Busy and authentic Volendam
Just like Marken, Volendam is a "must see" for old Dutch charm. Stroll along the dike with its many tempting shops, restaurants and terraces, where each day hundreds of tourists absorb the authentic atmosphere and enjoy the harbour views. Wander through the maze of quiet streets which take you one hundred years back in time and watch the ferry boats sailing to and from Marken lying across the bay.
The Pearl of the Zuiderzee.
Volendam is not for nothing a village that has attracted famous painters who have immortalised the landscape and street scenes since 1880. Not for nothing a village that has been song of as the pearl of the Zuiderzee. And not for nothing the name of the village that right up to today catches the imagination millions of tourists.
The Volendams Museum shows how hard the Volendammers worked and lived at the end of the 19th century and the first 50 years of the 20th century. You see how the village became famous due to the many artists and painters who visited and then took their paintings and drawings around the world. There is also an exhibition of traditional costumes and jewellery from not only Volendam but other parts of the Netherlands as well as drawings, pottery, photos, post cards, and written and musical art. There are authentic old interiors and an exhibition of the fishing industry with associated industries. Finally there are examples of folk art and handicrafts.
“Paling sound” is musical history
The word “paling sound” was coined by discjockey Joost den Draaijer and has become part of the language. It described the classic, typical Netherlands style of pop music produced by various successful bands and singers originally from Volendam. Paling is the Dutch word for eel, and the description links the eel industry of Volendam with the smooth sound of the music! Famous representatives of the genre are The Cats, BZN, Piet Veerman and Jan Keizer. Jan Smit, Nick & Simon and the 3J’s are the new generation, but do not label themselves “paling sound”. The “Palingsoundmuseum” gives a view of 100 years of Volendams’ musical history.
Going out in Volendam
Don’t miss a visit to a fish shop or market stall to try a delicious herring or smoked eel! There are, naturally, many cafes and restaurants in Volendam, so there is plenty choice, especially overlooking the harbour and Gouwzee. But ask a local, he will be pleased to recommend the best place to you.