8 great windmills to visit in the Netherlands

Windmills are one of the first things you think of when you hear the words “Holland” or “the Netherlands.” You’ll be pleased to know that the stereotype is true.

Of course, the Netherlands is more than just windmills, but it’s still a great excuse for a visit, as there’s no shortage of these iconic buildings.

So, if you’re living in the Netherlands and fancy a windmill trip, or if you’re doting on Dutch life and are coming to visit, then don’t forget to check these out! Here are eight great windmills to visit in the Netherlands.

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1. Kinderdijk

Kinderdijk isn’t just one windmill, but a whole windmill park. It’s located in South Holland, and if you’re a tourist, there are many tour companies prepared to give you an all-inclusive experience.

The windmills are actually still lived in, so don’t be surprised to see someone’s underwear hanging up outside. 🩲

Have you ever seen a more Dutch sight? Image: Emma Brown/Supplied

Kinderdijk is not only one of the Netherlands’ 12 World Heritage sites, but also has a small museum, a cafe, and a shop. You can have a boat tour that takes you alongside the windmills, or you could walk or bike around the area.

2. Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans is similar to Kinderdijk in the sense that it’s a windmill park, but Zaanse Schans is by far the most popular of the two.

There are plenty of things to do in the area too, where you can actually go inside many of the windmills. Some of the buildings are also museums and shops.

Zaanse Schans is filled with different coloured windmills. Image: Pixabay

Take a bike ride around the area, enjoy a walking tour, or explore some of the local stores. It’s also easy to reach Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam.

Travel tip: Avoid peak times in the summer, as it gets very busy with all of the tourists. So if you have the chance, avoid the busy times — when it comes to both times of the day and time of year. 📅

3. Molen de Valk

Molen de Valk can be found in the beautiful city of Leiden, home of DutchReview. It’s been there since the start of the 17th century, so it’s certainly one of Leiden’s greatest pride and joys.

A view you’ll pass by on your way to the Dutch Review office. Image: Emma Brown/Supplied

The mill was originally used for grain, and now it’s a little museum, dominating the view of the lovely university town. It’s great for your Instagram, and it’s a great place to be in general.

4. The windmills of Schiedam

If you’re after impressive windmills, then Schiedam is your place. Schiedam is home to some of the tallest windmills in the whole world — up to eleven floors high!

READ MORE | 21 epic day trips from Rotterdam: the ultimate guide

The original purpose of these huge windmills was to grind grain used to produce Jenever — making the city famous for the product. You can learn all about this inside one of the windmills (De Walvisch), which has been transformed into a museum.

Here you can see one of the original 20 windmills of Schiedam, de Kameel. Image: Pixabay

5. Molen de Adriaan

Haarlem is another beautiful city sporting an iconic windmill. Molen de Adriaan has been around since the 18th century, but was completely destroyed in a storm in the 1930s.

It was later rebuilt and made into a museum that tells you about the Netherlands, windmills, and how these transformed the country.

The windmill in Haarlem is hard to miss! Image: Michielverbeek/Wikimedia/CC4.0

Not only is the windmill great to check out, but Haarlem itself is beautiful and well worth a visit.

6. De Gooyer

Looking for windmills in Amsterdam? Here you can find De Gooyer, which is one of Amsterdam’s most famous windmills. It was built in the early 16th century, so it’s certainly old.

READ MORE | 5 of Amsterdam’s best canal cruises to float the day away

It’s not in the place where it was first built, as it has been moved around Amsterdam.

For Amsterdam tourists with limited time on their hands, De Gooyer is the best option. Image: Swimmerguy269/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0

Nowadays, you’ll find the windmill turning on the first Saturday of the month, so it’s the perfect time to see it in action while on your Saturday morning walk.

7. De Dikkert

De Dikkert is an old sawmill, which used to be in Zaandam. Now, however, it’s a restored corn mill located in Amstelveen.

Therefore, again, if you’re around the Amsterdam area, it’s the perfect place to visit.

This place simply screams “pancakes”! Image: Quistnix/Wikimedia Commons/CC2.5

What makes this windmill unique is that it is a restaurant, too — so if you want to be able to say you’ve eaten in an old windmill in Holland, this is your chance!🍴

8. Keukenhof windmill

The windmill in the Keukenhof Gardens is quite a stunning sight, with the burst of colour coming from the tulips.

