Captivating cheese markets 

The Netherlands still has five traditional cheese markets in Alkmaar, Edam, Hoorn, Gouda and Woerden. And as well as being famous all around the world, a trip to Edam’s impressive cheese market also promises the sight of people decked out in old-fashioned garb – think white suits and straw hats – transporting huge wheels of cheese on wooden barrows to take part in a traditional cheese weighing ceremony.

Nothing quite says 'I am in Holland' than snapping a shot like this: 

Cheese Alkmaar market canal Cris Toala Olivares


A paradise of Dutch windmills at Zaanse Schans

There’s something almost otherworldly about looking out over the water to Zaanse Schans’ beautiful vista of traditional Dutch windmills. And there's a good reason why this little corner of Old Holland attracts nearly 1,000,000 visitors per year and it's one of the Netherlands' best loved attractions. As well as being the perfect place to grab some amazing snaps of the windmills, or of course some brilliant pictures of you looking {pensive/fabulous/happy} in front of them, Zaanse Schans also lets visitors step back in time and take a glimpse of what it was like to live in the Netherlands in the 18th and 19th centuries.


Become Dutch for the day in Volendam 

A visit to Volendam typically begins with a stroll down De Dijk, the main harbour strip, a lively shopping and residential street perfect for photographing some vivid pictures of traditional Dutch life. Make sure to stop and admire the working trawlers and fishing boats which will be sailing in and out of the harbour. But after you've had your fill of the traditional wooden buildings and homes, tasted the freshly caught local seafood, and spent some time with at one of cosy cafés and restaurants, make sure you take the opportunity to stop at one of the shops and get dressed up as a traditional Dutch man/woman and snap away till your heart's content. The perfect picture to remember your time in the Netherlands. 


Discover one of Amsterdam's most famous waterways

One of the Netherlands' first and most famous polders, today De Beemster is widely recognised as an exceptional example of town planning, with well-ordered waterways, geometric structure and ordered settlements. But more importantly this UNESCO World Heritage site is truly stunning,with an array of scenic polders, dikes, restored mills and charming, traditional farmhouses to gaze upon (and photograph of course).

 

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Visit the picturesque Broek in Waterland

Take one look at the incredible Instagram images with the #broekinwaterland and it's easy to see why this scenic village makes the list. Broek in Waterland is small, but certainly has a lot to offer visitors, including remarkable wooden houses with gorgeous interiors and a pretty church which begs to be snapped. The flat landscape and abundance of water means that the only problem you'll have is having enough time to take pictures of all of its beauty spots before it gets dark. 


Discover a unique island with picture-perfect views

Marken is a unique former island now reachable via a long causeway or a reliable fleet of ferries. It's well worth taking the trip, as visitors are greeted by residents who have preserved many of the island’s historic cultural traditions. A place of calm beauty, cars are not allowed in Marken, many of its wooden houses are built on poles to help prevent flood damage. There's certainly lots of inspiration for budding photographers: Marken's museum boasts a reconstruction of a fisherman’s home, and the beautiful Paard van Marken lighthouse dates back to 1839.

 

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So there you have it, a round-up of some of the best places in Old Holland to make sure that your Instagram game is on point, but also to explore a historic and captivating area of the Netherlands that is truly unique. Of course, if you want more advice about what to do and where to go when visiting the region, make sure to check out our top 10 things to do in Old Holland.