De Beemster, Holland: An Ideal weekend Trip from Amsterdam

In Holland, you can go from Amsterdam to the countryside and be amongst the stunning tulip fields within 30 minutes. Thanks to public transportation, the Netherlands is such an easy and beautiful country to explore. If you only stay in Amsterdam, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not exploring lovely nearby areas. One of the best weekend trips from Amsterdam is to De Beemster.

Reachable via a short bus ride from Central Amsterdam, De Beemster is a historic region north of Amsterdam. We loved our spring visit and confidently recommend visiting, which is easy to do with our guide. 

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Why De Beemster is an Ideal Weekend Trip from Amsterdam

From relaxing in our boutique hotel room to enjoying plenty of activities and great restaurants, you'll enjoy every minute of your getaway. Some of our favorite things about the area were the interactions with locals who give De Beemster its soul.

Its easy-to-get location near Amsterdam, the public bus access to get around town, and the walkability of Middenbeemster combined with fantastic restaurants, museums and activities make this an ideal destination.

We stayed in Beemster for two nights and three days. There's so much to do that we'll add on another night and fourth day next time.

🕐 Short on time? No Problem!
Easy trips from Amsterdam: Beemster, with things to do and where to stay and eat.

Top things to do in De Beemster

Here are the top things we recommend doing in the area:

  1. Have High Tea at Bij Moeders in Middenbeemster. It's an utterly lovely experience!
  2. Rent a Twizy and explore the area. It's a blast!
  3. Stay overnight at Boutique Hotel BRASA Beemster. It's lovely.
  4. Visit Fort Resort Beemster for a meal, to get a drink, or to enjoy the day at their spa. It's also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We go into depth about all this and more below.

Make Your Homebase Boutique Hotel Brasa Beemster in Middenbeemster

Use the centrally-located Boutique Hotel BRASA Beemster as your base for your weekend getaway from Amsterdam. The bus stop is only two streets away, so the walk from where the bus from Amsterdam lets you off to the hotel’s front door is less than five minutes.

We absolutely loved staying at this boutique hotel with just 12 rooms. The cost for the space and level of comfort are unlike anything you'll find in central Amsterdam.

Bed with a white comforter in an expansive hotel room with high ceilings, decorative wallpaper and a modern chandelier.

Book as soon as you know you want to visit because the rooms book fast! And like a modern B&B, the rooms are all a little different. So booking early also means you’ll have your choice of which room to book.

If Brasa is booked, another option is Fort Resort Beemster, with 17 rooms. But we recommend Brasa boutique hotel because of its prime location in the charming town of Middlebeemster (or “Middenbeemster” in Dutch) and the value for the money. We also love that there’s a grocery store across the street (hello, €5 bottles of wine!), a bakery nearby, and there’s a restaurant in the hotel. Fort Resort Beemster is a bit more isolated in its immediate surroundings, though still a great option.

Iconic Things to Do In De Beemster

➜ Have High Tea at Bij Moeders

One of our favorite things we did during our 10 days in The Netherlands during this trip (thankfully, we've been to The Netherlands several times) was tea time at Bij Moeders. We met Nancy, who is in charge of the historic space, and she was kind enough to serve us the most wonderful tea and lunch. 

The Beauty of the Building that Bij Moeders is In

Visiting Bij Moeders is like stepping into someone’s welcoming and cozy living room. Everyone’s warmth and hospitality radiate love here. You can certainly go here for coffee, tea, and a small bite to eat, like a pastry, but the high tea option was very appealing. It made us feel very European!

The building has a connection to the town's historic, nearby church. The building's name means “Office of the Church,” which is what it once was. Also, during its previous lives, it was a school for the disabled, a care center for hundreds of people, and a dwelling. In 2016, it was gutted and remodeled to accommodate its current iteration. The wood walls are original.

The Idea Behind Bij Moeders De Beemster

Nancy wanted to do something nice with the last ten years of her working life after a career in fashion. She envisioned a quaint shop in town where people could meet. The same town where she raised her children and lives with her husband in a nearby home. She formulated a business plan, and though it took a year to convince the charity she works with that a collaboration would be beneficial, she made it happen!

