Top Tips for Exploring the Dutch Windmills and Countryside

If you’re visiting Amsterdam, and you have some time to spare, then we highly recommend that you explore the countryside as well.

The Netherlands has so much more to offer than Amsterdam alone, yet far too many people make the mistake of staying in the cities or visiting only the main tourist traps on day trips from Amsterdam.

In this article, we would like to give you some tips for more original and authentic day trips so that you can enjoy a unique experience in our country.

What can you see in the countryside?

More than you might imagine! The Dutch countryside is full of quaint villages, tulip fields, cheese farms, windmills, and more. And one of the best ways to explore all of this is by doing an organized tour led by locals. That way, you will discover hidden gems, learn little known facts, and get the most value from your experience. And, of course, you will get a real taste of the local way of life.

Dutch windmill with tulips in the countryside

How to choose a great day trip from Amsterdam

If you’ve already started planning your trip to Amsterdam, you’ve probably noticed that there are hundreds of tours to choose from. And that can be overwhelming. That’s why we’d like to help make the choice easier for you.

If you’re looking for a private, high-end experience that avoids the tourist traps and shows you the real Dutch countryside, we can highly recommend that you book a tour with the Windmill Girls.

And you can be sure that we don’t make any windmill tour recommendations lightly, as our founder Thijs’s Amsterdam ancestors lived and worked on the windmills on the Amsterdam city walls for almost 300 years.

The Windmill Girls, Esther and Maaike, are two local guides who have the perfect credentials to ensure that you have a fun, informative, and authentic experience in the Dutch countryside. Esther is the daughter of a miller and grew up in a windmill, and Maaike is the granddaughter of a miller.

We interviewed the Windmill Girls to give you a better idea of what they have to offer. Here’s what they had to say:

Q: Who are the Windmill Girls? And how did you get involved in giving tours?

A: We are two local guides from the north of Holland. Esther grew up in a windmill and is, as we say in Holland, an authentic miller’s daughter. And her parents still live in a windmill! Maaike’s grandfather was a miller as well, and she loved visiting her grandparents at the windmill during her childhood.

As both of us grew up in and around windmills, we know everything about them. It’s in our family genes, and we’ve both been working in tourism for many years, so we have many great stories we would love to share with you!

The Windmill Girls, Esther and Maaike

Q: What kinds of tours do you offer?

A: We offer private day tours from Amsterdam.

As part of all the available tours, a visit to a windmill is included. What else could you expect from the windmill girls?

We offer the following private day tours:

  • Highlights of Holland tour
  • Windmill and Keukenhof spring garden tour
  • Off-the-grid windmill and tulip fields tour
  • Senior Countryside windmill tour (non-touristic)
  • Countryside windmill tour (non-touristic)
  • Zaanse Schans and cheese tasting tour (half day)

Q: Why should visitors to Amsterdam do a tour with you?

A: Our tours are unlike others because we visit lesser known, authentic Dutch countryside villages that showcase true Dutch culture, alongside must-see tourist destinations. We exclusively offer private tours, ensuring high quality and complete customization tailored to your needs. What more could you want than to be guided by a miller’s daughter and a miller’s granddaughter?

The Windmill Girls

Q: Why would you recommend visiting a windmill?

A: Visiting a 17th century windmill that was responsible for regaining land by managing water levels is special. It’s a unique piece of water management from the Golden Age. You can feel the history and see how the miller lived inside the windmill. As the Windmill Girls, we also love to share inside information with you, which gives you a truly unique perspective.

Q: What tips do you have for people who are visiting Amsterdam and who would like to do a day trip from the city?

A: The countryside in the north of Holland is beautiful and definitely worth a visit. It’s filled with green meadows and idyllic small villages, and less touristy gems such as De Rijp, Driehuis, and Broek in Waterland, where it feels as though you are traveling back in time. And then there’s the famous cheese town of Edam, as well as the preservation village Zaanse Schans. They all are definitely worth paying a visit.

Of course, you also cannot leave Holland before visiting a windmill. Visit a working industrial windmill or a water windmill and we will tell you all about the history of the windmills. And then you have the tulips: if you’re visiting Holland between the end of March and the middle of May, you have to see the tulip fields and tulip gardens. We offer 6 different tours, so you can choose the tour that suits you best!