Windmills at Kinderdijk in The Netherlands (A First-timer’s Guide) Windmills at Kinderdijk in The Netherlands (A First-timer’s Guide)

Windmills at Kinderdijk in The Netherlands (A First-timer’s Guide)

Nineteen iconic windmills at Kinderdijk, situated on a calm riverbank and surrounded by a stunning grassland. A truly beautiful and unique sight that is one of the few UNESCO World Heritage sights in the Netherlands. Because the country is located below sea level, it is prone to flooding. Therefore, the windmills at Kinderdijk were built around the 1740s as a water management system to clear water from the low-lying landscape, which, to this day, they still do.

Managing water in The Netherlands

The wooden and brick windmills used the power of the wind along with pumping stations to move water from the lower-lying areas to higher ground and into the river. This made agriculture and raising animals possible at Kinderdijk. 

Nowadays, people still live inside the windmills to maneuver the sails in the wind! 

The Netherlands and its struggle with water led to the construction of The Delta Works, a flood defense system of thirteen enormous dams and barriers that protect the country from flooding.

windmills netherlands

Visiting the windmills at Kinderdijk

The incredible picturesque windmills and their surroundings are an absolute must-see when visiting the Netherlands. The walkway along the river guides you to the mills, and the optional boat tour takes you even further. Plan to spend 2 – 3 hours at Kinderdijk.

things to do rotterdam kinderdijk windmills

Windmills on the inside

Two windmills that serve as museums have ladders for you to climb going up all the way to the top, even when the mill is spinning! In addition, visit the millers’ workshop, where a guide explains how the mills are maintained by renewing wooden parts on the out and inside.

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Windmills at Kinderdijk in The Netherlands (A First-timer’s Guide)

A Boat Tour 

In order to have the best spot for photography, join the 30-minute Cruiser boat tour and watch the windmills slowly drift by. It both starts and ends at the jetty next to the visitor center. Another option is taking the Hopper boat, which allows you to get off at three different locations and visit the windmills without walking that long.

Tip: Walking from the entrance of Kinderdijk to the last stop of the Hopper boat takes 15 minutes.

kinderdijk windmills boat

De Fabriek 

A newly opened visitor center (2019) displays a film that takes you on a quick journey through the history of Kinderdijk. Additionally, have a look at the rooftop for a view of the area. It’s also possible to have a rest at the seats, have a coffee in the restaurant, and visit the toilet if needed. 

Tours & Tickets 🥾View all

Tickets & Opening Hours Kinderdijk

Kinderdijk is free to visit day and night as it is a public biking path. You are free to move around and follow the walking path that’s flanked by the windmills. Note: Stay off the biking lane because locals move around here.

Most people choose to use the boat and/or visit the inside of the mills and, therefore, require a ticket. A ticket costs 11,50 EUR and includes a boat ticket and an audio tour via the Kinderdijk app. This is possible from 9 AM to 5:30 PM. (Book your tickets here)

Kinderdijk is open daily. From 9 AM to 5:30 PM, you will be able to visit the windmills inside and join the boat tour. It is recommended to either visit as early or late as possible to avoid the majority of tourists. 

How to get to Kinderdijk

Getting to Kinderdijk is easy by public transport from Rotterdam. The perfect way is the Waterbus, a boat that sails from Rotterdam to Kinderdijk, and you are even allowed to take your (rented) bicycle for free. This way, you will be able to explore much more of Kinderdijk, as there are separate cycling and walking lanes. 

whitehouse rotterdam

Waterbus tickets can be bought online or inside the bus. Check out the timetable and departure locations here. We recommend hopping on Waterbus number 20 at the Erasmusburg. (Erasmus Bridge)

Alternatively, take the metro and switch for bus 489 at station Kralingse Zoom.

From Amsterdam

Take the train from Amsterdam Schiphol or Central Station to Rotterdam Central Station. (1-hour journey) From there, the metro towards Leuvenhaven and walk to the waterbus stop next to the bridge. (A total journey of 15 minutes) Again, followed by hopping on boat number 20.

canals amsterdam
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