When visiting a destination for just a day (which is often the case with most cruises), the challenge is often balancing “too little time” with “too much to do.” This is particularly true for a visit to Cruise Port IJmuiden, as a multitude of attractions and landmarks that The Netherlands is known, or even famous, for are within easy reach. We are here to help you make the perfect choice for a delightful day in the Low Lands!
At the top of your list should be Haarlem, a city smaller than Amsterdam but equally steeped in history. Haarlem’s compact medieval center exudes architectural elegance and the beautiful cobblestone streets with children’s heads are set around the imposing Grote of St.-Bavo church. The city’s manageable size allows for easy exploration on foot, making it an ideal destination for a leisurely day of sightseeing or shopping. Given its accessibility, beautiful city center, and the fact that it is less crowded than bustling Amsterdam, we are convinced it’s one of the top locations in the area!
Next on the list is, of course, Amsterdam, a city of timeless allure. Immerse yourself in Amsterdam’s inner city, rich in history and boasting impeccably preserved architectural marvels that whisper tales of centuries past. The city is renowned for its picturesque canals and waterways, making a canal cruise an absolute must. Glide through the city’s heart, savoring the charm of Amsterdam’s historic streets.
While in Amsterdam, consider exploring the famous red-light district near Central Station. Once considered a “no-go area,” it’s now perfectly safe to stroll through its vibrant lanes—just be mindful of crafty pickpockets in the city that never sleeps! While you’re there, don’t forget to visit the Old Sailor pub, one of the true icons of the red light district!
You can also take the opportunity to explore different neighborhoods in Amsterdam. Beyond the popular tourist spots, neighborhoods like Jordaan and De Pijp offer unique charm, local markets, and cozy cafes.
Holland is celebrated for its windmills, and at the remarkable open-air museum, Zaanse Schans, you’ll discover a delightful collection of these iconic structures. While Zaanse Schans isn’t an original village, it beautifully recreates the essence of a bygone era. Visit preserved buildings, including charming windmills along the riverbank, and witness cheese being made in a small factory. The museum also offers souvenir shops and inviting restaurants. De Zaanse Schans is less easily reached from Cruise Port Ijmuiden independently, so we recommend taking advantage of an excursion booked on board your cruise ship.
If your visit to Cruise Port IJmuiden falls in the spring, consider a journey to Keukenhof. Over seven million tulips in 800 varieties burst into vivid bloom in this one-of-a-kind park. Stroll through picturesque landscapes and diverse gardens, and don’t miss the “cruise” through the fragrant flower bulb fields; a truly breathtaking experience! Reaching Keukenhof from Cruise Port IJmuiden might be more convenient through guided tours available on most cruise ships. However, if you’re up for an adventure, you can take a scenic route via bus to Haarlem, a train to Leiden, and then the “Keukenhof Expres” bus, delivering you right to the park’s entrance. Be prepared for a journey of up to two hours. Combined tickets for this excursion are conveniently obtainable at Haarlem’s railway station.
During weekends and on national holidays, the Bazaar (also known as the “Black Market”) in Beverwijk -one of the largest (indoor) markets in Europe- is open. It is highly recommended for a few hours of wandering, browsing, and returning with the most fantastic bargains. It’s also an excellent place to enjoy a spicy Asian meal!
Visit the beach of IJmuiden; it’s truly one of our favorites and conveniently located next to the Felison Cruise Terminal! On a warm summer day, it’s the perfect spot to spend a lazy day, and in less favorable weather conditions, it’s a great place for a short or long beach walk.
Of course, you shouldn’t miss the chance to savor local Dutch dishes. Try stroopwafels, poffertjes, and traditional Dutch cheese at local markets or cafes. IJmuiden is also known for the best and freshest fish from the North Sea, and you can enjoy the specialties of the sea in a number of restaurants.
Check if any cultural events or festivals are happening during your visit. Amsterdam and Haarlem often host vibrant events celebrating art, music, and local culture. IJmuiden has a summer festival and the regionally well-known harbor festival. These events are certainly worth a visit!
For the intrepid explorers, there’s also the option to go biking or hiking. The region is brimming with fascinating sights, activities, and hidden gems waiting to be uncovered. Your journey from Cruise Port IJmuiden promises to be an enchanting voyage of discovery!
Remember to check local event calendars and transportation options to make the most of your time in the region. Enjoy your visit to Cruise Port IJmuiden and its surrounding treasures!