The Windmills near Amsterdam are iconic


The Netherlands, often referred to as the land of windmills, has a deep-rooted history with these iconic structures. Symbolizing the Dutch struggle against water, windmills have been an integral part of the country’s landscape and culture for centuries. Near Amsterdam, several of these historic windmills offer a glimpse into the past, making them perfect destinations for private tours seeking to explore Dutch heritage and scenic beauty.

Top Windmills to Visit Near Amsterdam

Zaanse Schans

This village is a living museum, boasting a collection of well-preserved historic windmills. Each mill, with its unique history, offers insights into traditional industries like oil pressing, spice grinding, and even paint making. Zaanse Schans is not just about windmills; it’s a cultural hub showcasing wooden houses, workshops, and museums.

windmills zaanse schans
a windmill in the zaanse schans

De Gooyer

Located in Amsterdam itself, this windmill is a city landmark. Adjacent to it is the popular Brouwerij ‘t IJ, a brewery offering a selection of organic beers. Visitors can enjoy a unique combination of historical exploration and modern-day leisure.

Molen van Sloten

A fully functioning polder-draining mill, this site is unique as it is still operational. The mill is accessible to the public, and its interior offers an educational journey into the mechanism of windmills. It’s also known for its connection to Rembrandt, with an exhibition dedicated to the painter’s life and works.

Windmill of Sloten
Windmill of Sloten


Situated near the Amstel River, this mill is a picturesque spot famous for its connection to the Dutch poet Joost van den Vondel. The surrounding area, with its natural beauty, is perfect for leisurely walks or bike rides.

De riekermolen

De Otter

De otter
De Otter

Holding the title of the oldest sawmill in Amsterdam, De Otter is a testament to the city’s industrial history. Although currently not operational, it stands as a significant monument reflecting the craftsmanship of Dutch millwrights.

Private Tour Experiences at Windmills

Private tours to these windmills offer a range of experiences:

  • Guided Tours: Delve into the history and mechanics of windmills with expert guides. These tours often include access to parts of the mills not open to the general public, providing a more in-depth understanding.
  • Photography Sessions: The scenic landscapes around these windmills present perfect opportunities for photography enthusiasts. Whether it’s the rustic charm of Zaanse Schans or the urban backdrop of De Gooyer, each location offers a unique setting.
  • Cultural Activities: Participate in traditional Dutch crafts and demonstrations, such as clog making or cheese production. These activities provide an immersive cultural experience.
  • Culinary Experiences: Enjoy local delicacies, particularly at spots like Brouwerij ‘t IJ near De Gooyer, where you can sample artisanal beers and Dutch snacks.

Best Time to Visit and What to Expect

The best time to visit these windmills is during spring when the tulips are in full bloom, or in autumn to witness the vibrant fall colors. It’s advisable to dress in layers as the weather can be unpredictable. Most windmill sites are equipped with visitor facilities, but it’s wise to check in advance, especially for accessibility options.

Combining Windmill Tours with Other Local Attractions

To make the most of your trip, combine your windmill tour with visits to:

  • Amsterdam’s Historical Sites: The city’s rich history can be explored through its museums and architecture.
  • Countryside Explorations: Venture into the Dutch countryside for a complete experience of the Netherlands’ natural beauty.
  • Canal Tours: A quintessential Amsterdam experience, canal tours offer a different perspective of the city and its surroundings.

Practical Tips for Planning Your Windmill Tour

When planning your tour, consider:

  • Transportation: Many windmill sites are accessible by public transport from Amsterdam, and private tour operators often offer pick-up services.
  • Tour Booking: Book tours in advance, especially during peak seasons, to ensure availability.
  • Visitor Etiquette: Respect the sites by following guidelines, and practice sustainability to help preserve these historical landmarks.


Visiting the windmills near Amsterdam is more than just a tour. it’s an immersion into Dutch history, culture, and natural beauty. These windmills are not only architectural marvels but also symbols of the Netherlands’ enduring relationship with nature. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply seeking a unique travel experience, these windmills offer something for everyone.

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