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Zaanse Schans

This is not a World Heritage site. It can be quite touristy at some points and even feel artificially prettied-up. And still, this windmills-centric attraction is awfully picturesque and cozy, and I count it among my favorite destinations in Holland.

Here is a sampler.

In Zaanse Schans, Netherlands


A giant clog at Zaanse Schans, Netherlands


In Zaanse Schans, Netherlands


In Zaanse Schans, Netherlands


View to Zaandijk from Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

Besides a museum in a working windmill, the village offers a couple of traditional shops that are a delight to explore, a short if enlightening clog-making demonstration held every half an hour in the visitor center, and a number of spots to linger, relax, take pictures and simply enjoy the scenery.

Zaanse Schans can be reached by car from Amsterdam in less than 20 minutes. On my recent visit, I ventured there on a bicycle. The ride took me roughly an hour and a half in each direction, at a fairly non-athletic pace, including intervals where I got slightly lost (using a GPS would be a good idea; a detailed map is absolutely essential, although you can technically follow the bike path markers, if you know how to interpret them).