This was kinda a tourist trap but I was glad I went. This is a working cheese market in Edam, where everyone dresses up in traditional Dutch clothes and they walk around in their wooden shoes selling cheese. The Cheese comes in by little boats and carried to be weighed and sold. It didn't cost anything to stand their and watch and listen to the band. I thought it was worth the trip up to Edam. Generally you can take a tour that would include edam.
If you are looking to spend a day outside Amsterdam to see Dutch landscape and traditional villages, probably the best choice is to take a trip to villages Edam, Volendam and Marken. All of them are easily accesible by Bus.
The bus ticket for entire day which cost only 7.5 Eur is valid for all buses in that region for one day and can be bought directly from the the bus driver (the Waterland ticket).
The bus from Amsterdam to Edam village takes about 30 minutes (see www.9292.nl for more details). Edam is a typical dutch village, from all three villages least affected by tourism. Good to see, but no reason to spend a lot of time there.
Jump on next bus and after only 10 minutes you will be in Volendan, the old fishing village and main tourist attraction, which is usually crowded with them. The beach, old wooden houses, beautiful harbour, shops - both luxurious and normal ones (there is even flee market for tourist there). This is probably the place where you will want to spend the most time.
The bus (but you can also use ship) from Voledan to Marken takes about 45 minutes. Marken is former island, which was later by lot of earth-work connected to land by road. Old wooden houses and fishermens harbour are worth seeing.
The bus back to Amsteradam Central Station takes 45 minutes.
Edam is a small town about 20km southeast of Amsterdam and is an easy bus ride for a trip out of the city. When I visited on a weekday in winter, it was almost completely deserted but I did manage to see some of the famous cheeses being loaded onto a lorry.
The centre of the town is very pretty and there are also picturesque houses lining the small canals, if you explore up some of the side streets.
There's a lovely welcoming inn in the centre where I had a tasty lunch.
To get there: catch bus 110, 112, 114 or 116 from outside Amsterdam's main railway station.
This attractive walk of 16 km, called Bos en Dijkroute (Forest and Dike route), takes you through the small forest of Purmerend, and along a dike.
Parts of the walk are unpaved, so it might be muddy after long periods of rain.
Purmerend is just 30 minutes from Amsterdam Central Station, by train or bus, see http://journeyplanner.9292.nl/.
If you are by car, you can park at the train station or along the route, e.g. near the crossing Purmerweg / Purmerdijk.
The route from the train station to the starting point of the walk is indicated with blue stickers on streetlights and signs. The walk itself is also marked with these blue stickers.
See the link below for a map. On this map there are two other marked walks indicated:
Vurige Staart route (7 km), starting in Ilpendam
Hekkenroute (12 km) from Ilpendam to Edam (or vice versa)
You could combine these walks and plan your own route as well.
More info (Dutch):
Amsterdam is famous for its cheeses. We see it always in postcards and in travel books. Amsterdam's EDAM cheese is well known worldwide. In the Philippines, we import huge quantities of that at Christmas time. 'Keso de Bola' we call it. Visit a CHEESE FARM to learn more about Cheese. Cheesy travelogue