Broek in Waterland

House in Broek in Waterland

Broek in Waterland is a village in the Zaanstreek-Waterland, in the Dutch province North Holland. It is known for its lovely, typically old-Dutch atmosphere and wooden houses in soft colours.


Broek in Waterland was originally a fishermen's village, and for that reason its church is dedicated to St. Nicolas, the patron saint of seafarers. From the mid 16th century, however, this economic activity was rapidly replaced by stock farming and the production of dairy, for which many houses were extended with an adjoining stable on the back side. The dairy products were transported to Amsterdam by boat. The harbour thus remained vital for the village, and is still characteristic of Broek en Waterland. In the 17th and 18th century, this town was a wealthy place where many impressive houses were built for local families.

For centuries, the picturesque nature of the village was known even outside the Netherlands and it was praised for its cleanliness. From the 17th century, the town was a popular tourist destination for people from nearby Amsterdam but received foreign guests as well. Napoleon famously came to visit here. Much earlier, Joseph II, the Holy Roman Emperor, visited the village but was refused to enter a farm, allegedly because the woman of the house had no time.

Get in

Get around

The village itself is small and best explored on foot. A bike tour is a good way to explore both the town and its direct surrounding. To rent one, go to Bike shop van der Sarre, Laan 44,  +31 20 4031462.


Just wandering around the village will reveal most of its charm to any traveller. More than 80 of its traditional houses have are listed as National Heritage Sites, although most are still in use as family houses.


The large majority of visitors come here just to enjoy the looks and feel of this cosy village. The main activities of course reflect that goal.



There are a few lodging options, some of them offer a night in a traditional bedstede, a bed in what looks like a closet and served as a mini room-within-a-room and thus better preserving the warmth.


Go next

Nearby destinations include:

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