Volendam is a glimpse into the past. Here, colorful wooden houses surround a boat-filled harbor, and locals wear traditional Dutch clogs, aprons, and bonnets. Once a favorite inspiration spot for artists such as Picasso and Renoir, the village now draws visitors for its cheese, seafood, and historic atmosphere.
Volendam is an ideal day trip destination from Amsterdam. Visit on a guided excursion and walk the maze-like streets with a local tour guide to peruse souvenir shops, seafood stalls, and quaint cafés, or delve into the town’s history at the Volendam Museum, which houses paintings, sculptures, and pottery. You can also learn about the evolution of Dutch cheese-making at the Cheese Factory and Museum, or visit a clog maker to try on traditional Dutch costumes. The surrounding countryside is also filled with charming fishing villages—get an overview of the area on a group coach or cycling tour from Amsterdam, and hit must-see spots such as the Zaanse Schans windmills, the village of Marken, and the famous cheese-making town of Edam. Or, give your experience a maritime touch by visiting Volendam on a boat tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Don’t miss the local seafood; for a signature meal, order salmon with dill or a bouillabaisse-style seafood stew.
- Much of Volendam are wheelchair accessible.
- There is a tourist office on the corner of Juliana-Weg and Populierenlaan, and a tourist information stand near the waterfront.
How to Get There
Volendam is located on Gouwzee Bay, 13.5 miles (22 kilometers) northeast of Amsterdam, or 30 minutes by road. The village is easily accessible from the capital city by bus, car, or bicycle. Public car parking is available in town.
When to Get There
Though there is plenty to do year-round in Volendam, much of the village’s charm lies in its outdoor attractions, so late spring and summer are the best times to visit. Volendammer Weekend in June is especially festive, with traditional crafts and eel-smoking demonstrations, people in authentic Dutch dress, sailing competitions, and more. Winters in the Netherlands can be rainy and windy, so dress accordingly.
Things to Do Near Volendam
The historic cheese-making town of Edam is set just a few minutes inland of Volendam, and the working windmill village of Zaanse Schans is also nearby. Across the bay lies the fishing village of Marken, which can be reached by a 45-minute ferry ride. You can visit the Alkmaar cheese market from April through September. If visiting Volendam in spring, consider going to Keukenhof Gardens to see the millions of flowering seasonal bulbs.