Windmills have always been an important part of Dutch culture, forming a unique element in Holland’s landscape. Some still function, while others have been converted into museums. Read on to learn how to visit them on a day trip from Amsterdam.
Leave Amsterdam behind and discover the typical Dutch countryside outside the capital. Spend a half-day passing through a picture-perfect landscape crisscrossed with canals, authentic wooden houses, windmills, and fishing villages to witness traditional crafts from days gone by.
If you choose to spend a full day out in the countryside, you’ll be rewarded with visits to a number of historic windmills, charming fishing villages, and picturesque canals. Full-day tours sometimes include lunch and cheese tastings, and in the summer months, some include bike tours through the area.
Things to Know
- The most popular villages to visit are Zaanse Schans, Volendam, Marken, Schermerhorn, Edam, and Alkmaar. Zaanse Schans is the most famous and only 13 miles (21 km) northwest of Amsterdam.
- Dress in layers and wear comfortable walking shoes, as the weather can be unpredictable and you’ll spend a portion of time walking around.
- The working mills in Zaanse Schans include De Poelenburg, a sawmill built in 1869; De Kat (the cat), built in 1696 to grind paint pigment; and oil mills De Zoeker (the seeker) and De Bonte Hen (the speckled hen).
- In addition to Zaanse Schans, Kinderdijk is another site well worth visiting.