Zaanse Schans is a neighbourhood of Zaandam, near Zaandijk, Netherlands. It has a collection of well-preserved historic windmills and houses. From 1961 to 1974 old buildings from all over the Zaanstreek were relocated using lowboy trailers to the area.
The Zaans Museum, established in 1994, is located in the Zaanse Schans. The Zaanse Schans is one of the popular tourist attractions of the Netherlands and an anchor point of ERIH, the European Route of Industrial Heritage. The neighbourhood attracted approximately 1.6 million visitors in 2014.
The Zaans Museum locates next to the Zaanse Schans. The Zaanse Schans houses seven museums: The Weavers House, the Cooperage, the Jisper House, Zaan Time Museum, Albert Heijn Museumshop, Bakery Museum Etymology : The Zaanse Schans derived its from the river Zaan and its original function as sconce (schans in Dutch) against the Spanish troops during the Eighty Years’ War of Dutch independence.
Access : Coordinates: 52.473889, 4.816389 / To get there, take a train to railway station Zaandijk Zaanse Schans (a.k.a. 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 : 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.
Highlights : 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.
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. edit
Oil Mill De Zoeker, Kalverringdijk 31, +31 75 628-7942. Su-F 9:30-16:30. edit
Oil Mill De Bonte Hen, Kalverringdijk 39, +31 75 621-7452. Sa 10:00-16:00. edit
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.
Zaans Museum and Verkade Paviljoen, Schansend 7, +31 75 681-0000. 10:00-17:00 daily. €7.50, children €4.
Grocery Museum Albert Heijn, Kalverringdijk 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 Duijvekater, Zeilenmakerspad 4. €1, children €0.50.
Museum of the Dutch Clock, Kalverringdijk 3, +31 75 617-9769. Apr-Oct Tu-S 11:00-17:00, Nov-Mar Su 11:00-17:00. €6, children €4.
Distillery Museum De Tweekoppige Phoenix, Kraaienest 3. 09:00-18:00 daily.
Cheese Farm De Catharina Hoeve, Zeilenmakerspad 5. 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 Schans, Kraaienest 4. 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.
Pewter Foundry De Tinkoepel, Kalverringdijk 1. Jan-Mar Sa-Su 11:00-16:00, Apr Sa-Su 10:00-17:00, May-Oct 10:00-17:00 daily, Nov-Dec 11:00-16:00 daily.
Craft Centre De Saense Lelie, Zeilenmakerspad 7. 08:30-18:00 daily.
The Coopery, Kalverringdijk 27, +31 75 681-0000. €2, free entry with Zaans Museum ticket.
Go next : There are many other interesting villages in Zaanstreek-Waterland, including Broek in Waterland, Edam, Marken, Monnickendam, and Volendam. / kinderdijk