Welcome to one of the most picturesque villages in the Netherlands – Zaanse Schans!
Dutch pronunciation: [ˈzaːnsə ˈsxɑns]
Zaanse Schans is situated on the back of the Zaan River in the province of North Holland.
It is an actual living and working traditional Dutch countryside dated back to the 18th century.
Most of the buildings were transported from across the Zaan region and meticulously restored since 1961. Thus, it is a recreated village filled with wooden windmills, barns, museums and houses. Utterly an ‘authentic’ ensemble!
You can easily spend half a day here; take a brisk long walk, check out the functioning mills, visit the museums, learn a few things from wooden clog demonstration & cheese making workshop, practice your photography skill, window shopping and more. Boat tours, bicycle rental and walking trails are available too depending on seasons.
There are a number of restaurants & cafes along the way. Nothing fancy, but pricey! Alternatively, there are plenty of benches and open spaces picnic area should you choose to bring your own lunch.
Although it is free for all to roam around the village, the mills and museums do require entrance fees.
I heard about Zaanse Schans Card available for purchase at the Information Centre. It offers you free access to the Zaans Museum/Verkade Pavilion (normal price € 10,-), the Coopery (€ 2,-) and ONE of the industrial windmills for a free visit. The card cost around €11-€12 per person. It provides discounts when buying souvenirs and other admission charges in the area around Zaanse Schans. Just an idea.
I have been here a couple of times and it is absolutely a picture-perfect village. Bring the kids along and let them go wild embracing outdoors. The charming green cottages, immaculately manicured gardens, elegant bridges and stunning surrounding landscape are very captivating. Great backdrop for your photos!
Stop by the reconstructed first Albert Heijn (giant grocery chain) shop that opened in 1887. Zaanse Schans is a tourist magnet so everything is overpriced. Absolutely MUST to visit for everyone.
During the high season, almost everything is open between 10am and 5pm. Check website for specific opening times. http://www.dezaanseschans.nl/en/opening-hours/
The nearest train station is Koog-Zaandijk. A direct train from Amsterdam Central Station takes approximately 17 minutes. Zaanse Schans is just a 15-minute walk away.
Bus 391 departs every 15min from Amsterdam Central Station.
Easily accessible by car. Car parking cost €9.00 for a day ticket (2016).