Behind the cheerful brick facade of the Volendams Museum, you’ll find a warren of lovingly-assembled dioramas depicting the life, work, and obsessions of village locals.
The approach is strictly low-tech (mannequins in costumes, posed in elaborate and detailed sets), but the hosts and the museum itself exude a sincere and irresistible charm. Skim the English language guide (composed of three photocopied pages of notes), but take your time spotting the tiny, affectionate details tucked into every scene. For a special treat, strike up a conversation with staff members, many of whom donated personal keepsakes to the museum’s quirky collection.
Once in town, make this your first stop — and don’t miss the little room papered with seven million (!) cigar wrapper bands!