Amsterdam is one of the most popular cities in the Netherlands. The canals and the bikes around the city are loved by many international tourists. But it is a quite busy city with many people. So there are some people who prefer to spend time in the suburbs of Amsterdam. If you want to enjoy a relaxing Dutch landscape, how about visiting Zaanse Schans? It is a nearby town where you can arrive within 1 hour from Amsterdam Central Station. It is a famous town for its windmills.
You can take a bus or train from Amsterdam to Zannse Schans. For the bus, you can take bus number 391 to Zannse Schans from Amsterdam Central Station. Or for the train, you can get one toward Uitgeest and get off at Zaandijk Zaanse Schans station. The train takes less time but you have to walk 15 minutes to the village from the train station, while the bus drives you directly to the entrance of the village.
As soon as you arrive, you can find it much more relaxing and peaceful than Amsterdam. It is a place famous for windmills but also you will enjoy your time walking around the village and discovering small and cute stuffs. In Zannse Schans, there were 1,000 windmills originally but since 1920, only twenty of them have been left.
At the entrance of the village, there is a small place where you can get a brief overview of the history of windmills. We recommend you to visit once because it is free of charge. They have a small display about windmills and sell local specialties and souvenirs. With the sale of these local products, they collect the budgets for managing this windmill village.
De Kat is an only remaining dye-manufacture windmill in the world that produces various antique dyes. The entrance fee is 4.5 euros. In the museum, there is a staircase that you can go up to see the windmill wing in the closer distance. The staircase is very narrow and steep so be careful with your steps. Next to the stairs, you can see the cogwheels which are intertwining, speeding up and slowing down.
When you walk around Zaanse Schans, there is a particular place where many tourists are gathered. It would be KLOMPENMAKERIJ wooden shoe factory. It is a shoe factory and a souvenirs shop. There is a huge monument of clogs in front of the store where many people are waiting to take a photo.
There is no charge of entry. From the entrance, the place is full of the history of wooden shoes. If you go inside a bit more, you can see the atelier where they make wooden shoes. As the number of tourists has increased, there is also a place to show the process of making the clogs. It will be a meaningful experience to visit.
The shop sells a variety of unique souvenirs from Zaanse Schans. There are also a variety of sizes of clogs for children and adults. You can buy traditional Dutch clog. Also, they sell slippers, shaped by Dutch clogs, which are more useful in everyday life. There are also tulips souvenirs and house decorations.
You may see the scenery which you have seen a lot of times through some photos. It is a place you can enjoy a leisurely village, huge windmills and a relaxing atmosphere. Zaanse Schans is not a big town. You can look around in two hours. It is good to take a walk without rush or to rent a bicycle and feel the wind of Zaanse Schans. There are also cruise tours like in Amsterdam.
Words by Youra CHOI
Photographs by Yuna LEE
Train: Take the train from Amsterdam Central Station, direction Uitgeest. Get off at Zaandijk Zaase Schanse Station and walk around 15 minutes
Bus: Take bus 391 from Amsterdam Central Station to Janseskans Station