There is more to Holland than Amsterdam. The Dutch Capital gets overloaded with tourists and believes me it is worthwhile to visit cities in the vicinity. Take a chance and jump on a train from Amsterdam to Arnhem. You will be there in an hour. The city is located on the border of the river Rhine. Arnhem offers a magnificent outdoor trip to the National Dutch Open Air Museum. In wintertime, the museum is closed on weekdays. But on the weekend it is partially open. Then you can walk around and follow one of the routes through the museum park. So we did. The mills, cafes, and restaurants (poffertjeskraam) were closed. On the first of April, the whole thing opens up again. Located right beside the museum is a wonderful Zoo. You could buy a combined ticket.
In the Open Air Museum, you can follow routes in the Museum Park; on foot or by the historic tram and you will encounter windmills, traditional cafes, farmhouses, a herb garden, fishermen’s cottages, and Amsterdam slums. The museum is quite something, really. You could easily spend a day there walking around in this museum which breathes the atmosphere of a vintage Dutch village with an overload of windmills. I was there in wintertime in January. The museum was only open to pedestrians. The windmills, the Brabant cafe, the weaving building, the farmhouses, the laundry bleachery; everything was closed. Never mind. Some farm sheds were open and I could feed sheep, horses, and goats. Besides animals, the museum offers a great variety of plants. I didn’t find any. The place was covered with snow, you see. The landscape was great!
Windmills in the Open Air Museum
The museum offers an overview of Dutch windmills. A highlight of the Dutch National Cultural Heritage. Among these mills, you can visit a horse-driven oil mill, a wind-driven sawmill, a drainage mill, and a platform mill. A few hundred years ago each village in Holland had its mill(s). At Zaanse Schans near Amsterdam, there were hundreds of mills supplying the city with products or functioning within international trade.
The museum also offers an insight into the Dutch Immaterial Heritage. By this, I mean customs, dress codes, and traditions. In the summertime there are events. In the Collection Ventre (Spaarstation Dingenliefde) you will be stunned to discover the oddities of Dutch collectors. Name it, and be sure there will be a Dutchman collecting it.
How to get there
Train and bus: Jump a train to Arnhem from anywhere in the country. From the Central Railway Station in Arnhem, you catch Bus 3 to the museum park. You get off the bus at the stop “Openluchtmuseum”. Bus 91, Line 8, and line 400 also offer connections but go less frequently.
Address: Nederlands Openluchtmuseum, Hoeferlaan 4, Arnhem
By car: Navigate to “Nederlands Openluchtmuseum” or “Hoeferlaan 4, Arnhem”.
Google maps: On foot or by bicycle you navigate to “Hoeferlaan 4, Arnhem”