Referring to the Netherlands is referring to tulips, wooden shoes and of course windmills which is considered the national’s symbol. The image of a peaceful, prosperous country with signature windmills has become one of the most famous symbols when talking about Dutch tourism. Joining me to discover Zaanse Schans village — one of the 2 most famous Dutch windmill villages today. So, is Zaanse Schans worth visiting, how to go to Zaanse Schans from amsterdam central, what to do and how to plan a perfect budget trip to Zaanse Schans village near Amterdam for the first-time? Let’s check out our Zaanse Schans blog with the fullest Zaanse Schans guide from how to get to Zaanse Schans from amsterdam (how to go Zaanse Schans windmills from amsterdam) and top things to do to find out the answer!
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Zaanse Schans blog: Overview of Zaanse Schans village
The Dutch often have a saying that “God created this world, but the Dutch created the country of Netherlands and they did it with windmills”. This sentence is true both literally and figuratively, because in such a country that its one third is below sea level, the windmill is like a god to them. This can be seen as the pride and one of the greatest inventions of the Dutch. In the past, windmills were used for pumping water, grinding flour, sawing wood, and generating electricity. Today, however, these windmills no longer do those tasks, but have become one of the symbols and tourist attractions of the Netherlands. Currently, there are two famous windmill villages in the Netherlands: Zaanse Schans and Kinderdijk. Zaanse Schans Village is widely known due to its convenient location (closer to Amsterdam), but in terms of beauty, Kinderdijk village is slightly nicer. If you have time, please visit.
Zaanse Schans village is located on the outskirts of Amsterdam, about 18km from the capital city center. This is one of the villages that still retains the traditional architecture of the old Dutch architecture with old houses built on the banks of the tranquil and winding Zaan River. Coming here, you will be able to first-hand witness the giant windmills standing along the riverbank with non-stop spinning blades.
Initially, windmills were scattered throughout the area, but in 1961, the Dutch began to restore this living museum by relocating and rebuilding these windmills to serving tourists. At present, there are 13 windmills in Zaanse Schans Village, including 8 ancient windmills with their own names, which are very well-preserved and keep intact.
Zaanse Schans guide: How to get to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam?
Address: Schansend 1, 1509 AW Zaandam, The Netherlands
Ticket price: Free
How to go to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam Central? From Amsterdam, you can get to Zaanse Schans village by train or bus.
- By train: From Amsterdam Central station, you take a train to Koog-Zaandijk station in about 20 minutes. From here you walk about 15 minutes to get the village. This way is chosen by many young visitors because the scenery along the walking path to the village is quite beautiful.
- By bus: Take bus 391 from Amsterdam Central station for 40 minutes to reach. The bus takes you to the gate of the village, very convenient.
Zaanse Schans blog: What to do in the windmill village of Zaanse schans?
- Visit Windmill Museum (The Zaansche Mill): When you come here you will know the history of the birth and function of windmills. Not only that, the museum also displays a lot of historical artifacts, recording the daily life of Zaanse Schans villagers from centuries ago.
- Visit the cheese factory, witness the cheese making process and taste as well as buy different types of cheese.
- Visit a wooden shoe workshop with unique shapes and colorful colors.
- Buy wooden shoes and other souvenirs – one of the most iconic and unique Dutch gifts.
- Cycling or walking along the riverside road where the windmills are located.
- Boat trip on the Zaan River.
- Visiting old houses with typical Dutch architecture.
- Take pictures with giant wooden shoes or shoes decorated with very eye-catching flowers.
- Watching sunset over the river.
Should you visit the ancient village of Giethoorn or the Dutch windmill village of Zaanse schans?
Many of you ask me if I only had one day in Amsterdam, should I go to the Dutch windmill village Zaanse Schans or go to the ancient village of Giethoorn which is dubbed the Dutch Venice. I think maybe choosing where to go depends on your personal preferences. Zaanse Schans village has the advantage of being located quite close to the center, so traveling is much easier. Visiting time is about 2-3 hours is okay. Meanwhile, the ancient village of Giethoorn is quite far from the center (2.5 hours traveling by bus/train). Each village has its own beauty. Zaanse Schans is famous for its giant windmills and Giethoorn is well-known for its canals and picturesque wooden houses.
Personally, I think if you can, you should try to arrange to go to both places in one day. You should take advantage of getting up early to visit the Dutch windmill village of Zaanse Schans then continue to go to the ancient village of Giethoorn is still possible. A bit tiring but worth the time you have in the Netherlands. Because you don’t know when you’ll be back here, so don’t miss it if you can. You can refer to my introductory article about the ancient village of Giethoorn and the village’s photos here to refer more.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Amsterdam and Zaanse Schans you can refer to
- Zaandam Zaanse Schans Tour from Amsterdam
- Volendam, Edam, and Zaanse Schans Day Tour from Amsterdam
- Half Day Tour to Zaanse Schans Windmill Village from Amsterdam
- Keukenhof and Zaanse Schans Day Tour from Amsterdam
- Zaanse Schans Windmill Cruise including Windmill Visit
- Amsterdam City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Boat Pass
- The Rijksmuseum Skip-the-Line Ticket and Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass in Amsterdam
- Red Light Secrets Museum and Hop-on Hop-off Bus Pass in Amsterdam
- Amsterdam Public Transport 1-7 Day Ticket
Are you looking for more Amsterdam travel guide and top things to do in Amsterdam? Read more: Amsterdam travel blog — The fullest Amsterdam city guide for a great trip to Amsterdam on a budget for the first-timers.