The hunt for traditional Dutch dress & lifestyle
Volendam Travel Blog› entry 14 of 27 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.