The Kinderdijk windmills have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. And no wonder! The site is home to nineteen windmills, arranged into two 'stairways', which today are one of the Netherlands' major tourist attractions.
Locals have been battling the water in Kinderdijk for almost a thousand years. Evidence of this battle can be seen in the polder today in the form of waterways, dykes, pumping stations, locks and of course the windmills. Nowhere in the world are there as many authentic, fully working windmills to be found in one place as here in Kinderdijk.
If you've always wanted to see inside a windmill, then here's your chance – pay a visit to the 'Nederwaard 2' windmill. You can visit this windmill all year round except on a few days such as Christmas Day and maintenance days.
A boat tour around the area is also one of the attractions. For a week in September, the windmills are illuminated at night creating quite a spectacle.
Don't forget to bring your camera!
Alblasserdam is an idyllic village situated in the heart of the Alblasserwaard polder. It's the perfect base from which to head off on a bike ride to the Kinderdijk windmills or to explore the beautiful Dutch polder landscape.
Over the centuries, Alblasserdam has succeeded in keeping the water at bay thanks to the Kinderdijk windmills. Nowadays, the work is done by pumps, but the windmills still occupy a warm spot in the hearts of local residents.
Its pleasant village centre has a variety of facilities, such as a marina, a cinema, a shopping centre and a modern indoor swimming pool. Every year, numerous events are held here including the Havenfestival (Harbour Festival), the Wielerronde van Alblasserdam (a cycle race around the town) and the historic St Jacobus horse market.
Dordrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. It has a rich history and is home to almost sixteen hundred listed buildings and countless other equally iconic buildings.
The city centre is snug and cosy with loads of antique shops and little boutiques. It's even possible to follow in the footsteps of our King and Queen, retracing the route they took on their visit to Dordrecht in 2015.
Other worthwhile events include the Kunstrondje Dordt (Dordt Art Walk) and the annual Bach Festival.
How do you fancy strolling over the Erasmus Bridge, peaking inside the Cube Houses or admiring the city's other architectural gems. Our hotel is the perfect base from which to visit Rotterdam.
The city was justifiably termed a 'must-see' by The New York Times. You'll find no end of great things to see and do with attractions such as the new Markthal, SS Rotterdam and the Euromast.
Shopping is of course an option in the famous Koopgoot (Dutch for 'shopping gulley') or in one of the hip and happening neighbourhoods around Witte de Withstraat and Pannekoekstraat.
Or maybe you'd prefer something a little more cultural? Again, there's no shortage of great museums such as the Kunsthal and the Boijmans van Beuningen.
A trip down the river on board the Fast Ferry is worth the trip alone. This mode of transport makes travelling along the rivers and waterways around Rotterdam and other local towns and cities highly pleasurable and enjoyable. It's the perfect way to get out and about.
The fast ferry service connects Alblasserdam, Dordrecht, Rotterdam, Kinderdijk, Papendracht, Sliedrecht, Ridderkerk and Krimpen aan den IJssel. The jetty is just a few minutes' walk from the hotel.
For timetables and additional information, please visit the www.waterbus.nl website [Dutch only].
Biking & Hiking
The Alblasserwaard polder provides the ideal setting for biking or hiking. It's quick and easy to get to the Kinderdijk UNESCO World Heritage Site, to criss-cross from village to village, or to jump on board the Fast Ferry to Rotterdam or Dordrecht.
Het Wapen van Alblasserdam is affiliated with the organisations that oversee the network of culinary bicycle routes and hiking trails – Happen & Stappen (hiking trails) and Happen & Trappen (bicycle routes). Read on for additional information about these culinary routes…
Happen & Trappen - The 'Alblasserwaard Windmill' Bicycle Route
One of the best bike routes just happens to start at Het Wapen van Alblasserdam! So what could be more important than starting the day properly before a day of cultural sightseeing? A hearty breakfast and a cup of coffee or tea will help keep you pedalling along.
The route takes you past the Oud-Alblas windmills, along the Graafstroom river towards Brandwijk, farther on to the Kinderdijk windmills and then back to Alblasserdam. And to top it off, there'll be a sumptuous dessert awaiting you on your return to Het Wapen. A day to remember!
For additional information about this bicycle route, please contact Happen & Trappen by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the www.happenentrappen.nl website [Dutch only].
Happen & Stappen - The 'Kinderdijk Windmill' Hiking Trail
(12 km | 7½ miles)
Why not go for a leisurely stroll or brisker hike to the world-famous Kinderdijk windmills? It's with good reason that Kinderdijk is one of the Netherlands' most beautiful and popular hiking destinations. It's simply stunning!
Het Wapen van Alblasserdam is the departure point for this unique hiking trail. To get you off to a proper start, you'll be served a delicious cup of coffee or tea and a pastry. At the end of a morning's hike, a deluxe sandwich treat will be awaiting you and at the end of an afternoon's hike a delicious meal.
For additional information about this route, please visit the www.happenenstappen.nl website [Dutch only].