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Discovering the mills of Kinderdijk in the Dutch countryside

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Kinderdijk is a Dutch town 96 kilometres from Amsterdam.

What is special about Kinderdijk is the fact that, right here, 19 mills are located along the banks of canals.

The area is so important from a historical and cultural point of view that it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

Let’s find out together how to get to Kinderdijk and all the important information to organise a visit.

Kinderdijk mills

Origin of the name: the legend

The term Kinderdijk means ‘children’s dam‘ in Dutch and is linked to a legend.

It is said that during the terrible flood of 1420, the village was completely inundated.

The survivors saw floating in the waters, a cradle with a baby and a cat inside, who were rescued.

From that day on, this picturesque windmill park took the name Kinderdijk.

The history of the windmills of Kinderdijk

Windmills of Kinderdijk were built in the first half of the 18th century as part of a water management system to prevent flooding.

The mills turned to channel excess water to the river, keeping dry the land that was threatened by floods.

Today, the mills have been replaced by an efficient water pumping station, but on summer weekends they are activated to the delight of visitors!

The windmills of Kinderdijk: what to see

There are a total of 19 windmills in Kinderdijk and they follow one another in two opposing rows along the edge of the canals.

Of the 19 mills, only two can be visited inside (No. 8 and No. 11).

The visit is very useful because it gives an insight into how a mill was made, how it worked, and how a family of millers lived in those days.

The mill usually consisted of four floors: on the ground floor there was the kitchen and the parents‘ room, on the first floor the children’s rooms, on the second floor the attic where the fish caught was smoked, and on the top floor the mill gears.

Finally, the canopy that could rotate 360° according to the direction of the wind.

The landscape around the mills is truly enchanting: we are in the Dutch countryside with green meadows and grazing animals.

The site can be visited on foot, by bicycle or by boat.

mills
animals

Practical information for visiting Kinderdijk: entrance ticket

If the idea is to go for a walk or bike ride without visiting the mills that are open to the public, it may be useful to know that access is free.

On the other hand, you will have to buy a ticket, which can be single (€7.00) or combined with the boat tour (€18.00).

The boat trip is slow and allows you to admire the mills from a different perspective.

You can buy the ticket HERE.

If you decide at the last minute to visit the mills inside, you can also buy the ticket at the entrance.

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Visiting the mills of Kinderdijk with children

The path inside the Kinderdijk site is flat and easy to walk with pushchairs.

If you decide to visit the mill inside, you will have to climb steep steps that are not suitable for small children.

Bicycles can be hired at the entrance, also with child seats .

How long does it take to visit Kinderdijk?

For a visit to the Kinderdijk site, count on a couple of hours.

The advice is to go early in the morning to fully enjoy the quiet and magic of the place.

The opening hours of Kinderdijk are as follows:

  • 1 March to 3 November 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m
  • 4 November to December 10:30-16:00

Closed on Christmas Day.

For all info, please visit the official website.

How to get to Kinderdijk

blooming

We arrived in Kinderdijk with the car we rented in Amsterdam and it is definitely the best option.

It takes about an hour. Once there, you can park it near the windmills, paying the attendant directly.

▶ If you need to rent a car, you can compare offers and save up to 70% by booking your car on DiscoverCars.

For more information, you can read this article.

Conclusions

The 19 windmills of Kinderdijk and the context in which they are set create a surreal, fairy-tale setting that should be visited at least once in a lifetime.

We would like to point out that the second Saturday in May is National Windmill Day in the Netherlands and all the windmills in Kinderdijk are put into operation as they once were.

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