This blog was rewritten and updated. 5th August 2023. We visited May 2018.
It was a beautiful sunny day as we rode our bikes to Edam from Volendam.
As we wandered along the picturesque streets of Edam, a charming Dutch town famous for its canals and historical architecture, we were captivated by the sight of the traditional Dutch houses decorated with colourful flowers.
The sound of bicycles whirring by, a hallmark of Dutch life, echoed through the cobblestone streets. The gentle chime of bicycle bells added a cheerful melody to the air.
There was such calm as we wandered along the tranquil canals, watching small boats glide silently on the water. Water lapping against canal walls created a soothing melody that echoed Edam’s relaxed pace.
We found the narrow cobbled streets, beautiful houses and picturesque canals spanned by centuries-old drawbridges throughout this little town. Every scene is a picture-perfect postcard. Although there isn’t much here, it is a lovely place to stay and travel to other areas like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Volendam, Delft, Keukenhof Gardens and more by train or car.
We stopped off for lunch at a charming hotel called the Fortuna and sat on the beautiful quiet garden patio overlooking the canal. It was such a tranquil setting that we returned a bit later for afternoon tea.
We would stay in the Fortuna Hotel if we returned to the Netherlands without our motorhome. It’s close to the bus stop to/from Amsterdam and nicely away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. It’s a beautiful old building with a warm atmosphere, history, and artwork. The owner and staff were very friendly and couldn’t do enough for us.
The aroma of freshly baked stroopwafels and cheese wafted through the air, tempting our taste buds and leading us to the local bakeries and cheese shops. The distinctive smell of Gouda and Edam cheeses filled the air, a testament to the town’s centuries-old cheese-making heritage.
We sensed the lively vibe as we neared the cheese market square. Cheese wheels stacked high and traders dressed in Dutch clothing reminded us of simpler times.
The laughter of locals and the warm greetings of shopkeepers instantly made us feel at home in this tight-knit community. Their pride in their town and its history was evident, and I couldn’t help but smile.
As the sun set, the town took on a magical glow, with amber hues reflecting off the canals and illuminating the historic buildings. The distant chime of church bells added an enchanting element to the scene.
As we left Edam, we carried with us Dutch cheese and memories of a small town that captured our hearts.
The sights, sounds, feelings, and smells of Edam will forever linger in my mind, reminding me of the beauty and charm of this timeless Dutch gem.
Authentic Dutch charm, a rich cultural heritage, and scenic landscapes make Edam an excellent destination for experiencing traditional Dutch culture. Whether you’re interested in cheese, architecture, or exploring the beautiful countryside, Edam has plenty to offer for a memorable visit.
Edam Photo Gallery
Edam – Top things to see and do
Edam is famous for its traditional cheese and historic architecture. Here are some top things to see and do in Edam:
1. Edam Cheese Market: Experience the iconic Edam Cheese Market, where traditional cheese weighing and trading ceremonies take place. Learn about the town’s cheese-making heritage and sample different types of Edam cheese.
2. Edam Museum: Visit the Edam Museum in the historic town centre. The museum showcases the history and culture of Edam, including displays on cheese production, the local economy, and traditional Dutch life.
3. Walk along the Canals: Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque canals of Edam, admiring the beautiful gabled houses and quaint bridges that line the waterways.
4. Visit the Speeltoren: Explore the Speeltoren, a historic clock tower in the heart of Edam. Climb to the top for panoramic views of the town and its surroundings.
5. Edams Museum of Weighing Houses: Discover the history of weighing houses and their importance in trade and commerce in the Netherlands at this museum.
6. Cheese and Clog Shops: Browse the local shops to buy authentic Edam cheese and traditional Dutch wooden clogs, perfect souvenirs to remember your visit.
7. Taste Local Delicacies: Enjoy local delicacies at Edam’s restaurants and cafes, including Dutch pancakes (pannenkoeken) and other traditional dishes.
8. Bike or Boat Tours: Explore the scenic countryside around Edam by renting bicycles or taking boat tours on the nearby waterways.
9. Hike the Beemster Polder: Embark on a hiking excursion in the Beemster Polder, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its reclaimed land and unique landscape.
10. Visit the Edam Grote Kerk: Step inside Edam’s impressive Grote Kerk (Great Church), an architectural gem with its beautiful interior and historic features.
11. Admire the Edam Windmill: Take a short walk to the De Speeltoren windmill, an iconic structure that adds to the town’s picturesque appeal.
12. Relax by the IJsselmeer: Head to the IJsselmeer waterfront for a peaceful moment, watching sailboats and enjoying the tranquil surroundings.
Edam’s Festivals and Events
With its rich cultural heritage, Edam hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating local traditions and bringing the community together. Some of the notable festivals and events in Edam include:
1. Edam Cheese Market (Kaasmarkt): From April to September, you can experience the famous Edam Cheese Market on Wednesdays at Jan van Nieuwenhuizen Square. This lively event showcases traditional cheese weighing and trading ceremonies, allowing visitors to learn about Edam’s cheese-making heritage.
