This totally sounds like a sponsored post, but NOPE. Just a cool place to go for a few hours, especially if you’re feeling a bit sad and want to smile from ear to ear.
1. Are you a tourist?
Are you entertaining a tourist? Are you new to the Netherlands? Do you like clogs, windmills, tulips and everything quintessentially Dutch? You NEED to go to Zaanse Schans.
2. Are you Dutch?
You will still love it. Yes, it is a tourists paradise… but that doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy it. Be a tourist in your own country for the day. (The Dutchie actually bought these, with absolutely no prompting from me!)
3. Close proximity to Amsterdam
Zaanse Schans is located in Zaandijk, Zaandam. It’s less than 20 minutes on the train from Amsterdam Centraal. (The closest station is Koog-Zaandijk and from there it’s about a 15 min walk… or you can just take the bus which takes about 40 mins.) The perfect location for a day trip from Amsterdam. You can easily fill half a day, or more if you visit the Zaans Museum.
4. It’s real, sort of…
It looks and feels like an open-air museum, but people actually live here! It’s a working community that dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. All kinds of buildings, windmills, barns and houses were relocated here from across the Zaan region, piece by piece, since 1961.
It is also home to the first ever Albert Heijn (the Netherlands most famous Dutch grocery store chain) which started business in Zaandam in 1887.
5. D’ Vijf Broers
So technically this isn’t in Zaanse Schans… but it’s within spitting distance, so it counts in my book! A fantastic bar, restaurant and hotel set alongside the Zaan river. Better than the food outlet offerings within Zaanse Schans itself (a pancake house and a crazy ass expensive place)… so worth crossing the bridge for! It has panoramic views of the Zaanse Schans windmills with a large terrace to enjoy the view on sunny days! See here for my full review.
There are no less than SIX windmills at Zaanse Schans! Five of which are functioning and open to the public. The other is just for show 😉 There are also two mini-windmills and model windmills within the grounds, so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Read more about the windmills.
If I’ve already persuaded you to go, here’s the Zaanse Schans website for all the practical stuff.
If not, here are a ton more photos.