Volendam is a fishing village 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.


Its rather isolated location and the character of its inhabitants, have given Volendam a very specific atmosphere. It's a fishermen's village, and the bustling harbour area with the many boats are still a major attraction today. From the 1880s it was a popular dwelling place for artists, who found that the town seemed hardly touched by time and captured its characteristics in lots of different paintings and other works of art. Volendam's traditional costume is one of best known examples of ancient clothing 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. There's an extensive Dutch music scene here and several of the most popular Dutch singers originate from this village. This music is known as the palingsound, literally "eel sound", a reference to the village's heritage as a fishing village. In the 1960s, the Cats was a popular group and in the 1970s BZN took over as the new flagship group. In 1995, BZN performed a duet with the ten year old Jan Smit, who quickly became a celebrity in his own right and is now the leading singer of the village. You can find posters and merchandise of him across town.

Get in

By road, the N247 will take you to the municipality of Edam-Volendam from Amsterdam or Monnickendam. To get to Volendam centre, exit the N247 where it connects to the N517, which will lead you there. The N247 connects to the A7 just before Hoorn. Alternatively, the N244 connects Volendam to Purmerend and connects to the A7 there.

Bus lines 110, 112, 118 and 373 connect Volendam to Amsterdam. Lines 113 and 213 run to and from Purmerend.

In summer, a ferry connection between Volendam and the peninsula of Marken every 30 to 45 minutes.

A great way to get to Volendam is by bike. There are many cycle routes that will take you there:

Get around

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. 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.


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. The oldest part of the centre is sometimes called "the labyrinth", for its narrow streets and seemingly random plan. There are a few specific sights of interest:


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:

Foto de Boer, Haven 82.

Foto Zwarthoed, Haven 12.

Fotoshop Volendam, Haven 102.


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


There are many restaurants in this town, most of them close to the waterfront. Unfortunately, the tourist crowds, who will usually not eat more than once at the same place, seem 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 bed&breakfasts, so check the Sleep section too.


In the evenings, the lively dike and seaside 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.


Go next

Hop on a boat to visit the nearby village of Marken. The ferry leaves every 30 to 45 minutes from the harbour. Or take a cycling tour across the region taking in Monnickendam, Broek in Waterland and the windmills of the Zaanse Schans. The adjoining village of Edam is so close that it can be reached on foot.

Routes through Volendam

Amsterdam Purmerend  S  N  Edam Groningen

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, September 11, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.