If you’re in Amsterdam and you don’t know what to do for the day, then you should take a a day trip from Amsterdam to the Zaanse Schans! The Zaanse Schans is an area where you will learn a lot about the 18th century and the 19th century of the Netherlands.
When you’re at the Zaanse Schans, it feels as if you’re living in these centuries! See typical Dutch windmills, admire traditional houses, and learn a lot in exciting museums! There is so much to do in Zaanse Schans, so you’ll have a great day.
Why you should visit the Zaanse Schans
The Zaanse Schans is the best day trip from Amsterdam, especially if you want to learn more about the history of the Netherlands. The most fun thing about the Zaanse Schans is that you’re really walking through a piece of history. You won’t just see photos of, for example, traditional windmills and houses, but they are actually there!
Furthermore, there are many things to do and there are also lovely restaurants as well, so you won’t get bored here. The Zaanse Schans has so much to offer, so it’s fun for people of every age.
How to get to the Zaanse Schans
The easiest way to get to the Zaanse Schans is by public transport. You can either travel by train or by bus. If you travel by train, it will only take about 17 minutes to get there from Amsterdam Central Station! The train leaves very often, every 10/20 minutes.
However, if you want to know the exact departure time you can check out the website of NS and plan your trip. You can take the NS Sprinter to Uitgeest and then get out at Station Zaanse Schans. Once you arrive at that station, it’s only a short walk to the Zaanse Schans.
Travelling by bus takes longer, but it’s also an option. You can take the R-net bus 391 from Amsterdam Central Station to Zaanse Schans. This will take about 40 minutes. For exact times you can check out 9292.nl. During summer and other holidays, you can also take the Express Line 891 from Amsterdam Central Station to Zaanse Schans. This only takes twenty minutes, so that’s very convenient.
If you want to travel to the Zaanse Schans and have a fun experience at the same time, then you can also choose for the Ferry Zaanboot! This ferry will take you to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam Central Station in about 110 minutes. On the website of Zaanferry, you can find the current departure times and prices.
You can also go there by car, because there are parking places. However, keep in mind that you have to pay to park your car. Furthermore, for those who like to be active, you can also reach the Zaanse Schans by bike!
Best things to do in the Zaanse Schans
The Zaanse Schans has many amazing activities, and here you can read about the 10 best things to do there!
1. Learn how clogs are made
Clogs are one of the most famous things of the Netherlands! Even though Dutch people don’t wear these type of shoes anymore, they are still a very popular Dutch souvenir. If you’re walking through Amsterdam you will see them in many touristic shops. At the Zaanse Schans, you can actually learn how clogs are made! The clog workshop is located in the De Vreede warehouse and it’s a free workshop! After learning how clogs are made, you can also visit the shoe museum or buy clogs that you can wear yourself.
2. Bakery Museum de Gecroonde Duyvekater
The Bakery Museum de Gecroonde Duyvekater is a place where you can both learn about typical Dutch food and try it! This is an old bakery and you can see a traditional bread oven here. Duivekater is a typical sweet bread for the region of the Zaanse Schans. That’s why the bakery museum is called de Gecroonde Duyvekater. If you’re curious about this typical sweet bread, then you can try it here! Also, you can taste other typical Dutch baked food here as well.
3. See traditional Dutch windmills
If you’re at the Zaanse Schans, you will see windmills everywhere you look! The windmills are very typical for the Netherlands, and therefore it’s really great to see them in real life. These mills were used for various reasons. For example, to saw wood, to make flour and to mill spices. At the Zaanse Schans, this is still happening in some of the mills so you can see it! One of the windmills, De Zoeker, has made three products throughout the years. Oil, paint and cocoa. This is one of the mills you can see and it’s very impressive to know what happened here in the past.
4. Albert Heijn Museum Shop
At the Zaanse Schans, you can also see the first Albert Heijn! Albert Heiijn is a huge supermarket chain in the Netherlands. If you’re in Amsterdam, you will see these supermarkets everywhere. The first Albert Heijn is now a museum where you can see where it all started. Here, you can have a look at the old interior. Also, it’s fun to know the differences between how the old Albert Heijn looked in comparison to how it looks today.
