During our Dutch road trip we visited the little villages Broek in Waterland & De Rijp. Both of these villages are so incredibly idyllic that you have to pay a visit. It will feel like you have been transported back in time. We originally also wanted to visit the island of Marken, which is also located in this area, but because of COVID the connecting road was closed. But we will definitely include it on our list for next time. If you feel inspired by my pictures, you can visit many more of these sort of villages/cities north of Amsterdam, such as Monnickendam, Volendam, Enkhuizen, Hoorn and West-Graftdijk. I was very happy with my choice for the lovely Broek and De Rijp. If you love historic villages, these are the place to be!
Broek in Waterland
Broek in Waterland is often called the most beautiful village of The Netherlands and after visiting I must admit that I agree with that. I immediately checked out Funda if I could buy a house here and was surprised that some actually were for sale. If I would live here I would never leave 😉 Besides living in this idyllic village, you are also closely located to Amsterdam, so when you are looking for action you can easily take the bus to the Amsterdam city center.
During the 17th century Broek was a very rich village and many wealthy inhabitants of Amsterdam had a house over here. Apparently it was also one of the cleanest villages in that time (when Amsterdam was incredibly dirty). I always love exploring by foot, because it is the easiest way to take pictures, but you can also rent a little boat to explore from the water. Lots of the traditional wooden houses in Broek are painted in soft pastel colors or in grey. The grey is so famous that this color is called “Broeker gray”.
We visited during the 100th lockdown of The Netherlands, so it was really quiet in Broek. It was just us and a few other tourists. However, Broek doesn’t seem very touristy, I didn’t notice a lot of shops and restaurants, so I can imagine that it is always a little bit quiet.
We spent about 1,5 hours in Broek in Waterland, this is sufficient time to explore the little historic center. We parked for free just outside of the old village (just follow the P-signs). I also noted cute B&Bs with beautifully maintained gardens, which would be a lovely getaway for spring, when all the gardens are in bloom!
De Rijp is another very cute village located above Amsterdam. In De Rijp you will find traditional wooden houses that are colored in green that surround a little canal. De Rijp reminded me a little bit of Zaanse Schans, taking in mind that De Rijp actually is a historical town while Zaanse Schans is more of a museum. When we visited De Rijp wasn’t crowded at all, but we did note lots of touristy restaurants. So if you are visiting during the high season it might be more difficult to take good pictures during the middle of the day. The historical center of De Rijp consists of two streets surrounding a small canal, so it is very easy to navigate yourself. We easily found a parking spot for our van within walking distance of the city center. I loved Broek in Waterland just a little bit more (hello pastel buildings), but De Rijp definitely is a fun spot to explore if you are in the area.