The destination is a place for people to gather and connect. It's also supporting the local community because most of what is sold inside Bij Moeders is made in De Beemster, whether gifts or food. It's a great place to be, a fantastic place to visit and shop for yourself or to create a little basket to bring to a picnic or a friend's house, and they have delicious food and drinks.

We were sure to return on our final day in De Beemster to purchase some local products sold in the shop area. What’s equally important as the food and hospitality is Nancy's partnership with the local special needs school. The partnership means that some special needs area residents can work here, which is an extra heart-warming touch. It's all the more reason to show support with a visit…or two, or three! 

Bij Moeders High Tea, Food and Drinks

During our first visit there, we warmed up on a cold day with a cup of coffee. It was a rainy spring day when we arrived and the perfect welcome to our time in De Beemster.

There is a kitchen upstairs where everything is made fresh, except some breads that are from a local bakery so they are baked offsite. Items are offered in season, and they buy local chicken eggs, fruit, jams, local wine when possible, and Dutch mustard. 

Our lunchtime meal started with a delicious tomato and sweet potato soup. This was followed by tea served with a three-tier platter of sweet and savory items. The top tier had finger sandwiches like tuna, egg salad, or old De Beemster cheese on toast with mayo or mustard. The middle tier had pastries that we put fresh jam on. The bottom tier had sweets, including the most delicious parfait made with De Beemster yogurt, organic whipped cream, local jam, and a homemade cookie. I don't even like yogurt that much, but this was phenomenal!

Even after our first round of confections, another round of dessert was served. Talk about a sweet ending! We were so full we couldn’t finish it all, but we enjoyed all the bites we could fit in our stomachs. 

➜ Visit Fort Resort Beemster

If you’re due for a day at the spa, buy passes to Fort Resort Beemster. You can easily take the bus 10-15 minutes from Middenbeemster to get there; the bus stop closest to the resort, called Halfweg, is less than a five-minute walk to the entrance.

Note that their spa is co-ed and nude, so you must be comfy with both things. We weren't brave enough to sign up this trip, but we may be in the future, especially after learning about all the cool things going on there. Things like a scrub session in the steam bath, an 80-minute massage, playing card games or reading a book in the sauna, or dedicating time to relax in the hammam.

➜ Rent a Twizy and Explore the Town 

These adorable, little electric vehicles fit two people: one person in the driver’s seat and the other behind the driver. They're a hoot to drive!

To rent one, you need a valid driver’s license — a US driver’s license will do the trick if that’s what you have. Then you enjoy it for the time you reserved and drive around De De Beemster. It’s really fun to take the Twizy out on the town. Pricing for three hours is €70, and you can reserve them online. Reserve early, especially during summer weekends, because there are a limited amount of Twizies and they are popular.

De Beemster is the perfect place to take a Twizy for a spin because it’s large enough that you can’t really walk from one village to the next yet small enough that a Twizy will get you between the limited miles in five to 10 minutes of driving time. 

We used it for a few hours to get to know the area better. Simply driving past the beautiful homes in De Beemster and the farming fields was a delight. But we did much more with them after we left Fort Resort Beemster, where we picked up our rental. 

You Can Drive a Twizy to Eerlijk & Heerlijk Orchard 

Drive your little electric vehicle to this farm for fresh juices and to see a beautiful orchard in Laag Holland. They grow apples, cherries, and pears on the property, creating juice that’s available for purchase. If you can’t make it to the orchard, buy some from Bij Moeders in Middenbeemster. 

Stop for Lunch at 1612 Restaurant

We drove our Twizy to lunch and had a delightful time at 1612. This gorgeous restaurant is where President Obama ate in 2023 after visiting an adjacent tulip farm! We learned he exclaimed their French fries were the best he'd ever had; we can attest to how yummy they were.

The passion and love that the restaurant owners, Cindy and Marcel, have shone through with each bite and glimpse of their restaurant design. We were fortunate to meet them while we were there. They had a small bistro before owning and operating 1612, which was established in 2022. The restaurant is named after the year De Beemster was drained. 

They have a menu with something for everyone — Dan and I shared a few items, including their goat cheese creme brûlée, grilled mussels, and French fries. We also had ice cream and cheesecake for dessert. Whatever you order will be delicious, but take our advice: be sure to order the French fries!

