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13 Best Things to Do in Volendam, Netherlands

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If you want to explore Holland, Volendam might be right for you. This small fishing village on the North Sea has been around since at least the 14th Century and has remained largely unchanged.

Volendam, the Netherlands, is a picturesque village only 21 kilometers from the Dutch capital, Amsterdam. We’ll discuss what Volendam is known for and why it’s definitely worth the day trip from Amsterdam.

Private day tours are available to book from Amsterdam; for more information, check the best pricing with GetYourGuide. If you purchase an I Amsterdam City Card during your stay in the Netherlands, many of the main attractions we listed are included in both Volendam and Marken, so be sure not to overpay.

Today, Volendam is known as one of Europe’s most charming villages, thanks to its narrow cobbled streets lined with wooden houses and colorful flowers. The best part about visiting? Everything feels like it came straight out of a fairy tale.

Let’s get into our favorite tourist attractions and activities in the old fishing village of Volendam. If you’d like some visuals, check out our video from the ViaTravelers YouTube channel:

Things to Do in Volendam, Netherlands

1. Cheese Factory Volendam

Cheese Factory Volendam
image by Rudolphous is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Address: Haven 25, 1131 EP Volendam, Netherlands

You don’t need to love cheese to appreciate the Cheese Factory Volendam. This fun and interactive museum is located in a former dairy factory, which has been transformed into an attraction that takes you back in time.

The museum offers tours of the old factory and explains how Dutch cheeses like Edam, Gouda, and Leyden are made. The tour takes about 45 minutes; if you have more time, additional self-guided tours can be taken through the many rooms with historical displays highlighting life in Holland during different centuries.

The best part? You get to taste some cheese at the end! Don’t worry—you won’t leave smelling like stinky feet like other attractions we’ve visited (cough).

Are you interested in more of this tasty gold in the Netherlands? Why not visit a local cheese farm, organize a VIP party, and book a Cheese Factory Volendam Tour and Amsterdam Wine and Cheese Cruise?

See Related: Visiting Kinderdijk Windmills

2. Volendam Museum

Volendam Museum Building
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Zeestraat 41, 1131 ZD Volendam, Netherlands

The Volendam Museum is located in the former city hall. On display is an extensive collection of historical objects, photos, and maps tracing the early history of Volendam.

A bicyclist rides by the traditional Dutch architecture of the Volendams Museum decorated with vibrant flowers, under a sunny sky, reflecting the culture and lifestyle of Volendam, The Netherlands.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The museum is open on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., while they are closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Visitors can also visit the restored windmill De Haer, which dates back to 1673.

See Related: Top-Rated Hotels in the Netherlands

3. Take a photo in a traditional Volendam costume

Volendam Costume Photography
image by GetYourGuide

If you want to immerse yourself in that old-world feeling, you should take the opportunity to dress in historic Dutch clothing! Since fishing isn’t the top industry here, Volendam is a leading resource for traditional clothing in the Netherlands.

Locations like Fotograaf Volendam give you the souvenir of a lifetime by transporting you back in time for staged photos with multiple backdrops. You can experience wearing beautiful traditional clothing in an Original Volendam Costume Photography Session. Walk a mile (more like a few meters) in another’s clogs and enjoy the fun!

You could also stop by the Volendam Museum to see a more extensive collection of authentic costumes, art, and even a full-sized ship. They will be happy to put on the costume and take your picture!

Alt text: Vintage wooden sailing ship in Volendam Harbor with Dutch flag, traditional architecture in background.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

You can also buy costumes at their gift shop or at one of the many souvenir shops around town (look for signs advertising “Boerenkool” or “Kruidkoek”).

See Related: Most Beautiful Cities in Europe

4. De Dijk of Volendam

Volendam Cafes
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Noordeinde 35, 1131 GB Volendam, Netherlands

De Dijk is the oldest part of Volendam and a popular tourist attraction. The area is also known for its large number of shops and restaurants. De Dijk is the dyke, and it’s the heart of the sightseeing area in this town.

This area is known for its cafes, restaurants, and beautiful old buildings that any architecture lover will appreciate. Because De Dijk is the dyke, it’s always open. You can visit De Dijk any time during your trip—it’s a great place to explore.

Volendam Shops and Street
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Walking around De Dijk, you’ll see many kwaks; traditional fishing boats that fill the harbor. These boats are a physical reminder of Volendam’s former glorious fishing industry.

If you’re interested in history or architecture, De Dijk is a great place to start your trip to Volendam. Many historic buildings are here, such as the Martinus Church (which dates back to 1120) and the “Boot” house built in 1646.

Alley in Volendam, Netherlands

De Dijk is a popular tourist destination with plenty of shops and restaurants. You can’t go wrong with spending time in this beautiful part of Volendam.

