Please sign in to post.

Windmill near Amsterdam

We've been told of a windmill within easy biking distance of Amsterdam. We have a group of 4 arriving overnight from the US about noon. We thought this might be a good activity to keep us going until bedtime that first day. Recommendations from anyone in the forum?

Posted by
7503 posts

There is a windmill at Zaanse Schans, a recreated historic village outside of Amsterdam. To be honest, we didn’t care for it. However, we loved our day at Kinderdijk with it’s 19 windmills in their original locations, outside of Rotterdam, if windmills are important to your group.
Are you sure it’s a good idea to take jet lagged friends on a bike tour? It always hits me hard in the afternoon of arrival day. Stay outdoors on arrival day; you could take a canal boat tour then. I stay awake all day until bedtime, the next day, I am fine.
Is this your first trip to Amsterdam? The Dutch use their bikes as their main transportation and go very ,very fast. They do use bike lanes, but you are responsible for watching out for them. Whether you ride bikes in Amsterdam or not, watch out for the cyclists when crossing streets!
So, riding a bike in Amsterdam would be a real challenge for many. Perhaps you mean to start outside of the city? Or all of your group are experienced cyclists? Just a heads up!

Posted by
21667 posts

I don't think it is a good idea at least not for us. If you are arriving around noon, you really don't have that much time given the need to check-in and get oriented to where you are. And we find taking an short nap is great for recharging our batteries so that we can enjoy the evening. Save the bike ride for the next day.

Posted by
759 posts

If this is your first time in Amsterdam then a bike excursion while jet lagged is risky. Bicycle riding there is more of a competitive sport than pleasurable pursuit - and yes I'm talking about the city. You're much better off taking a walking tour, finding an ATM, etc. Or sign up for a canal cruise. Nice way to see the city without death by cyclist.

There are a couple of windmills in the city otherwise you head out to Zaanse Schans or Kinderdijk.

Here's the info to get to Zaannse Scahns
The Rnet-bus 391 runs from Amsterdam Central Station every fifteen minutes to the Zaanse Schans. The trip takes forty minutes. For more information: You can buy tickets at the station in the customer service center, but check the digital info board for the actual platform letter.

The bus drops you off right in front of the visitor center. You can walk around the "village" of windmills, gift shops and restaurants for free. To tour the museum or the inside of a windmill there is a charge.

Posted by
2487 posts

The windmill you mean is probably the Riekertmolen, along the river Amstel. Without jetlag indeed a reasonably nice bicycle trip from the centre of Amsterdam.
In your case, or rather that of your friends, the Zaanse Schans is indeed the place to go. A whole collection of industrial windmills, most, if not all still in working order. It can, however, be crowded for its proximity to Amsterdam.
The complex at Kinderdijk is more impressive, but it will take some 2 hrs to get there, so not very doable on an afternoon.
And, to correct one of the above reactions, daily cycling is not a competitive activity in the Netherlands. It is just a practical way to get from A to B, which should be done efficiently.

Posted by
5777 posts

There is also a windmill at Funenkade 7, not far from central Amsterdam, you could bike, but also take the tram. This one has the added benefit of having a brewery, the Brouwerij 't IJ.

Of course there is also one in Haarlem, that would involve a train for 20 minutes, but a nice town for a walk.

Posted by
27502 posts

Windmills all have a name. The one in Haarlem is Adrian. Maybe go to the one which has a name of a person in your party.

I concur that renting bikes to ride to a windmill from Amsterdam while jetlagged may lead to an adventure.

Posted by
306 posts

There are plenty of windmills to see as you can tell by previous posts.
We enjoyed the short train trip out to Zaans Shans where you can see not only working windmills, see a wooden shoe demonstration and taste cheese. It is about a 15 minute walk from the train station; a good activity to keep awake and be outdoors. There are shops for coffee and snacks if you need a boost.
Another activity would be to take a canal boat ride; a little more sedentary but will keep you outside.
Save the biking for another day.

Posted by
2023 posts

We enjoyed Zaans Shans but the windmills were not running due to lack of wind. We visited the interiors of several of them and enjoyed the village but you should hope for a day with some wind.

Posted by
226 posts

Another option is the De Gooyer windmill, a 30 minute walk from Central Station. The top reason to go is the attached bar/cafe Bar Langendijk and adjacent brewery Brouwerij t’IJ. The area is outside the tourist zone and quite peaceful. The windmill is usually not open for touring but having a beer or coffee and a bite to eat is wonderful in this area.

Posted by
1 posts

Is the De Gooyear windmill (loved learning that each windmill has a name) you referenced, the one located at Funenkade 7?

Posted by
5777 posts

Is the De Gooyear windmill (loved learning that each windmill has a name) you referenced, the one located at Funenkade 7?

Yes; Well actually that is the address of the Brewery, the Windmill is just adjacent.