LivingTravelKinderdijk day trip

Kinderdijk day trip

Kinderdijk, located 15 miles east of Rotterdam, is a UNESCO listed site that has 19 windmills in perfect condition. The windmills were erected in the 17th century to drain the Alblasserwaard polders, which had suffered from flooding since the 13th century. One of these floods, the Saint Elizabeth Flood of 1421, is both the origin of the name Kinderdijk and the associated fairy tale, ‘The Cat and the Cradle’: after the storm, a wooden cradle was seen in the floodwaters, in which a cat jumped from side to side to keep the crib afloat.

As the cradle approached the dry land of the dike, the locals discovered a baby inside, hence the name Kinderdijk, Dutch for ‘infantile dike’.

Today, the windmills have been relieved by more efficient screw pumps, but you can still visit the monumental 17th century windmills that comprise the incredible man-made landscape of Kinderdijk. Views of the landscape are free; Admission fees apply to visitor’s windmill and special tours only.

How to get there

  • By train and bus : Kinderdijk is accessible from Amsterdam via Rotterdam and Utrecht. Take the NS train to Rotterdam CS; from there take the metro to Rotterdam Zuidplein, then bus 154 to Kinderdijk. To get to Kinderdijk via Utrecht, take the NS train to Utrecht CS, then the 154 bus to Kinderdijk. Visit the NS website for hours and rates.
  • By Boat : From April 3 to October 3, visitors can take a boat from Rotterdam to Kinderdijk. From Rotterdam CS, take tram 8 or 25 or the “Erasmuslijn” metro line to the Leuvehaven stop; The boats leave from Boompjeskade. Check the Rebus website for the most up-to-date information.
  • By car : Drivers can also get to Kinderdijk from Amsterdam via Rotterdam or Utrecht. From Amsterdam via Rotterdam, take the A4, A13, A20, A16 and A15 until exit 22. Via Utrecht, take the A2, A27 and A15 until exit 22.

What to do in Kinderdijk?

  • Walk or bike the network of monumental windmills. The Kinderdijk website provides a map of the cycling and walking route that takes visitors past the 19 mills on the picturesque embankment.
  • Visit an authentic 17th century windmill. The simply named “Windmill 2” in Nederwaard is open every day from April to the end of October, from 9 am to 5:30 pm; From November to March this is reduced to weekends from 10 am to 4:30 pm (Note that the mill sometimes closes due to inclement weather, so call ahead to make sure).
  • Take in the scenery by the water. From April 1 to October 1, the 30-minute canal tours depart daily from 10 am to 5 pm This is an excellent option for visitors with reduced mobility; There is also limited space for wheelchairs on each ship. Tickets cost € 5.50 for adults, € 3.00 for children 4-12 years old.
  • Take a look at one of Kinderdijk’s dozens of special events. Events are held throughout the mill season, from April to the end of October; A calendar of markets, concerts and festivals is available on the Kinderdijk website.

Where to eat

Restaurant options are limited in Kinderdijk, but visitors can also dine in nearby Rotterdam or Utrecht.

  • Klok’s Partycentrum serves a limited menu of affordable continental lunches and dinners in a homey setting. Open every day from 10 am to 1 am
  • Grand Cafe Buena Vista offers a varied lunch and dinner menu of international dishes with a wide variety of Dutch pancakes. Open Wed – Sun from 12 pm (kitchen open until 9 pm).

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