About Zaanse Schans
Zaanse Schans is a small village on the banks of the Zaan river in the municipality of Zaanstad in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland, complete with tidy green houses, real working windmills, and small topical museums such as the Clock Museum and the first Albert Heijn store.
It is located outside of Amsterdam and it is the true Dutch rural experience for everyone who visits the Netherlands. The highlights are the working windmills which you can go in. There are also old houses, quirky museums, an adequate restaurant, photo opportunities and wind.
Getting there: $4
Take bus 391 from Amsterdam Central station. It stops right outside, and costs around 4 euro return. The buses leave at 25 and 56 minutes past the hour (between 9-4) and the trip takes 50 minutes. You can also reach the village by train. The nearest station is Koog-Zaandijk. The train from Amsterdam Central Station takes 17 minutes. Zaanse Schans is just a 15-minute walk away. We were lucky enough to get there by car which took us 25 minutes from Amsterdam Centraal.
As Zaanse Schans is a very touristic place, dining out may be a bit expensive. Therefore, I strongly advise you to pack your own food (homemade sandwiches, fruits and a bottle of water) as we did. In total, I spent approximately $3 on my pita bread stuffed with hummus and veggies, fruit salad and tap water. Together with my friends, we had a nice picnic while enjoying the sunny weather and a wonderful view of Zaanse Schans.
If you can afford to dine out, Zaanse Schans has some charming and cozy restaurants as well as cafes such as De Hoop op d’Swarte Walvis, Pancake restaurant or Museumcafé.
Visiting the village free of charge, but entering the windmills, museums and other attractions costs a few euro (3 euro for a windmill, 4 euro for the clock museum) and there’s a day pass for 10 euro. In my opinion, entering one windmill is a must, but there rest is optional. The best museums were free of charge on Sunday when we were there.
Not to miss
Fancy a delicious demonstration or a mini workshop in chocolate-making in our Cocoa Lab? In the traditional way of course, according to 17th- and 18th-century methods. The authentic barn is the perfect setting for it. Using the traditional utensils is a unique experience in itself. In the meantime, you can also buy some tasty treats, including chocolate bars made on site and delicious chocolate milk.
Clogs workshop/ museum
You can see how an expert makes clogs here every day. It takes much less time than you might think! You can visit both the wooden shoe workshop and the small but impressive clog museum free of charge. Not to be missed, because they feature one of the largest and most attractive collections of wooden shoes in the Netherlands. There are all kinds of beautiful shoes: painted, carved, ice clogs with iron trimmings, horse clogs, arty clogs and clogs from many countries around the world.
Zaanse Schans can be visited the whole year and offers a variety of things to see and do: windmills, shops, cafes and restaurants and traditional craft demonstrations. In the high season (April till November), almost everything is open between 10.00 and 17.00. In the low season not everything is open the whole week, but you can walk around and go hiking. For more information and price updates check out the official website of Zaanse Schans.