Living in The Netherlands for 54 years, I never visited the famous Dutch triangle: Monnickendam, Marken and Volendam. So I found myself ready to deal with all the tourists and became a tourist in my own country. The weather was great, which is always nice when you are sightseeing.
I started on a peninsula near Monnickendam, called Hemmeland. Set up my tent and took a walk round. It is a nice place with forest and beaches. With temperatures over 20 degrees, there were a lot of people and dogs. It turned out to be a favorite dog walking place and dog beach.
In the evening a walk through the old town of Monnickendam which is lovely and watched a great sun set over the marina. There are some places of interest like the Waterlandmuseum and Grote Kerk. I haven’t been there.
If you like sailing or being on the water in another way, this is a great place to stay. It’s located at the Gouwzee with a lot of water activities to choose from. Monnickendam means literally ‘dam of the monk‘.
Next to Monnickendam you will find the very cute and historic place of Marken. It is an island with about 1800 inhabitants. The whole island looks like a museum. So some tourist don’t understand that people actually live there. They walk through their gardens and take pictures through the windows …
Anyway, Marken is really a must see if you are in this area of The Netherlands. You can stroll through the small and authentic streets of the old town. Of course you visit the Clog Experience where you see how clogs where made. Don’t buy them to walk on; you won’t like it.
Sitting at the Taverne de Visscher gives you a nice view over the Gouwzee. Try the Marker Maagd (maagd means virgin) white beer; it’s good. But first you buy a ticket for the Jan Smit ferry to Volendam. The ferry goes every half hour so you have enough time to enjoy your beer.
The ferry Volendam-Marken is stated as world famous. I have to disagree on that. It is world famous in The Netherlands because Volendam is a special place. Not really because of the architecture or history but because of the people. Volendam has the most successful Ditch singers and bands. Even some of them with international fame. It’s in their genes.
For me Volendam was a bit of a disappointment. It wasn’t nearly as nice as Marken and way more crowded with tourists. Especially from Asia. So I made it my job to take pictures for people who struggled with their selfies. The boat trip itself (roundtrip € 12,50) was very nice and made up for everything.
In Volendam you can find all of the typical Dutch stuff as clogs, wooden tulips and windmills, stroopwafels and haring. Actually Volendam is all about souvenirs, eating and drinking. Volendam is known for their fish. You can’t miss any opportunity to eat some.
You can do it all by car but keep in mind that the parking fees are high and most of Marken en Volendam is forbidden for cars. The walking distances aren’t really that long anyway. My whole tour was 6 km.
My suggestion is to take public transport. You start in Monnickendam and take bus 315 to Marken. This one crosses the Gouwzee which is a nice ride. At the central busstation you walk straight into the old town or choose the walk on the dyke to the lighthouse. Or do both.
After your stroll you follow the signs to the port where you find the taverne and ferry to Volendam. Buy a roundtrip because public transport from Volendam back to Monnickendam is a bit more complicated. There is no road from Marken straight to Volendam.