A great Day Trip From Amsterdam: The Museum Stoom Tram
Amsterdam continues to be one of my favorite cities to visit and this April I visited this city for the eighth time. I love this city, the history, the beauty, the shopping, the food and the entertainment. But what makes Amsterdam so great is the easiness of getting out of Amsterdam and taking day trips to see the country. I have another post on the favorite day trips, but if you are looking for a more off the beaten track day trip, this is for you.
Hoorn is a 30 minute train ride from Amsterdam Central and a train leaves every 30 minutes as well. Hoorn is a great town to walk around if you have time, otherwise, walk over the train tracks and head over to the museum ticket office. There, you will board a steam train that has been restored and the cars are restored to the 1920s. Try to get a seat towards the back as the front of the train can have obstructed views due to the steam. Once the train gets going, you can move around, there are platforms at the front and back of each car that you can stand at and get better pictures.
The train stops for a couple of minutes at Wognum, Twisk and Opperdoes which are small rural villages where you can take a quick walk around and check out the stations. The train goes by beautiful fields with farm animals, villages, windmills and if you hit it at the correct time, it goes through many tulip fields.
This train goes very slow and gives a really good view of the West Frisian area that you most likely would never see. It is a very pastoral area, unique homes and the tulip fields are beautiful if you catch it at the right time.
Exit the train in Medemblik and take a walk and get some lunch. If you are short on time, you can head back to Amsterdam, but most people continue the trip by getting on the “Friesland” historical ferry and steam along the coast of Lake IJessel to Enkhuizen where it stops at the absolutely amazing outdoor folk museum. My recommendation for you is if you are going on the ferry, walk around Medemblik and on your way to the boat which leaves right behind where you get off the train, pick up food to go and eat it on the ferry. The ferry is nice and relaxing and stops at the folk museum. Get off here and buy your tickets right as you walk off the ferry.
While museums in Amsterdam show you the history, the Zuiderzee Museum which is an open-air folk museum lets you experience the history. Old Homes and buildings from around the Zuiderzee or South Sea were moved here, you can go into many homes, shops and fishing buildings. There is even a small windmill. It shows what life was like in old fishing villages, other museums get more publicity in Amsterdam, but this one is fabulous.
From here walk through the town of Enkhuizen to the train station and head back to Amsterdam. Enkhuizen is a beautiful town and has many great restaurants.
Take this trip and enjoy a different side of Holland.
Time tables and more information can be found here. You do not need to make reservations, but I would arrive early.