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Charming Dutch villages: Volendam

Posted on Jan 21, 2022 by

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A 30 minutes bus ride from Amsterdam Centraal will take you to this old fishing village on the Markermeer Lake, famous for its colourful wooden houses and charming atmosphere. Although it’s well known in the tourist circuit and there are days when it’s flooded with tourists, I still like this place and I am connected to it by nostalgic memories: Volendam is the first place outside of Amsterdam that I visited before moving to the Netherlands, and it’s the place that made me fall in love with the country.

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The green wooden houses, the shabby chic decorations at the windows or in the gardens, the tranquility, the cats strolling around, the promenade and the harbour — they make my heart sing. I like to stroll through the streets, trying to find hidden areas, adorable canals and bridges.

When you visit Volendam, don’t do it in a rush; make sure you have enough time to take in the beauty of the place. You can visit for a whole day or just half, combining it with one of the nearby villages of Edam, Marken and Monnickendam, but it’s better to take your time, because it’s worth it.

Volendam

What to see and do in Volendam

  • Volendams Museum.The historic museum of Volendam, with a permanent exhibition of traditional clothes and interiors, covering the time between 1850 and 1950.
  • The Cheese Factory. This is a shop with a little museum attached and it offers cheese tasting and cheese making demonstrations.
Cheese Factory Volendam
  • Palingsound Museum – a museum in the attic of the smoke house Smit Bokkum, to see how the eels have been traditionally smoked and to learn about the palingsound (meaning “eel sound”), a music genre traditional from Volendam.
  • Walk around the narrow streets and try to discover your favourite house, garden, bridge. It will be impossible to miss De Dijk van Volendam, the street along the port where you can see old fishing boats (Volendammer kwaks).
  • Take a photo in a traditional Volendam costume. It’s a very touristy thing to do, but it can be a fun souvenir.
  • Eat a fish sandwich from one of the stalls in the harbour. Some restaurants might be tourist traps, with exagerate prices and not so great food, but the fish sandwiches are divine! You can try the traditional eel or any other fish.
  • Take the ferry to Marken, another superb village on the Markermeer Lake
  • Walk along the promenade. If you really feel in the mood for walking, you can go until you reach Edam, the place of the famous Edam cheese (it’s about an hour walk). 

Ah, it would be so nice to teleport myself to the Volendam promenade right now!

Note: This article was first published in April 2019 and revised in January 2022.

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  1. Beautiful fishing villages: Volendam and Marken | Amsterdamian - […] that charmed me and made me fall in love with this country on my first trip to the Netherlands:…
  2. Discover the Netherlands, Province by Province | Amsterdamian - […] of Noord Holland: Amsterdam, Haarlem, Alkmaar, Hoorn, Den Helder, Schagen, Enkhuizen, Zaandam, Volendam, Edam, Monnickendam, Medemblik, Muiden, Purmerend, Hilversum.…

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