Everyone has heard of Volendam and Marken. But if you truly want to enjoy an authentic fishing village and avoid the crowd of tourists, then your best bet is to visit the town of Monnickendam. Monnickendam is easy to get to by bus from Centraal Station. Or if you're feeling adventurous, you can always get there by bicycle as well! It's a great way to spend a day outside of Amsterdam.
Since we did this family day trip from Amsterdam with our baby, we decided to go by bus rather trying to do the day trip by bicycle. When exiting at the bus stop, we were greeted with this magnificent view that you can see in the picture above. From here, it was just a few minutes walk to the historic city center.
Why Visit Monnickendam
Monnickendam has a well-preserved historical center that is great for a family to explore. This historic city is known for its smokehouses, cheese, and shipyards. It’s a quaint city with many charming streets to explore with the children. Plus it has four yacht harbors, making it also a popular boating area for families. You can view classic boats or rent one of the boats, skipper included, and sail on the Markermeer.
Rent a boat & sail on the Markermeer, skipper included
History of Monnickendam
According to wikitravel
Like many other towns in the region, the history of Monnickendam goes back to the Middle Ages. It originated as an outpost of the monastery of Marken in 1235. The monks (Dutch: monniken) probably gave the town its name. It became a chartered town in 1355, and from the 16th century onwards it was home to a number of local industries, like cheese factories, smokehouses for herring, and shipyards. Many of the surviving historic buildings in Monnickendam have their origin in this prosperous era, which lasted until around 1630, when the town had 4,200 inhabitants.
Taking the children on a daytrip to Monnickendam provides a great opportunity to teach some history! We saw plenty of families while we were there and felt right at home visiting Monnickendam with our baby.
Lunch in Monnickendam
The weather was nice enough that we sat outside at de Koperen Vis. (Website in Dutch) Delicious food, great service, and a fantastic view. Highly recommended.
And check out the inside. Those leather couches look very inviting!
Tip: Baby changing facilities available at restaurant "De Koperen Vis"
Check out the video below to watch how they manually open the bridge to let boats pass!
Have you been on a family day trip to Monnickendam? What did you think?
Check these out for other ideas for family day trips in the Netherlands?
Or for a complete guide to Amsterdam for families, check out my Travel Guide!