryside
Follow the river Amstel, which starts in the city centre of Amsterdam. In no time at all you’ll be cycling past grazing cows, country houses and historic villages. And the nice thing is that the riverside is teeming with many restaurants and cafes with sunny terraces.

13. Fortress Stretch
Take a walk over old city ramparts, have a glimpse into the life of Count Floris V at the Muiderslot castle and visit one of the many forts that protected the Netherlands in the 19th century.


14. Amsterdam Gateway
‘A seething, vibrant mini-city.’ This is how many visitors describe Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, a veritable shopping paradise for fashionistas both before and after going through customs.

15. Flower Strip
Wander into a flower-growing or bulb business; they’ll be happy to give you a tour. Visit FloraHolland in Aalsmeer, the world’s largest flower auction house.

16. Leisure Lakes
Around Amsterdam there are several lakes promising great fun on the water. Take a boat or sailboat from one mooring spot to the next.

17. Historical River Estates
Like gaping at imposing houses with perfectly maintained gardens? Follow the green countryside along the winding river Vecht and you’ll come across plenty of country cottages.