2. Edam’s Old Timer Festival: Usually held in June, this event displays a splendid collection of classic cars and vintage vehicles. Stroll through the charming town and admire the beauty of these well-preserved automobiles.
3. Kermis (Funfair): The annual Kermis takes place in July, bringing a vibrant carnival atmosphere to Edam. Enjoy thrilling rides, games, delicious treats, and live entertainment during this festive event.
4. Open Monument Day: During the Heritage Days (Open Monumentendag) in September, many historical buildings and landmarks in Edam opened their doors to the public. It’s a wonderful opportunity to explore the town’s architectural gems and learn about its history.
5. Edam’s Sinterklaas Arrival: In November or December, the beloved Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas’ arrival takes place in Edam. Families gather to welcome Sinterklaas and his helpers (Zwarte Pieten) as they arrive in the town, spreading joy and gifts among children.
6. Edam’s Christmas Market: Experience the festive spirit during the Christmas season at Edam’s Christmas Market, where you can find holiday-themed stalls, local crafts, and seasonal treats.
Please note that event dates and details may vary from year to year, so it’s a good idea to check local event listings or the Edam tourism website for the most up-to-date information. Participating in these festivals and events allows you to immerse yourself in Edam’s cultural traditions and experience the warm community spirit of this charming Dutch town.
Recommended Food & Drink in Edam
When visiting Edam, you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in delicious Dutch cuisine, especially the town’s most famous export – Edam cheese. Here are some recommended foods and drinks to try when you visit Edam:
1. Edam Cheese: You can’t visit Edam without trying the iconic cheese that bears its name. Edam cheese is a mild, semi-hard cheese with a distinctive round shape and a red or yellow wax rind. Sample different varieties and savour the rich, creamy flavour.
2. Stroopwafels: These thin, wafer-like waffles filled with caramel syrup are a sweet treat and a popular snack in the Netherlands. Enjoy them with a cup of coffee or tea for a delightful pairing.
3. Raw Herring: If you’re feeling adventurous, try raw herring – a traditional Dutch delicacy. The herring is typically served with chopped onions and pickles, and you eat it by lifting the fish by its tail and letting it slide into your mouth.
4. Poffertjes: These mini fluffy pancakes are a beloved Dutch treat. Served with powdered sugar and butter, they are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
5. Dutch Apple Pie: Enjoy a slice of delicious Dutch apple pie, often served with whipped cream. The combination of sweet apples and a buttery crust is simply divine.
6. Jenever: As the precursor to modern-day gin, Jenever is a traditional Dutch juniper-flavoured spirit. Sip it straight, or try it in a cocktail.
7. Dutch Beer: Sample some of the local Dutch beers, such as Heineken, Grolsch, or Amstel, to experience the country’s brewing heritage.
8. Bitterballen: These savoury meat-based snacks are deep-fried and often served with mustard. They are a popular bar snack in the Netherlands.
9. Dutch Licorice: If you have a taste for liquorice, try the various types of Dutch liquorice, ranging from sweet to salty and everything in between.
10. Dutch Pancakes: Enjoy a hearty Dutch pancake (pannenkoeken) with a variety of toppings, from sweet (such as powdered sugar and syrup) to savoury (such as cheese and bacon).
As you explore the charming town of Edam, be sure to savour these delicious local delights and embrace the flavours that make Dutch cuisine so unique and enjoyable.
Certainly! If you’re looking for camper van pitches near Edam, there are several options for you to consider:
1. Camping Strandbad Edam: This campsite, located directly in Edam, offers camper van pitches with convenient access to the beach and the charming town centre.
2. Camping De Eenhoorn: Situated in Oosthuizen, just a short drive from Edam, Camping De Eenhoorn provides spacious camper van pitches in a tranquil countryside setting.
3. Camping en Jachthaven Uitdam: Located in Uitdam, a village near Edam, this campsite offers camper van pitches with beautiful views of Markermeer Lake.
4. Camping Hemmeland: Positioned in Monnickendam, within easy reach of Edam, Camping Hemmeland provides camper van pitches by the water’s edge, offering a serene and scenic setting.
5. Camping de Monnick: Situated in Monnickendam, a short distance from Edam, Camping de Monnick offers camper van pitches, as well as cabins and chalets.
6. Camping Het Rietveen: Located in Ilpendam, a village near Edam, Camping Het Rietveen offers spacious camper van pitches surrounded by meadows and waterways.
Please note that availability and facilities may vary at each campsite, so you should check with each location directly or visit their websites for up-to-date information and make reservations according to your preferences and travel plans. Enjoy your camper van adventure near the picturesque town of Edam and the beautiful Dutch countryside!