Tourist Attractions

Please find below our selection of tourist attractions located around Lake IJsselmeer.

The buildings of the towns and villages around the Zuiderzee bear witness to the area’s rich history. VOC warehouses, wooden fishermen’s cottages, canal houses, churches and mills all tell their own unique story.

The shores of what was once the Zuiderzee are home to many places of historical interest, including VOC towns, fishing villages and Hanseatic cities. Many reminders of the region’s illustrious past can still be found today, and this guide reveals the places of special interest to be found in each town or village.

You will have the opportunity to visit one or more museums each day on your cycling trip around the IJsselmeer. Admire the paintings of Dutch masters, learn the art of building dikes and draining polders with a windmill, or learn about the lives of the people who used to live on the shores of the Zuiderzee. Read more about the wide range of activities here.

There is no shortage of amusement parks around the Ijsselmeer if you decide you want to combine a cycling trip with some fun and excitement for the children. Watching dolphins leaping, or a ride on a rollercoaster will make a change from cycling through the countryside.

Your cycling tour around the Ijsselmeer will take you through many water-rich nature reserves, including marshes, lakes, polders and deciduous woodlands that are home to unique flora and fauna. See the overview of nature reserves below.

The Netherlands is home to ten world heritage sites recognised by UNESCO, and six of them are located around the IJsselmeer. These unique heritage sites tell the story of the Netherlands in a very special way. 

  • Zuiderzee Museum

    Zuiderzee Museum

    Enkhuizen

    The Zuiderzee Museum is a unique open-air museum that vividly brings into focus the history and culture of this area. Read more

  • Marken

    Marken

    Marken

    Have you ever seen a picture postcard from the Netherlands? That might have been a picture of Marken. Marken attracts tourists from all over the world... Read more

  • Oostvaardersplassen

    Oostvaardersplassen

    Lelystad

    Nature in it's purest form. Read more

  • Dolfinarium

    Dolfinarium

    Harderwijk

    Europe’s largest marine mammal park includes a dolphinarium and daily dolphin shows. A day at the dolphinarium is an unforgettable experience. Read more

  • Afsluitdijk

    Afsluitdijk

    Breezanddijk

    The Afsluitdijk (Closure Dam) is a 32-kilometer-long dam. It was completed on 28th May 1932. It meant the end of the treacherous North Sea inlet known... Read more

  • Ir. D. F. Woudagemaal

    Ir. D. F. Woudagemaal

    Lemmer

    Ir. D. F. Woudagemaal (Monument Outside the Town of Lemmer) is UNESCO World Heritage and the largest steam-driven pumping station in the whole of Euro... Read more

  • Muiderslot

    Muiderslot

    Muiden

    Muiderslot is a square medieval castle complete with moat, drawbridge, battlements, wall-walks and arrow loops. The castle walls and round towers on t... Read more

  • Naarden

    Naarden

    Naarden

    Naarden is one of the best-preserved fortified towns in Europe and definitely merits a visit. Read more

  • Arkemheen Eemland

    Arkemheen Eemland

    Bunschoten-Spakenburg

    Arkemheen Polder is one of the oldest polders in the country and it shows us what life was like for farmers in Holland in times of old. Read more

  • Walibi Holland

    Walibi Holland

    Biddinghuizen

    Playgrounds, shows and thrilling rides including roller coasters guarantee a day of good fun. Read more

  • Monnickendam

    Monnickendam

    Monnickendam

    The Town of Monnickendam is well known for it's cheese, ship yards and well preserved historical center. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Monnickendam ... Read more

  • Edam

    Edam

    Edam

    Edam, famous for its cheese! Shipbuilding, herring fishery and cheese trade brought great prosperity to Edam around 1230. From the 16th century, the c... Read more

  • Stadspoort Dromedaris

    Stadspoort Dromedaris

    Enkhuizen

    Town Gate in the Town of Enkhuizen. Built in 1540 and doubled as a defensive tower and prison. Read more

  • Hoorn

    Hoorn

    Hoorn

    Hoorn is a historic town with a charming harbor that once served as the base for the VOC. Hoorn was granted city rights in 1357. Read more

  • Enkhuizen

    Enkhuizen

    Enkhuizen

    Enkhuizen is a town oozing history. There are 350 monuments across the historical centre. The tourist information office can help you with scenic walk... Read more

  • Nederlands Stoommachine Museum

    Nederlands Stoommachine Museum

    Medemblik

    In the Steam Engine Museum in Medemblik you will learn all about steam engines. How they look, how they work and how important they were to the indust... Read more

