Fish, boats, cheese, dioramas, a hotel for artists. These are just some of the delights that await you when you visit Volendam, an historically-rich fishing village north-east of Amsterdam. A car will cover the 20 Km from Amsterdam in about 30 minutes, or you can take a 45-minute trip by bus that leaves Amsterdam from behind the Central Station. Either way, you’ll enjoy your trip through Dutch country.
Visiting the Volendam Museum
The Volendam Museum looks like a cute little cottage from the outside. Once you enter, however, your curiosity about the history of this traditional fishing town will abate. You really do get a clear picture of 19th century life and times in the town – its fishing boats, its household items, its art, and especially its people, who are portrayed by lifelike dioramas in full regalia!
However, it’s doubtful whether your curiosity will be satisfied when you view the room of mosaics, and wonder why 11 million cigar bands were used to show the regions that make up the map of Holland!
A shop and a museum, the Volendam Cheese Factory stimulates all senses, especially the olfactory receptors, and perhaps, the shopping senses! Join a tour to see and hear how the cheese is made. Then smell and taste to your heart’s content. If you want to purchase, you’ll have a tough time deciding which cheeses to buy. And it’s not just cheese. You won’t be able to resist those cheese crackers either.
The Art Hotel has an interesting history. Starting off as a meeting place for artists, it eventually segued into the Spaander Art Hotel, which displays the art of its original and current patrons. Some of the original residents presented their paintings to the proprietors in lieu of payment.
Visiting the Volendam harbour
The Volendam harbour is where you’ll find all the action – the shops, the boats, the fish (try the herring), and the many stalls and cafés. From the Volendam harbour, you can take the ferry to Marken, to learn how clogs are made, and to admire its iconic wooden houses.
Tips for visiting Volendam
- Visit on weekdays. The weekends can become quite crowded.
- When you arrive, rent a bike to easily get around the town and the surrounding areas.
- Consider a Hop-On-Hop-Off day trip from Amsterdam, to include Volendam and some of the surrounding towns, such as Zaanse Schans and Edam.