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Europe > Benelux > Netherlands > Western Netherlands > North Holland > Zaanstreek-Waterland > Zaanse Schans

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 Zaandijk Zaanse Schans. The ride is several stops from Amsterdam Central Station and takes 18 minutes. From there, walk 10–15 minutes along Stationsstraat in the village of Zaandijk until you see a windmill, and then cross the river on a bridge by that windmill.

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.

The Zaanferry is a boat connection from Amsterdam Central Station to the Zaanse Schans. The Zaanferry leaves every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and in the summer also on Sunday from Amsterdam Central Station (steiger 14) to the Zaanse Schans and back. A single ticket costs €10 and a return €15. The ticket is valid all day and you can board and disembark an unlimited number of times.

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]

Open air museum[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 Poelenburg, Kalverringdijk 27. Every second Saturday 10:00-17:00.
  • Paint Mill De Kat, Kalverringdijk 29, +31 75 621-0477. 09:00-17:00 daily.
  • Oil Mill De Zoeker, Kalverringdijk 31, +31 75 628-7942. Su-F 9:30-16:30.
  • Oil Mill De Bonte Hen, Kalverringdijk 39, +31 75 621-7452. Sa 10:00-16:00.
  • Saw Mill Het Jonge Schaap, Kalverringdijk 31a, +31 75 640-1377. Apr-Sep M-Sa 09:30-16:30, Oct-Mar M-F 09:30-16:30. €3, children 6-12 €1.50.

Museums[edit]

Crafts[edit]

Zaandijk[edit]

Zaandijk is the community lying between the railway line and the bridge to Zaanse Schans. The street Lagedijk, running by the windmill De Bleeke Dood, is mostly lined with attractive Dutch houses between Boschjesstraat at the south end and the canal Zaandijker Sluisloot at the north end.

  • 1 De Bleeke Dood, Lagedijk 28 (at the bridge to Zaanse Schans), +31 75 628 5602. Friday 09.30 - 16.30. This windmill, named De Bleeke Dood (the pale dead), was built in 1656 and operated until 1931. In 2000, the mill was restored to operational condition, and grinds corn every Friday. It has a store selling its products.

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 many 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, which is the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands. They sell some tourist-oriented products of Albert Heijn.

  • Hip aan 't Glop, Kalverringdijk 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 Hoop op d'Swarte Walvis, Kalverringdijk 15, +31 75 616-5629. 11:00-22:00 daily. €40.
  • De Kraai, Kraaienpad 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 Cafe, Schansend 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.
  • 1 Brouwerij Hoop, Lagedijk 71, 1544 BC Zaandijk, +31 75 207 7000.

Sleep[edit]

  • Heerlijck Slaapen, Kalverringdijk 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.


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.