Small Towns in Netherlands

Apr 2nd, 2009, 11:53 PM
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Small Towns in Netherlands

I am wondering which small towns you would recommend to see in the Netherlands. I love peaceful cities with landmarks. Has anyone been to Edam, Arnhem, Delft, Hindeloppen, or Haarlem? Any other suggestions?

Thanks so much!!!
spidey is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 12:41 AM
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How are you planning on getting to these places? It effects where I suggest as some are a night mare to get to by public transport.

Hinderlopen is a tiny village in Friesland, very charming but really tiny. You could combine it with other villages in the area such as Makkum, or maybe go to Harlingen and Franeker, which are bigger and offer a bit more for a day out. Franeker has a wonderful wooden planetarium you can visit.
Arnhem is nothing much to write home about, it suffered heavily in the war and is now just a rather modern, busy city, though it has some lovely countryside close by, the Hoge Veluwe National Park and a good Open Air museum.
Edam is just a small village, on the tourist route which includes Volendam and Marken - all can be over run with tourists in the summer months.
Delft has a nice centre but is otherwise just another city, as is Haarlem - both are nice, but they are not peaceful.

Apeldoorn is a possiblility or Deventer maybe, Hengelo is nice. Maastricht whilst not peaceful is a lovely city too.
hetismij is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 09:43 AM
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We enjoyed a nearly 2-day stay in Alkmaar, one day for walking through the 'meadow park' and windmills just outside the town center, and the next day for the Kaasmarkt - cheese market. The BW Amrath Alkmaar Hotel was nice and a short walk from the train station; about 10 minute walk through the town to the main square.
Travelnut is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 10:57 AM
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Hi; Just to add a few more towns to visit. Gouda, especially on market day, is an easy train ride. Muiden is just south of Amsterdam. Both easy access from Amsterdam. iris1745/dick
iris1745 is online now  
Apr 7th, 2009, 05:00 PM
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Wow! Thank you so much for your tips. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. And yes I will be doing public transportation so thanks for leading me to the right towns.
barrister is offline  
Apr 7th, 2009, 05:29 PM
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By the way, it's not goo'da - more like how'da, only you clear your throat for the h. The Dutch will appreciate your efforts (if you don't spit on them).

We had a lovely time in Delft, Hoek van Holland, and Vlaardingen. The national rail serves all of them easily from Rotterdam. Get there early if you want to see the Delft pottery factory tour.
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 7th, 2009, 07:00 PM
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thanks Robespierre for the tips. Luckily my brother was a missionary in Suriname and speaks dutch fluently, so we are making him do the talking, hopefully not too much spitting.

Is Delft, Hoek van Holland, or Vlaardingen pretty quiet places?

Thanks in advance.
spidey is offline  
Apr 7th, 2009, 07:15 PM
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Delft has a nice centre but is otherwise just another city, as is Haarlem - both are nice, but they are not peaceful.

Bah. Delft is very nice for strolling around. I lived in Haarlem (so I am partial) and I think it has more to offer in terms of sites and relax. Try the Frans Hals Museum and have lunch outdoor at the Brinkmann on the Grote Markt. It is very peaceful and picturesque there on a sunny day. After 18h the bars start to come alive. Haarlem is a down-sized Amsterdam. It is full of real Dutchies with few tourists and troubles compared to the big city down the road.
spaarne is offline  
Apr 7th, 2009, 08:18 PM
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Thanks Spaarne I think Delft sounds great! I will have to check out your recommendations.
spidey is offline  
Apr 7th, 2009, 08:36 PM
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Of the places you mention I've been to Delft and I would recommend visiting Delft. The Hague is close to Delft, although I wouldn't refer to The Hague as a peaceful little city, I'd try and visit The Hague too. You can easily travel between the two by tram, the ride is about 40 mins.

Hope this helps.
SWillams is offline  
Apr 7th, 2009, 08:44 PM
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I like Delft and Maastricht - Maastricht has a very different flavour to other part of the Netherlands that I have visited. Not too small, though. Or Groningen, which is also quite nice.
lavandula is offline  
Apr 7th, 2009, 09:14 PM
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I too am interested in small town ntherlands.

On our canalboat trip this fall we are scheduled to see these small towns.


More info on these small towns would be great..
jetsetj is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 12:48 AM
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Ossenzijl, a village of some 500 people, in the middle of the Weerribben. The Weeribben is stunning, (voted the most beautiful area of the Netherlands) but in a motor boat you will be limited in where you can go - much of it is only accessible to peddle power or electric boats.
Steenwijk is a market town and very nice. It used to be my main town when I lived in the area. Keep an eye out for ladies from Staphorst in their traditional dress shopping there. Don't photograph them however - they are deeply religious and won't appreciate it.
Giethoorn is a village with very few streets - canals and footpaths form the means of access to most of it. It can can very crowded as it is a real tourist attraction. Lots of small farm houses on their own islands. Very picturesque.
Ketelhaven is a new small community on the edge of the Ketelmeer, between two polders. Nothing much to say about it really. It is rather like gated communities in the US. I'm not even sure it has a shop, never mind a cafe or restaurant. From there you could get a bus to Lelystad and visit the Batvaia yard.
Elburg is a lovely old town, a former Zuiderzee fishing village, it still has it's own fishing fleet.

A pity you will be missing Blokzijl (where I used to live) which is a lovely old town with beautiful 17th century houses round a central harbour.
hetismij is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 07:04 AM
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To the person touring Friesland -- by all means Giethoorn -- a lovely tiny village where the streets are canals. Take one of the little boat tours. They will show you the reeds from which the old thatched roof houses are (still) made. (as of about 10 years ago when I was last there) Also Hindeloopen, also a pretty little town, Also a visit to Hoorn (about a twenty minute train ride from Amsterdam is worth the trip). Be sure to visit the harbor area (Havens). There is also a museum there which documents the Dutch East India Co., as well as some ancient Dutch artifacts.
Marijke is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 07:05 AM
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Although not a smalltown, we enjoyed vvisiting Leiden by train from AMsterdam. It is a pretty university town with Pilgrim history as they lived ther before departing for the New World.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 09:17 AM
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hetismij and Marijke
thanks for your response..

Sounds like we should spend a few hours sightseeing off of our canalboat in Ossenzijl. Are there places to rent paddleboat or get a tour?

I think we will be in Giethoorn on my 55th B-day.
Sounds like it will be a fun town to check out. We will probably take tour there also or rent canoe if possible.

I love market towns.
we will stop in Steenwijk and get supplies at the market.

Blokzijl is not on our map from
Where is it?

Whats a polder?

thanks again
jetsetj is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 10:12 AM
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Blokzijl is near Steenwijk adn Giethoorn.

Google map if the area:

A polder is reclaimed land. Blokzijl Steenwijk and Giethoorn are all "old land", Ketelhaven is "new land".

I take it you are not going all the way to Loosdrecht on your trip? I see it is one of the routes they offer. Loosdrecht is not so far from me.
hetismij is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 10:39 AM
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Spidey: We particularly liked Giethoorn...the setting is uniquely beautiful. Of course, it was way off season. It's a nice country drive N.E. of Am'dam.

tower is offline  
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