The town of Winsum was officially established in 1057 as the fusion of three historic villages: Obergum (North), Winsum (center) and Bellingeweer (South). The majority of the town's 8,000 inhabitants commute to the nearby city Groningen.
The town boasts two traditional Dutch wind mills, two historic churches, two canals, and one of the Netherlands' oldest taverns. The two mills, "De Ster" ("The Star") and "De Vriendschap" ("The Friendship") were built in 1851 and 1801 respectively. The building that the tavern "De Gouden Karper" ("The Golden Carp") now occupies has been in use as a tavern since the 16th century, and is the oldest (unverified) in the Netherlands.
Winsum is a sister city with the Polish Lubraniec .