Kinderdijk is one of the most famous sightseeing spots in the Netherlands. Because it’s truly a unique place, Kinderdijk is a must-visit if you’re in the Netherlands. It’s no surprise that its 19 iconic windmills are UNESCO World Heritage. In this blog post, we’re sharing everything you need to know to visit Kinderdijk in the Netherlands!
This post was originally published on January 22th 2020. It has been updated on October 29th 2022 to give you the most recent information.
Things to do in Kinderdijk
The 19 windmills in Kinderdijk all have the same purpose: keeping the land dry. The entire area is below sea level and the windmills make sure the water level will be just right, both in wet and dry times. People actually live in most of the windmills in Kinderdijk, which is very interesting.
There are walking and cycling paths throughout Kinderdijk that take you past the windmills. These walking and cycling paths are publicly accessible and completely free to enter. If you want to learn more about the history of Kinderdijk and the windmills, we’d recommend buying a ticket that grants access to two museum windmills, the Wisboom pumping station, audio tours and boat tours in Kinderdijk.
In the two museum windmills, you can learn how the windmills work and experience what it’s like to live in one. In the Wisboom pumping station you can learn about the history of Kinderdijk and Dutch water management. Through the audio tours in the Kinderdijk app you’ll learn more about the area, the wildlife, the regional history and of course the windmills. You can only listen to the audio tours by entering a number that can be found on your ticket. Don’t forget to bring your headphones!
Going on a boat tour is a great way to admire the windmills from a different perspective. There are two types of boat tours: the Hopper and the Cruiser. The Hopper is a hop-on-hop-off kind of tour and brings you to the museum windmills. The Hopper makes its rounds all year long. The Cruiser is a 30-minute round trip tour which will take you a little further on the water past all the windmills in the Overwaard. The Cruiser is out of commission between November and March.
There’s a gift shop and a café in the Visitor Center. It’s a great place to get some souvenirs and have a drink (and a snack). Especially when the weather is nice, having a drink in the outdoor seating area of the café while looking at the windmills is perfect.
Weekday price: €16
Weekend price: €18,50
You have to buy tickets in advance through the website of Kinderdijk and reserve a time slot.
Opening hours of the Visitor Center
March - October: 09:00-17:30
November, December & February: 10:30-16:00
The Visitor Center is closed from January 1st until February 14th. From January 7th until February 14th, the gift shop and café are open from 10:00-16:00.
From February 15th until the end of February: 10:30-16:00
Check this website for the most recent opening hours and to buy tickets.
Travel tip: Catching the sunset in Kinderdijk
Witnessing the windmills of Kinderdijk in front of a sunset sky? We can’t imagine a more beautiful thing! If you have the time to visit Kinderdijk during sunset we would absolutely recommend it. During this time of the day there’s hardly anyone around, which makes it even better. The best time of the year to go for sunset would be late spring or in the beginning of summer when the sun sets late and the colors are more dramatic. Be aware that if you’re visiting Kinderdijk only in the evening, you can’t see the windmill museums, the pumping station or go on a boat tour. If you want to do all, consider visiting Kinderdijk in the (late) afternoon and stay for sunset. Another option is staying a few nights in the area. If you’re visiting Kinderdijk in the evening, please be aware that people live in the windmills and make sure not to disturb them.
How to get to Kinderdijk
By public transport
Kinderdijk is easy to reach by Waterbus (ferry) from Rotterdam and Dordrecht.
From Rotterdam (Erasmus Bridge), there’s a direct Waterbus to Kinderdijk (line 21). Please note: from May 19th 2022, line 21 is temporarily out of service.
From Rotterdam and Dordrecht, you can take Waterbus line 20 and change at the Schans stop in Ridderkerk to the Driehoeksveer ferry.
The trip from Rotterdam or Dordrecht to Kinderdijk by Waterbus will take around 30-40 minutes.
Kinderdijk is also reachable by bus from Rotterdam and Dordrecht.
R-NET line 489 departs from Rotterdam Kralingse Zoom (a public transport hub) and stops at Kinderdijk Molenkade. This journey takes 40 minutes. You can get to Rotterdam Kralingse Zoom by metro line A, B or C from train station Rotterdam Blaak, or take metro line D or E from Rotterdam Central Station and change to line A, B or C at Beurs.
From Dordrecht Central Station, take bus line 416 to Alblasserdam Makado and change to line 489 to Kinderdijk. Because the connection between these two buses isn’t great, the journey takes around an hour.
If you’re traveling from Amsterdam, you can take the Intercity Direct (high speed train) from Amsterdam Central Station to Rotterdam Central Station which leaves four times per hour. The entire journey from Amsterdam to Kinderdijk will take approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. You can also check Google Maps for the best route to Kinderdijk from where you’re staying.
It’s also possible to drive to Kinderdijk by car. Kinderdijk is approximately a 1,5-hour drive from Amsterdam and it’s around a half an hour from Rotterdam and Dordrecht. As a visitor of Kinderdijk, you can park your car at Marineweg in Alblasserdam. The costs for parking are €7,50 per car. From the parking lot, you can either take the shuttle bus to Kinderdijk or go there by bicycle. Going by bicycle to Kinderdijk is a great way to discover more of the area. Both options are included in the price of a parking ticket.
There’s also a parking lot near the Visitor Center. During the opening hours of the Visitor Center, you can only park here with a disabled parking permit. Outside of the Visitor Center’s opening hours, anyone can park here for free and there probably will be plenty of space.
Staying in Kinderdijk and cycling in the area
Consider staying in the area of Kinderdijk and Alblasserdam. Staying in the area means you can see more of the Dutch countryside. The area is perfect for cycling and we’d recommend visiting Kinderdijk by bicycle. There are also multiple bicycle routes you can do in the area varying between 40-60 km in length. There are bicycle lanes everywhere in the Netherlands, which makes it very safe. You can rent bikes at Café De Klok in Kinderdijk and Tourist Info in Alblasserdam.
Staying in Rotterdam
If you ask us, combining a stay in Rotterdam with a day trip to Kinderdijk is a great idea. Connections to Kinderdijk by public transport are the best from Rotterdam and, if you’re traveling by car, Kinderdijk is only a 30-minute drive from Rotterdam. Besides that, Rotterdam simply is an amazing city with lots to explore and discover. Compared to other cities in the Netherlands, Rotterdam is unique with a lot of modern architecture, skyscrapers and high-rise buildings. There’s a reason why Rotterdam is nicknamed Manhattan at the Meuse. If we haven’t already convinced you to visit Rotterdam, check out our complete sightseeing guide for more inspiration!
Is Kinderdijk on your travel bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!
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