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Volendam

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Volendam is a town in North Holland, 20 kilometres north of Amsterdam. Sometimes called "the pearl of the Zuiderzee", this place is a highly popular tourist destination. Here, you'll find many Dutch clichés, including the traditional costumes and wooden shoes. Most of them, however, have a lot of historic truth to them.

Understand[edit]

Its rather isolated location and the character of its inhabitants have given Volendam a very specific atmosphere. It used to be a Roman-Catholic enclave in a largely protestant region; and the locals' distrust of inhabitants of the nearby town of Edam is almost proverbial. The dialect spoken in Volendam is very particular and difficult to understand for speakers of standard Dutch. Volendam has always been a fishermen's village, and even though since the closing of the Zuiderzee in 1932 the fishing industry is not what it used to be, the bustling harbour area with its many boats is still a major attraction. From the 1880s on it was a popular resort for artists, who found that the town seemed hardly touched by time. They captured its characteristics in many paintings and other works of art.

Volendam's traditional costume is one of best known examples of ancient clothing (klederdracht) in the country. Only a handful of people wear it in their daily lives today, but as the locals have recognized its value for tourism you will probably still run into it here or there. In the Netherlands, Volendam is famous for its singers and musicians. There is a vibrant Dutch music scene based in Volendam, producing a style of music that is colloquially known as palingsound, and several of the most popular Dutch singers originate from the town.

  • VVV tourist information office Volendam, Zeestraat 37, +31 299 363 747 (, fax: +31 299 368 484), [1]. 1 Apr - 1 Nov: 10AM-5PM, Su11AM-4PM; 1 Nov - 1 Apr: 11AM-4PM, Su11AM-3PM, Tu closed. The tourist information office is very helpful. It has lots of information on sights, activities and lodging options.  edit

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

If you're coming from Amsterdam, take the A10 trunk road and then follow the N247 to Volendam. To get to the centre of Volendam, take the N517 which will lead you into town. If you're coming from the direction of Hoorn, take the A7 trunk road and then follow the N247. Coming from Purmerend, take the N244.

By bus[edit]

  • Bus 312 and 316 {R-NET) run from Amsterdam Central Station to Volendam and back, approx. 35 minutes. A one-way ticket costs 3.90 EUR with OV-chipkaart.
  • Bus 110 (R-NET) runs from Station Purmerend to Volendam and back, approx. 35 minutes. A one-way ticket costs 3.01 EUR with OV-chipkaart.
  • To get to Volendam from Station Hoorn, take bus 314 (R-NET) and change to bus 316 (R-NET) in Edam, approx. 45 minutes. A one-way ticket costs 3.91 EUR with OV-chipkaart.

Various travel agencies offer day tours from Amsterdam to Volendam, often combining this with a visit to Marken and Zaanse Schans. These can be relatively expensive, but at least you will be sure to see all the major sites within a single day.

By boat[edit]

In the tourist season (mid March - end of October), there is a ferry connection from and to Marken, which leaves once every 30 to 45 minutes [2]. One-way ticket 7.95 EUR, return ticket 9.95 EUR.

You can also take your own boat to Volendam. The town has two marinas.

  • Gemeentehaven Volendam, +31 299 369 620 / +31 6 513 374 94. Located in the old harbour of Volendam. Electricity and water available. 1.70 EUR per day, showers 0.50 EUR.  edit
  • Marina Volendam, +31 299 320 262, [3]. Located on the south side of town (approx. 30 minutes walk), 500 places. 1.55 EUR per meter per day, electricity 1 EUR per night, showers free, free internet connection.  edit

Get around[edit]

The village is best explored on foot or by bike. If you're travelling with two or more people, renting a "freemover", a Segway, is a good alternative.[4] Short boat rides are another excellent way to see region around Volendam. There are different types of boats for rent or you can get on an organized trip.[5]

See[edit][add listing]

What draws most travellers to Volendam is the typical village centre with its old houses, the bustling harbour area and fishermen's town atmosphere. Just walking around the old centre will quickly make you get the vibe. Be aware however that Volendam is one of the more popular sites to visit in the Netherlands for daytrippers from all around the world, who are taken in droves to Volendam to see a 'traditional' Dutch village. The oldest part of the centre is sometimes called 'the labyrinth', for its narrow streets and seemingly random plan.

Places of interest:

  • Stolphoevekerk, Burg. Kolfschotenplein 1. Not open to visitors. The oldest church in Volendam is the wooden Protestant Stolphoevekerk. This National Monument was built in 1658 in the shape of a farmhouse. The lovely little church is still in use.  edit
  • St. Vincentiuskerk, Kerkepad 1. Open to visitors in the holiday season, otherwise during the weekend. The St. Vincentius church was opened in 1860, after protests from Roman-Catholic worshippers who had been forced for centuries to walk to Edam for their Sunday service.  edit
  • De Visafslag, Haven 41, +31 657 779 875 (), [6]. Open for visits by appointment. The wooden fish auction was built in 1934, but is no longer in use. Now a National Monument, it remains a landmark today, even between the many other wooden houses.  edit
  • Volendams Museum, Zeestraat 41, +31 299 369 258 (), [7]. 10AM-5PM, only during the holiday season. Historical museum, focusing on the period 1850 -1950, showing traditional costumes and interiors, as well as paintings and other works of art made by artists who visited Volendam. A special mention should be made of the Sigarenbandjeshuisje: over 11 million cigar bands were used to create mosaics on the wall of this room. 3 EUR.  edit
  • Palingsoundmuseum, Slobbeland 19, +31 299 363 373 (), [8]. Restaurant Paviljoen Smit-Bokkum houses a small exhibition dedicated to the history of popular music from Volendam, that has been dominating the Dutch charts for more than 40 years. 1.75 EUR.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Hop on a boat to visit the nearby village of Marken. The ferry leaves every 30 to 45 minutes from the harbour.
  • Have your picture taken, dressed in an original Volendam costume. It's a popular thing to do and, although not very authentic, it does provide a fun souvenir. There are a few places that offer this service, all in the harbour [9]. Because of the fierce competition, prices are the same everywhere, starting from 15 EUR for one person.