Ahhh some colour to go with your windmill. Image: Depositphotos

This windmill was built in 1892 and was originally used as a polder mill. Nowadays, it is in retirement and used as an ornament.

READ MORE | 17 fabulous things to do in Delft in 2023

Hey, we wish we could retire at Keukenhof and be surrounded by bundles of flowers every day. 🤩

Visit for free on the National Mill Day

A perfect time to visit windmills is on National Mill Day, which falls on the second Saturday in May every year. On this day, you can enter hundreds of different windmills for free. 🎟️

Also, it’s the day to witness all the windmills turning, so it’s certainly a unique day in the Netherlands, and the perfect day to see all of the windmills for yourself (if only you get around them all, that is).

So there you have it — eight great windmills to visit in the Netherlands. There are plenty more where these came from, too (we just listed our favourites, and the most popular ones, here).

See, the stereotype is true — the Netherlands really is full of windmills. 😉

Have you ever visited any of these windmills? What other Dutch windmills should we add to the list? Tell us in the comments! 

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in February 2019, but was fully updated in August 2023 for your reading pleasure. 

Feature Image:Emma Brown/Supplied
Emma Brown
Emma Brown
A familiar face at DutchRevew. Emma arrived in Holland in 2016 for a few weeks, fell in love with the place and never left. Here she rekindled her love of writing and travelling. Now you'll find her eating stroopwafels in the DutchReview office since 2017.

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  1. Hey Emma,

    Thank you for your lovely article on dutch windmills. I can tell you haven’t been to Schiedam the past year because there are some errors in that part. I gladly help you out on that!

    The windmills of Schiedam are thé highest in the world. Top of the roof is about 33 meters above the ground which equals a building with 11 floors. The museum has moved just over a year ago from windmill De Nieuwe Palmboom (The New Palmtree) to windmill De Walvisch (The Whale). That mill also houses a wonderful millshop where you can by all kinds of baking products and flour varieties produced on windmill De Vrijheid (The Freedom), another mill of Schiedam. The one on the picture is windmill De Kameel (the Camel); with 30 meters the little brother of the other Schiedam windmills.

  2. Molen De Ster in Borculo is great!
    Run by volunteers who grind flower there and show the various ingenious features of the mill in action.

  3. I’m partial to the old molen in Hulst. On my first visit to my parents hometown of nearby St. Jansteen, I was photographing the mill when the miller invited me to help put up the sails. I was the nly person around besides the miller and he said “Wilt U mij helpen met mijn machine mijnheer? Ja zeker! Once he got it turning, he invited me inside to see the workings. I forgot the miller’s name but whoever he is or was, welbedankt mijnheer. Wat een groot plezir het was. Nooit te vergeten. I believe the mill is owned by the community now but I learned it was once privately owned by my Father’s business partner “Chassee” Van Helsland, so it has a connection of sorts to my family.

  4. Hello Emma, right after l read about Leiden l can assure you that it is definitely an amazing city and l really took some awesome pics for my Instagram. But a windmill l was able to see only in Haarlem, l love to discover culture deeply so l liked the trip there. And yes, l noted other places to see once l travel to the Netherlands!

  5. What a wonderful country! We have friend in Der Haag. visited a few times. They are very inventive people, very kind and industrious.
    The windmills are so simple yet so functional and clean air products to do a job. Brilliant. Hats off to these smart people and may they preserve and use as many a possible for many years to come! These are likened to a waterwheel used to grind grain. Another example of pure, clean genius to do a job

  6. Near The Hague, close to the village of Stompwijk is a ‘driegang’ : 3 mills that worked together to keep surplus water out of the lower ‘polder’ although the mills arent accessible I always take foreign visitors to the lowest mill and show them the difference in height

  7. At the Schenkkade in The Hague is the “Veenmolen” this is out of use by lack of certificates but it is in use as a restaurant.

    There are lots of mills all over the country and locals are proud and will be helpful with directions

  8. Thank you for a wonderful blog article.
    Would you recommend visiting in October?
    Is there a value to a tour or in October does it make better sense to train to a specific location?
    I vert much appreciate your thoughts!
    Thank you!


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