Travel Destinations

Kinderdijk windmills – a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Netherlands

On our Spring trip to The Netherlands one of the highlights was our visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk, just outside of Rotterdam.

The windmills of Kinderdijk – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Netherlands

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Standing on their own, dotted about between canals full of waterlilies and lined by tall reeds gently swaying, the windmills of Kinderdijk are atmospheric, beautiful and an absolute must-visit for any trip to The Netherlands.

We were spellbound by the beauty of these 19 authentic windmills. We could have stayed amongst them for hours, soaking in the atmosphere as they cracked and turned.

The windmills of Kinderdijk: About the area

The Kinderdijk windmills stand 16 kilometers from Rotterdam and are absolutely beautiful in their 16th-century splendor.

They are the only place in the world you can see so many mills together in this way. And UNESCO have added them to their books, stating that:

The gorgeous windmills of Kinderdijk are part of a unique phenomenon. Nowhere else in the world can you find the complete history of water management at a single location. The windmills and pumping stations drain the excess water from the Alblasterwaard into the river Lek via the Elshout sluices. Subsequently, the river discharges the water into the sea.

They are awe-inspiring. And perhaps my favorite place we visited during our trip to the Netherlands with kids.

They just felt very special and like grand, dignified people. Standing together, unfailing and battling it out in all weathers.

The windmills of Kinderdijk - a UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Netherlands

Whilst here you can also visit the Windmill Museum Nederwaard where you can discover how a windmill works. We didn’t visit on this trip but will when we return.

At the Windmill Museum there are times when you can meet a modern-day miller and explore one of the windmills.

It’s worth noting, rather obviously, that the mills only turn if there is sufficient wind.

What to do

For us just being amongst the windmills was magical. It really felt like one of those special family moments to remember forever.

We visited towards the end of the day and it was as if we had stepped back in time, the sun catching the windmills in its rays and the brisk winds helping them to turn.

The only sound was the cracking of the big arms.

Walking up the large path between the canals was the perfect way to soak up the atmosphere and there were hardly any other people around.


There are other ways to enjoy this spot. For example, you can take boat rides up the canal which is a great way to see the windmills from another perspective.

You can also cycle along the designated paths here which are flat and wide and perfect for a family glide along past these beautiful mills.

Top tips for visiting Kinderdijk

  • Driving to Kinderdijk is the easiest means of getting there. But as mentioned before you can also cycle one of the routes.
  • There aren’t bicycles to hire at Kinderdijk so if this method appeals then come prepared.
  • The car park is chargeable at €5 (correct at the time we visited).
  • Tickets for the boat tour can be bought at the World Heritage Kinderdijk ticket offices.
  • There’s a discount for the boat if you buy it with an entrance ticket and you can choose which of the boats you take with this ticket (there are two to choose from).

Find out more about Kinderdijk and buy your tickets here and don’t forget to check out our ultimate guide to Netherlands with kids which is full of tips, itineraries and places to visit.

Have you been to Kinderdijk? What did you think of it?

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