5. Take the ferry to Marken

Volendam Cruise to Marken
image by GetYourGuide

There are many things to do in Volendam, but if you’re looking for a fun day trip with your friends and family, then you should definitely take the ferry to Marken.

This small island is known for its excellent fishing industry and has been a popular destination for day trips from Volendam since the 18th Century.

It’s also one of the most accessible destinations from Volendam by boat; frequent ferries run throughout the day and only take about 20-30 minutes to get there! Marken is well worth visiting even if you don’t have time for a full-day trip because it’s so easy to get there on public transit.

If you want an authentic Dutch experience that doesn’t involve Amsterdam or spending hours on a train or bus ride through flat farmland (which is boring), then the Express Boat Cruise to Marken Island is an ideal experience for spending your vacation dollars!

See Related: Best Things to Do in Utrecht, Netherlands

6. Het Doolhof – the oldest part of the city center

Enchanting waterside view of Het Doolhof, Volendam, showcasing traditional Dutch gabled houses and serene canal reflections.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

A doolhof is a maze-like garden with paths leading to dead ends. There are some in the Netherlands that date back to the Middle Ages and have been restored over time.

In Volendam, there are two doolhofs: one called Broeders van Liefde (Brothers of Love) and another called Het Doolhof (The Dwarf Garden). Het Doolhof is located at the end of one of the streets leading into town from Amsterdam Central Station.

It was built between 1650 and 1660 for wealthy merchant Nicolaas Tulp to use as an escape from his busy life at home with his family on Sundays when he would retire here alone to practice meditation or pray.

Today, it’s open every day during daylight hours, so you can explore this piece of history yourself!

7. Eat eel in Volendam

Gerookte Paling, Dutch Eel
Tasja / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

If you’re looking for a place to eat in Volendam, you can’t do any better than eel. Eels are a traditional Dutch dish, and Volendam is famous for them. There are plenty of restaurants and markets where you can buy them in the Netherlands, but we recommend trying one at the Eel Museum.

This museum has been open since 1993, so it’s an excellent choice for a classic experience with local flavor. In addition to being good sources of protein, they’re also very tasty!

If you love eels or want to learn more about them before trying one yourself (who wouldn’t?), check out this video from our friends at Lonely Planet.

8. Tour a historic ship at Volendam Harbour Head

Volendam Harbor Scenry
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Haven 43, 1131 EP Volendam, Netherlands

There are plenty of things to do in Volendam, but one of the best is visiting Volendam Harbour. If you’re looking for an experience like no other, this is one place to see. You can tour a ship or go on a canal cruise through Volendam’s waters.

If you choose the former option, many boats are available—from small sailing boats to large ones that hold up to 200 people!

And if none of those sound interesting? Well, there’s always the option of going on a boat trip to Marken or Zaanse Schans (both nearby).

See Related: Best Party Cities in Europe

9. Do a walking tour of Volendam

Volendam Cityscape
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

If you want to learn about the history of Volendam and experience it for yourself, you can book a walking tour of the town online.

The adult tours are led by local guides who will show you the best places to eat, shop, and sightsee, as well as this village’s history. If you purchase an I Amsterdam City Card, you’ll likely have this option included in your visit.

Volendam Shops
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The small group walking tour also includes plenty of time to explore on your own at your own pace. No matter how much or how little time you have in Volendam, this should be on every visitor’s list.

It’s an excellent way to get acquainted with this charming little town! Walking too slowly? Try an afternoon bike tour!

See Related: Best Things to Do in Haarlem, Netherlands

10. Take a day trip to Zaanse Schans

Historic green and yellow windmills of Zaanse Schans by a river with traditional Dutch wooden houses and a clear blue sky in the background.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Most people take the mutual trip of Zaanse Schans, Volendam, and Marken in one trip. But when you visit Volendam, consider spending more time here to escape the bit city. From here, you’ll be centrally located in several great towns like Zaanse Schans.

Zaanse Schans is a popular day trip destination from Amsterdam, and it’s easy to see why. Located just a 40-minute train ride away, Zaanse Schans is considered a European Route of Industrial Heritage site. The area features several windmills converted into museums or shops for tourists to enjoy.

Bustling day at Zaanse Schans, historic Dutch village with traditional houses, windmills, and cultural exploration.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

If you’re interested in an overnight excursion from Amsterdam, consider experiencing the scene during sunset at one of these windmills.

11. Experience Volendam

Volendam Houses and Coast
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

For those of you who’d like to pair new technology with history, you should take some time to explore Experience Volendam. This 30-minute virtual reality tour transports visitors back to 1916!

You’ll get a first-hand, 360-degree look at life back then. You’ll learn more about the history of this village and even “meet” a fisherman who sails you on his ship!

