Volendam, Netherlands is one of the most popular day trips from Amsterdam. The delightful fishing village known for its picturesque harbor is a tourist destination for visitors to the Netherlands.
Often combined with a visit to the towns of Edam and Marken, there are several fun and unique things to do in Volendam that make for a memorable stop on a vacation itinerary.
From sampling Dutch cuisine to learning how to make wooden shoes, this travel guide to the best things to do in Volendam will ensure you don’t miss any of the best experiences in this charming and beautiful tourist destination.
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How to get to Volendam from Amsterdam
Volendam is located 20 km North of Amsterdam. Driving is the easiest way to get to Volendam but you can also take the bus.
The bus departs from Amsterdam Central Station and takes about 25 minutes to the center of Volendam. The bus station at the central station in Amsterdam is located on the canal side of the station, whereas the train station is located street-side.
Look for bus 316, you will be on the bus for 11 stops until you reach Volendam Centrum.
Public transport is a convenient and inexpensive way to get to Volendam from Amsterdam on a day trip.
Discover the Charming Town of Volendam | What is Volendam famous for?
Volendam is perhaps the most famous fishing village in Holland and one of the best places to visit in the Netherlands. Known for its colorful houses, quintessential Dutch architecture, and scenic harbor, Volendam attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.
Plan to spend at least 3 days in Amsterdam before taking a Volendam day trip for a nice change of pace and scenery.
There are several things to do in Volendam that make the small fishing community a popular place to visit. And after roaming the streets of this charming town, you’ll have a greater appreciation for the simple and safe lifestyle of a small Dutch town.
Top things to do in Volendam, Netherlands
To make the most of your visit or day trip, be sure to check out these great Volendam attractions and things to do.
Take a Stroll through the Historic Village Center
One of the most charming things to do in Volendam is to simply wander the old neighborhoods in the oldest part of the Volendam village center. The narrow streets are lined with class Dutch houses.
From the main shopping street along the harbor, divert into the neighborhood which sits directly behind it. There you’ll find cute houses linking a narrow canal, where ducks tend to hang out in summer.
Wandering the brick streets is a great way to escape the crowds you’ll find along the Volendam Dike and take in the beauty of the village.
Eat Smoked Eel
Given its shoreside location, Volendam is renowned for its fresh seafood. And smoked eel is one of the most popular meals to try in Volendam.
Lining the boardwalk by the harbor, you’ll find no shortage of restaurants and food stalls serving the local favorite along with other seafood and fish dishes.
While admittedly, it wasn’t something we would probably ever order again, we always enjoy trying local cuisine and loved trying eel in Volendam.
Explore the Volendam Museum
One of the most fascinating things to do in Volendam for history lovers, the Volendam Museum is a walk through time from the late 1800s through the mid-1900s.
The museum features permanent exhibitions depicting traditional Volendam costumes and historic home interiors.
From work routines to religion, the museum gives visitors a glimpse at what daily life was like in Volendam for typical families and how the town has evolved and changed over the years.
Admire the Volendam Harbor and its Picturesque Views from De Dijk van Volendam
De Dijk van Volendam, or the Volendam Dike is the tourism hub of the town. This area of Volendam along the harbor is lined with restaurants and shops selling Dutch souvenirs housed in colorful buildings boasting beautiful Dutch architecture.
Spend some time walking through this lively area, taking in the sites and atmosphere along the way.
Many of the top things to do in Volendam from the cheese factory to photography businesses are all located along De Dijk van Volendam.
Visit the Edam Cheese Market in Summer
The towns of Volendam and Edam are right next to each other. And you may recognize the name Edam thanks to the world-famous cheese with the same name that hails from the town. The Netherlands is known for its cheese.
If visiting the Netherlands in summer, one of the most popular things to do on a Volendam / Edam / Marken day trip is to visit the Cheese Market in Edam.
From Volendam, you will want to hop back on bus 316 or 314 and take it a few more stops to Edam Bus Station, which is about a 7 minute walk from the cheese market.
Every Wednesday during the months of July and August you can catch a historic reenactment of the original cheese market from the Middle Ages. The show gives visitors the opportunity to see how cheese trading once happened.
