The hunt for traditional Dutch dress & lifestyle

Volendam Travel Blog

 › entry 14 of 27 › view all entries
I love this picture, not bad for one taken with my iPhone from the car window at 100km/h! (I wasn't driving!)

Volendam is probably one of the most recognised places in The Netherlands after the usual suspects; Amsterdam, Den Haag etc. It is most well known for it's traditional Dutch costumes and way of life, so I wanted to pop to this exceedingly popular tourist trap to discover a snippet of Dutch history.

Volendam is a very small fishing town located within the municipality of Edam-Volendam just to the North of Amsterdam and I knew I wouldn't be disappointed on approaching the town, great scenery once you leave the outskirts of Amsterdam.  The costumes of Volendam, particularly the females, with the high, white, pointed bonnets and long dress is the typical image which springs to mind when asked to describe tradtional Dutch costume.

Ferry 'bus' to the nearby island of Marken
It is probably the most recognisable to people who have not even visited The Netherlands as it appears on many postcards and souvenirs etc. It's such a shame that not many residents still wear the costumes apart from the elderly, unfortunately soon to die out and be assigned to the history books, only to be worn as 'fancy dress'. I was most disappointed that I only saw one woman in the full costume, wish I'd asked to take her photo but wasn't sure if she would be offended or not.

Fortunately there is a great, little museum which details the history of the costume and for 12 Euros you can dress up yourself and have a photo taken! I so wanted to have a go at this but Jaap was not amused in the slightest when I suggested it, hmm must be a Dutch thing, he hates doing anything remotely touristy in the slightest but it looked like fun and what a great souvenir.

If I visit the town again with friends or family I shall have another attempt at talking others into it, if not I shall participate by myself!

The main street is filled with tourists, tourists everywhere and every other shop is a gift/souvenir shop filled with the usual over-priced, Amsterdam tat you see in every other shop of it's kind. There are some great cafe bars and restaurants here, some not too expensive. We enjoyed a nice lunch in the Hotel Old Dutch restaurant - La Pompadour. It advertises itself as a la carte but the meal was only average. The menu was standard - brodjes (sandwiches) burgers and chicken satay with fries (Hollands national dish?!) Nothing a la carte here but the prices were reasonable and the place itself was immaculate with a great view over the harbour.

The majority of the afternoon we spent away from the actual tourist hot spot centre of Volendam itself, preferring to wander around the outskirts, admiring the lovely houses and chilling by the Marina Park - a modern, newly built (2007) complex of holiday homes, restaurants, shops etc which was relatively people-free. A perfect way to spend the afternoon chilling out, watching a couple of fishermen and eyeing up the beautiful boats.

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I love this picture, not bad for o…
I love this picture, not bad for …
Ferry bus to the nearby island o…
Ferry 'bus' to the nearby island …
Photos of Joe Public and celebrit…
Photo's of Joe Public and celebri…
Henk Schiffmacher & family (Very f…
Henk Schiffmacher & family (Very …
Modern built complex of restaurant…
Modern built complex of restauran…
Modern built complex of restaurant…
Modern built complex of restauran…
Purpose built holiday homes
Purpose built holiday homes
Harbour
Harbour
Harbour near the holiday home comp…
Harbour near the holiday home com…
Dont ask how old I am, I dont ca…
Don't ask how old I am, I don't c…
Harbour
Harbour
Harbour
Harbour
Yes its the now obligatory close-…
Yes it's the now obligatory close…
More ducks!
More ducks!
Not travel related but I am a big …
Not travel related but I am a big…
Wouldnt mind owning this house..
Wouldn't mind owning this house..
...which has this view. Not bad hu…
...which has this view. Not bad h…
Rememberance monument for fisherme…
Rememberance monument for fisherm…
Hotel Old Dutch - La Pompadour res…
Hotel Old Dutch - La Pompadour re…
My usual dish of Chicken and Peanu…
My usual dish of Chicken and Pean…
We drove near Schiphol on the way …
We drove near Schiphol on the way…
Volendam
photo by: Andy99