See the Tulip Fields

If you’re in De Beemster between late March and early May, you’ll have a chance to see the vibrant tulip fields carpeting many areas of De Beemster. If you want to stop and see them for longer than a drive-by glance, safely pull your Twizy over to park. While De Beemster’s roads are not busy, you share the road with other cars. Using caution is a must. 

One tulip field, in particular, had the perfect spot for us to pull over and indulge in taking some photos.

★ Be mindful of the tulip fields and NEVER walk in them. Instead, you can respectively stand in front of it, never entering the rows of bulbs. Remember that this is a farmer’s crop and means of income. Far too many tourists disrespect this invisible boundary and selfishly walk into the fields, destroying the flowers and thus destroying the farmer’s income. ★

If you want to respectfully explore some tulip fields, we recommend visiting Nicolaashoeve Tulip Fields. To book a farm tour or a tulip tour there, navigate to their website or e-mail [email protected]. We couldn’t visit due to a ton of rain during our visit, resulting in muddy fields, but it’s on our list for next time! 

Additionally, we highly recommend visiting the Lisse area, where Keukenhof is, for a stop at The Tulip Experience, which was created, in part, so tourists can take tons of photos in gorgeous tulip fields in a respectful manner.

➜ Have Dinner at Fort Resort Beemster After Returning Your Twizy

Be sure to time your Twizy rental return so you can eat at Fort Resort Beemster's Poterne restaurant afterward. The menu has a la carte options, or you can order a meal with three, four, or five courses. We had the three-course meal and it was plenty of food! It’s very reasonably priced as well. 

➜ Understand Life in Holland in the 19th Century at the Agricultural Museum Westerhem

A small museum in Middenbeemster is in a historic farmhouse built in 1877. Our visit helped us understand what it was like for farmers to live in the dwelling while caring for the farm's cows and horses.

We also learned about some of the history of De Beemster at Agrarisch Museum Westerhem, including information about its more than 40 historic windmills that helped drain the land to create livable areas in the region over four centuries ago. These kept it dry until more modern solutions, like water sluices, replaced the windmills.

The museum info is in Dutch, but a small English guide helps English-speaking visitors understand what they’re looking at. 

For us, the best part of the museum was seeing the tiny one-room apartment that the farmer’s family used to live in and the box bed that slept multiple people. Don’t miss that part of the experience! 

➜ Climb the Keyserklim Church Tower

If you’re agile and able, climb the 166 stairs of the local church to get a bird’s eye view of De Beemster. The climb up takes around 15 minutes and the climb down takes less time. We spent approximately 10 minutes walking around the peak once we got there.

The church tower, created in 1623, was the first building in the city. From the 17th century on, it has been a village landmark. It remains the oldest building in De Beemster.

For additional information about the climb, a plaque on the wall shares information about the tower when you enter the church area where you start the ascent. Though a free audio guide is available, it's only in Dutch.

Once at the top, we walked around the tower's four sides to look at De Beemster from the north, south, east, and west. If you visit during spring, it can be cold and windy up there, so dress appropriately!

In fact, if you visit The Netherlands during spring, the weather is a bit unpredictable, so be sure to bring a travel umbrella and pack layers to wear!

Tickets to Climb the Middenbeemster Church Tower

Tickets are available online, and the tower is open from Ascension Day on May 9th until September 15th between 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The cost is just €5.

While you can buy a ticket online for an open-ended time, only a maximum of 10 people can climb the tower at a time. That's why we recommend reserving a specific day and time if you want your first choice if it asks you for your preference upon checkout. 

Bring the code you receive online after purchasing your digital ticket to show to the volunteers working there during operating hours. They’ll let you inside to climb the tower. 

More about De Beemster

De Beemster is a UNESCO World Heritage Center. In some areas, you get a double dose of UNESCO like at Fort Resort Beemster, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's a fairly quiet area with lots of activities going on. If you're like us and appreciate lovely European suburbs as much as urban city centers, you will find solace in the slower pace of the area, calmness, and leisurely pace you can take your vacation in The Netherlands here.

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