Zaanse Schans, 1 Day Trip

Just 30 minutes from Amsterdam is this recreation of the most rural Netherlands from the 17th century. It is the perfect plan for your extended stay in the Dutch capital. You can do the visit in an hour or you can stay all morning.

Tradicional patio Holandés

At Zaanse Schaans you will see traditional Dutch windmills grinding grain and producing the old-fashioned way, see farmlands, farms and typical traditional Dutch houses.

How to get to Zaanse Schaans

Public transport: You are most likely staying in the center of Amsterdam so you should go to either Centraal Station or Sloterdijk Station, the two main stations in the city. Saturdays and Sundays there are dos trenes por hora every 30 minutes and these depart from track 6. The total price of the ticket is around € 10 round trip.

Car: You may be doing a road trip or you have rented a car in the Netherlands in this case you will reduce the clock by 10 minutes and you should be there in about 20 minutes. You can park next to the Zaanse Museum. The parking only contemplates a daily rate of € 9, quite expensive. Be careful trying to park in the area, since in many places you need permits. There are parking lots near the train station, you only have to walk about 10 minutes.

Bike: For sports lovers or those who want to start the day strong. It should take no more than 1 hour or 1:15 hours to get there from Centraal, you have to cross to Amsterdam Noord (free) and from there pedal along the bike path for about 60 minutes or so.

What to see in Zaanse Schaans

It will depend on the time you want to dedicate, as I mentioned earlier you can go and walk around seeing the mills or go deeper by seeing the different buildings and museum houses. Personally I would dedicate a morning to it arriving early and I would take the opportunity to go visit some other town such as HaarlemEdam, Volendam o Marken.

After walking for about 10 minutes from the station along a not pretty industrial area, you will come to a drawbridge that, if you are lucky enough, will stop the traffic for a boat to pass under it. From this moment on your left you can start to see the traditional mills.

Formerly in this region there were more than 1,000 mills, the passage of time and modernization wiped out some of them, the rest were rebuilt or transferred from other parts of the country. They were traditionally used to grind grain and create products through the energy generated by the wind moving its blades.

Right at the entrance of Zaanse Schaans you will find the first store of the important Dutch food chain Albert Heijn, which currently converted into a store / museum began its journey in 1887 until it became what is today the largest retail empire from the Netherlands and Benelux.

We continue walking along the main street, finding different souvenir shops and cafes until we reach the riverbank. From here you can see the mythical photography with the windmills and fields in the distance. You can enter each of them. You can pay € 4 adults or € 2 children or a fee to enter all of € 15, in each of them they carry out different types of productions, pigments, mustard and even the popular Dutch wooden clogs. There is a path that runs all along the river. You can also stop for a hot chocolate, especially if you come in winter.

You can continue your visit by entering the different houses that there are, some of them converted into cheese shops, farms. We ended up entering the Catherine Hoeve Cheese Farm, where apart from knowing its process, you will be able to taste an infinite number of cheeses and buy some souvenirs. They are really more expensive than they would be in a city market, you are in a rather touristy place and therefore the prices are higher. If you walk through any market in Amsterdam you will find the same variety at a better price. Yes, the quality is unquestionable, they were all very good!

You can conclude your visit with the Zaanse Museum, to learn more about the more rural Netherlands. I did not get to enter.

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