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Waterland area - visit Edam, Marken AND Volendam?

Hi all,

My husband and I are visiting the Netherlands at the end of April, and I'm trying to figure out if to visit all three towns (Edam, Marken and Volendam) or just one of them. If you had to pick one, which one would it be? Or should I skip them all together? I'll be hitting Amsterdam (been there twice before), Rotterdam, the Hague, Leiden, Zaanse Schans and Alkmaar for sure, so is adding one or all of these towns beneficial to my itinerary?

Thank you all in advance for your response, and I mean no hate towards these towns at all, just want to maximize my time in the country!

Posted by
725 posts

We visited three towns on a tour I booked from Viator. In order to meet up with the tour we had to gather at Lindbergh tours, very close to the train station, i believe? Maybe you could skip the middle man and book directly through them. I thought it was a great tour and enjoyed each place but instead of Edam, we visited Zaanse Schans. It was a great and tiring day.

I didn't see Keukenoff Gardens on your list. I would out that at the very top! I will never forget how beautiful that place was (maybe you've already been)?

Posted by
2487 posts

There is no need for a tour at all. These villages are easily reached by regular public bus, leaving from Amsterdam Centraal Station (bus station at the port-side). Further information on this website.
Having said that, these villages are very, very touristy, especially Marken and Volendam. Have you considered Hoorn as a day trip? Beautiful historical former port-town, one of the founders of the Dutch East India Company. Only 35 mins from Amsterdam on frequent direct trains.
The Zaanse Schans is another very touristy destination. Have a look at Haarlem, less than 20 mins from Amsterdam. Beautiful market square, two wonderful museums (Frans Hals and Teylers), nicely situated on the Spaarne river, and a windmill museum.
A very undervisited destination is Naarden, a perfectly preserved 17th-century fortified town. It's a 20-min walk from the station Naarden-Bussum.
A visit to The Hague or Rotterdam can be combined with consistently overlooked Schiedam, famous for its gin industry, halfway between them.

Posted by
1874 posts

We visited all three one day with the Waterland Bus Pass. Had a nice lunch along the water, took a boat somewhere in between. It was a great day, very easy and we enjoyed it. Monnickendam looked neat but we bypassed it for time concerns. The pass at 10€ was a great deal and allowed us to travel at our leisure. Bus connections were good. We intend to take another ride this May when we return with friends. A nice way to see smaller towns and some countryside. I don't believe any one of those three would sustain our interest for an entire day, but we liked the chance to see a bit of this and that. Maarken, and especially Volendam were pretty touristy, but such is our peril as tourists ourselves. We had fun.
And thanks for the tip about Naarden...will be checking into it.

Posted by
961 posts

ak - I second the advice of tonfromleiden. After visiting Volendam in January I would never go back. Really, nothing but shops and restaurants. You can do that anywhere.