Photo of Edam

About Edam

Nestling on the banks of the Markermeer River, 30 minutes north of Amsterdam, lies the quaint little town of Edam. Home of the world-renowned Edam cheese, it is a picturesque town teeming with history and culture, surrounded by fertile farmland peppered with cows and adorned with tulips, and the ideal place for a romantic weekend away. The best places to stay in Edam tend to be small quaint properties, perfect for an authentic stay.

Historically, Edam served as a well-travelled port for traders in timber and cheese. At the onset of the Dutch Golden Age, merchantmen and navies favoured Edam as a cheese because it didn't spoil with time and could be traded for spices and other luxuries from the Far East. The Edam Museum, set in a gorgeous 16th century house, provides a glimpse into the life of one of these merchants living in the Dutch Golden Age, boasting paintings, artefacts and 17th century furnishings.

The town itself is interwoven with canals and it is delightful to walk beside them past the charming old townhouses or tour the waterways by boat, while the once booming harbour now stands quiet, idle and picturesque, dotted with recreational dinghies and colourful trawlers. Be sure to hire a bike and cycle around Edam - like many other Dutch towns it is a haven for cyclists. Edam is full of marvellous medieval architecture like the Speeltoren, a lopsided belltower, the sad but noble remains of a 14th century church. The Grote Kerk, a 15th century cathedral, is adorned with enchanting stained glass windows and is the perfect place to escape the bustle of town life.

Of course, you categorically cannot talk about Edam without talking about cheese. Up until 1922, the town hosted an extremely popular market where farmers from neighbouring lands and regions far and wide came to sell their wares: this is recreated every Wednesday in July and August, complete with traditional costumes and music. If you want to learn more about the process involved in making cheese (and Edam specifically) head over to De Kaaswaag, a cheese weighing house, a permanent exhibition on the art of making cheese.

What not to miss

  • Hire a bike and cycle around the town, past the waterways and medieval townhouses.

  • Immerse yourself in the art of making cheese at De Kaaswaag and sneak a few free samples.

  • Check out the Edam Museum, a beautiful 16th century townhouse that provides a glimpse into the life of a merchant in the Dutch Golden Age.
  • If you're there in July or August, be sure to head to the weekly cheese market.
  • Take a boat tour along the canal!
  • Marvel at the Speeltoren, a lopsided belltower, the remains of a 14th century church.
  • Head out to Amsterdam, only 30 minutes away by bus, and greedily haunt the "coffee shops".

Edam isn't all about cheese. A fascinating historic town full of great museums, excellent food and beautiful canals, it is the ideal destination for a romantic weekend away. Check out our collection of the best places to start planning your trip.

The best places to stay in Edam

For couples

  • Dam Hotel: elegant and traditional, this charming hotel offers individually-styled rooms furnished with softly patterned wallpaper, antiques and original artworks. The indulgent menu in the restaurant is sumptuous and the hotel itself is ideally located close to the major attractions.

For an apartment or cottage

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and cottages in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • Fly to Amsterdam and either get a train (45 mins) or bus (30 mins) to Edam.
  • If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
  • The best time to go is during the summer, particularly between July and August when the cheese market is in full flow, and when the temperature ranges between 13 and 22 degrees.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Edam

  • Dam Hotel 11 rooms from £101

    Edam

    An elegant hotel boasting a central location in the historic city of Edam. Individually styled rooms are traditionally dressed with softly patterned wallpaper, antiques and classic artworks. Indulgent menu in the restaurant and many of the city's main attractions are just a short walk away.

    Local exploring  -  A charming hotel located in the heart of historic Edam.
    Local markets  -  Visit Edam's Cheese Market and purchase the city's most famed produce.
    Full of character
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Check prices