Ever heard of Volendam? No? Well, we definitely hadn’t until we recently visited some friends in Amsterdam and they suggested a half day trip up north.
“Anyone who wants to see the real beauty of Holland, goes to Volendam” – a famous Dutch song
Volendam (which whenever I type, reminds me of Voldemort) is an old fishing village in North Holland in the Netherlands. It is a small harbour town and very traditionally Dutch.
It is actually quite popular with tourists, as traditional clothing is still worn by some residents and there is a beautiful harbour area to wander around.
We struck gold the day we went and stumbled upon ‘Volendam Day’. The small town was buzzing with activity. The pubs were full, there was street food stands, bands performing, a fair few people in traditional dress and the sun even made an appearance.
The town itself is really cute. The canals, the architecture, the drawbridges, the shop fronts – it really is quite charming. They have definitely cashed in on the tourist market, with cheese and clog shops galore.
As soon as my girlfriend saw that we could all have a picture DRESSED in the traditional clothing, she did not let it go. I was definitely on board (I love any excuse to dress up), but the boys were not so keen. In the end they decided to partake, with a quote along the lines of:
‘Well, we know we will have to, so let’s just go and get it over with’
It was actually the most hilarious photo. Yes, totally 100% the most touristy thing you could ever do in Volendam, but look at this. It’s gold. The cheese.. the saxaphone.. the clogs.. it’s too much! I think the boys were actually quite pleased they succumbed to our ridiculous-ness.
How to get there
It is a 30 minute drive North-East from Amsterdam. I am sure there is public transport links, but we were lucky enough that our friend drove. Edam is also really close to Volendam, which you could tie into your trip as it is really lovely as well.
Where to park
We parked for free about a 5 minute walk from the harbour area. There are well signed paid parking areas, but it didn’t seem so hard to find a free parking area.
What to do
Wandering seems to be the best thing to do in Volendam. There aren’t many ‘attractions’, but plenty of places to eat, plenty of clogs to try on, plenty of cheese to taste and you know you definitely have to get a family portrait taken.
Tim’s weigh in
My favourite part of the day was the marching band, who were downing beer and definately pissed, all jumping up and down with good height while playing! So I have to admit having the photo taken turned out to be really funny once we embraced the idea. I loved Volendam, and definitely recommend a trip to Edam while you are out that way.