Posts Tagged 'Amsterdam'

Bicycles, Cheese, Windmills and Volendam! – Netherlands

Be close enough to enjoy all of what a great city has to offer, while maintaining the country and seaside lifestyle. Sounds impossible?

Traditional ways are strong in Volendam.

Traditional ways are strong in Volendam.

You can actually have both with a visit to Volendam. Being only 20 kilometers away from the capitol of the Netherlands, Amsterdam; Volendamis a fishing village with the picturesque traditional Dutch architecture along the waterfront.

Among its bridges and channels, known as Doolhof(similar to a Labyrinth), this small village is an ideal holiday choice. Amsterdam can boast many activities but Volendam can take you away from the far and maddening tourists within the city and let you experience Dutch rural life. It is here where many of the natives actually still don traditional Dutch attire. 

Volendam, from its humble beginnings in 1462, began as the small rural borough and gradually developed into a prosperous fishing-village. The old village is left intact near the harbor, but to view what life was really about, a visit to the Volendam Museum located near the old quarter and the Volendam dyke. This small building is built on stilts at the edge of the main harbor. The stilts are there to protect the building from frequent flooding that occurred before the Zuider Zee was cut off from the ocean in the early 20th century.

Within its confines, the Volendam Museum offers exhibitions that include a wonderful display of traditional Dutch clothing, gorgeous original Dutch genre paintings, furnishings and interesting historical displays. 

A modern vacation rental at a Marinapark Volendam rowhouse.

A modern vacation rental at a Marinapark Volendam rowhouse.

Your accommodations of a vacation rental is a modern row house in Volendam, where you can enjoy all of Holland at its best. It is a perfect location to share with the entire family in a 3 bedroom at the brand-new Marinapark Volendam, located right on the water with its own marina and views of windmills in the distance.

Broaden your knowledge of Volendamand its history, not only at the museum but along the countryside and waterfront.  At the harbor, view the long-established fishing boats leaving in the morning and returning with their catch later on in the day. Purchase some before the catch heads to the market. Much of the attraction of Volendam is to sample fresh seafood, such as salted herring and smoked eel. The outcome is reminiscing of past centuries fishing atmosphere that you can not easily find elsewhere anymore.

Sample the very best of Dutch cheese on a traditional farm, in Edam, located only 2 km away. Of course you can always rent a bicycle, as biking is the preferred mode of transport. Go on a trip of discovery along scenic routes and if you happen to arrive in the spring, the colorful bulb fields are in full bloom. Don’t forget to balance your time with a visit to Amsterdam; its bustling city centre offers an abundance of culture with an air of cosmopolitan and is easily accessable by train.

Afterwards, it will be pleasure to return to the wholesome and hearty Volendam; where time seems to have stood still, except in your vacation rental.


Make up for a Lost Summer and Dance Away in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam has gained much promotion due to an exciting nightlife, such as the upcoming annual Amsterdam Dance Event featuring “400 DJs and acts in 40 different venues.” This event will have you dance the night away, not only in clubs, but records stores, art galleries and some other surprising places. Known “the biggest club festival in the world,” the dates for this extravaganza in 2008 begin October 22 for four days.

There are so many things to do in Amsterdam that every visitor can enjoy a wonderful vacation even without a high profile festival. Not many cities have more contrasts than Amsterdam with tulips, brown cafes and colorful, stunning architecture. Intriguing sights are around every corner; and the waterways of canals on almost every street. Art lovers will never lose sight of the fabulous galleries and museums. 

Most city dwellers prefer a mode of transport using their well connected trams or riding bicycles along the narrow cobblestone streets. Homes are vertically built to accommodate more people and utilize the land area more efficiently. This city was and has remained “green” long before it became fashionable.

The city is divided into several areas and best way for you to learn your surroundings is to take a canal tour. Your feet will appreciate the rest too. The tour guides on board are very informative, explaining the historical portions beyond the views and sites. What’s great is afterwards, you can view this gem of a city and explore the same areas by renting a bike securing you are more knowledgeable.

Imagine watching daily life from your home in the canals of Amsterdam.

Imagine watching daily life from your home in the canals of Amsterdam.

And when you marvel at the houseboats dotting along the canals, it is natural to wonder what it would be like to live aboard one. But wait! You can experience living on the canals like many of the natives already do in Amsterdam.

A houseboat on the canals has all the comforts of home and can be rented as a vacation home for your accommodation needs. You will be in walking distance to all of the major sights too.

Many of us imagine Holland being of windmills and wooden shoes; a la Hans Brinker with his silver skates. Of course, it’s easy to find the wooden shoes in most souvenir shops but a windmill in the city seems improbable. Not necessarily so. The only operating one within Amsterdam is the Stolen Windmill. It lies on the border of the city, allowing visitors 364 days a year and is closed only on January 1.

Amsterdam is a cultural center that still harbors a strong bohemian and laid-back spirit, and it has affordable options rarely found in other European capitals. What’s more, you will always have a Dam good time, so go and see Amsterdam for yourself, as it has more to offer all year round.

A city filled with options!

A city filled with options!


Sampling of a few of the must sees in Amsterdam:

• Anne Frankhuis
The home of the great literary classic of a young girl’s plight in occupied Holland, a visit here actually lifts your spirits for the struggle of survival.
• Rijksmuseum De Meesterwerken
This museum contains the world’s largest collection of paintings by the Dutch masters.

• Van Gogh Museum
Four levels of nothing but Van Gogh art, including the infamous “Starry Night.”


Vacapedia Blog Visitors

  • 62,562 Travelers