Kinderdijk is a small town surrounded by water in the province of South Holland, about 20 kilometers southeast of Rotterdam. It is situated on the Nederwaard polder and is world-famous for its 19 windmills that line both banks of the river Lek.
Windmills of Kinderdijk
The famous windmills of Kinderdijk were built in the mid-18th century. The windmills are located in the Alblasserwaard area in the small village of Kinderdijk. They are divided into three groups according to the polder they are located at: Overwaard, Nederwaard and De Blokker. The windmills were declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1997.
Like many Dutch cities, Kinderdijk is situated below sea level. In the past centuries, the 19 windmills were used to pump the water from the polder into the river Lek, which supplied the agricultural areas with water.
Visit the Interior of the Windmills
The windmills remain fully functional today! Although now mainly driven by electricity with fully automatic water pumps, in strong winds the blades still turn in the conventional way. The most interesting thing about Kinderdijk is its significance for the people that inhabited the region in the past centuries, which you’ll learn about during your visit.
Two of the windmills can also be viewed from the inside during your tour. Since they were once used as living quarters, you’ll still find ancient furniture and decorations. You’ll find numerous boards where you get insights on the life of the miller and his family who lived there in the 18th century.
At the edge of the site is the Wisboomgemaal Visitor Center. Whether at the beginning or at the end of your visit, make sure to watch the short movies shown on site. Here you can learn about the development of the region over the past centuries. You’ll see how the Dutch have been coping with rising water for centuries.
Tickets and Prices
Would you prefer to walk the paths between the mills without entering the windmills? Then you don’t need to purchase a ticket. Just walk right past the ticket office through the official entrance of the site. However, we strongly recommended that you also visit the museum mills. These are really impressive and are simply a must in order to appreciate the importance of the area. You can purchase tickets online for €9.00 (adults) and €5.50 (children).
You also have the option of booking a 30-minute boat trip. This costs €5.50 for adults and €3.30 for children. The trip allows you to explore the area from the water. However, if you like walking, we’d rather suggest to explore the area on foot.
Dogs are allowed in Kinderdijk, but must be leashed. Your furry companion may also accompany you on a boat trip. Dogs aren’t allowed inside the Blokweer Museum Mill.
Kinderdijk is open daily, from Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. However, some activities are only available during the summer months.
How to Get to Kinderdijk?
The nearest major cities from Kinderdijk are Dordrecht, the oldest city in Holland (about 15 km away) and Rotterdam (about 20 km away). Here you can find more attractions after you have enjoyed a quieter day in Kinderdijk. If you’re staying various days and are looking for more sightseeing and activities, we recommend that you book your accommodation in Rotterdam.
Travel by Car
Kinderdijk is easily accessible by car from Rotterdam or Dordrecht. However, parking in Kinderdijk is rather tedious, as there is only a small parking lot in front of the entrance. Larger parking lots are about a 10 minute walk from the entrance, so it’s worth arriving early!
Travel by Public Transport
You can also take public transport from cities like Rotterdam. From the city center take Metro D or E to Rotterdam Zuidplein. Then take bus 90 in the direction of Utrecht and get off at the Kinderdijk Molenkade stop. However, note that the journey takes over an hour and thus it’s much faster to go by car.
For a fun change, you can also take the Waterbus to Kinderdijk from Rotterdam or Dordrecht. Take line 20 to Ridderkerk, where a ferry boat will take you to Kinderdijk. Still longer than by car, but much more interesting than by bus.