Windmills are iconic for the Netherlands. While many mills are no longer operational, they were an integral part of Dutch life for centuries, employed for industrial purposes like milling grains and draining the lowlands of excess water so the Dutch could create the famous polders, or reclaimed land. Aside from a few mills that are open year round, most mills are not open to the public, except for one special weekend in May: During the second weekend of May, 950 windmills and watermills open their doors to visitors for National Mill Day, providing you with an unique opportunity to see inside mills you ordinarily would only be able to admire from the outside.
National Mill Day takes place on the 10th of May.
The mills are decorated with flags and flowers and millers will provide tours to visitors. Many mills organise special activities for children. If one mill is not enough for you, there are special bicycle routes that will take you past some of the most beautiful mills in the region. The VVV Tourist information can help you find a route.
Though wind mills are probably not the first thing that come to mind when you’re thinking about Amsterdam, the city is in fact home to 8 wind mills:
- De Krijtmolen d’ Admiraal in Amsterdam-Noord
- De Gooyer in Amsterdam-Oost
- Molen De 1200 Roe in Amsterdam-West
- Molen de Bloem in Amsterdam-West
- Molen de Otter in Amsterdam-West
- De Riekermolen in Amsterdam-Buitenveldert
- Molen van Sloten in Sloten
- De Oudemolen/ Akermolen in Sloten
Although National Mill Day is a free event, a small contribution towards maintenance is always appreciated.