The countryside of the Netherlands with beautiful windmills and those traditional wooden houses is something that appeals to the imagination of many travelers. I also wanted to experience the authentic Dutch countryside. When I started looking for a destination where that was possible, I ended up at the Zaanse Schans. A residential-work area where everyone can enjoy the traditional countryside lifestyle of the Netherlands. Do you also want to visit the Zaanse Schans? Here you will find all the information you need to plan a perfect day trip to the Zaanse Schans in the Netherlands.
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The perfect day trip to the Zaanse Schans in the Netherlands
How to get to the Zaanse Schans?
The Zaanse Schans is only 20 minutes from Amsterdam by car and can therefore be perfectly combined with an amazing city trip.
It takes about 2.5 hours by car from Ghent in Belgium. The domain of the Zaanse Schans has a large parking lot where you can park the whole day for a fee.
You can also easily reach the Zaanse Schans by public transport. From the train station in Amsterdam you can take both the train and bus to the Zaanse Schans. The train stops at Zaandijk – Zaanse Schans station, then you have to walk another fifteen minutes to the domain. With the bus you stop at the Zaanse Schans.
When is the best time to visit the Zaanse Schans?
You can visit the Zaanse Schans all year round. Personally, I found it more pleasant to visit the domain with good weather. It’s wonderful to walk in between the windmills and sights. Besides it’s more pleasant to visit the sights and easier to find a quiet place to relax. That’s why I would recommend planning a visit to the Zaanse Schans between April and October. Keep in mind that it’s significantly busier during weekends, school holidays and public holidays.
Where to stay in or near the Zaanse Schans?
Would you like to spend the night at the Zaanse Schans and wake up with a beautiful view over the windmills, then you should definitely staty at Heerlijck Slaapen op de Zaanse Schans. Near the Zaanse Schans you will find some exquisite addresses such as Boutique hotel NO.43, B&B Boterton and the Inntel Hotels Zaandam.
If you want to combine a visit to the Zaanse Schans with a city trip in the bustling capital of the Netherlands. Then choose an authentic stay in Amsterdam at Hotel Estheréa, Hotel Dwars or The Hoxton, Amsterdam.
Some facts about the Zaanse Schans
The Zaanse Schans is a residential working area that dates all the way back to1850. It’s known amongs tourists for its Dutch traditional heritage such as the windmills, the wooden houses, local product workshops, …
When you first see the domain, it is as if time has stopped. The area looks a bit like an open-air museum, but that is certainly not the case. People still live and work there. Even the traditional houses are still inhabited, so it isn’t strictly for tourism. Every mill, workshop or museum that you can visit on the domain has its own story.
The Zaanse Schans annually attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors. Some years the number of visitors increases even to over a million!
A funny fact is that in sixties and seventies many traditional wooden buildings, including a few windmills, were brought to the Zaanse Schans from the nearby area to be restored?
Visiting de Zaanse Schans
When I arrived at the Zaanse Schans. I was immediately fascinated by the whole experience. But then again I am a history freak and I love visiting this kind of things.
The Zaanse Schans is famous for its windmills, but there is a lot more to it. Such as authentic workplaces, museums, a nice shop and delicious eateries. So you can easily spend a whole day there.
Wander through the village and walk past the bakery museum while enjoying the smell of freshly made cake. Admire the beautiful traditional colored wooden houses. Take a look inside the warehouse where clogs are made. Don’t miss out on the cheese factory and tin foundry. Make a long stroll alongside the impressive windmills. Stop by the local shops and cafés to buy a little souvenir or taste local specialties.
If the weather is good, have an outside picnic in this beautiful dutch, rural scenery. Not enough? You can even make a boat trip to the other side of town. There are so many options to make this visit into an unforgettable day trip at the Zaanse Schans.
Don’t be put off by the many tourists. The Zaanse Schans is so extensive and there is always a quiet and peaceful spot on the domain. Sights such as the windmills and workshops can be busy. That’s why I would recommend you visit as early as possible.
I enjoyed my day trip to the Zaanse Schans to the fullest. It certainly didn’t bother me that there were many other visitors. I had plenty of time to visit everything I wanted to see. Sometimes I had to wait a while before I could enter somewhere because the mills and workshops are quite small. It’s not possible to enter with too many visitors at the same time. But this doesn’t detract from the great experience I had when visiting the Zaanse Schans
Other things to do in and near the Zaanse Schans
The domain of the Zaanse Schans is so extensive that you can certainly spend a full day there. If you want to indulge even more into the history of some Dutch delicacies besides the authentic windmills and authentic workshops, be sure to visit the Zaanse Schans museum and Verkade experience.
If you want to admire the Zaanse Schans from a different perspective, opt for one of the many boat trips. Enjoy a wonderful windmill cruise with interesting information about their role in history or visit the windmills with the windmill hopper. Take the pedestrian ferry to Zaandijk and discover the village that overlooks the Zaanse Schans. Or retreat in the countryside and sail with the cow boat through the surrounding meadows.
If you still have time, don’t forget to admire the Inntel Hotels Zaandam.
If you prefer to visit the Zaanse Schans with an organized tour, be sure to check out the Getyourguide offers below. They have great day trips to the Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam. Perfect for experiencing the authentic countryside of the Netherlands in addition to most beautiful spots in Amsterdam.
Important tips when visiting the Zaanse Schans
- There is a parking lot at the domain of the Zaanse schans. This is paying. The Zaanse Schans is also perfectly accessible by public transport from Amsterdam.
- Most sights such as the mills and workplaces are paying. It’s best to visit them as early as possible because it can get busy. At that moment you sometimes have to wait your turn before you can enter. You can also opt for a Zaanse Schans card that gives you access to various attractions on the domain.
- The Zaanse schans is a perfect destinaton for a day trip with children. It is not only fun and cosy, but also very educational.
- It ‘s best to visit the Zaanse Schans in good weather. It’s so much more fun to discover the entire domain, instead of going from one sight to another. And in bad weather it will also be busier at the attractions.
- Last but not least don’t forget to taste one of the specialties “the stroopwafel”. That’s my favorite!
Even though the Zaanse Schans is one of the most touristic sights in the Netherlands, I still think it is a must . The domain is beautiful, the authentic windmills are impressive and it’s also a very educational trip. In short, the Zaanse Schans is a pleasant trip for young and old.
Would you like to explore more of the Netherlands, read the perfect day trip to Giethoorn, my extensive city guide about Leiden, and where you can experience a romantic weekend getaway in the Netherlands. Also check out my favorite travel guides about the Netherlands below.
Would you like to visit the Zaanse Schans in the Netherlands? Let me know in the comments below.
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