Interesting places in North Holland
We visit in North of Holland interesting places. On our trip to the north of The Netherlands we had two goals. On the one hand we wanted to see the tulip blossom. On the other hand, we wanted to see if the clichés that were circulating about Holland were true. We went looking for cheese, wooden shoes and canals. We found what we were looking for in villages and also on our journey between Amsterdam and Gelderland. Whether the province of North Holland offers interesting places is the question that we ask ourselves on this trip.
Holland we had with our visit to Rotterdam visited for the first time. On the trip there we got a taste of the country. As we drove past canals and saw windmills in the distance, we got a first impression of Holland. That made us curious. That's why we decided to spend more time this year for the country and its people. This time we wanted to go in search of clues. What we discovered there, we introduce you here.
Edam, Volendam and Monnickendam - three attractive villages in North Holland
Three attractive villages we met on our trip lie north of Amsterdam near the IJsselmeer. But you can only see this in a few places. That's because the land is up to several meters below sea level. That is why it is separated from the sea by dikes. If you want to see the sea, you have to walk along the dike.
Book trips to North Holland from Amsterdam here
- Discover villages and rural regions in one Day tour from Amsterdam *
Nevertheless, water is omnipresent in these regions. Because the Polderland is drained. Because of this we encounter canals, lakes and ponds again and again. In some places they are so wide that we can only cross them by ferry. In this area are three attractive villages in North Holland: Edam, Volendam and Monnickendam. We take a closer look at them on our journey. All three are worth seeing, but still differ from each other. And they have some surprises ready for us.
Edam - where cheese does not matter any more, channels for it all the more
In Edam, the only cheeses we saw were made of plastic. On the former cheese market of Edam, only cheese carriers made of metal, dolls and plastic cheese wheels bear witness to their former importance as a cheese town. The cheese dairies have moved on to nearby Alkmaar. Instead, Edam is a place of residence for people who make their living in Amsterdam. They prefer the quiet life in the countryside to the hustle and bustle of the big city. A proper place is Edamwhere many live right by one of the canals. These run through the small town, again and again spanned by wooden bridges, which could not be more picturesque.
Quiet village life in Edam - North Holland province interesting places
We're here during the week. That is why we experience a village where life is very quiet. Hardly any traffic, every now and then a housewife hauling her basket full of vegetables home from the village shop. A cat dozing on the window sill in one of the houses. The hammering from the shipyard, in which ships have been built since the days of the Dutch East Indian Trading Company. Today there are no longer any large merchant ships that are built here. But the tradition of shipbuilding continues. You see best Edam from the water.
Tranquility is the life in Edam, which we discover on a boat trip with a whisper boat through the canals of the city. Instead of cheese, we learn more about the canals that go through North Holland. Our guide tells us about the problems that life under the sea level brings with it. He also talks about the solutions that have been found. Finally, he talks about the people who make Edam a very attractive place to live. In this even art and culture play a role.
Volendam - of cheese, clogs and Dutch masters
Quite different in Volendam, which is only a few kilometers away from Edam on the dike. Here we had been warned: "Things are more touristy here, and you should also look around in the labyrinth of alleys behind the dike," advises the boat rental company in Edam. "It is not so crowded there, and just as interesting." He is right. Bus tourists bustle on the dyke and flock to Volendam. You are looking for "typical Holland". This is tricked into thinking in the souvenir shops, galleries and stalls along Deichstrasse.
North Holland interesting places with Gouda, clogs and Delft tiles
Gouda cheese, wooden shoes and Delft tiles are popular souvenirs, They often walk across the sales counter. Japanese tourists burst into rapture screams as they see cheeses in the shop window. German seniors seek refuge in one of the restaurants. They bring themselves to safety from a rain shower - and only a few of them buy a few drinks from the innkeeper. The rest leaves the place as soon as the first rays of sun break through the clouds. And the landlord starts to rearrange the tables and chairs. We watch the goings-on of our compatriots shake their heads and then take a walk over the dike. There we observe the boats that go out to the Markermeer or over to the island of Marken.
Cheese farm Alida Hoeve
1131 CW Volendam
Tel. +31 (0) 299 363 595
What for this trip in the suitcase set a link from your homepage to Fewo-von-Privat.de
- Comfortable shoes* you should have with you, because you will be walking a lot on this trip.
- Are you planning a hike? Then you can in our hiking checklist check what you should pack for it.
- An windbreaker does good service by the sea. A breeze almost always blows here.
- The baseball cap * I always have with me when traveling to the sea. I keep my hair in check even in strong winds.
- A backpack you need for the utensils that you take with you during the day.
- An Camera*, because there are many photo opportunities along the way.
Interesting places fit in the Art Hotel Spaander in North Holland
The Art Hotel Spaander is worth a visit for its collection of paintings, Delft tiles, nautical decor and the cozy atmosphere in its restaurant. If you come here, you should bring some time to look at the public rooms of the restaurant. Here you can lose yourself in a smorgasbord of Dutch arts and crafts. We marvel at the things that have been created in this country over the centuries. Afterwards you can thank the landlord with a glass of beer. We do this under the gaze of Dutch milkmaids or cheese boys looking down at us from the paintings on the wall.
