Best windmills to visit in Amsterdam
Windmills are a famous Amsterdam tourist attraction – a quaint symbol of Dutch tradition – and visiting one (or several!) makes for a lovely day out. Did you know there were once more than 10,000 fully operational windmills in the Netherlands? These are Amsterdam's best windmills to visit on your trip.
Molen van Sloten
The Sloten Windmill (Molen van Sloten) is a reconstructed, working mill from 1847. It is the only mill open to the public in Amsterdam. An audiovisual presentation about Rembrandt's life, called 'Rembrandt in the attic', is shown here. There is also a model called 'Amsterdam and the water', showing the landscape as it was in 1630.
The Zaanse Schans is an open-air museum that’s fun for all ages. Open year-round, Zaans Schans is a free outdoor park with a collection of historic windmills. While the Zaanse Schans can be visited any time of year, the majority of the windmills are open to visitors from April to October. Besides windmills, you can visit souvenir shops, see clogs made, or visit a cheese farm near the Zaanse Schans.
The Keukenhof Mill is a tower mill on the grounds of Keukenhof in the Dutch town of Lisse. The mill originates from Scharmer, where it was built in 1892 as a polder mill. In 1957, the mill was moved to the Keukenhof site as a gift from the Holland-America Line. At the Keukenhof, the mill functions only as an ornamental object.
De Gooyer / Brouwerij 't IJ
This large windmill, the biggest one in the country, is a distinctive feature of the landscape in Amsterdam Oost. This octagonal windmill dates from 1725 and once served as a flour mill. De Gooyer sits next to Brouwerij ‘t IJ and has become a trademark symbol of the brewery ever since. A tour of the facilities is available, topped off by a free beer of your choice.
Take a windmill tour
There are many ways to enjoy a day out windmill spotting. For example, numerous bus tours take visitors to the most interesting and picturesque specimens. But one of the loveliest ways is also the most Dutch one: hire a bike and start peddling! This cycling route through the Zaanstreek region, the historical windmill paradise, takes about three hours and passes a number of must-see mills (and even a windmill museum). Or check out this Old Holland cycling route that's a little bit longer.