Are you up for a real Dutch experience? Then you should make sure to visit Volendam & Marken in the Netherlands! I can’t even tell you how much I loved this place. From cheese factories, windmills, amazing bike tours to colourful fisher villages, you can find it all. I highly recommend you not to miss this place! Here’s a full one-day guide to visit Volendam and Marken.
Volendam is a cute little fisher village located close to the Markermeer, which is a lake (often mistaken for ocean) making this place especially amazing to visit in summer. The village is located only 30 minutes by public transport from Amsterdam which is why it’s the perfect day trip! You can find cute souvenir shops, cafes located in front of the port and typical Dutch fisher houses. A place to fall in love with!
Things to do in Volendam
You should plan around 2 or 3 hours in Volendam to explore its areas and little corners.
Take a stroll around ‘Doolhof’, the oldest part of the village where you encounter many old, colourful Dutch houses. It’s nice to have a walk around to look at the unique architecture.
‘Doolhof’ is the oldest part of the town and with its traditional houses one of the most beautiful parts in Volendam.
➳ For the girls: Check out ‘Philippine’. It’s a clothing shop with lots of cute stuff!
The Fisher Village in Volendam is really beautiful. The promenade leads along the harbour, where you can watch many sailors and boats preparing for their trips or arriving.
Besides the cafes that are great for a small break, you will also find many fish stands. They offer different kinds of delicious, fresh fish. The most traditional one is ‘Hering’ or battered ‘Kibbeling‘.
Frish ‘Hering’ – a must try!
Rent a bike
Renting a bike is one of the main things to do in Volendam and the best option to explore its surroundings and Marken (the small peninsula only a few kilometres away). The bike route goes straight from Volendam to Marken and is stunning leading through beautiful nature. It’s a must-do!!
➳ Tip: The best company to rent your bike is “Rent & Event”. They offer electric bikes or normal bikes (15 EUR / day) and give you a route map with tips.
Along the bike route you will pass cute windmills and lush green fields, the ‘Henri Willig’ cheese factory (where you can also go inside an get to know how the cheese is produced- very interesting!) and scenery along the coast until you reach dreamy Marken.
The bike route from Volendam to Marken is a must-do! It’s so beautiful.
➳ Don’t miss: About halfway from Volendam to Marken you reach Monnickendam. Take a stop here to visit Strandvier Beach Bar. It’s a cute beach cafe offering drinks and delicious snacks. You’ll get the greatest summer vibes here with feet in the sand! Don’t forget your swimsuit in case you want to go for a swim.
Fresh salad at ‘Strandvier’ Beach Bar.
➳ Good to know: The bike tour from Volendam to Marken takes about 1,5 hours without stops. Plan enough time so you’re able to explore the different spots on the way.
The end stop of your bike tour is Marken which is a magical tiny village located on a former peninsula. It’s colourful wooden houses are especially unique for this village and you can spend hours strolling through the narrow streets.
Things To Do in Marken
The lighthouse is a great place to visit in Marken! It’s located on the eastern tip of the peninsula and you can cycle here with your bike in less than 30 minutes from Marken Town. From here you also have an amazing view of the Markermeer.
➳ Like to travel Europe? Also read: Austria Getaway Guide – Tyrol.
Explore the village, its quiet streets and eat one of the sprinkled ice creams at the port! Or fish if you are still hungry- you can find many fish stands here too, like in Volendam.
Marken is a very scenic, picturesque place. Make sure you have enough time here to explore.
Ferry from Marken back to Volendam
After exploring Marken you finished an awesome day of exploring. It’s time to head back to Volendam, but don’t worry: you don’t have to cycle all the way back again… haha.
You can simply take the ‘Marken Express’ that departs every 45 minutes from the harbour in Marken. The ferry ride takes about 30 minutes crossing the Markermeer lake back to Volendam. You can take your bike onto the ferry at a low extra cost.
➳ Face Masks are required on public transport (Covid-19)!
➳ Good to know: Rent & Event also sells ferry tickets incl. the bike ticket. You can book in their office when renting the bike. Also, note that they close at 6 pm, so you have to take the ferry on time to bring back your bike!
