Few places are as unashamedly picturesque as the village of Marken, and thus, its location, a peninsular stretching onto the IJsselmeer Lake, is often found plastered on souvenir postcards.
The quintessentially Dutch village has become a key tourist destination, with tour groups flocking to catch a glimpse of the unique island culture. Here, the vistas are undeniably quaint: painted wooden houses line the waterfront; colorful fishing boats jostle for space around the dock and the glistening lake waters reflect every detail. Even the village’s 2,000 inhabitants seem caught in time, dressing themselves in traditional costumes and preserving their time-honored customs.
Marken’s wooden houses, many of them now listed as national heritage sites, remain the village’s key attractions, but there are enough sights to make a pleasant day trip from Amsterdam, just 45 minutes away by road or boat.
The Paard Van Marken (Horse of Marken) lighthouse is another national heritage site, and while it’s not open to the public, the late 19th-century building makes a striking feature on the skyline. The Marker Museum preserves a traditional house in all its former glory, complete with a collection of traditional clothing and an exhibition on the area’s history, while the nearby Kijkhuisje Sijtje Boes houses a small museum and souvenir shop selling local handicrafts and artworks. Don’t miss the Klompenmakerij either: a workshop devoted to traditional clog-making, where visitors can watch how the famous shoes are made and even buy some to stomp home in.