The Zaanse Schans windmills: A charming day trip from Amsterdam

This post may contain affiliate links, which Globe Guide receives compensation for with each click or purchase at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Day trip to the Zaanse Schaans windmills in the Netherlands

Clogs, tulips, cheese and windmills are the quintessential symbols of the Netherlands, and there’s an adorable spot where you can see them all: the Zaanse Schans village, just one hour from Amsterdam.

The heavenly smells of chocolate and fresh-baked waffles waft over you as you pass through the entrance to the Zaanse Schans windmill village, which is like a living museum. Dozens of traditional homes along with real working windmills have been brought to the community over the past century, luring nearly one million visitors to the area every single year.

Day trip to the Zaanse Schaans windmills in the Netherlands

Zaanse Schans windmills tour

The colourful, spinning windmills at Zaanse Schans are the biggest draw, and while most are there for show there’s one that’s still in use today: De Kat, which produces the pigment and dye used in paint.

Another popular one is De Gekroonde Poelenburg, which is literally a standout thanks to its lime-green facade. Some of the windmills are open to visitors for a small admission fee, which includes the chance to walk up to a viewing platform to look out over the bright-blue lake.

Zaanse Schans, Netherlands. windmill

Zaanse Schans, Netherlands.

Day trip to the Zaanse Schaans windmills in the Netherlands

Visit Zaanse Schans

After exploring the windmills, guests cross over a cute little bridge towards the bleating sheep lounging in the green fields. Chickens roam the pathways, ready to pounce on any food a child might inadvertently drop.

Day trip to the Zaanse Schaans windmills in the Netherlands

There are a number of historical buildings to explore as you tour Zaanse Schans, including:

  • A chocolate shop, offering demonstrations about the chocolate-making process and the opportunity to make hot cocoa from scratch

netherlands-zaanse-chocolate-collae

  • A clog museum detailing the history of those famous wooden shoes—and yes, there’s a gift shop where visitors can buy a pair to bring home.
netherlands-zaanse-clogs-collage

So many clogs!

  • A bakery, and a cheese store with samples of the different blends of delicious gouda.

Day trip to the Zaanse Schaans windmills in the Netherlands
Once visitors get their fill of all the culinary delights, they can walk it off with a jaunt through the trails that wind through the marsh surrounding the windmills. In true Dutch fashion, bike rentals are also available.

A Zaanse Schans day trip

Visiting the windmills in Zaanse Schans can take as little as a couple of hours, done as a day trip like this one from Amsterdam which also visits some surrounding areas, or stretched out over a couple of days depending on how much you choose to explore. There’s a quaint bed and breakfast called Heerlijck Slaapen op de Zaanse Schans which is right in the village, as well some higher-end restaurants that boast patios perfect for taking in the views. Click to book

Boat rides are also available, which cross the water toward the historic homes overlooking the lake.

Day trip to the Zaanse Schaans windmills in the Netherlands

Day trip to the Zaanse Schaans windmills in the Netherlands

Zaanse Schans, Netherlands. bed and breakfast

Overall, Zaanse Schans is a charming little place that beautifully sums up Holland’s history, and a fun way to see the best windmills near Amsterdam.

Day trip to the Zaanse Schaans windmills in the Netherlands

Day trip to the Zaanse Schaans windmills in the Netherlands

Tips for visiting Zaanse Schans windmill village

Zaanse Schaans tickets: Entrance is free to get into Zaanse Schans. However, there’s a charge to get into some of the museums, which can be offset by buying a Zaanse Schans card at the information centre.

How to get there: It’s about a half hour drive by car from Amsterdam, or 40 minutes each way by bus from Amsterdam’s Central Station. #391 comes every 15 minutes, costs 5€ per person each way, and tickets can be purchased from the driver. Another option is to book this hop on/off bus ticket so you can visit both Zaanse Schans and Zaanstreek at your leisure. Click to book

It’s also possible to bike to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam—while it may be far, at least it’s flat!

Don’t miss: There’s a high viewing platform just behind the parking lot at the main entrance, which visitors can climb up for a birds-eye view of the windmills and pathways surrounding Zaanse Schans.

Day trip to the Zaanse Schaans windmills in the Netherlands

Book a Zaanse Schans tour

 

This article was originally published in March 2015 and updated in May 2020

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY:

SHARE THE PINSPIRATION! CLICK THE IMAGES BELOW TO PIN:

 

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Sandra says:

    This post sums up the image I have of Holland: windmills, clogs and cheese (and chocolate is welcome too). Perfect! 🙂

    • Totally perfect!!! Amsterdam is one of my favourite cities, but it’s definitely worth making the quick trip out to Zaanse Schans to get a look at the more traditional Dutch culture.

  1. March 24, 2015

    […] The Zaanse Schans windmills: A perfect day trip from Amsterdam […]

  2. September 11, 2017

    […] my travel companions could. Sure there were some bright spots, like the adorbs day trip I took to Zaanse Schans, spotting monkeys near the Panama Canal, and sampling Framboise and mussels in Brussels. But would […]

  3. May 29, 2018

    […] Credit: Globe Guide […]

  4. September 10, 2019

    […] Credit: Globe Guide […]

Leave a Reply to Sandra Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

shares