Edam is just a few minutes via bus from Volendam, but the quiet village is very different from its touristy neighbor. Wandering the empty streets with our small group made it difficult to believe that in the 18th century Edam was a busy whaling port with over 30 shipyards. Today Edam is a bedroom community for Amsterdam, with most residents commuting into the city. Edam is covered with narrow streets, canals, and small bridges. The best way to see Edam is on foot. We strolled the village for about an hour, gazing at the beautiful spring flowering trees and the interesting architecture. Since we were in Edam on a weekday, the village seemed almost deserted.
Edam is world famous for its namesake (and other) cheeses. On Wednesday mornings in July and August, Edam is host to its famous Kaasmarkt (Cheese Market). At one time 250,000 rounds of cheese were sold at the Edam Cheese Market. Today's market is not as large as the one at Alkmaaar, but is said to be just as touristy. The cheese weigh house (Kaaswaag) is open to the public from April to October.
Most of Edam was burned in 1602 after lightning struck the village's church steeple. Edam still has many interesting buildings such as the town hall, the Speeltoren (tower), and the 15th century Grotekerk, the town's chief monument, which has some lovely stained-glass windows.
After leaving Edam, we drove to the famous cheese farm of Henri Willig. We thoroughly enjoyed hearing about how the different cheeses were made. The farm had a herd of goats, and the setting was lovely. The cheese shop had free samples for tasting, and we all bought cheese to take home or have shipped home. I had my cheese shipped from Edam, and it arrived there before I did!
Pictures from a walking tour of Edam- 23 photos of this Dutch village