(You can also swap the route: take the ferry first to Marken and then cycle back the route to Volendam. That depends on your personal preference. :-))
Places to Eat
You can find delicious food in Volendam and Marken! Here are some things you shouldn’t miss:
- Woltje’s Backerij (Stroopwaffels)
They are very sweet, but sooo yum and traditional dutch! The waffels are filled with caramel and you can choose between different flavours like ‘Choco & Caramel” or “Choco & Hazelnut”.
- Fresh Fish: get some fish at one of the many fish stands!
The cute beach bar in Monnickendam also has vegetarian and vegan options. With a glass of wine and feet in the sand, it’s the perfect place for a summer lunch/dinner.
Places to Stay
If you want to visit Volendam and Marken, you have different options on where to stay. You can rather stay in Volendam or Marken directly or get here for a day trip.
I will include IJburg in this guide, as my mum and I used to stay here during our time in the Netherlands and we really enjoyed it!
IJburg is a small artificial island that was built for more living space for people next to the IJmeer only 20 minutes from Amsterdam. Therefore, it also is perfect for a day trip to Amsterdam (public transport is available too).
The island turned out beautiful with industrial style houses, modern places and a beach with a cute beach cafe!
Hard to believe that this beach is only 20 minutes from Amsterdam!
To Volendam it only takes 30 minutes by car (publich transport also is available) and therefore a great place to stay at when wanting to visit Voelndam and Marken.
➳ Tip: If you stay in IJburg you will live nearby the best Thai Restaurant in the world (my opinion)! You HAVE to eat the Tofu Cashew at ‘KOH – Kitchen of Happiness’.
KOH Kitchen in Ijburg is cozy, delicious and also offers veggie and vegan options.
Four Elements Hotel
Check out ‘Four Elements Hotel’, an amazing sustainable eco hotel. The buiding is all energy neutral and operates only through wind- and solar energy, offers local and seasonal products and works hard to be 100% sustainable. There are a skybar, restaurant and gym as well. We enjoyed our stay here and it’s interesting to see how they operate!
Four Elements Hotel is located right at the port, has a skybar with ocean views and a restaurant.
Amsterdam is only 25 minutes by car from Volendam! Even if you shouldn’t have your own vehicle, there’s public transport available, so Volendam and Marken are easily reachable from Amsterdam.
Volendam / Marken
Last, you can stay directly in Volendam or Marken. Here, you have the choice between hotels, cute guesthouses or apartments. You can even find some located in front of the water.
How to get to Volendam & Marken
To visit Marken and Volendam, you can take your own vehicle or use public transport. Both villages are less than one hour from Amsterdam.
➳ If you use your own vehicle: There’s a cheap parking garage in Volendam called ‘Parkeergarage Centrum Volendam’, where you can park for the entire day for 9 EUR.
From IJburg to Volendam by public transport
Take tram 26 to Amsterdam Centraal and from Amsterdam Centraal Station bus 316 to Volendam.
From Amsterdam to Volendam by public transport
Take bus 316 that departs from Amsterdam Central Station every 15 minutes. It only takes 30 minutes to arrive at Volendam.
Costs of Traveling
To visit Volendam and Marken, you can expect the following prices:
*Hotel / Apartment: 70 – 150 USD / night
*Hostel: 30 – 80 USD / night
*Price per meal: 10 – 25 USD
*Entrances: 10 USD / day
*Transportation: 20 – 30 USD / day
Best Time to Visit Volendam & Marken
The best time to visit Volendam and Marken is during spring and summer when the weather brings more chance of sunshine. That’s from April to October when temperatures are between 18 – 25 degrees. Note that high season is from June to August!
Netherlands during Covid-19
(Status: August 2020)
The Kingdom of the Netherlands has been moderately affected by COVID-19.
Hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions are open, but you are required to keep the distance of 1,5 metres to other people.
Besides that, the borders are only open to countries with a health risk that is the same as or lower than that of the Netherlands (Germany is classified as equal and can enter without restrictions).
Air travellers from all countries must fill out a health form and have it with them before starting their journey.
➳ Remember to travel with awareness to protect your own health and those of the people around you. Keep social distancing in mind and wear your face mask in public places! 🙂
➳ Must Read: Volunteer around the world for FREE.
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