There's a group of us going to Amsterdam for 5 days over new year. We've been before but i was wondering where else was worth seeing in Holland at that time of year bearing in mind...i wanna see some windmills! What part of Holland (not too far from Amsterdam) is worth visiting?
The most easily accessible windmill I can think of would be Molen De Valk in Leiden, half an hour away by train from Amsterdam (and then a five minute walk from the train station). It's a museum nowadays, so you can go inside and climb up to get to stand on top of the platform circling it. Leiden itself is worth wandering around in, with the old "burcht" ('castle', although that's far too grand a word for what it is) and some impressive churches being highlights, although that time of year any Dutch city will look pretty barren and boring.
An alternative for windmills is of course the Zaanse Schans, an open air museum with half a dozen windmills. (Note that this time of year these are only open during the weekend.) According to that website, you can get there by a 20 minute train ride followed by a fifteen minute walk.
Not windmill related, but the cities of The Hague (which houses the government) and Delft (small historic city quite similar to Leiden in many aspects) are worth visiting, too. About 40 and 50 minutes away from Amsterdam by train, respectively.
[ Edit: Edited on Oct 7, 2007, at 4:13 AM by Sander ]
Well, as an inhabitant of Utrecht, I would say...Utrecht
It is the 4th largest city in the Netherlands and is about 30 minutes away by train from Amsterdam. In many aspects it is much smaller than Amsterdam, but still manages to have a real city feeling. The Dom Tower dominates the centre, and there are many many pubs and restaurants, mainly along the canals and on the Neude square. Utrecht is lively most time of the year, thanks to thousands of students as well. And on top of that, it has its own windmill!
Check the travelguide here on TP for more details about Utrecht!.
I agree with the suggestions posted by Sander and Utrecht. Have been to the places they recommended (not Zaanse Schans though, unfortunately) and I can safely say these cities are worth a visit. I thought Molen De Valk was really quaint (my first windmill! ) and I had a good time generally.
Haarlem is a short train ride away from Amsterdam, so you might want to consider visiting as well. It's very walkable. I also visited Den Bosch (probably about an hour's train ride) and enjoyed myself there.
Thanks guys for your help - much appreciated! I can't wait!