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Zaanse Schan, Volendam and Marken with Get Your Guide

We just returned from a week in Amsterdam and did a day trip to these cities with Get Your Guide. Normally I would not have booked something like this, but on Trip Advisor, a local suggested this would be a good way to go. Well, let's just say it was a bust. The guide himself was good, but the trip overall was just not well thought out. When we booked, we booked the tour without realizing there was an upgrade option. When we checked in, they asked if we wanted to upgrade which included the windmill tour and the boat ride. For 15 euro more per person, we opted in.

The total tour time was way too short overall. We were a bit unsure on the windmills as it came across as contrived, which it felt like that once we were there too. We did get a tour of one of the windmills and that was very interesting, but after that we had about 15-20 minutes total to see the other things there. The people who did not upgrade did not get to go into the windmills at all, and were left just wandering.

Then in Volendam, the cheese making demonstration was good, but again the time in town was so limited. We had a very quick lunch and then had maybe 15 minutes again to wander, that was it. Then we took the boat over to Marken. The boat was part of the upgrade, and honestly it was just a boat ride, nothing special. We should have just opted for the bus.

Once in Marken, we headed straight to the wooden shoe factory to watch a demonstration. The poor guy, his machine broke part way through and it could not be fixed. I do not fault him at all and he felt terrible, so gave everyone a clog that was not finished. That was a very nice gesture that he did not have to do. However, the tour just ended then, so instead of letting us have any time in the little town to see anything else, we got right back on the bus and back to Amsterdam.

I would not mind these towns/sights, but on our own pace. The tour was just not good and not a good use of time. Lesson learned, stick to my travel style of DIY. I really hate giving bad reviews, but I would hate for anyone else to fall for this one like we did.

Posted by
4910 posts

Thanks, it's an objective report based on your factual experience. I'm heading to the area soon, so I appreciate all feedback.
Safe future travels!

Posted by
11280 posts

Go see the windmills in their original locations in Kinderdijk if you want a more authentic experience.

Posted by
2098 posts

Pat--Thank you. Have a great trip!

Suki--I toyed with that idea, but trip planning for this trip was mostly non existent. We had hotel and flights booked, and then my mom passed away so everything else was on a whim. Under the circumstances, that is all I could do, but hope to make it back and travel in our usual style, like you:) I appreciate the suggestion:)

Posted by
3171 posts

I’m sorry you got a less than optimal day out.
When I was in Amsterdam in 2017, I found a brochure about buses for the surrounding region.
For E10, I got a day ticket for buses around the Waterlands area, and went to Edam. Volendam and Marken at my own pace.
Hop on and off.
I got the bus to each place when I felt like moving on , and did pay extra to get a short ferry over to Marken from Volendam.
It was just great, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the area.

Here it is updated.

Posted by
4910 posts

Suki, I carefully read your earlier posts on Kinderdijk, and will be doing it on our own. Having trouble finding a ferry schedule from the Erasmus Bridge to the windmills , but it just may be too early for mid-April.
Safe travels to all.

Posted by
3917 posts

If you go to they have 3 different bus routes. They leave from Centraal Station. No guide. You go at your own pace. I believe it is €12-15.