The small city of Enkhuizen is an old Dutch harbour town, and one of the most prominent ones of the Dutch Golden Age. It lost its trade position by the late 17th century, due to the wars with England, the silting of its waters and the rise of Amsterdam, but maintained much of its historic grandeur. Today, the town is famous for its herring and a beloved destination for its traditional Dutch feel and water sports facilities.
Enkhuizen is connected by rail, with all trains running in the direction of Amsterdam. Until Hoorn, trains provide a "stop service", stopping at several smaller stations, while operating as an intercity fast train after that. Direct connections from Enkhuizen (all via Amsterdam) include Amsterdam Sloterdijk, Amsterdam Central Station, Hilversum, Amersfoort, Apeldoorn and Deventer. Amsterdam of course offers a wide range of other transfers.
In summer (May-September, plus more limited services in April and October), a ferry service connects Enkhuizen to Stavoren in Friesland. The ferries run 2 or 3 times per day, stopping also at the Zuiderzeemuseum, and their schedules match train times. In this way, the ferry serves as a public transport connection across the IJsselmeer, but also allows for a nice ride or fun day trip to Stavoren. The ferry is operated by Rederij V&O, takes about 80 minutes one way and costs €10.80/14.50 for an adult's single/return ticket. Children up to 12 pay €7/8.40 and bikes can be taken for €5.20/7,30. Departure times in summer are usually 08:30, 12:30 and 16:30 from the Enkhuizen platform, near the train station, but check in advance.
phone: +31 228 325771address: Westerstraat 25This bicycle shop rents out a range of bikes, including children's bikes and electrical ones. For anything other than a regular bicycle it's wise to make reservations, which can be done on the website or by phone.
Enkhuizer Waagaddress: Kaasmarkt 8The city's weigh building survived the test of time remarkably well, and even the centuries old weighing mechanism in the main hall is still available. The outside of the building is an excellent example of early Dutch Renaissance architecture. Note also the family weapons captured in the windows: they represent the barber surgeons and doctors who had offices in the weigh building in the 17th century.
Drommedarisaddress: Paktuinen 1The city's main landmark is this 16th-century gate building, dubbed the "dromedary". This monumental building was nicely restored in 2013 and still has its original 17th-century carillon, which plays every 15 minutes. It's halls are for rent, for events, note the building is otherwise not open to public.
Koepoortaddress: corner of Westerstraat and WesteindeThe basic structure of this former city gate was built between 1649 and 1654, after which it served as the western entrance gate in the city's defence structure. The little clock tower is an 18th-century addition, however,
phone: +31 228 35 11 11address: Wierdijk 12-22This well-known museum preserves knowledge about the maritime history of the Zuiderzee, now the IJsselmeer. It comprises a lovely outdoor section, open only in summer, with reconstructed buildings from the region's heyday and local craftsmen and volunteers demonstrating traditional skills and trades. The indoor section houses a fine collection of photographs, paintings, artefacts and more, providing a great insight in life around the region over the centuries. There are many activities for children, making it a very family-friendly museum. If you're coming by car, park at the Stationsplein (near the train station) and walk from there.
phone: +31 228 317762address: Zuiderspui 1It's an extraordinary collection, the 1000 or so "ships in a bottle" that are part of this small museum. About half of them are on display, some very old. the museum is housed in the monumental Spuihuisje.
- Yachtcharter Windkracht 5, Compagnieshaven 7, 1601 ZA Enkhuizen mob. +31 6 441 881 96. For Bavaria sailingyacht rental.
address: Kooizandweg 9This theme park is a fun day out for young children and adults who have an interest in fairy tales. Its attractions and characters tell the stories of several world famous and local fairy tales, many in the form of outdoor representations. The park also includes play grounds, gardens, a small castle, a petting zoo and some small moving attractions. It's closed most of the winter season.
phone: +31 228 318 370address: Pannewal 7It's a lovely way of exploring the IJsselmeer waters; rent a small boat (no special license required) and make your own way. Especially in the summer season, it's wise to book well in advance.
Enkhuizen Cycle RouteHistoric triangle along the Zuiderzee coast. Distance: 73 km (in 3 sections).
phone: +31 228 323441address: Dijk 28Perhaps the best restaurant in town, this place serves beautiful, tasty dishes and offers great service. There's a nice selection of wines to be had too.
phone: +228 315 225address: Westerstraat 116For a fixed price of €22.95, you get to order as many of the little dishes on this restaurant's menu as you can eat. You can choose from 25 Mediterranean inspired options, and a handful of desserts. The dining area is a bit dark but the food gets good reviews. For weekends, make sure to call ahead as this place can get crowded.
phone: +31 228 318 610address: Dijk 28The interior of this place may be a bit dated, but it's in a nice monumental building and offers a pretty good menu.
phone: +31 228 755 600address: Dijk 80The place to go for Guinness and Murphy's on tap.
address: Kaasmarkt 9-11The closest thing to a club used to be called Stadsherbergh, but has been renovated as Brave Hendrik. It holds three halls with different music and is popular with local young people.
address: Paktuinen 8The 22 rooms of this hotel are simple but well-maintained and the location close to the harbours gives some lovely views, also from the cosy outdoor terrace. Breakfast is included and there's an on-site restaurant for dinner too. Rooms have free Wi-Fi.
Hotel de KoepoortHoused in an old city gate, this hotel offers modern, well-appointed rooms with aircon, coffee and tea facilities and free wifi. The place has been recently renovated and breakfast is included. Note that most of the rooms are smaller than the ones shown on the hotel website.
phone: +31 228 56 24 69address: Westerstraat 217If you like some peace and quiet, this place with its lovely gardens is a good pick for you. It's a B&B style place, with rooms leading into the garden. They are clean, although outdated a bit, and a little dark due to the large trees outside. Service is friendly though. Breakfast is included and prices drop when you stay more than one night.
phone: +31 228 312510address: Dijk 74Nicely renovated rooms and friendly service. The small outdoor terrace has some harbour views, and so do the deluxe rooms. There's a restaurant and bar in house. Check for last minutes and low season rates, as they can be considerably lower than regular ones.
- Yachtcharter Windkracht 5, Compagnieshaven 7, 1601 ZA Enkhuizen, mob. +31 6 441 881 96. You can sleep on one of our Yachts. For max. 6 people on each yacht. The Compagnieshaven has a sanitary room, laundry, supermarket, bar/restaurant, bbq place and you can walk in to the city in 5 minutes.
Deen supermarketaddress: Clarissenplaats 2
Primera book storeaddress: Westerstraat 105
Of course you're only a quick train ride away from the fascinating Dutch capital, Amsterdam.