Windmills have always been an important part of Dutch culture, forming a unique element in Holland’s landscape. Some still function, while others have been converted into museums. Read on to learn how to visit them on a day trip from Amsterdam.
Leave Amsterdam behind and discover the typical Dutch countryside outside the capital. Spend a half-day passing through a picture-perfect landscape crisscrossed with canals, authentic wooden houses, windmills, and fishing villages to witness traditional crafts from days gone by.
If you choose to spend a full day out in the countryside, you’ll be rewarded with visits to a number of historic windmills, charming fishing villages, and picturesque canals. Full-day tours sometimes include lunch and cheese tastings, and in the summer months, some include bike tours through the area.
Things to Know
The most popular villages to visit are Zaanse Schans, Volendam, Marken, Schermerhorn, Edam, and Alkmaar. Zaanse Schans is the most famous and only 13 miles (21 km) northwest of Amsterdam.
Dress in layers and wear comfortable walking shoes, as the weather can be unpredictable and you’ll spend a portion of time walking around.
The working mills in Zaanse Schans include De Poelenburg, a sawmill built in 1869; De Kat (the cat), built in 1696 to grind paint pigment; and oil mills De Zoeker (the seeker) and De Bonte Hen (the speckled hen).
In addition to Zaanse Schans, Kinderdijk is another site well worth visiting.