In Volendam you can also rent holiday homes in a holiday park:
Holiday park Landal Volendam in Volendam
A unique holiday park with a village character on the Markermeer. Landal Volendam has 42 luxury accommodations with a high level of comfort. The architectural style is typical of the region and unmistakable for anyone who has been to Volendam. The center of Volendam and the port are within walking distance and definitely worth a visit. Let yourself be photographed in traditional costume, enjoy a roll with eel and stroll through "De Dijk".
In the center of Volendam you will find numerous restaurants. For those who want to explore the area, a boat tour to Marken is highly recommended. And after a day trip to nearby Amsterdam, the Zaanse Schans and Monnickendam, you'll find rest and relaxation at Landal Volendam. A cup of tea in your hand, your feet in the Markermeer - from the jetty you have a wonderful view of the passing ships.
- Right on the Markermeer
- Various accommodations for up to 6 people.
- Bike Rental
Monnickendam, where historic houses line the streets
The neighboring village of Monnickendam is quieter. We visit the church. This one sees how it has grown with the community and was expanded. Along the road to the town center, we see examples of Dutch facades as they were built over the centuries. The staircase or bell gables are typical. Some of them lean slightly forward. Or they have a ledge that extends over the entire façade above the windows of the ground floor. Both should prevent rainwater from dissolving the cement. Because this is made of local Muschelkalk.
In the bell tower of Monnickendam, one of the places of interest in North Holland
We visit the bell tower of Monnickendam, where there is a museum recently. This deals with the history of the region, its people and the carillon. It still beats the hours in Monnickendam. We learn of the three men who years ago drifted on an ice floe ice fishing on the other shore of the Markermeer. Two weeks long. All three arrived there alive. But two of them died shortly after their martyrdom.
We see the funeral ornaments that people made here from the hair of their deceased loved ones and wore them for a year in memory of them. We hear the carillon announcing the hour to the inhabitants of Monnickendam.
Holland's traditions at the Zuiderzee Museum - Discover interesting places in North Holland
None of the places really corresponds to the clichés we brought with us about Holland, which is not surprising. They are all lively places that adapt to modern times and develop individually: Edam with its tranquility, Volendam with its focus on tourists and Monnickendam with its historic city center. A few kilometers further north we find the Holland as we had imagined: in the Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen.
Here, buildings have been rebuilt from places along the Zuiderzee that show what life once looked like in the north of the Netherlands: in one of the cozy cottages we are invited to tea, in another we watch a hard-working washerwoman doing her icy cold wind washes white shirts, pants and blue and white tea towels. Her hands already show red calluses.
This is how people once lived in the province of North Holland
We watch a man transport visitors across a canal in a flat barge. Behind the dike, a windmill ensures a regulated water level on the canals in the village. We watch a worker refilling charcoal in the boiler of the village laundry, where those who can afford to hand in their laundry. You will receive them freshly strengthened and ironed back. We talk to the village banker, who explains what is happening in the world of commerce, and we visit a pharmacy with a strange king's head opening his mouth. When I asked why he was doing this, the answer came promptly: "Well, open your mouth to the doctor and say Aaaah!" I would never have come up with this explanation.
We tour the school, the post office, a candy store where we get liquorice sticks and watch a cooper making barrels. On the way we meet a tradesman on his bicycle, and at the butcher's it looks as if sausage has just been delivered.
Our visit to the Zuiderzee Museum - North Holland interesting places
If you want to see what Holland life was like in the past, we recommend a visit to the Zuiderzee Museum. Here, life in the villages along the North Holland coast has been reconstructed with great attention to detail and is brought to life again in the summer months with actors who take their roles as bankers, laundresses, postal clerks or pharmacists very seriously. You should only allow enough time for a visit to the Zuiderzee Museum: we were here for hours, but would have liked to have stayed longer, there is so much to discover here.
1601 LA Enkhuizen
Our trip to North Holland's interesting places gave us an insight into the life of Holland then and now.
Three villages worth visiting. We also recommend these for overnight stays Hotels in the north of Holland.
Do you like to travel by motorhome?
- Do you want to rent a motorhome? Then you will find information and a selection in these booking options. Or would you prefer to stay overnight roof tent on the car? Also the overnight stay in camping tents is possible.
- Check our packing list for camperswhether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour through Holland.
- You can find campsites in the Netherlands in this camping guide*.
- Our Tips for motorhome trips we have collected here.
- Why is a folding e-bike useful when camping?
Discover other interesting places in North Holland
Parking at the airport
How to get there
Book yours here Arrival by plane, bus or train*. KLM and other airlines follow Amsterdam. Alternatively, you can also take the train to Amsterdam. Do you have more time? Then we recommend one Road trip through the Hanseatic cities in Holland.
Excursions from Amsterdam to Edam, Volendam and Monnickendam
- Discover regions in North Holland on one Day tour from Amsterdam *
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Source for North Holland places of interest: research on site invited by iamsterdam However, our opinion remains our own.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs