What to do when you visit Zaanse Schans
Thinking of visiting Zaanse Schans? Tania Pescador fashion & lifestyle blogger gives us her tips on how to make the most out of your trip to this Dutch landmark.
Zaanse Schans is one of those towns that are just a perfect Dutch postcard: think of windmills, wooden houses and green grass. With good reason, the Zaanse Schans windmills are one of the most famous tourist attractions in the Netherlands.
The village itself is very small, so you don’t need a lot of time to explore it. However, if you want to do more than just sightseeing a guided tour is recommended so you can learn more about this charming place. Of course, going solo is also fine, as you can explore at your own pace.
How do you get to Zaanse Schans?
You can get there by car, public transport or by taking a guided tour. If you are leaving from Amsterdam Central Station, it will take you about 35 minutes. You can plan your trip using the NS journey planner and buy the tickets at the station.
Once you arrive at the Zaanse Schans train station, you'll need to walk for about 10 minutes, just follow the windmills!
What to do in Zaanse Schans?
Just walking around in the village admiring the iconic green wooden houses and the windmills in the distance is already great fun but there are a few things you definitely shouldn’t miss:
- Visit De Zaanse Schans Clog Workshop
This small museum / workshop / gift shop has free admission. Venture inside to see the “klompen-makers” in action.
- Behold the first Albert Heijn store ever!
Albert Heijn is one of the biggest supermarkets in the Netherlands and Zaanse Schans is home to the very first one to open in the Netherlands. It is a tiny building that still has the original furniture and fixtures from 1887.
- Venture inside a windmill
Most of the windmills are open to the public from April to October. Just pay a small fee and you can see the windmills at work, milling oil, flour, spices and pigments. Seeing the construction of the windmills from the inside and the way they work is extremely impressive and something you definitely don't see every day.
- Satisfy your taste buds at the cheese shop
Here you'll see and quite possibly catch a whiff of all kinds of local cheeses, jams and chocolates. The best part, you can taste them all!
- Pop into the local shops.
The village has a number of surprising local shops. Smells like chocolate is one of these delightful instances where you can get a cup of hot chocolate made with chocolate from the region, homemade brownies and many other locally produced products.
What are you waiting for?
The village is open to visit all year long and most shops and museums are open between 10am and 5pm. However, different attractions change their opening times during the low season (November to March). We recommend checking the Zaanse Schans official website beforehand to confirm opening hours and prevent disappointment when you visit.