All these small, easy-to-wander-through museums may only take 30 minutes to an hour to enjoy. Still, they help paint the picture of what makes Volendam unique and charming.

See Related: Best Museums in the Hague, Netherlands

12. Woltjes Stroopwafels & Museum

Stroopwafel Museum Building
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Haven 98, 1131 EV Volendam, Netherlands

Are you in the mood for a sweet treat? Well, look no further than Woltjes Stroopwafels & Museum. These tasty stuffed waffle-type delicacies are beloved worldwide, and one trip through the museum and shop will show you why.

The smell alone is intoxicating. A couple of euros buys your way into the demonstration and tasting, a bargain and an excellent way to spend a little bit of your day.

13. Snap a photo of De Kathammer Windmill

De Kathammer
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Achterdichting 2, 1145 PX Katwoude, Netherlands

While this area is known more as a fishing village, you can’t go far in this country without finding a windmill! Just off Achterdichting Road, you’ll see “De Kathammer,” the local mill.

While only available during certain times of the year and by reservation, you’re always free to walk by, take a snapshot, or join in on a small group bike tour of the town to see more in less time.

Photographers and artists can find inspiration throughout this beautiful town, much as Renoir and Picasso did in the early 20th Century.

With so many waterways and northern lighting, an unspoiled and tranquil atmosphere inspires creativity. Boat tours are a great way to enjoy the area and see some sites that may be further off the beaten path.

See Related: Best Warm Winter Destinations in Europe

What is Volendam known for?

Volendam Aerial View
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Volendam is a village in the Dutch province of North Holland. Volendam actually translates directly to “filled” or “full dam.” It has a population of around 15,000, making it the largest village by population in North Holland.

Volendam is known for its windmills and traditional costumes, including wooden shoes known as clogs. This lakeside town was once a fishing Mecca until a neighboring town built a quicker route to the North Sea, and its primary industry quietly diminished.

It is still home to a fleet of beautiful boats along the harbor, and walking along the water’s edge is still the most popular tourist experience.

Volendam is a popular tourist destination for locals and international visitors alike. The town’s popularity as a day trip from Amsterdam has always been high because of its beautiful scenery and historical charm.

See Related: Best Places to Visit in the Netherlands

Tours in Volendam

1. Volendam: E-Scooter Tour with Lunch and Tastings Top Recommendation

Explore the Volendam region on an E-scooter. We will provide you with a modern and silent E-scooter, all necessary safety gear, a helmet and we take care of the charging. It's your time to explore the beautiful countryside of North Holland. Visit typical Dutch villages like Broek in Waterland, Edam & Marken.

2. Picture in Volendam Costume with Cheese and Clog Tour

Picture yourself as Holland's Next Top Model by dressing up in traditional Dutch clothing. Experience an entertaining and educational guided tour of the cheese market, while tasting the best cheeses Holland has to offer. You will also receive a souvenir photo of yourself against a backdrop of the historical Volendam town center.

3. Volendam, Edam and Zaanse Schans Windmills Live Guided Day Tour from Amsterdam

This small tour takes you to three North Holland locations with a truly Dutch experience. You’ll travel outside Amsterdam by coach then explore the Zaanse Schans, which is an open-air museum full of traditional windmills and interactive exhibits. Get to know the local people at Volendam, home to one of Europe's largest wooden shoe factories as well as some great opportunities for shopping. Finally, visit Edam and see how cheese is made in an old farmhouse where there are always lots of children around.

While many treat Volendam as a simple day trip from Amsterdam, there are beautiful accommodations here, from 4-star hotels to 19th-century throwback locations and even houseboats to rent.

We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know this village with us and why we feel Volendam is worth visiting. Book that tour if you want a day trip while staying in Amsterdam.

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FAQs

Is Volendam worth visiting?

Volendam is a great place to visit whether you’re interested in the past or present. If you want to experience what life was like in the Netherlands in the 17th Century, then Volendam is for you. And if you want to experience life in the Netherlands in the 18th Century, then Volendam might also be right up your alley.

How much time do you spend in Volendam?

Allow around 3-4 hours for your visit to Volendam to ensure you explore the sights and make the most of your time.

This allows you to stroll around the village and dine at one of the many excellent cafes on the harbor. If you have extra time, consider taking one of the many great Volendam cruises or ferries to the island of Marken.

Is Volendam a nice place to live?

Volendam is an excellent location and conveniently located just north of Amsterdam on the sear. The village is notable for its fishing history and has several Dutch singers of past and present music, which is why it’s called the “Singer’s Village.”

It is on the coast of North Holland in the Zuiderzee region, near a picturesque harbor and a lively fishing environment.

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