5. The Catharina Hoeve Cheese Farm
A very typical product of the Netherlands is cheese. At the Zaanse Schans, you will also find the Catharina Hoeve Cheese Farm. Here, you can learn more about cheese and how it’s produced. The museum is a replica of an authentic farm where cheese was made.
6. Learn how to make chocolate and taste it
CacaoLab/DropLab is the place to be at the Zaanse Schans for those who love chocolate. Here, you can learn how people make chocolate from cacao beans. What’s most fun about this experience is that you’ll see how it was made in the 18th century with traditional methods! You can even use these old tools yourself. You can also taste delicious chocolate and buy some chocolate that’s made with cocoa powder from the area of the Zaanse Schans.
7. Do a boat tour
At the Zaanse Schans, you can do some amazing boat tours! You can sail along the Zaan and learn a lot about the Zaanse Schans from the water. One of the most fun boat tours is the Windmill Cruise. During this boat tour, you will learn about the importance of the windmills for the VOC and the Golden Age in the Netherlands. Another great tour is the Cow Boat. This is a very relaxing boat tour where you can enjoy the beauty of the Zaanse Schans and you will see cows along the way.
8. Get photos in traditional clothing and see an old fisherman’s house
Going to the Jisper House at the Zaanse Schans is a very fun activity, as you can get photos of yourself in traditional Dutch clothing! These were the type of clothes people used to wear in 1850. Furthermore, the Jisper House is a little house of a fisherman. Here, you can experience how such a house looked like in 1850.
9. The Zaanse Time Museum
The Zaanse Time Museum is also located at the Zaanse Schans and it’s dedicated to all things related to time. Here, you can see many clocks and other timepieces. You will learn more about the history of the industry in the Zaanse Schans area. Also, you will learn more about Dutch clocks.
10. Go cycling
Cycling is also a very typical Dutch activity. You probably already know that if you’ve been to Amsterdam before, because there are bikes everywhere! At the Zaanse Schans, you can go cycling in the area of the Zaanse Schans and it’s a very fun thing to do! There are many cycling routes that you can follow. You can either do a bike tour, or you can rent a bike and discover the area by yourself.
If you’re staying in Amsterdam, you should also check out the best things to do in Amsterdam.
Best Restaurants in the Zaanse Schans
If you’re doing a day trip to the Zaanse Schans, it’s also great to have some good food during the day. Here are two nice places for lunch and dinner!
1. The Baleine
The Baleine is a lovely place where you can get coffee and lunch. It’s located at the beginning of the Zaanse Schans, so you’ll stumble upon it very soon.
2. De Kraai
De Kraai is a pancake house at the Zaanse Schans. Traditional Dutch pancakes are very tasty. You can get large pancakes here that are great for lunch or dinner. Furthermore, there are some other meals on the menu as well. For example, you can have soup and sandwiches at De Kraai too. This is a very large restaurant where about 200 people can have dinner at the same time. It’s a must-visit when taking a day trip from Amsterdam to the Zaanse Schans.
You can also have dinner in Amsterdam after your day trip because it’s only 17 minutes by train and you’ll definitely have a great time at one of the best restaurants in Amsterdam.
1. Download the app of the Zaanse Schans
The Zaanse Schans app is a great app to download if you’re doing this day trip. If you have this app, you will get a lot of information about the history of the area via a media tour.
2. There’s a Spar Supermarket very close to the Zaanse Schans
If you want to have something to eat or drink from the supermarket, then you can go to the Spar Supermarket. It’s very close to the Zaanse Schans and if you walk from the train station to the Zaanse Schans, you will also walk by the Spar.
3. Don’t feed the animals
Even though there are very cute animals, such as cows and goats, you really shouldn’t feed them! They get enough food, and it’s dangerous for the animals to get too much to eat. You will also see some signs saying this when you’re at the Zaanse Schans.
This amazing guest post was contributed to Volumes & Voyages by Dymphe from Dymabroad. All the lovely photos were also contributed by her. Be sure to keep up with Dymphe’s adventures on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!