Amsterdam - cheese & clog factory, windmills

I have 4 days in Amsterdam and would like to have a day trip visiting the cheese & clog factory and also the windmills.

I've heard of Volendam, Edam & Marken. Which of this do you recommend to visit? Is there windmills in any of the mentioned places? How do I get there?

Just wondering, is the ladies in Amsterdam still dressed in traditional dutch clothing in the mentioned places?

Thanks.

Posted by Linda
Portland, OR, USA
389 posts

If you'd like to kind of take care of all these at one time you might consider Zaanse Schans in Zaandam. www.zaanseschans.nl We took the train out there and then walked 15 minutes to the park. It is a folk park with a cheese maker, a shoe maker, numerous windmills and many other Dutch people and things. It has been a few years, but I believe there were some places there where the people were dressed traditionally.

Posted by Denise
Gretna, LA, USA
9 posts

We did a tour a few years ago (Trafalgar) where we visited a clog maker and cheese factory (they were in the same house, different rooms!)--almost not worth it, so the place the previous poster mentioned sounds better. The clog making demonstration was fun, however. There are windmills all over on the way to these places, and most tour guides will stop for any and all pictures. We did not see too much traditional dress, but the farmers and fishermen really do wear clogs--they are the best for the landscape and the different occupations.

Posted by jill
gt. barrington, MA
8 posts

You can get to Marken and Volendam by public bus from near the Central Station in Amsterdam. The bus goes frequently. You can take a bus between the two villages or a boat from one to the other. Everyday people did not seem to be dressed traditionally but at the houses which give a view of traditional life and are open to the public, the greeters are dressed traditionally and you might see a few of them walking about on the way to their post. My sister and I saw a lady in long traditional dress riding a bike away from the market.

Posted by swuan
KL
40 posts

Is there a tour company I can contact to do the Zaanse Schans tour to the windmills, cheese and clog factory? How long does the tour take? Do I have to book before hand or just show up at the Visitor Centre?

Posted by Linda
Portland, OR, USA
389 posts

I still have a flier, but it was just info from the TI. The web site I mentioned gives good info including the fact that Zaanse Schans is a working village. We just walked right in to all these places. When someone comes in they explain what they are doing; there is no cost to enter the village but a small fee to enter the mills and museums now, mostly because they are trying to save the windmills. I'd suggest you check out their site. There are some limitations on time and depending on when you are there (seasons) they may close early. If you have questions you can contact them.

Posted by JS
Bay Area
2126 posts

edam is a good lunch/picnic/stroll visit and Eindoven has a created trad folk village in traditional dress. However windmills are not easy to find, I was disappointed as I thought I would see many on all the train routes and in Delft.

Posted by Renny
charlottesville, va, USA
19 posts

Linda -

Thanks for the info on the Zaanse Schans! It looks incredible! Perfect for a day trip.

Renny

Posted by Den
Madison, Wi, USA
64 posts

Was just there few weeks ago. While at Dam square you will see the wax museum. Around the corner on the main street (down from the square about 40 ft) is a travel agency. We booked a nice tour out to the windmill country, it included a tour of making wooden shoes and all the normal tourist stuff. They made an effort to "dress" the roles a bit but nothing extradinary. The trip included a stop in Edam, but that was kinda short I thought. But it was a nice day seeing the countryside. A tip, while walking aound Amst, pay attention to the pinkish colored paths. These are for bikes only. It is tempting to walk them like you would a sidewalk!

Posted by jill
gt. barrington, MA
8 posts

The public bus trip to Marken and Volendam was not long--less than an hour, as I recall. I didn't leave terribly early, wandered around the town, took the boat to the next one, wandered, and bus back to Amst. It began to pour while I was at the second village and I left earlier than I might have, but was back in Amst. by late afternoon (4ish).

Zaanse Schans is easy to do by train. It is a pleasant walk from the station to the village and then you can wander around and visit what interests you. All is well explained and you don't need a tour to do the trip.

Posted by Yvonne
London, Ontario, Canada
14 posts

A good place to see windmills is Kinderdijk which is about 17 km from Rotterdam. There you can see 19 windmills. It is one of the largest concentrations of windmills in The Netherlands and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. One the windmills is open to visitors. It was very interesting. I have been there twice.To get information go www.kinderdijk.nl