If you follow me on Instagram, you might have already noticed my ‘thing’ with churches (not for religious reasons, I might add) street art, bitterballen (obviously…) and most recently: windmills.
Yep, I’m in the land of windmills, so they’re kinda hard to avoid… but in the past few months I’ve been going out of my way to visit them. Last weekend we legit took a trip to Kinderdijk for the sole purpose of looking at molens.
Here are my favourites so far!
As I’ve already mentioned it, let’s start with Kinderdijk, Dutch for “children dike”. (WTF!?)
Situated close to Dordrecht and Rotterdam, there are 19 windmills here! They don’t just look pretty – they have a purpose – draining the polder on which Kinderdijk is situated. Don’t know what a polder is?
I say it’s situated close to Rotterdam and Dordrecht… but it is and it isn’t. (Look at this map.) Due to its slightly offbeat location, you’re better off travelling to Kinderdijk by car as it’s a pain in the arse to get there by public transport. Parking is €5 and you could spend 1-3 hours here depending on how much walking you want to do. There’s also a little cafe and gift shop, should you wish to partake in such activities.
Oh and if you fancy staying in the area, we spotted this ridiculously cute B&B called De Noord. I can’t vouch for it, but if you make this much effort outside it’s probably alright inside too 😉
2. Zaanse Schans
Zaanse Schans is my go-to tourist paradise for anyone visiting The Netherlands. Its close proximity to Amsterdam and Schiphol airport is also pretty ideal. We often take visitors here before dropping them off at the airport – a lovely way to round off a trip to Holland!
Unless you want to visit the Zaanse Schans Museum, it doesn’t take all that long to walk around, so it’s perfectly combined with a trip to nearby Zaandam to see this bad boy…
If you want more info, I have already written a post dedicated to Zaanse Schans, just to prove how much I love it!
Speaking of… we also bought a picture last time we were there:
Which was marvellous until we got home and realised the black building is the toilet block! FAIL! You get one guess where we’ve hung it!!
3. Brouwerij ‘t IJ
A modern brewery, set next to a windmill in Amsterdam… what more could you ask for?
Well, to be honest, it is a bit of a hag to get to – although totally worth it! Either get a train to Muiderpoort and it’s a 10 minute walk, or get a bus/tram. No advice on that… I’m not a bus wanker! (If you get that joke, you must be English and have excellent taste in comedy! FRIEND!!!!!)
The beer is delicious, as are the snacks. There are (very) limited food choices… (NO BITTERBALLEN!!) but if you like cheese and Dutch sausage as much as I do, you’ll be well catered for.
4. De Molen, Ankeveen
This windmill is the closest one to Hilversum I know, so worth a mention.
We’ve eaten here a couple of times – the food is ok, simple, nothing to write home about (bar the French Onion soup which was really good!) It’s a cafe/bar though so you can just visit for a hot drink or a borrel, complete with bitterballen natuurlijk!
5. Molen de Ster, Utrecht
(The Star Windmill.) Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t even know there was a windmill in Utrecht! It turns out there are two! The other is on Adelaarstraat, named Rijn en Zon – Rhine and Sun.
Molen de Ster is an 18th-century saw mill. It’s open on Saturdays for guided tours and the rest of time there’s a cafe and other cultural activities going on. A very cute place to visit; near central station, set alongside a canal and it’s also close to Lombok if you fancy stocking up on some fresh produce while you’re there. Ideal!
Next on my windmill-spotting list is Schiedam!
Where’s your favourite windmill?