This is a top tip for a day out from Amsterdam if you are in the Netherlands for a few days and have bought a Museum Card (www.museumkaart.nl or available directly from a lot of the big museums in Amsterdam). The reason for this is that both the steam train fare and the paddle steamer fare across the Ijselmeer are covered by the card so there is nothing further to pay!
We started the day by getting the 11am steamer from Enkhuizen. Check the times on the website as they vary throughout the season. If you haven't got a Museum card, then buy the tickets from the VVV tourist office which is next to the train station and also adjacent to where the steamer goes from. The steamer trip takes about an hour and a half and you will see some lovely Dutch barges and tall ships on the Ijselmeer before being dropped in the small town of Medemblik.
You can take the steam tram back directly from here (next to where the boat moors up). However, if you are lucky like us, there will be a steam tram going back about 4:30 giving you a couple of hours to explore pretty Medemblik. There is a very small castle, a wonderful bakery museum, and plenty of places for a nice spot of lunch. There are quite a few tourist trap type eating places but also a few more secluded terraces. We followed the signs to Costas Portugese restaurant which had a pleasant view over one of the harbour areas and was away from any crowds.
The steam tram again takes about an hour, back to the town of Hoorn, where you can complete the triangle back to Enkhuizen or get a quick connection back to Amsterdam. It is a lovely old steam tram, and the driver tells the kids stories (in Dutch). It also stops en route in a small museum station for fifteen minutes, where the children are involved in unloading 'goods and mail' and reloading luggage onto the train.
Without a Museum card the train and paddle boat combined day ticket costs 20,80 euros. You also need to pay about 3 euros to get back to Enkhuizen on the normal railway, or the fare to Amsterdam if you are based there. A great day out if you want to see some nice Dutch scenery. With an overnight stay in Enkhuizen ithis trip can also be combined with a day trip to the excellent Zuiderzee Museum.
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