Just a 30-minute drive from the centre of Amsterdam and you are in a delightful coast village, famous for its wooden houses, its romantic harbour, and its museum dedicated to the traditional Dutch costumes.
With its 22.000 inhabitants, its strategic location and its characteristic architecture it became a favorite destination for many artists, so much so that even Picasso and Renoir spent their holidays here.
The road along the sea is packed with small restaurants and street-food stalls that celebrate the local food excellence: a popular walk for foodies who love fish (especially herrings) and Dutch desserts. On the other side, the Cheese Factory is the hot spot for cheese lovers, a shop-museum where you can discover, taste and buy the famous Volendam smoked cheese.
From the port of Volendam, every 30 minutes departs a slow ferry leading to the island of Marken, a unique place suspended in time. Today it is also possible to reach it by land, thanks to the silt up of a stretch of sea, but until 1957 Marken remained rather isolated.
This isolation was historically difficult to manage for the islanders, but left the architectural heritage and local traditions untouched and well preserved over the centuries.
Today, only a few of the 1800 inhabitants still wear the traditional costume and generally they do it mainly for tourism reason. But still, the island’s charm is genuine and hits visitors as soon as they enter the small harbor.
Take a walk through the picturesque houses and alleys, head to the car park next to which there is a bike rental: if the weather is good, we strongly recommend to take a ride to the lighthouse, located on the eastern coast. You can travel along the entire perimeter of Marken and enjoy the nature and the wind, immersing yourself in the life of such a small (2.7 km2) and pretty island, to explore which only few hours are needed.
Volendam-Marken Ferry return ticket price = € 10.50 (adult)
Trip duration: 30 minutes, with English audio guide
The ferries operate all year round except when the water is frozen
If you prefer to travel by bus from Amsterdam:
Take the bus 316 from Amsterdam / CS IJzijde station, which is behind the Train Central Station (reachable from platforms 14/15)
Trip duration: 45 minutes
Return ticket price: € 8.80
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