"Dam on the Ye" Top 5 Page for this destination Edam by goodfish

Edam Travel Guide: 97 reviews and 352 photos

The crowds and construction in Amsterdam got to us after a couple of days and we fled the insanity for something a bit less clamorous. Jumping a bus at Centraal, we strolled into the 16th-century village of Edam a mere 40 minutes later and it took less than half a minute after that for our jangled nerves to settle.

Most Americans will be familiar with the round, wax-coated cheese of the same name? Bingo: it originated in this region. But Edam wasn't all about cheese: in the 14th and 15th centuries this was an important shipping port and ship-building center with its own harbor and bustling trade business until locks were installed to reduce inland flooding. Eventually the harbor silted in, and the business of cheese-making moved on to big factories throughout the Netherlands and other parts of the world. Instead of merchants, shipwrights and sailors, the village now bustles with tourists who come to the old square for costumed re-enactments of the long-ago cheese market on summer Wednesdays.

While time marched on where industry was involved, the soul of this little town remains firmly in place. Centuries-old houses, churches and municipal buildings, wisely protected from the ravages of urban renewal, line picturesque little canals and narrow streets, and charming cafes and coffee shops provide welcome respites for wandering shutterbugs and history buffs.

On that late autumn Thursday, the sun - which had stubbornly refused to shine on Amsterdam - finally decided to smile. And so did we.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Friendly, pretty, great architecture, easy trip from Amsterdam
  • Last visit to Edam: Sep 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (12)

Comments (3)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jun 26, 2015 at 12:23 PM

    Hello, Kate! Thanks for your good story about your stay in Edam....What a great place to visit!

    • goodfish's Profile Photo
      Jun 26, 2015 at 12:42 PM

      And thank YOU for stopping by, Victor! We had such a nice day there, and I'd love to back and do a little bicycling around next time.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jun 27, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    Kate, I just love your opening photo! The rest are excellent too, just how I remembered Edam. I loved wandering around here, just like you did. Such a pretty town!

    • goodfish's Profile Photo
      Jun 27, 2013 at 3:09 AM

      Dee, thanks for visiting these pages and for your nice note! It is such a pretty place, isn't it? And so friendly; we wished we could have spent the night there. Maybe next time? :O)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Yes, I did immediately think of the cheese. Nice to see what the town looks like. As it happens I have just returned from a short visit to Holland ? spent a few days in Groningen, including Good Friday. I?ll do a VT page on it at some point, but as usual I am a few pages behind.


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