Volendam, a village situated on the Markermeer (lake) and well-known for its fishing culture and traditional costumes. The center of Volendam is a dam with cute houses, fishmongers, and souvenir shops, located only 30 minutes by public transport from Amsterdam. It is recommended to visit early due to the popularity of Volendam.
Things to do in Volendam
Spend two to three hours in Volendam, wandering around the center where you are able to try on the traditional costumes, visit a cheese-making factory, or eat fish. Once finished, stroll down towards “Doolhof”, the oldest part of the Volendam. Here, buildings are built at random, not following the structure of the streets. A true maze!
Get to know Dutch cheese
In the Cheese Factory of Volendam, you will learn the process and history of cheese-making, a product that the Netherlands is incredibly famous for. The tours are held in various languages. Additionally, buy a delicious tasty cheese to take home or snack from!
Also read: Best Day Trips from Amsterdam
Alternatively, visit a real cheese farm just outside of Volendam named Jacobs Hoeve. It is easy to reach by electric by bike or scooter. (explained further down the article)
Fishing Village Volendam
Volendam is a small fishing village, so if you eat fish you have to try the traditional ‘Haring’ (Herring) or the tasty battered chunks of fish named ‘Kibbeling’. You can get fish anywhere on the main streets of Volendam.
Do you like fish? Visit Smit Bokkum, the traditional Eel Smokehouse, and learn everything about this craft.
Rent an electric bike or scooter in Volendam
One of the best things to do is exploring Volendam and Marken with your own transport! To explore the villages, rent electric ‘fat bikes’ or electric scooters at Rent&Event. They are located in the center of Volendam.
Have an incredible time roaming free in the villages, and through the countryside, home to windmills, cows, sheep, and places you cannot reach with public transport. Rent&Event advises cycling routes and gives out a map for you with their best tips.
Rent&Event also delivers the electric Fatbikes and Scooters to locations throughout the Netherlands!
Ferry from Volendam to Marken
After exploring Volendam, hop on the ferry to Marken. The ‘Marken Express’ departs every 45 minutes from the harbor in the center of Volendam. After this beautiful 30-minute boat ride, you will ride across the Markermeer lake towards Marken.
Also read: Things to do in Amsterdam (City Trip Guide)
Even better is that you can bring your bike on the ferry to Marken and bike back from there to Volendam in about 90 minutes (16 kilometers). This is a beautiful ride! The ferry departs every 30 to 45 minutes, from 11:00 AM from Volendam until the last boat at 5:00 PM from Marken.
Marken is a tiny village with colorful wooden houses, drawbridges, and picturesque corners, located on a former peninsula. Marken island has been connected to the mainland via a dam since 1959. The easiest way to get there from Volendam is by taking the ferry.
Marken is an authentic, typical Dutch village. Based on looks, it seems like time has stood still here. Discover a quiet little town with beautiful wooden houses, narrow alleys, and drawbridges – incredibly picturesque!
Also visit: The Windmills of Zaanse Schans
You might find houses on wooden piles, this used to be necessary, as during high tide the water rushed over the former island. After the construction of the Afsluitdijk in 1932, the floodings stopped.
Tip: Visit the Wooden Shoe Factory in Marken. The clog maker demonstrates how he transforms a block of wood into a traditional wooden clog.
Besides a stroll through Marken, the lighthouse is another great site to visit. Paard van Marken Lighthouse (Horse of Marken) is situated on the eastern tip of the peninsula. You can either walk 35 minutes from town or use your bike. The location of the lighthouse offers a great view of the Markermeer.
Also visit: Rotterdam, a must-see city in the Netherlands!
Your feet in the sand at a beach club
Strandvier Beachclub is a fantastic spot to get your feet in the sand and relax after your bike ride. Bring your swimsuit for a fresh splash in the waters of the Gouwzee. They have a menu with delicious drinks and snacks so you can gain new energy before cycling back to Volendam.
Cycle through the old city center of Monnickendam. The scenic historical center around the harbor is a must-visit, plus it has far fewer tourists compared to Volendam. Plan to spend an hour in Monnickendam.
Also visit: On your way back to Volendam, (and if you still have time) visit the cheese farm Jacobs Hoeve which is located here.
A day on a whisper boat (You HAVE to do this!)
In order to experience the Waterland region at its best, it’s advisable to spend one night in or around Volendam so you can sail a boat the following day. Here’s how:
Theetuin Overleek is a tea garden. A farm idyllically located on the water surrounded by countryside with sheep and cows, and far away from the cities. This family-run farm serves delicious homemade cakes and pies.
Optionally, Theetuin Overleek rents out ‘whisper’ boats. A small electric boat, which doesn’t need much skill to drive yourself. Have a picnic on board, or at one of the picnic spots on the route, while sailing along the grassland with grazing cows, and through authentic villages like Broek in Waterland.
Theetuin Overleek provides you with a two (45 EUR) or three-hour (57.5 EUR) route and it honestly is one of the best things to do in the Netherlands!
Broek in Waterland
Broek in Waterland is one of the most beautiful villages in the Netherlands and it has a special history. The village was home to a woman named Neeltje Pater, one of the richest people in the world because she owned two important ships during the VOC times.
Nowadays, it’s a beautiful small village with pastel-colored wooden houses, with just a couple of thousand residents. We highly recommend docking with your boat for a quick stroll through the streets!
Where to stay in Volendam
Marken, Monnickendam, and Volendam all offer fantastic places to spend the night. See all hotels here
Resort Port of Amsterdam is a fantastic escape from all tourists. It is uniquely located at the Markermeer and you will spend the night in a beautiful house.
How to get to Volendam from Amsterdam
The beautiful villages like Volendam and Marken are less than an hour away from Amsterdam. Take bus 316 that departs from Amsterdam Central Station every 15 minutes and only takes 30 minutes.
Rent a car in the Netherlands through Sunny Cars. All insurances are already included in the price. Book your rental car here.
When you’re staying in Rotterdam it’s still easy to get to Volendam. There is a fast 25 minute train line between Rotterdam and Amsterdam Central Station. And from Amsterdam, take bus 316 to Volendam.
Volendam to Marken
The ferry between Volendam and Marken is, without a doubt, the best way to get to Marken. Alternatively, take bus 316 from Volendam and change to bus 315 at Broek in Waterland in order to get to Marken by bus. (MAP)
Best places to eat
- Lotje Wine & Dine
- Woltje’s Backerij (Stroopwaffels)
- One of the many fish stands!
How much does it cost?
When you would visit Volendam and it’s surrounding villages, you can expect the following prices.
- Hotel: 70 – 150 USD / night
- Hostel: 30 – 80 USD / night
- Price per meal: 10 – 25 USD
- Entrances: 10 USD / day
- Transport: 20 – 35 USD / day
Best time to visit Volendam
The best time to visit Volendam is from April to October when temperatures are between 18 – 25 degrees and there is more chance for sunshine.
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