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!
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 also two museum windmills you can visit in Kinderdijk. In these 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. Entrance to the museum windmills and the pumping station is included in your Kinderdijk entrance ticket.
It’s also possible to book a boat tour and experience Kinderdijk from the water. Boat tours are not included in the Kinderdijk entrance ticket. There are two different kinds of boat tours: the Hopper and the Cruiser. The Hopper is a hop-on-hop-off kind of tour and makes its rounds all year long. The Cruiser is a thirty-minute 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 1st of November and 31st of March. Check this website for prices and to buy boat tour tickets.
Tickets Price: €11 Online price: €9 Most of the time, you won’t need to buy a ticket in advance for Kinderdijk, but it saves you €2 if you do. If you’re traveling with a group, you need to make a reservation in advance.
Opening hours November-February: 10:00-16:00 Opening hours March-October: 09:00-17:30 Check this website for current opening hours and to buy tickets.
Travel tip: Catching the sunset in Kinderdijk
The windmills in Kinderdijk in front of a pink and purple colored sunset sky is a very beautiful sight. If you have the time to visit Kinderdijk during sunset we would absolutely recommend it! Not only is there hardly anyone around, it’s also free to enter after the regular opening hours of Kinderdijk. Best time to go for sunset would be late spring when the sun sets later in the evening and the sunset 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 take a boat tour. You can only do these activities during the general opening hours. Decide for yourself whether you want to visit Kinderdijk late in the afternoon, so you can stay for sunset, or only visit Kinderdijk in the evening during sunset. Sunset absolutely is the best time to take stunning photos. If you’re visiting Kinderdijk after general opening hours, be aware that people live in the windmills and make sure you don’t disturb them.
How to get to Kinderdijk
By public transport
Kinderdijk is easy to reach by Waterbus (ferry) from Rotterdam and Dordrecht. Between May 1st and October 31st, there’s a direct Waterbus connection to Kinderdijk from either Rotterdam or Dordrecht. If you’re traveling by Waterbus to Kinderdijk in the winter months between November 1st and April 30th, you have to transfer to the Driehoeksveer ferry at the Ridderkerk stop. Transfering to the Driehoeksveer ferry is not possible during the weekend. The trip from Rotterdam or Dordrecht to Kinderdijk by Waterbus will take around 30-40 minutes.
Kinderdijk is also easily 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. Snelbuzz line 316 departs from Dordrecht Central Station and also stops at Kinderdijk Molenkade. This journey takes 35 minutes. If you’re coming from Amsterdam, you can take the train to Rotterdam which leaves every 15 minutes. The journey from Amsterdam will take approximately 2 hours. 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 half an hour from Rotterdam. Please note that parking spaces near the entrance of Kinderdijk are severely limited. The parking fare near the entrance of Kinderdijk is €5. During the weekends and Dutch holidays, the parking facilities of the Royal IHC shipyard are open to visitors of Kinderdijk. Parking there is free and it’s a 700m walk to Kinderdijk.
If you’re visiting Kinderdijk only in the evening (outside the regular opening hours), you don’t need to pay a parking fare and you’ll have plenty of space to park your car close to the entrance.
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.
Is Kinderdijk on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!
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