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.
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 10-15 minutes walk through the village of Zaandijk (just follow the signs).
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 15 minutes. 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.
Another possibility is to go by boat from the centre of Amsterdam. It is not very far and it is a truly lovely ride. You could even combine the ride to the Zaanse Schans with breakfast, lunch or dinner on board and you can ask the captain for a quick history lesson on the way.
As the area is quite small, you can easily get around on foot. It is also popular to navigate through the area by bicycle. You cannot rent a bicycle at Koog-Zaandijk railway station, but you can at the railway stations in Zaandam and Amsterdam and at the Zaanse Schans.
The Zaanse Schans Cycle Route is a 52 or 39-km cycle route through the Zaan region. Highlight of the route is museum village the Zaanse Schans, with its industrial windmills and traditional green wooden houses.
Zaans Museum and Verkade Paviljoen, Schansend 7, ☎ +31 75 681-0000, . 10:00-17:00 daily. €7.50, children €4. edit
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. edit
Bakery Museum In De Gecroonde Duijvekater, Zeilenmakerspad 4, ☎ +31 75 617-3522. €1, children €0.50. edit
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. edit
Distillery Museum De Tweekoppige Phoenix, Kraaienest 3, ☎ +31 75 635-3111. 09:00-18:00 daily. edit
Cheese Farm De Catharina Hoeve, Zeilenmakerspad 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. edit
Wooden Shoe Workshop De Zaanse Schans, Kraaienest 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. edit
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 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.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. edit
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.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.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+. edit
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