Zaanse Schans: A Dutch Fairytale

If there is one scene that comes to my mind at the mention of The Netherlands (besides tulips), it’s a Dutch countryside setting featuring windmills. So when I planned our trip with a healthy dose of Amsterdam city life and a day trip to the tulip fields, I knew I also wanted to work windmills in there somewhere for a perfectly balanced overview of Nederland. Enter Zaanse Schans, the super quaint neighborhood in Zaandam with several well-preserved, historic windmills.

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Zaanse Schans is just a short 30(ish)-minute trip from Amsterdam, so Chris and I hopped on the train from Amsterdam Centraal to Koog-Zaandijk. After a short walk from the train station, we crossed the bridge over river Zaan and I surveyed the scene straight out of a fairytale: windmills dotting the shore along water, sweet picturesque homes, and wooden foot bridges connecting winding pathways. Zaanse Schans certainly rounded out our quest for a quintessential Dutch experience.

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Not only did we enjoy seeing and photographing the windmills from the outside, we even had the opportunity to tour the inside of a windmill, De Kat, as it was working. We had fun climbing the steep steps and taking in the view up top while the floorboards shook beneath us from the power of the gears.

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And as the cherry on top of our Dutch day, we were treated to a (free!) demonstration on how to make wooden shoes at the Klompenmakerij. I couldn’t believe my eyes at seeing how quickly plain blocks of wood were transformed into a perfect clog shape.

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In addition to the windmills and wooden clogs, you can also get your fill of local cheeses at the Cheese Farm De Catherinahoeve, rent a bike for a scenic ride in Dutch country, and pop into all of the cute shops and cafes. I can’t recommend Zaanse Schans enough as a fun, easy, and fascinating day trip from Amsterdam.

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  • AlvinMay 22, 2016 - 10:59 am

    Beautiful Collection Susan!! Love the captured details and colors! Alvin

  • SusanMay 22, 2016 - 10:26 pm

    Thank you, Alvin! I could have stayed with my camera all day. And you’d probably love the people-watching there!

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