Afterward, you can sample and purchase cheese and walk through the charming town with its beautiful old buildings. It is one of the most unique things to see on a day trip to Volendam and the surrounding towns.
Go on a Scenic Boat Tour on the Volendam Marken Express
Set off for the small town of Marken aboard the Volendam Marken Express. Depart from the Volendam harbor where you will sail 30 minutes to the once island community of Marken.
Although Marken is now accessible by road, as well, for the best experience, take an authentic boat from Volendam.
In Marken, explore the community of cute wooden houses, and even visit an Old Dutch House. If you have extra time, head to the far eastern tip of the island to take in the views of an old lighthouse which has been on the island for at least 100 years.
After your visit to the quiet community head back to Volendam or you can catch a bus directly to Amsterdam.
Marvel at a replica of the famed Halve Maen ship
Currently at port in Volendam for the foreseeable future, the Half Moon is a replica of the 1609 historic Halve Maen ship the Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River in the United States.
This unique replica ship was originally constructed as an educational vessel linking the Dutch heritage in New York state to the origin country. After several years in Hoorn, the ship found a new home in Volendam, where it has been since 2020.
Kids will think there are actual pirates at port when they first cast eyes on the elaborate ship with its billowing sails. The full-scale replica of the 17the century ship has appeared in several movies, and is currently a popular photo opportunity at the Volendam marina.
Sample Dutch Cheese
Holland may be known for its canals, windmills and wooden shoes, but it’s world-class cheese among the list of its accolades. And you can sample all varieties of Dutch cheese at the Cheese Factory Volendam.
Located just a few buildings away from the harbor, you can take a free tour showing how they make cheese in the Netherlands, and then sample and buy your favorite types to bring home.
As long as it isn’t opened, the cheese can stay fresh for up to a month without refrigeration, so it makes for a wonderful souvenir or gift to bring home from your travels.
Take a Photo in Traditional Dutch Costumes
Volendam is one of only a few places in the Netherlands where you can see people in traditional costumes.
The costumes are most often characterized by a black aproned skirt of dress for women, with a shawl and a pointed lace cap which curls up on the sides. The male costume includes wool pants with silver buttons, a waistcoat or jacket and a flat hat.
Although it may be touristy, one of the most popular things to do in Volendam is to have your photo taken in the traditional Dutch attire, as well.
There are several photo shops along the main street by the harbor where you can dress up and have a souvenir photo taken in authentic clothing.
Watch a Live Demonstration at the Wooden Shoe Factory in Marken
Want to learn how those wooden shoes in the Netherlands are made and why the Dutch people love them so much? Head to the Wooden Shoe Factory when you arrive in Marken.
The small shop has a demonstration area in the back where you can see how the Dutch carve their famous clogs. The demonstration is very short.
It will only take about 5 minutes, so even if you are short on time, this is an easy addition to a Volendam/Marken day trip.
Of course, there is also a gift shop where you can try on a pair and buy some wooden shoes, which are one of the most popular souvenirs from the Netherlands.
How long do you need to see Volendam, Netherlands?
Given its close proximity to Amsterdam, you can visit the small fishing village of Volendam in a few hours. In fact, to make a full day of it, a Volendam day trip is typically combined with visits to neighboring Edam and Marken.
You could even combine a visit to Volendam with the quaint windmill village of Zaanse Schans, which is equally worthy of spending some time.
COMPARE ALL DAY TRIPS AND EXCURSIONS TO VOLENDAM HERE.
Conclusion: Is Volendam worth visiting?
If you want to escape the busyness of Amsterdam and retreat to a small and enchanting village, Volendam is worth visiting. The Dutch village on the shores of Markermeer Lake boasts colorful wooden houses lining a picturesque harbor.
It’s a great place to grab some seafood and take in the Dutch culture and customs which are an important part of Volendam’s history and daily life.
Like the village of Giethoorn, Netherlands, Volendam is a highly popular day trip from the city of Amsterdam, and with good reason.
With so many great things to do in Volendam and the surrounding area, a day trip is well worth the short journey from the Dutch capital. It was a great addition to our Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg itinerary.
Have a question about any of these best things to do in Volendam, Netherlands? Or do you have other suggestions on things to see on a Volendam day trip? We’d love to hear from you! Leave your thoughts in the comments below.