  • Schokland

    Schokland

    Schokland

    Schokland, the pearl of Flevoland, is a former Island in the Zuiderzee. It used to be an island in the Zuiderzee but today it is part of the Noordoos... Read more

  • Makkum

    Makkum

    Makkum

    The village of Makkum lies in Friesland, on the eastern shore of IJsselmeer. It is known first and foremost for its pottery but also had brick and (ro... Read more

  • Hindeloopen

    Hindeloopen

    Hindeloopen

    In an almost deserted, idyllic setting is the unique historic town of Hindeloopen. Hindeloopen is one of the eleven towns in Friesland province. It re... Read more

  • Stavoren

    Stavoren

    Stavoren

    Stavoren is the oldest of the eleven towns in Friesland province. It was founded around the year 900 on the shores of a waterway and received town rig... Read more

  • Lemmer

    Lemmer

    Lemmer

    Lemmer was once surrounded by forts and castles. Today the village is mainly a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Lemmer is also called the Gate o... Read more

  • Giethoorn

    Giethoorn

    Giethoorn

    The Venice of the Netherlands. That is the nickname of the watery village Giethoorn. Read more

  • Weerribben Wieden

    Weerribben Wieden

    Giethoorn

    This freshwater wetland is considered very precious, important and beautiful. De Wieden took on the characteristic appearance of a peat extraction sit... Read more

  • Urk

    Urk

    Urk

    The Former Island of Urk, like Marken and Schokland, used to be an island in the Zuiderzee. It is higher than its surroundings so you can see it from ... Read more

  • Bataviawerf

    Bataviawerf

    Lelystad

    Imagine yourself in ancient times and wander around the decks of VOC ship "Batavia". Bataviawerf is a shipyard named after a ship that is moored there... Read more

  • Kampen

    Kampen

    Kampen

    The Town of Kampen is a beautifully preserved town. In the 15th century it was a mighty Hansa town on the River IJssel, a busy trade route between the... Read more

  • Elburg

    Elburg

    Elburg

    The old fortified town Elburg is beautifully situated on the Zuiderzee. The town is rich in historical heritage. Read more

  • Nunspeet

    Nunspeet

    Nunspeet

    Amidst the Veluwe woods lies Nunspeet: one of the oldest Dutch tourist villages. Due to its location in between Veluwe Forest and the Zuiderzee, Nunsp... Read more

  • Harderwijk

    Harderwijk

    Harderwijk

    Harderwijk had an important place in the Hanseatic League, an alliance between merchants and towns in the Middle Ages. Read more

  • Spakenburg en Bunschoten

    Spakenburg en Bunschoten

    Spakenburg en Bunschoten

    Fish trade is still an important line of business in Spakenburg. It’s a good place to eat fish. Read more

  • Amsterdam

    Amsterdam

    Amsterdam

    Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands. The city, also known Mokum in Amsterdam, lies at the mouth of the Amstel and the IJ. Read more

  • Volendam

    Volendam

    Volendam

    Volendam is a fishing village where the authentic atmosphere has been preserved nicely. Read more

  • De Beemster

    The Beemster

    Middenbeemster

    ​The Beemster, the reclaimed land, which was reclaimed by Leeghwater (a builder of mills from d Rijp) in 1612. Read more

  • Blokzijl

    Blokzijl

    Blokzijl

    ​The city of Blokzijl at the former Zuiderzee was an enclave in Spanish grounds during the eighty years war with Spain and knew its greatest wealth ... Read more

  • Stoomgemaal Hertog Reijnout

    Pumping Station Hertog Reynout

    Nijkerk

    The polder Arkemheen is one of the oldest polders of the Netherlands. Here you can see the steam pumping-station ‘Hertog Reynout’. Read more

  • Oudemirdum

    Oudemirdum

    Oudemirdum

    The old village centre of Oudemirdum dates from the Late Middle Ages. The core consists of De Brink, the Church ‘De Fontein’ (nowadays a state mon... Read more

  • Zuidwest Friesland

    South-West Frieslan

    Oudemirdum

    South-West Fryslân has some remarkable qualities regarding landscape and cultural history that have always been well-preserved. Read more

  • Waterland

    Waterland

    Broek in Waterland

    Waterland is a unique piece of ‘real’ Holland. In many places here you have the feeling that time has stood still. The picturesque image that many... Read more

  • Forteiland Pampus

    Forteiland Pampus

    Muiden

    At the coast before Muiden lies the Fortress Island Pampus. which has recently been restored. Read more

  • Grachtengordel

    Canal district

    Amsterdam

    ​The Amsterdam Canal district was an extraordinary feat in urban planning and architecture. Read more