Welcome to the most picturesque village 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 in Zaanse Schans 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 making demonstration & cheese making workshop, practice your photography skill, eat dutch mini pancakes, snack on stroopwafels, souvenirs 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 [ https://www.dezaanseschans.nl/…/plan-yo…/zaanse-schans-card/ ] available for purchase at the Information Centre/Zaans Museum. It offers you free access to several museums, free entry to ONE of the industrial windmills and discounts on souvenirs, other admission charges, catering establishments, car parking, etc.
The card cost around €15.00 per adult and €10.00 per kid age 4-17 years old. Something to consider only if you plan to spend the whole day in Zaanse Schans.
I have been here way too many times and it has always been a great day out no matter what the seasons. 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. Fantastic backdrop for all your photos!
>> Stop by the reconstructed first Albert Heijn (giant supermarket chain) shop that opened in 1887. Buy yourself some cookies or candies for along the way.
>> Visit at least one of the windmills.
>> Check out the wooden clog making demonstration at Kooijman Souvenirs & Clogs to see how famous Dutch shoes are made. Upon entrance, admire Netherlands’ biggest and best clog collection from church clogs to roller skate clogs to a diamond encrusted clog!!
Zaanse Schans is the place where you can appreciate all Dutch iconic clichés! 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 Zaandijk Zaanse Schans. A direct train from Amsterdam Central Station takes approximately 17 minutes. Zaanse Schans is just a 15 minutes walk away. 2nd class return ticket for adults cost around €7.20 when purchased at machines. Kids age 4-11 years old pay €2.50 for a day ticket.
Bus 391 departs every 15min from Amsterdam Central Station (back of central station on the IJzijde) direct to Zaanse Schans and stops right next to Zaans Museum. The scenic bus ride takes about 40min. Buy Zaanstreek Day Ticket for €10.00 which entitles you to unlimited travel on bus company Connexxion within Zaanstreek region. A single trip ticket cost €5.00. Children tickets (up to 11 yrs old) cost €1.00. Tickets available on board the bus.
By car, use the following address in your GPS: Schansend 7 in Zaandam. Car parking cost €10.00 per day.