Do you wonder if a day trip to Volendam and Marken is a good idea?
I loved my recent day in Volendam and Marken, and today I’ll tell you exactly where to go to have a more authentic experience, even if you’re on a tour.
But first, I must confess: as a local, I found Volendam and Marken overly touristy, synonymous with rushed bus tours and tourist traps. Typically, I recommend more authentic fishing towns like Spakenburg. However, a private tour client specifically asked about these villages, prompting me to revisit my ideas.
Tour companies and travel guides heavily promote a visit to Volendam, Marken, Edam, or the Zaanse Schans due to their proximity to Amsterdam. Hence their popularity.
So recently I went for a new extensive visit. A great benefit of living here and being a local is that I can go, explore, and fact-check whenever I want.
And was it touristy?
Oh yes. It still was. Full tour buses, umbrellas, big name tags, and headsets were all very much present.
I also had fun. A lot of fun. And sometimes doing a touristy thing is just what you need. We don’t always have to be “local.” And it was just as popular with Dutch tourists as with foreigners.
It’s easy to get to, and it’s a great way to see something of the Dutch countryside. Now especially in Volendam, you do need to be able to filter through the tourist marketing, but then both are picturesque villages near Amsterdam.
If you’re after windmills, the Zaanse Schans is a better choice.
Going to either village by public transport or on a guided tour is super easy. I cover both options in this article, with all the necessary links for a successful day.
Are you short on time? Here are my two recommendations for getting there.
Get there on your own: Take bus 316 between Amsterdam and Volendam. And Metro 52/bus 315 to and from Marken. I recommend the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket as your travel ticket. But I talk more about different ticket options later.
The best all-in guided group tour: I recommend this small group all-in-day tour that covers many different places. Including the highlights and a good lunch! More group tours, including a private tour with me, can be found in my article “How to get to Volendam.”
Table of Contents
When you explore Volendam and Marken (in the Broek in Waterland region), you’ll catch a glimpse of the old Dutch world, like how it was 100 years ago when the Zuiderzee was still an open sea and not a lake (The Markermeer), and Marken was an island still.
You’ll learn about a time when people still made a living off the water and when life was rough, with nature often being brute force.
Enjoy enchanting wooden houses, traditional attire, cheese, fish, and freshly baked stroopwafels. Just a ferry ride away is Marken, a distinctly different place worth a stroll. It’s smaller than Volendam but a place I counted as a highlight of my day. Let’s dive into it.
My 15 Favorite Things To Do in Volendam and Marken
How to Get to Volendam and Marken?
That is easy. You can get there by bus (public transportation), with a guided tour, by bike, or by car.
In my post: 4 Efficient Ways on How to Get from Amsterdam to Volendam 🧭 I explain each of the four options. Including which bus line to take, how often they run, where to get tickets, is it safe? For tours, I make three recommendations and explain the differences. I’ve included a bicycle route and the best way to rent one plus more.
Find A Place To Stay In Volendam
Update your (intended) travel dates for accurate prices. TIP: Zoom out on the map (-) in the bottom right corner. This will show more options and availability.
Frequently Asked Questions Volendam And Marken
How much time do you spend in Volendam?
To do everything I recommended in this article, you need 6-7 hours to do them comfortably. But of course, you can pick and choose. As a minimum, allow 3-4 hours for your visit to this area, and be aware that it will be a stretch to include Marken for stays under 5 hours. It’s best to stick to Volendam only when you’re short on time.
What are the key attractions to visit in Volendam and Marken?
The main attractions in Volendam are a traditional photo shoot, the Volendam Museum, eating Fish, and taking the boat to the former island of Marken. At Marken, I would say a visit to the church and a stroll to the town are both essential. To get all 15 tips read the full article.
Is it easy to navigate around Volendam and Marken?
Volendam and Marken are small, making them easy to navigate on foot. Especially in Marken, it’s almost impossible to get lost. And in Volendam, it’s almost impossible, too, as long as you stay in the area of “The Dyke”, the harbor, and the streets behind it. The walking route to the museum (6-7 minutes) is signposted. If you’re in doubt, ask kindly; locals are generally willing to help if you need help.
When is the best time to visit Volendam and Marken?
Both villages are great to visit year-round. These places are so popular that they’re always open. Of course, the weather is not always great. We’re not in the tropics, which is true all year round. However, some times are better than others.
I would recommend visiting in Spring or Summer if you have the chance. But if you’re here in Winter because you read my article on Netherlands winters (a great time to come), I would not be deterred from taking a day trip to Volendam and Marken. Just dress warmly! Especially if you go on the water.
Where is Volendam, Netherlands?
Volendam is 13 miles or 20 kilometers north of Amsterdam. By road, you take the N247 north. From Amsterdam Central Station, bus 316 takes you directly to Volendam. Do you need the latitude & longitude coordinates of Volendam? They are: 52.49386938479307, 5.075113166733636.
Where is Marken, Netherlands
Marken is 13 miles or 20 kilometers north of Amsterdam—the same distance as Volendam. By road, you first take the N247 north. Then at Monnickendam, the N518 to Marken. By transit from Amsterdam Central Station, take metro 52 to the “Noord” station (last stop) and then bus 315 to Marken. Do you need the latitude & longitude coordinates of Marken? They are: 52.45904520657749, 5.106292740333424
Is Volendam worth visiting?
Many tourist wonder if Volendam is worth visiting and I understand. It’s a popular tourist destination in the Netherlands for a reason. But then it’s also so touristy.
The picturesque village lies on the shores of the IJsselmeer. With its well-preserved wooden houses, and small harbor Volendam exudes an old-world charm that is appealing to both domestic and international tourists.
But it also became very touristy over time, especially now with the many tour buses that come to the village every day. And with the buses the many shops catering to them.
When you decide to come here, you have to take that into account. Personally I still think there is reason enough to come, for the photoshoot, a raw herring, or the boat tour to Marken.
Conclusion: Is Volendam worth your time?
I would now say yes. I had a wonderful day visiting both Volendam and Marken recently. It’s touristy. Would it be better without it? I’m sure. Is it still fun? Absolutely. Volendam is such an easy trip from Amsterdam that I see why it’s such a draw for most visitors.
If you’re looking for a more authentic experience, I would opt for a day tour to Amersfoort. My hometown, and combine it with a visit to Spakenburg in the afternoon. A far less touristy former “Zuiderzee” fishing village with a stunning museum harbor that is much better than the one in Volendam.
A visit to Volendam and Marken is a great way to spend a day. Spending the nights is a good idea if you also want to visit more nearby villages like Edam, sample Edam cheese, explore the cheese market and visit the Edam museum. You can take the bus to get there the next day and take a direct bus all the way back to Amsterdam. (Edam is included in the suggested bus tours.
But no matter what you choose, I always encourage you to travel outside of Amsterdam to see a little more of life in the Netherlands.
Are You Going To Volendam and Marken?
I’d love to hear your thoughts: If so will you go on your own? Or with a tour? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and let’s start a conversation 💬. I’ll reply back to every comment personally 👋.
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