Zaanse Schans

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The Zaanse Schans is an open air conservation area and museum, on the bank of the Zaan River, north of Zaandam in the Netherlands. It displays the traditional architecture of the area (green wooden houses) and has several functioning windmills and craftsman's workshops, which are open to visitors. Located next to it is the regional museum, the Zaans Museum.

Get in[edit]

Windmills

To get there, take a train to railway station Koog-Zaandijk. The ride is four stops from Amsterdam Central Station and takes 17 minutes. From there, it is a pleasant 10–15 minutes walk through the village of Zaandijk (just follow the signs). Along the way, you will have the chance to pick up a free map of the area, see a windmill up-close, and cross a bridge across the river.

Alternatively, Connexxion serves the area with buses. Take bus 391 from Amsterdam Central Station which has its terminus right beside the main entrance of the Zaanse Schans. The bus ride takes you there in around 40–45 minutes and the bus leaves every 30 minutes (in rush hours even more frequently). The bus link at Central Station is at the bus station at the east side of the main station entrance, at the bridge. The buses are the only ones painted red, so you can't miss them.

Several tour companies also offer half-day trips to Zaanse Schans, with transportation to/from Amsterdam included.

Get around[edit]

Walking to the end of the area is about a kilometer, so you can easily get around on foot. It is also popular to navigate through the surrounding area by bicycle. You cannot rent a bicycle at the Zaanse Schans or Koog-Zaandijk railway station, but you can at the railway stations in Zaandam and Amsterdam.

See[edit]

The access for the open air museum is free, the wooden houses are mainly normal living houses. Most of the windmills can be visited for a small fee.

Industrial Mills[edit]

  • Saw Mill De Gekroonde PoelenburgKalverringdijk 27. Every second Saturday 10:00-17:00.
  • Paint Mill De KatKalverringdijk 29 +31 75 621-0477. 09:00-17:00 daily.
  • Oil Mill De ZoekerKalverringdijk 31 +31 75 628-7942. Su-F 9:30-16:30.
  • Oil Mill De Bonte HenKalverringdijk 39 +31 75 621-7452. Sa 10:00-16:00.

Museums[edit]

  • Grocery Museum Albert HeijnKalverringdijk 5 +31 75 616-9619. Old coffee grinders, coffee storage boxes and commercial posters from the history of the most famous Dutch grocery store chain. Free.
  • Bakery Museum In De Gecroonde DuijvekaterZeilenmakerspad 4 +31 75 617-3522. €1, children €0.50.
  • Distillery Museum De Tweekoppige PhoenixKraaienest 3 +31 75 635-3111. 09:00-18:00 daily.

Crafts[edit]

  • Cheese Farm De Catharina HoeveZeilenmakerspad 5 +31 75 621-5820. 08:00-16:00 daily. A very small demonstration of cheese making, but it is basically one room with a big cheese blender. You can also pet the goats that wander in the back yard. Free.
  • Wooden Shoe Workshop De Zaanse SchansKraaienest 4 +31 75 617-7121. A small and interesting collection of many types of both old, original clogs (for every day life and special occasions) and new artistic version of clogs. Every ten minutes or so there is a live demonstration of modern machinery clog making. Free.

Do[edit]

Buy[edit]

Zaan houses

There are many gift shops selling much of the same touristy things. However there is a clog workshop with a store selling may designs and sizes. The cheesemaking workshop too has a shop selling a variety of cheeses.

The bakery In den Gecroonde Duyvekater sells typical sweet bread and self-made candies. The grocery store of Albert Heijn gives you an idea how the first grocery around 1900 was set up. This was the first store of Albert Heijn, currently the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands. They sell some tourist oriented products of Albert Heijn.

  • Hip aan 't GlopKalverringdijk 21 +31 75 670-1290. Apr-Oct 10:00-17:00 daily, Nov-Mar Sa-Su 12:00-17:00. This building dates from the 19th century, but the porch is as old as from 1630. The building has functioned as a book shop annex library at the Rozengracht in Zaandam, but now is a design and gift shop with watches, bags, ceramics, jewellery and many other small products.

Eat[edit]

There is also a smaller cafe, a fried food snack bar and many gift shops. Not to mention the cheese available on site.

  • De KraaiKraaienpad 1 +31 75 615-6403. Mar-Oct 09:00-18:00 daily, Nov-Dec, Feb 10:00-17:00 daily, Jan closed. This is an excellent pancake house in an authentic former granary. Their specialty are Dutch pancakes, but they also have a range of cakes, salads, soups, snacks, and drinks.

Drink[edit]

  • Museum CafeSchansend 7 (at the Zaans Museum),  +31 75 681-0000. 10:00-17:00 daily. Before or after heading out for the windmills you can have a cup of coffee or tea at the Museum Cafe. There is a beautiful view of the Kalverpolder and the lined-up windmills at the banks of the Zaan River.

Sleep[edit]

  • Heerlijck SlaapenKalverringdijk 17-21 +31 75 670-1290. This bed and breakfast is the only accommodation in the Zaanse Schans. There are three rooms in unique old Zaan houses that are protected as monuments. Price includes breakfast. €65+.

Go next[edit]

There are many other interesting villages in Zaanstreek-Waterland, including Broek in Waterland, Edam, Marken, Monnickendam, and Volendam.

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This city travel guide to Zaanse Schans is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page