Visit a windmill, some are open to the public and you can see how they work which is very interesting. The family used to sleep on the ground floor.
I visited one near Alkmaar
Entry is usually few Euro’s
The traditional Dutch villages that tour buses or guides will take you to are very nice and interesting but if you want to see a Dutch village that remains largely unvisited by non Dutch people you must see de Rijp. This is a wonderful village to spend a day in and either wander around or take an electric boat and navigate your way through the village and surrounding polder area. There is a very interesting church and town hall to see and a number of small interesting shops plus several places to eat and drink.
The VVV (tourist office) website is excellent and one of the best I have seen of its kind.
Train from Amsterdam to Alkmaar then bus 123 to de Rijp. Approximate travel time would be about 90 minutes depending on transfer times at Alkmaar station (the buses go from outside the railway station).
I have more details on my de Rijp pages which will be built up slowly over future years. I have made the link to the English part of the VVV website.
de Rijp is the kind of place you would like to live in if you lived in Holland. Highly recommended.
Alkmaar resisted a Spanish invasion in 1573.
The city has 400 monuments and the streets have barely changed over the centuries.
The city is also famous for the cheese market. These are held every friday morning from mid april to mid september. the public weigh house (waaggebouw) was actually a chapel originally. It was converted to a weogh house in 1582. Today it houses the cheese museum (kaasmuseum).
On Fridays htey have a cheese auction in Alkmaar, a small town a short train ride from Amsterdam. Not only was it fun to see the event, the town itself was beautiful. Be sure to check out the little park on the walk from the station to the market. Also, there is a little restaurant across from the train station that is much less expensive than those by the market with the friendliest staff!
Greater Amsterdam sprawls out pretty far and many of the outlying areas can be visited in a day. My choice would probably be to visit Alkmaar, the "Cheese Town," where you can visit an amazing cheese market and sample some of the merchandise. It's only about thirty minutes away by train.
Alkmaar. About an hour on the train from Amsterdam, we visited on a Sunday, most things were closed,and we'd missed the Friday cheese market, but the museum of beer saved the day. It's a smallish place dedicated to the history of brewing and there is a magnificent bar downstairs, guess who stayed far too long?