Discovering Dutch Windmill Heritage : Exploring Zaanse Schans Near Amsterdam



Zaanse Schans is a picturesque neighborhood located in the province of North Holland, Netherlands, near the town of Zaandam and the city of Amsterdam.

It’s famous for its well-preserved historic windmills, traditional wooden houses, and artisan workshops, giving visitors a glimpse into Dutch life in the 18th and 19th centuries.


Zaanse Schans windmills




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Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans is a beautiful town with several windmills along the Zaan River.

Zaanse Schans offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the charm of traditional Dutch life against the backdrop of beautiful countryside scenery. It’s a popular destination for tourists seeking to explore the rich cultural heritage of the Netherlands.






The area is home to several functioning windmills that were relocated to Zaanse Schans from other parts of the Zaan region. These windmills were originally used for various purposes such as sawing timber, grinding spices, and producing oil.

You can tour the inside of the windmill.

Zaanse Schans official website >>






The Molenmuseum provides insights into the historical significance of windmills in the Zaan region and their role in various industries such as sawmilling, oil production, and grain milling. Visitors can learn about how windmills powered these operations and contributed to the economic development of the area.


The museum features educational exhibits that explain the inner workings of windmills, including the mechanisms used to harness wind energy and drive machinery. Visitors can learn about the different types of windmills and their specific functions.





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Molenmuseum info(2024)
hours:12 – 17
Book tickets >>
MAP:Kalverringdijk 30, Zaandam





Zaans Museum

The Zaans Museum features a range of exhibitions that explore the history, culture, and industry of the Zaanstreek region. Visitors can learn about the area’s rich heritage, including its role in the Dutch Golden Age, its industrial development, and its cultural traditions.


One of the highlights of the Zaans Museum is the Verkade Experience, which provides insight into the history of the famous Dutch company Verkade. Through interactive displays and exhibits, visitors can learn about the company’s production of chocolate, biscuits, and other treats, as well as its impact on the local community.

Zaans Museum info(2024)
hours:10 – 17
book tickets >>
MAP:Schansend 7, Zaandam





Time Museum

The Zaan Time Museum (Museum Zaanse Tijd) features a collection of antique clocks, watches, and other timekeeping devices, providing insight into the evolution of timekeeping technology over the centuries.


In addition to its clock-related exhibits, the Museum Zaanse Tijd also offers insights into the broader industrial history of the Zaanstreek area, which was once a hub of industrial activity with its numerous windmills, factories, and mills.

Museum Zaanse Tijd info(2024)
hours:11 – 16
MAP:Kalverringdijk 3, Zaandam






Windmill Village and Workshops

Throughout the year, Zaanse Schans hosts various cultural events and activities, including traditional Dutch festivals, craft markets, and exhibitions. These events provide opportunities for visitors to immerse themselves in Dutch culture and heritage.


Zaanse Schans boasts a collection of well-maintained traditional wooden houses, many of which are still inhabited. These houses are built in the architectural style typical of the region and offer insight into Dutch rural life in the past.


Visitors to Zaanse Schans can explore museums and workshops dedicated to traditional crafts such as wooden shoe making, cheese making, and chocolate making. These establishments often offer demonstrations and hands-on experiences for visitors.


At the workshop, you can see a variety of collections, from old wooden shoes to fashionable wooden shoes. You can also purchase wooden shoes with unique designs as souvenirs.


At the Bakery Museum, you can purchase freshly baked waffles and cookies.





Scenic Landscapes

The area surrounding Zaanse Schans is characterized by scenic landscapes, including picturesque meadows, waterways, and historic bridges. Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks or bike rides along the winding paths that meander through the countryside.






The bus stop is on the second floor of Amsterdam Central Station, take Bus 391 to Zaanse Schans. (There are two buses every hour.)

Regional buses will temporarily not operate until September 2024.
The bus line 391 to Zaanse Schans departs from Noorderpark station in Amsterdam Noord.


By train, take the train from Amsterdam Central Station for about 15 minutes and get off at Zaanse Schans Station. It is about a 15 minute walk from the station to Windmill Village.





Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket

The Amsterdam and Region Travel Ticket gives you access to public transport in Amsterdam and its surrounding areas. It also includes unlimited rides on Amsterdam’s buses, trams and metro.

Not only does this Amsterdam travel ticket get you from Schiphol Airport to central Amsterdam, with unlimited transport around the city, but you can also use it to visit surrounding towns like Volendam, Zaanse Schans and Haarlem.

Buy Region Travel Ticket >>



Zaanse Schans Card

With the Zaanse Schans Card you’ll explore wooden houses, windmills, barns, and workshops, and feel like you’ve gone back in time.

You’ll also get free entrance to the Zaans Museum, and to the Verkade Chocolate and Biscuit Factory, a real-life Willy Wonka experience. You’ll have access to both Museum Zaanse Tijd and the unforgettable World of Windmills.

Buy Zaanse Schans Card >>



Half-Day Bus Tour from Amsterdam

A friendly, professional guide will accompany you throughout the village and introduce the local history and culture, providing you with insider tips about things to do and see, before you get time to further explore on your own.

Book Half-Day Bus Tour from Amsterdam >>





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