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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.