Buy[edit][add listing]

The dike is lined with restaurants, bars and shops. You'll find an ample collection of typical souvenirs, including wooden shoes and traditional costumes.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Being a fishermen's town, Volendam is well known for its Dutch seafood specialties. Like most towns around the IJsselmeer, it is especially known for its smoked eel, and many fishmongers from Volendam run fish stores and fish stalls in Amsterdam and other cities. Cooked fish is sometimes served with a typical sauce of butter en eek (butter and vinegar).

There are many restaurants in Volendam, most of them close to the waterfront. Unfortunately, like in so many other places, the large number of tourists seems to have had a bad influence on the quality of food and service. Some of the better restaurants are connected to the larger hotels and B&Bs, so check the Sleep-section too.

  • Paviljoen Smit-Bokkum, Slobbeland 19, (, fax: +31 299 367 246), [10]. 10AM-11:30PM, Sa-Su 10AM-0:30AM, Mo closed. Has its own eel-smoking facilities, and provides guided tours of the smokehouse. Not the cheapest place around, but the seafood dishes get good reviews. They have a small delicatessen store too, if you want to take the smoked food home. Average menu 35 EUR.  edit
  • d'Oude Helling, Zuideinde 5, +31 299 321 333 (), [11]. 12AM-late; Sa-Su 11AM-late. One of the larger restaurants in town with a nice atmosphere. The service isn't always great and the food seems to have good and bad days, too. Mains from 18.50 EURO.  edit
  • De Witte Deli Snacks, Steile Bank 2, +31 299 367 139, [12]. A fresh fish store where you can also eat snacks, a good option for a fast bite or cheap meal. It has a good range of standard fries and snacks. There are simple, pre-made meals too, which they can either heat for you to eat straightaway, or pack to take home and heat there. Of course, they also sell the typical Dutch herring, smoked fish and other seafood snacks like kibbeling. From €4.  edit
  • De Haven Volendam, Zuideinde 2, +31 299 322 822. 10AM-5PM Fr10AM-6PM. A fresh fish and take-away store located directly on the dike. Special deals for guests of Marinapark Volendam.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

In the evenings, the lively dike and waterfront area is the place to be. In summer, the bars and restaurants there all have outdoor terraces and make a great place to have a beer.

Every first weekend of September, Volendam celebrates its famous Kermis (fair), which lasts for four full days (Friday - Monday). For most villagers this is the best occasion to go out on the street to eat, drink, play games and be merry.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • DV Groep Bed & Breakfast, Zeestraat 13a, +31 299 321 678. Modern rooms located over a pizzeria from the same owner, which is a good choice for food. It's a no-frills place but has all basic needs. Some rooms have no windows, only skylights. Double room 70 EUR, breakfast 7 EUR.  edit
  • art hotel Spaander, Haven 15-19, +31 299 363 595, [13]. Large hotel on the waterfront with reasonable rooms. Restaurant with Dutch cuisine. The hotel used to lodge many painters in the late 19th and early 20th century; a collection of their works can still be admired in the hotel. Ask for a room with lake view. Double room 80 EUR, breakfast 14.50 EUR.  edit
  • Hotel Old Dutch, Haven 142, +31 299 399 888, [14]. Recently renovated, spacious rooms and friendly service. Restaurant Le Pompadour with international and Dutch cuisine, good quality. It can be a bit of a challenge to find the place though, and if you're a light sleeper, the noises from the popular harbour area might keep you up. Otherwise, a good pick. Double room 125 EUR, breakfast included.  edit
  • Hotel Restaurant Van den Hogen, Haven 106, +31 299 363 775 (, fax: +31 299 369 498), [15]. Small hotel on the waterfront, with only four rooms offering basic facilities. Restaurant with French/Dutch cuisine. The central location is great for those looking for some nightlife, but can be a bit noisy for those who aren't. Double room 82 EUR, breakfast included.  edit
  • Vakantiepark & Hotel Marinapark, Pieterman 1, +31 900 8810, [16]. A rental home in this lakeside holiday park (part of the Roompot chain) is a comfortable option if you're staying for at least a weekend and/or if you're travelling in a small group. Fully equipped kitchens are available in every apartment. There are also a few hotel rooms. For all: make sure to book well in advance. Double room 79 EUR, apartments from 179 EUR per weekend, but prices will fluctuate depending on the season.  edit

Contact[edit]

Get out[edit]

Nearby destinations include:


Routes through Volendam
AmsterdamPurmerend  S noframe N  EdamGroningen




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