Culture Day trips

Edam, The Netherlands: a short break from Amsterdam

Edam Netherlands, discover Edam in The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

Edam, The Netherlands. If I would tell you, that there’s an ultimately Dutch town, only a 20-minute bus trip away from Amsterdam. A town that is lined by canals, traditional Dutch houses and old-fashioned Dutch bridges. A town that is famous for Dutch cheese. Would you visit? I bet you would. Well, I did. So, join me on my short break from Amsterdam to Edam.

It’s on days like this, walking through a treasure of a Dutch town, dreaming along the canals, laying flat on my belly trying to capture close-ups from newly sprung spring flowers and enjoying the traditional Dutch architecture, that I really don’t regret starting this website. Visiting Edam, The Netherlands, and introducing you to the best towns and villages close to Amsterdam, is just as much a treat to me as it is, hopefully, to you.

Edam, The Netherlands: explore Edam in The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

Edam, The Netherlands: explore Edam in The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

Visit Edam, The Netherlands

When I mention Edam, your mind immediately went ‘cheese!’, didn’t it? Well, you’d be completely right about Edam and cheese as the town is famous for its yellow or red sealed cheeses and traditional cheese market. But did you know that you can simply catch a bus from Amsterdam to discover Edam? And did you know that the town is one of the most beautiful traditional old towns in the north of The Netherlands? No? Well, keep reading.

Exploring Edam

Ever since the golden age (the 17th century), Edam has been famous for its cheese. The town used to be a busy port, along Markermeer, for timber and cheese. From all around the area cheese farmers would ferry their cheeses to the weekly cheese market. The shipyards brought in the bulk of the florins resulting in the maze of streets lined with traditionally gabled Dutch houses, as well as wooden roofed houses which are typical for the province of Noord-Holland.

Truth be told, wandering around Edam and taking in the amazing traditional architecture, the dozens of white draw bridges, the canals and cheese market is the best way to explore Edam. But instead of telling you, I think it’s better to show you.

Edam, The Netherlands: Dutch towns and villages, Edam | Your Dutch Guide

Edam, The Netherlands. Grape Hyacinths in Edam, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

Dutch flowers: Edam, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

Dutch flowers: Edam, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

Dutch flowers: Edam, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

Dutch flowers: Edam, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

5 must do’s in Edam

  • Edam Museum
    The Edam Museum is set in a beautiful house from the 16th century. It offers a glimpse into the life of a Golden Age merchant and has paintings on display and furniture which was absolutely trending back then.
  • Cheese market and Kaaswaag
    The square that used to host the traditional cheese market is lined with gorgeous picturesque houses. From the 16oo’s until 1920 the square was the place that hosted the weekly cheese market, as you can see from the statue of the cheese carriers. Every Wednesday in summer you can witness a reenactment of the traditional cheese market, including traditional Dutch costumes. The Kaaswaag (cheese weighing house) was built in the 18th century and is currently a museum about (wait for it…) Edam cheese. If you’d like to discover more Dutch cheese towns when in The Netherlands, I also highly recommend visiting Gouda.
  • The bridges of Edam
    Edam being a typical canal village, it’s no surprise that it hosts lots of traditional bridges. The oldest one, a so-called ‘see-saw bridge’ can be seen if you walk to the cheese market and town centre coming from the bus station. But wandering through the town, you’ll literally see dozens of traditionally white draw bridges.
  • See Edam from the water
    Since Edam consists of a concatenation of canal it’s the best idea to explore the town from the water. During a one-hour boat trip, you’ll see the traditional houses, bridges and cheese warehouses from up-close.
  • Carillon tower
    Walking into town from the bus station you’ll immediately notice the leaning tower of The Church of Our Lady leaning over Kleine Kerkstraat. It was built in the 15th and 16th century. After the church itself was demolished in the 18th century, the tower is all that remains.

Edam, The Netherlands. Edam cheese | Your Dutch Guide

Edam, The Netherlands: Edam Cheese Market | Your Dutch Guide

Edam, The Netherlands: Edam Cheese Market | Your Dutch Guide

Edam, The Netherlands: Edam Cheese Market | Your Dutch Guide

Edam, The Netherlands: Edam Cheese Market | Your Dutch Guide

Edam, The Netherlands: sights in Edam | Your Dutch Guide

How to get from Amsterdam to Edam?

It’s just so incredibly easy to get to Edam from Amsterdam, that it would be a shame not to visit while you’re in Amsterdam. Simply catch bus number 314 from Amsterdam central station and get off at Edam Busstation 20-25 minutes later. You’ll need an OV Chip Card to travel on public transport in The Netherlands, you can charge the card as you go. Or you can buy a bus pass to visit 7 beautiful villages just north of Amsterdam.

You’ll need around two or three hours to explore all of the sights in the town. If you’re into visiting more than one typical Dutch village in one day, you can easily visit Edam, Volendam and Zaanse Schans in one go, as these villages are so close together. It’s easy to reach these villages by bus from Amsterdam, though you can also book a tour to visit these three villages.

More typical Dutch villages

  • Would you like to visit more traditional Dutch villages from Amsterdam? You can, as it’s just so easy. From Amsterdam, it’s easy to visit Zaanse Schans, Monnickendam, Broek in Waterland and Marken. In my article 4 villages near Amsterdam, I explain what to see and do in these villages and what to do there.
  • Personally, I am a huge fan of Muiden, as it’s home to a cute canal, an amazing castle and the old Amsterdam fortifications are just a short boat ride away. Read all about a day trip to Muiden from Amsterdam.
  • If you’re into canals, you should visit one of the canal villages in The Netherlands, as some of these villages don’t even have proper roads, just canals.

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Edam, The Netherlands. Discover Edam in The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Sammie
    February 20, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    I went to Amsterdam in the early 2000’s and I wish I’d known then what I know now! Edam looks utterly charming and of course, you had me at CHEESE! I can’t believe it’s so close to and so accessible from Amsterdam. I definitely need to come back to the Netherlands 🙂

  • Reply
    Katherine
    February 20, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Gorgeous architecture, an interesting history AND cheese? What more could a girl want? I’m so disappointed that I didn’t visit Edam when I was in Amsterdam (soooo many years ago). I think I’m due a trip back for cheese-eating purposes! #WanderfulWednesday

  • Reply
    Dorothy
    February 22, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    Edam appears to be an easy side trip that’s well worth the visit. The ornamental brick buildings are charming, and the cheese shop looks like a must-visit. I have to ask, who buys those large wheels of cheese or are they for display?

  • Reply
    Angie
    February 28, 2019 at 3:55 am

    I never thought of visiting Edam before, silly really considering it’s so famous for its cheese and isn’t far from Amsterdam. I will definitely check out this quaint little town next time I am in the Dam. #feetdotravel

  • Reply
    Sharon
    February 28, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    Canals, old Dutch buildings, bridges, and cheese — my kind of town! I would love to visit Edam!

  • Reply
    Kate
    March 5, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    How interesting. I didn’t know it was a place as well as a cheese!

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