Historic Netherlands Windmill Village – Zaanse Schans
Zaanse Schans Introduction
Located just north of Amsterdam, the Zaanse Schans offers a perfectly preserved glimpse into the Netherlands’ industrial past with its traditional houses, windmills, warehouses and workshops.
Open year-round, Zaans Schans is a free outdoor park with a collection of historical windmills. While the Zaanse Schans can be visited any time of year, the majority of the windmills are open to visitors from April to October.
*Due to a high volume of visitors each day, it is advised to visit Zaanse Schans before noon period or during low peak seasons (refer to official website calendar).
Zaanse Schans History
In its 18th and 19th century heyday, the Zaan region was an important industrial area dotted by hundreds of windmills producing linseed oil, paint, snuff, mustard, paper and other products.
Many of the Zaanse Schans’ characteristic village houses are now museums, gift shops or workshops while others are still used as private residences – most of them are still opening for business, with a small entrance fee of course! 😉
*Besides windmills, you can also visit the souvenir shops, see clogs being made or visit a cheese farm near the Zaanse Schans (highly recommend), opening hours might vary.
Zaanse Schans Windmills
Zaanse Schans is home to 8 windmills with great names such as The Cat (de kat), The Spotted Hen (de bonte hen) and The Cloverleaf (het klaverblad). The mills were used for varying purposes from sawmills to oil mills to mustard mills.
All windmills are in very good shape and still producing, you can even pay an entrance fee just to visit the core of the windmills (to understand the windmill inner structure and process).
*Zaanse Schans can be visited any time of year, the majority of the windmills are open to visitors from April to October only, make sure to plan ahead to avoid disappointment. 😉
Zaanse Schans Wildlife
Other than historical buildings, Zaanse Schans also a wildlife sanctuary for natural habitats such as cow, buffalo, duck, goose and so much more (they just freely roam anywhere they want throughout the site)!
It is also a great opportunity for parents to bring their kids and have a gentle contact with the natural environment in Zaanse Schans, of course, includes some great animal selfies as well! 😉
The admission fees for Zaanse Schans
- Zaanse Schans entrance is FREE, but not include other museums or shops.
Getting Zaanse Schans Card
Highly recommend buying Zaanse Schans card at €17.50 (adult) or €12.00 (kids) so that you can visit several museums free of charge for an entire day while enjoying attractive discounts in souvenir and museum shops.
- Free admission to the Zaans Museum
- Free admission to the Weaver’s House and Cooperage
- Free admission to a windmill of your choice; You can choose from: paint mill De Kat, sawmill Het Jonge Schaap, oil mill De Zoeker or oil mill De Bonte Hen.
- Free access to the Zaan Time Museum
- 30% discount on admission to the Honig Breethuis
- 20% discount at Enjoy fietstaxi
- 45% discount at the Windmill Cruises
- 10% discount in souvenir shops, Daily Walking Theatre and restaurants (when you spend more than €10.00)
Where can you buy the Card?
You can buy the Zaanse Schans Card at the ZaanStore, the information centre in the Zaans Museum, the Weaver’s House and at the Zaan Time Museum at the entrance on Kalverringdijk, at the Zaanse Schans.
- The Rnet-bus 391 runs from Amsterdam Central Station every fifteen minutes to the Zaanse Schans. The trip takes forty minutes.
- The Rnet-bus 817 drives in July and August from the Zaanse Schans to Volendam/Edam. Also in the weekends Ascension Day and Pentecost is the bus available.
- The nearest railway station is Zaandijk – Zaanse Schans. This station can be reached by local train from Amsterdam Central Station in 17 minutes. Subsequently, walk to the Zaanse Schans in 15 minutes.
Address: Zaanse Schans, Schansend 7, Zaandam.
Contact: +31 075 616 2862
Open Hour: 08.00 am – 05.00 pm (Mon-Sun)