how to get to kinderdijk the netherlands

Trip to Kinderdijk Molenkade

 

how to get to kinderdijk the netherlands

My trip to Kinderdijk Molenkade – Making the trip from Amsterdam isn’t necessarily simple but it is definitely worth it to see the best spot in the Netherlands for beautiful windmills. Kinderdijk is located outside of Rotterdam in the quiet area of Alblasserdam. There are 19 windmills built in 1740 that can still be used to pump water in the case of an emergency, the highest concentration of windmills in Holland. Kinderdijk is one of the most popular tourist spots in the Netherlands is on the UNESCO world heritage site list. To make it out there from Amsterdam Central take the intercity direct to Rotterdam Central to Lombardijen station and the bus 90 to Molenkade. It is almost a 2 hour journey if you do it right and plan accordingly. Other routes may take up to 2.5 hours with extra stops that can add to the confusion. If there is a group of you going I recommend simple renting a car. The journey by train comes out to be almost 40 euro and will take longer than directly driving there.

Once you arrive you will see a restaurant with a souvenir shop and to the left a museum. There will be a long path where you can walk or bike with windmills on each side of you. Across the bridge at the turning point you can pay to access the interior of the windmill. There is also a ferry that can take you through the windmills on the water. I visited the windmills after all the boats, stores, and restaurants were closed down so I felt like I had the park to myself. I planned it so I could see the windmills at sunset and I am happy to say that it did not disappoint! On the way back I took the exact same route in reverse which was longer only due to a late train. It was nice to have the windmills mostly to myself but I did bring a picnic for myself since I knew everything would be closed and since Kinderdijk is off the beaten path, there is nothing else around to eat. I highly recommend an early or late trip, depending on the experience you want to go for at the windmills!

windmills in hollandkinderdijk windmills hollanddutch windmills in the netherlandskinderdijk windmills at sunsetkinderdijk windmills at sunset

useful dutch phrases for tourists

13 useful Dutch phrases for tourists

useful dutch phrases for tourists

Here are a few useful phrases to learn while in the Netherlands. 90% of people in the Netherlands speak a decent amount of English and are happy to speak it to you. However, we like to go the extra mile in any country we visit to impress to locals and show appreciation for their country that we are visiting.

1. Dank u wel – The formal way of saying ‘thank you’ in dutch, very very common!

2. Alsjeblieft – The informal, yet most common, way of saying ‘please’ or ‘you’re welcome’. Note that the J is pronounced like a Y.

3. Hoe laat is het? – ‘What time is it?’ but literally it translates to how late is it.

4. Goedemorgen / goedemiddag / goedenavond / goedenacht – ‘good morning’ / ‘good day’ / ‘good evening’ / ‘good night’ all complete with that hard [g] the dutch and german are known for.

5. Proost – This is important whenever you are at a bar celebrating, it means ‘cheers!’.

6. Ik begrijp het niet – Probably the first dutch phrase I properly learned how to say, ‘I don’t understand it’.

7. Hoeveel kost dit? – ‘How much does it cost?’

8. Spreek jij engels? – ‘Do you speak English?’ You probably won’t even need to use this much because most people will speak English!

9. Waar is de WC? – Always important to be able to ask where the bathroom is! ‘Where is the bathroom?’

10. Ik hou van je – One of my favorite dutch phrases, not because of what it means but because of how it directly translates. It means ‘I love you’ but since there is no actual word for the verb to love it literally translates to I hold you close. Liefde is the word for ‘love’ but it is not a verb.

11. Sorry! – If you accidently run into someone on the street, say ‘sorry!’. Although the dutch sorry is pronounced a bit more like a Z than an S.

12. Lekker – Possibly the most used word in all of dutch language. I am being a bit dramatic when I say that but I hear it all the time. Technically speaking it’s only supposed to be used for tastes & smells but sometimes you’ll hear it used in ways that could translate as ‘awesome’. There is no way to directly translate this word so I like to think of it as ‘delicious’. When the waitress asks you how your food is, you will say smaakt lekker! When you tell someone to sleep tight, you say slaap lekker! When you see someone attractive on the street, lekkerding!

13. Gezellig – This one is just for fun because I like it. Again, there is no direct translation but it is closely related to ‘cozy’ but not just any cozy, cozy with friends or family that are all having a good time.

 

tips for biking in amsterdam

7 Tips for Biking in Amsterdam

tips for biking in amsterdam

Amsterdam, probably the most bikeable city in the world but it can be difficult for people that aren’t used to the ways the dutch do things. I was beyond excited to bike here for the first time but quickly almost got ran over which traumatized me. There are a lot very different aspects of riding here but once you get used them you will appreciate not having to worry about taking a cab or needing to rent a car. Here are a few tips I want to share after experiencing biking in this wonderful city.

1. Know the street signs and pay attention to them. Some are more obvious ones like the ‘yield’ sign but many will be in dutch. For example –  fietspad = cycle path. toegestaan = pedestrian zone, biking permitted. uitgezonderd or sometimes bijzonder = literally translates to ‘except’ or ‘particularly’ and will be next to a photo of a bike, both motorcycle & bike, or car & motorcycle.

2. Check your bike. Be warned, many bikes in Amsterdam come with few gears or none at all due to the lack of hills. Many also do not have hand brakes.

3. Avoid the obnoxiously branded rental companies. Maybe this is a pet peeve but if I see a few people in a group of bright yellow bikes with big signs on them I tend to avoid them like the plague and I imagine other locals feel similarly. There are plenty of less obnoxious looking bikes to rent.

4. Watch for the motorbikes and even small cars on the bike paths. This may change in 2015 but currently motorized vehicles below a certain speed, I think 30kmph, can ride on the bike paths. I personally think this is dangerous but it is what it is at the moment, so until the law gets changed, watch out!

5. Know where you’re going. I know that Amsterdam is lovely and it’s tempting to stop in the middle of the road and take photos or second guess your directions but it can really slow down traffic. Either pull off on the sidewalk or have the directions on your phone with headphones in one ear telling you where to go. I have found the headphones to be super helpful in getting me where I need to go. You can preload directions on google maps when you are on wifi and it will continue to work when you get off it, as long as you don’t go off track!

6. Lock it up. There is a reason all bikes come with ridiculously large locks. So make sure you always try to lock it up to something. During festivals and events it may not always be possible so I usually lock the wheel to the bike itself so that it is not easily moved, however, I would not do this for more than a few hours just to be safe.

7. Go with the flow. Some streets are for walking pedestrians only, so if you see people walking their bikes on a path, it could be for this reason. One way streets (for cars) may have an opposite path for bikes only. Be observant of what the locals are doing, it’s usually a safe bet to follow their lead (although some don’t follow the rules either).

 

bicycle parking garage at amsterdam centralbiking-in-amsterdam (1 of 1)