One Village Ahead
Why locals love it
If you want to see more places in Holland besides Amsterdam, but you don't have much time, then Zaandam is a nice option. To be honest, Amsterdam locals love Zaandam because, well, they have Primark. But when you walk around, you'll see that there is a lot more to it than a shopping street. Zaandam is only 10 minutes by train from Central station.
Why you should visit it
In 2010 Zaandam had a big makeover: A new impressive town hall and hotel next to the train station in the style of their 'Zaanse Huisjes' and a new shopping street that leeds to the old center. Some like it, some absolutely don't. Zaandam is good for a short shopping and for getting a glimpse of what other Dutch villages look like.
Want to show your friends the classic Dutch picture with mills and cows and all? The famous (but touristic) 'Zaanse Schans' is very near.