One of the most popular day trips from Amsterdam is De Zaanse Schans. This little, old-Dutch village reflects the stereotypical image that you might have of the Netherlands. But in a good way (even though it’s very touristy). Here you will find a river landscape aligned with various windmills. Hopefully you get some spectacular Dutch skies as backdrop (not guaranteed).
Besides the picturesque windmills – some can be visited – the village also has a cheese factory, a clogs (klompen) maker, and a few other typical Dutch crafts. Of course all these crafts workshops have a shop as well, were you can buy a pair of clogs, a variety of cheese or other souvenirs. The windmills that you can visit are a sawmill, a paint mill and an oil mill. Further up in the tiny village you will find the first store of Dutch grocer Albert Heijn. He started this small grocery shop in 1887. The company is now the leading grocery chain in the Netherlands. Another museum/shop that I like to mention is the Bakery Museum, In de Gecroonde Duyvekater (1658). Here you can taste the traditional local sweet bread, duivekater, and a wide variety of old Dutch candy.
Even though it can be very touristy, we always take our guests here, as we think it is a must-see when you are in the neighbourhood. De Zaanse Schans is located just 20km north of Amsterdam and can be reached by train, bus, car, bike, boat or whatever you want. There are also organised tours that bring you to De Zaanse Schans. If you are looking for an organised tour, be careful to check how much time you will get. A visit to De Zaanse Schans will take you at least 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on how many museum/shops and windmills you want to visit.
Special facilities for people with a physical handicap
It is difficult to rate such a divers location. We give them a 1-rating for Social/Human consciousness, because of they offer special parking places for people with a physical handicap and wheelchairs to drive around the village. Note that only sawmill, Het Jonge Schaap, is wheelchair accessible.
Address: Schansend 7, 1509 AW Zaandam
Website: Zaanse Schans