Amsterdam is a beautiful city with loads of museums. Floating on a boat in one of the channels is a nice trip to do. But when you are tired of the city and just want to see something more of the culture and history of the Netherlands then there is just one place to go: Zaanse Schans!
I’m not living close to this village, nor have I ever been in this place. Coincidently I had an appointment in Zaandam, which is the village next to the Zaanse Schans.
I decided to take advantage of this fact and make a combination to do both.
With my husband Timo I got in the car for 1.15 minutes. Right after Amsterdam the scenery was again getting more old Dutch style. Loads of channels and water around, like everywhere in my country. Since, it was Sunday it was easy to find a free parking spot right before we entered the bridge to see the full view of the Zaanse Schans.
Just a few minutes strolling down to the bridge. We saw a very nice and colorful windmill at the end of the bridge. Unfortunately it was surrounded by new and modern buildings which didn’t made the mill looks better.
The view from the bridge was actually really gorgeous. The river with on both sides old, wooden homes and the background wooden windmills. They are all painted in my favorite color green.
The sun was shining and it brightens up the color. The blue sky was in contrast with the colors of the houses and the mills.
Walking further on the bridge and entering the street of the Zaanse Schans learned us quickly this place is rich of historic and culture museums. The houses and buildings are well maintained. Some still have actually people living in it!
In other houses they made museums. The first one we entered was built after the famous supermarket Alberth Heijn. They also made a small souvenir shop inside. It was almost how the shop was left behind. You really could imagine how people would tho their grocery shopping centuries ago. Pots with herbs and merchandise. Paper bags to be filled. On the counter there where old instruments like a scale.
Soon we got to talk to the lady behind the new souvenir counter. She sold candies which you could buy in the fifties and sixties. It really fitted the settings.
The lady was a lovely person to speak to. Unfortunately I didn’t get her name. But I think she was on the right spot. Talking with people who came in the museum to take a quick look. People left with a smile, like I did. Just small talks like this makes me happy to be a tourist in my own country.
We continued our walk. Discussing which museums we should enter. Most of them are small like the money museum. We decided just to go for the general tourist overview. Looking at buildings. We couldn’t resist the Verkade pavilion. A Dutch icon about chocolate and biscuits.
We were definitely not the only tourist walking around here. Busloads got dropped of and where making tons of pictures.
It didn’t bother me since I know this is a famous spot for tourist. And I can’t blame them! The Zaanse Schans has really surprised me. It is colorful. It has loads of museums to visit. The architecture of the timber mills and houses are amazing. You can feel the authentic atmosphere of this old typical Dutch village.
How to get there:
From Amsterdam you can easily take a train to Zaandam. From here you have to walk about 15 minutes.
It is easy to get around by bike. Many people will hire a bike and go around to explore the area.
Where to eat:
There are a few restaurants or shops where you can buy snacks like a sandwich. We noticed that those where not too expensive. But if you have to pay attention to the budget you can consider crossing the bridge again and walk right after the bridge. You’ll find two restaurants and 1 bakery. The bakery was closed on Sundays. But we had a simple but nice lunch at ‘Proeflokaal De Kruis’. The price was really fair and the brie cheese sandwich was nice.