Step back in time to Old Holland

With its countless windmills, churches and old-fashioned farmhouses, stepping out into Old Holland can feel like being in a Golden Age painting.

Old Holland towns such as Volendam, Zaandam and Alkmaar hark back to times of more honest crafts, showcasing the traditional skills the region was famous for: shipbuilding, fishing and cheese making. Alongside such classic industries, you can also experience the heritage of the industrial revolution – a time when smoking chimney stacks and spinning sails enabled the mass production of chocolate and biscuits.

Discover the region with the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket

Reasons to visit Old Holland: 

  • Just 30 minutes from Amsterdam Central Station
  • Experience traditional Dutch culture and see windmills, cheese markets and green landscapes

  • Highlights: Zaanse Schans, Volendam and Marken

Old Holland destinations


Marken harbour
Marken is a former island in the Markermeer that remains a popular seaside getaway. Visit via the long causeway or by ferry.


Volendam harbour
Experience Volendam: a charming harbour village on the shores of the IJsselmeer, just 20 km north of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Waterland

Amsterdam Beemster polder windmill
The home of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: De Beemster and the Amsterdam Defence Line.


Edam cheese market Geert Snoeijer
This idyllic town produces a brand of cheese that’s beloved by food fans from around the world.

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans windmills CC BY 2.0 gags9999 via Flickr
Zaanse Schans offers a perfectly preserved glimpse into the Netherlands' industrial past with its traditional houses, windmills and workshops.

Activities, excursions, hotels and more

Amsterdam Zaanse Schans windmill day trip, Merijn Roubroeks
I amsterdam's selection of highlights of things to do and places to stay, eat and drink in Old Holland, including restaurants, hotels, excursions and attractions.

Getting to Old Holland

Marken harbour in the winter
Old Holland is just a short trip from Amsterdam with public transport. Find out what you can see on the way.

Old Holland: Get inspired!

Old Holland itineraries

Whether you have a full day to spend or just half, here's a selection of suggested itineraries for taking in the best sights and experiences of the Ol...


Monnickendam is a town in Noord-Holland on the bank of the IJsselmeer. Its history goes back to the Middle Ages when the small village was buzzing wit...

5 facts about windmills

Windmills are an Old Holland tourist attraction – a quaint symbol of Dutch tradition – and visiting one (or several!) makes for a lovely day out. Did ...

De Beemster

The Beemster is a Unesco World Heritage site that’s an oasis of scenic polders, waterways, dikes, restored mills and charming, traditional farmhouses....

Amsterdam 360

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How to get to Old Holland:

Old Holland transportation and itineraries

A selection of suggested itineraries for taking in the best sights and experiences of the Old Holland area, including transport details to and from Amsterdam.

Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket

This convenient multi-purpose ticket offers unlimited public transport by bus, tram, train and metro in the entire Amsterdam area.

I amsterdam City Card

I amsterdam City Card
Your City Card gives you free entry to some fantastic museums, castles and attractions to be found in the Amsterdam Area.

Where next?


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