Day TripsTransport

Fishing villages (Volendam, Edam, Marken) near Amsterdam

Visit the historic Waterland area

The Waterland area near Amsterdam comprises of historic fishing villages and picturesque open countryside built on polders.

It makes for a pleasant day trip from Amsterdam and the area can easily be visited using the EBS buses which depart from both Amsterdam Central and Amsterdam Noord stations.

We’ll first review some of the Waterland destinations then further below we’ll give more detailed information about getting around on the buses.


Volendam is an interesting place worthy of a visit, a traditional fishing village with working class roots. Although touristy, the heart of the action is in and around the harbour area with fine views looking out to the Markermeer (formerly part of the Zuider Zee).

You will find bars and cafés, cheese shops, fish stalls selling herring and smoked eel, and the ubiquitous traditional costume shops where you can dress up and take photos.


The Volendams Museum is located on Zeestraat 41, open daily 1000-1700 mid-March to mid-November.

It has an assorted collection of traditional dress, furniture and wooden interiors, art from 19th century artists who visited the area, fishing-themed displays plus large mosaics comprising of no less than 11 million cigar bands.

Entry is €6 for adults, €5 for youths/children 12-17 and €2 for children 6-11; free entry to children 0-5, I Amsterdam City Card and Museumkaart holders.

markermeer lake from volendam
Views of the Markermeer lake from Volendam


Edam is a classy small town originating from the 12th century and is just north of Volendam. Settled on the Ye River, this town became prosperous through ship building and merchant trading.

Edam – Kwakelbrug

Exploring its quiet back streets is certainly a marked contrast to the tourist hustle of Volendam. In the centre of town is the Damplein square with its 18th century baroque-style Town Hall.

edam village
Edam – Damplein

Edam of course gives its name to the world renowned cheese – local farmers would come to the town’s commercial cheese market to sell their produce.

Although the market was closed in 1922, you can see a re-enactment of the traditional cheese market during July and August on Wednesdays at the Jan van Nieuwenhuizen Square.

The Story Of Edam Cheese from Henry Willig is another cheese-related experience located at Spui 9 in Edam. Open daily, admission is €8 for adults, €4 for children 6-12, book tickets here


Marken is a historic small fishing village with charming green wooden houses built on stilts, many of which are listed buildings. Some of the older inhabitants still wear traditional dress.

Marken harbour houses

Marken has a unique setting – originally an island in the Zuider Zee, it was only connected to the mainland by dyke in 1957. It is possible to rent bikes and cycle to the famous lighthouse (Het Paard van Marken, the Marken horse) about 2.5 km away.

From Marken you can easily spot the taller buildings in both Amsterdam and Almere.

Marken harbour
marken beach and harbour
Marken – small beach and harbour

The Marker Museum (Kerkbuurt 44-47, admission €3 for adults, €1.50 for children 0-12, free for Museumkaart holders) is open late-March to October and has paintings and local textiles on show.

The Volendam-Marken express boat (adults €10 one-way, €16.50 return) runs from the harbour and has been in operation since the 1930s.


Monnickendam is a quaint harbour village which was a wealthy trading port during the Golden age. Historic buildings include the Sint Nicolaaskerk (church) and de Waegh (weighing house, now a café).

monnickendam sint nicolaaskerk
Monnickendam – Sint Nicolaaskerk

The Museum De Speeltoren (Belfry Museum) at Noordeinde 2 has one of the oldest carillons in Netherlands. Opening times are Tue-Sun 1100-1700 Apr-Oct; Sat-Sun 1100-1700 Nov-Mar. Admission is €7.50 for adults, €3.50 for children 12-17, €2.50 for children 4-11; free for children 0-3 and Museumkaart holders.

monnickendam speeltoren museum
Monnickendam – Speeltoren museum

Monnickendam has a number of shops, cafés and restaurants and like Volendam, the smoked eel is a speciality.

Other stops in the Waterland area

Broek in Waterland is a charmingly small inland village located between Amsterdam and the fishing villages. Originally inhabited by prosperous merchants it has some beautiful old houses and a 14th century church.

Purmerend is a lively market town about 20km north of Amsterdam and a short bus ride from Edam. The main square (Koemarkt) houses the Purmerend museum. For a cool view head up the striking Melkwegbrug, an arch pedestrian bridge opened in 2012.

De Beemster is an area further north containing green polders, traditional farmhouses, windmills and the old defence line of Amsterdam (Stelling van Amsterdam) made up of 42 forts. Both the Beemster polder and the defence line are UNESCO World Heritage listed.

Getting from Amsterdam to Volendam & Waterland area

There are a number of possibilities for getting to the Waterland area from Amsterdam.

TOUR: The easiest way is to take an organised tour such as this combined Zaanse Schans + Volendam/Marken tour

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: The only way to get around the Volendam/Waterland region by public transport is by bus. Local bus company EBS runs regular services throughout the area using red and grey R-NET branded buses or yellow EBS-branded buses. These modern buses have free WiFi and are wheelchair accessible.

EBS covers all the main towns, villages and places of interest in the Waterland area.

EBS buses for Waterland now depart from Amsterdam Noord and Noorderpark stations. Buses no longer depart from Amsterdam Central. Amsterdam Noord/Noorderpark can be easily reached using the metro line 52.

edam bus station
Edam bus station

Here are some Waterland lines of interest run by EBS:

Zaandam – Marken111Amsterdam Noord, Broek in Waterland, Monnickendam
Amsterdam Noord – De Rijp
Amsterdam Noord – Purmerend306/307/308 
Amsterdam Noord – Hoorn314Broek in Waterland, Monnickendam, Edam
Amsterdam Noord – Monnickendam315Broek in Waterland
Amsterdam Noord – Edam316Broek in Waterland, Monnickendam, Volendam
Amsterdam Noorderpark – Zaandam Zaanse Schans
Amsterdam Noorderpark – Zaandam Station

At Monnickendam, note that buses going onto Volendam, Edam and Hoorn stop on the main road. The Marken-bound from Monnickendam stops at Nieuwpoortslaan – a short walk from the church.

ebs bus at monnickendam
EBS bus at Monnickendam (Nieuwpoortslaan)

Public transport tickets for Amsterdam-Volendam/Waterland

amsterdam and region travel ticket[RECOMMENDED] The 1-3 day Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket (€21/€31.50/€40.50) is valid on all regional transport – including travel between Amsterdam and Waterland. Book Amsterdam & Region Travel Tickets online here

This Amsterdam & Region ticket is valid on all GVB Amsterdam transport (including the metro), regional buses (including Connexxion and EBS Waterland services) and NS trains in the region. It can get you to many places of interest in and around the Amsterdam region.

waterland ticketAlternatively, the Waterland day ticket costs €12.50 for adults and €3 for children aged 4-11. This is only valid on the EBS/R-NET services around Waterland and Zaandam.

Tickets can also be bought at the OV Service & Tickets office, public transport ticket machines at Amsterdam Central or from EBS bus drivers (card payments only).

Waterland tickets are not valid from Amsterdam Schiphol airport; they are not valid on GVB transport including the metro between Amsterdam Central and Amsterdam Noord.

ebs bus waterland amsterdam
Countryside views from EBS Waterland bus
ebs bus on waterladse zeedijk
EBS bus on Waterlandse Zeedijk (dike) near Marken

If requiring a single, the BTM (Bus Tram Metro) ticket is valid for 90 minutes of travel and costs €6.50. For more info see our Amsterdam public transport tickets guide

This article was originally published in 2015 and has been regularly updated. Last update 2 February 2024.

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