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Enkhuizen is a beautiful city on the IJsselmeer. This West Frisian city is bustling during the summers with tourists who often moor along the port for a day trip. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of things to do in Enkhuizen. This insider guide to Enkhuizen is written by Mirjam, an Enkhuizen local!
What to see and do in Enkhuizen
This port city of Holland, just a day trip away from Amsterdam, is small but beautiful. The city is full of beautiful original architecture and sights that any tourist (whether from the Netherlands or abroad!) won’t want to miss. You can enjoy Enkhuizen in a few ways. Many people prefer to see Enkhuizen by boat and/or take a cruise that stops off here. For others, it’s easier to take the train to the last stop (Enkhuizen) prior to enjoying scenic walking and biking routes through the city.
For a small city, Enkhuizen has a lot to offer in terms of culture. There are three popular museums with regular exhibitions worth visiting. I’ll be discussing the best things to do on a first-time visit to Enkhuizen, which is only one hour from Amsterdam by train. To go with a guide to Enkhuizen by bus, you can click for a day trip tour to Enkhuizen from Amsterdam!
The Zuiderzeemuseum has two pieces: the indoor museum and the open-air museum. Within the indoor section of the museum, you can learn much about the shipping history of this region and its legacy today. You can also view parts of famous ships!
The Zuiderzee was once part of the North Sea and in the 1930s following a series of floods, it was cut off from the rest of the North Sea by the Afsluitdijk. Today, you can drive from Noord Holland to Friesland along this engineering masterpiece!
The open-air museum is very popular and it’s like stepping back in time. Here, you can wander through various typical Holland villages that were physically moved from their original places. You truly get a sense of what life used to be like in the Netherlands.
Volunteers walk around in traditional Dutch clothing (klederdracht) and tell you about the past. There is an eel smokehouse, an old Dutch candy shop, and a little time school where you can drop in for a writing or geography lesson! In my vlog, you can follow me as I enjoy a pleasant afternoon at the open-air museum in Enkhuizen!
This museum is full of ships-in-a-bottle. It’s not a large museum, but given the subject, there is plenty to look at. In addition to small ships in bottles, you’ll also find various glass curios. With a bit of luck, you can meet the museum curator, a ship-in-a-bottle maker himself, and watch him work. Not long ago, the queen and king of the Netherlands visited this small museum!
The old city jail
The old city jail is a nice adventure for young and old. The atmospheric space is not used anymore, but it’s open to the public to experience what it was like in the past. The small cells are quite cold and dark. It’s not a large museum, but it’s a nice quick thing to do in Enkhuizen!
Things to do in Enkhuizen during summer
During the summer, there are many nice events and activities organized for tourists. Each Sunday, there’s a fair along the dijk. Beyond the weekly events, there is a jazz festival and a popular food truck festival. You can check the schedule on the tourism board’s website. Of course, you can always enjoy Enkhuizen with a knowledgeable guide to discover more of the secrets of this West Frisian city.
Where to eat and drink in Enkhuizen
Looking for a nice place for a snack or a drink in Enkhuizen? Don’t worry, there are many restaurants and cafes to choose from. These are my favorite places to eat and drink in Enkhuizen!
Onder de Wester
If you’re looking for a cozy place to sit and eat in the center, you can stop by Onder de Wester. It has a nice menu with a good selection of meat and fish, perfect for fish lovers. Don’t skip dessert as I recommend the homemade cake.
If you’re lucky enough to find a seat, take a seat on the terrace of ‘t Ankertj! From here, you can enjoy gorgeous views of the white drawbridge and the Drommedaris. The menu has many options made with organic and local ingredients.
De Enkhuizer visafslag
A short time ago, this traditional fish auction underwent a modern make-over. It’s fun to take a look around and taste fresh fish!
Vishandel van de Slecht
Although one might dock points for the atmosphere, Vishandel de Slecht is the go-to place for fish fries with a shrimp kroket. (If you haven’t tried these dishes, be sure to try them!) There is a small terace by the water where you can eat although you can also bring your food with you to enjoy on the grass near the Drommedaris.
Brouwerij De Werf
One of the newcomers to Enkhuizen is Brouwerij De Werf. If you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy meal, you will love the interior. Not a beer lover? It’s not a problem for those happy to sit down for a meal. Their vegetarian menu is limited.
This ice cream shop is small enough that you could easily pass by it without noticing. Don’t miss Vivaldi, which serves up the best known ice cream in the area. You’ll find countless delicious flavors to try as well as classic flavors such as chocolate or stracciatella. If you’re craving something different, they make stroopwafel ice cream as well as crunchy caramel…
For more tips about taking a trip to Enkhuizen, you can check out Mirjam’s blog for tips, including visiting Enkhuizen with kids (Dutch only).
For more recommendations for great day trips from Amsterdam, click for the 20+ best day trips from Amsterdam as told by a local! Hoorn is very close and for lovers of the strange, you need to check out the magical world of the Nederlands Kremlin!