The Netherlands – Its Not ALL Amsterdam

I find it amusing that whenever you tell someone that you’re going to Holland or The Netherlands for a few days, they immediately assume that you’re off to Amsterdam.

Having visited The Netherlands a few times in the lasts few years, only one of these has actually included Amsterdam itself, with other trips taking in beautiful and interesting cities including Utrecht and Rotterdam.

The most recent visit took us to the stunning city of Woerden, ideally suited for commuters, with its central location and great transport links, its simple to reach places such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague with ease.

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Flying into Amsterdam with EasyJet on a Friday was entertaining in itself.

It appeared that we were the only people on the plane that weren’t off for a party fuelled weekend in the capital. With the majority of passengers already getting into the party spirit and clearly dressed/made up, ready to start partying immediately on arrival.

Having said that, there were definitely a few people on the flight that would be needing to ‘sleep off’ the early indulgences before actually heading out to any bars or ‘beer bikes’.

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Being the ‘sensible adults’ we disembarked and headed straight for the train. The station is located in the airport building and its easy to jump on trains to any of the great tourist destinations, or just to get into the city of Amsterdam itself.

The train to Woerden cost less than 10 Euro and takes about 50 mins, with one change. Where you change would depend on the time of day / date, as there are many options.

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Arriving into Woerden, I was immediately impressed with its beauty and evident history.

On our visit we were staying with friends rather than in a hotel, however there is a beautiful looking hotel called The Stadshotel in Woerden, which we may well check out properly on another visit – if you’re tempted to check out this city you can check out this hotel here

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The ‘Cheese Bell’ that signals the start of the Cheese Festival

Worden like many cities in The Netherlands, has a rich history of Cheese Making. We visited in March and the cheese markets don’t start until the end of April through to August, so we will be trying to visit between these dates next time, to really experience it.

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Was a little chilly and so the jacket stayed on under the white jacket

So with no cheese market running during our trip, we instead opted to head to the Boerenmarkstad Cheese Warehouse. We had a private tour of the cheese making facilities, a full explanation of how the traditional Dutch Cheese is made as well as a visit to the upstairs storerooms, where all the amazing cheese is matured and stored.

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And of course a tasting session of some of the cheese just had to follow.

For dinner in the evening we headed into Utrecht, after around 20 mins on a train you are straight into this historical city. Although there seemed to be plenty of great places to eat in Woerden too, with the transport links being so great, it was a great chance to see two beautiful cities in one trip.

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Lucy Lou’s was the dinner destination. A very popular Mexican restaurant, which when we arrived was packed to the rafters, with very little standing space. However we found that as the night got on it became quieter and and quieter, with many dutch opting to eat earlier in the evening rather than late at night.

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The Tacos were beautiful, we opted for a mixed selection, some Nachos and Quesadillas.

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And as full as you get on mains, how can anyone resist some Churros!!  I for one can never deny myself these sweet delights. This time being no exception.

Whilst in Woerden we also went for coffee and cake in a Dutch chain called Brownies and Downies. A popular destination that trains and employees people with learning disabilities or down syndrome.

The Brownies were definitely something to admire, you even get a little bite size one on the side when you order a coffee.

The weekend trip was very different to those I have spent in Amsterdam, less touristy and more embracing of local life. Woerden itself is stunning and I look forward to exploring more of it in warmer times and when the cheese festival is in full swing.

So next time you think about a weekend in Holland – how about staying on a train for an extra 20 mins, and explore one of the other amazing cities in The Netherland – remember people – its not ONLY Amsterdam!!

 

 

 

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