17th & 18th century Holland at Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans Travel Blog

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View from the entrance

Zaanse Schans is a 'village' located near the town of Zaandam, Noord-Holland, situated on the River Zaan. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in The Netherlands. I use the word 'village' in inverted comma's as it is actually an artificial town, designed purely for tourists. It is designed as a fantastic replica of an actual Zaanse town from the 17th and 18th century. The attraction features a collection of well preserved windmills, barns and houses which were sympathetically restored and moved here from local, surrounding towns.

The area is characterised by the lovely, small, traditional, green wooden houses, beautiful gardens with the cutest hump-back bridges. An array of different shops and workshops/museums including the wooden shoe workshop, cheese farm with demonstrations and tasting, the Tinkoepel pewter foundry where I bought a lovely pair of earrings for only 5 euros.

De Tinkoepel pewter foundry in an 18th century teahouse
This has to be my favourite shop here - it's located in an 18th century listed teahouse and looks teeny tiny from outside but be prepared to be amazed by the tardis like qualities within selling a great assortment of pewter gifts.

Over the years there has been a thousand or so industrial windmills built along the River Zaan but now only 13 remain and 6 of these are here at Zaanse Schans, along with 2 smaller mills. Some house museums whilst one is now a residential premises, how cool! Imagine living in a molen, I would absolutely love that. If you are interested in visiting the resort please check out the official website first at http://www.

zaanseschans.nl/ which lists each attraction along with admission prices. There are three restaurants here along with the museum cafe though it's probably easier and cheaper to take your own picnic as we did and enjoy the scenery from one of the many benches in idyllic surroundings. There is also the unmistakable whiff of chocolate in the air as there is a large chocolate factory nearby in the town of Zaandam. There is also the Verkade chocolate museum located here near to the carpark, which was unfortunately closed by the time we made it back to the car. I would rather have watched the chocolate making process and had a tasting session here than at the cheese farm.

Last but not least there are river cruises available which always makes my day. It's a 45 minute trip which at 6 euros I thought was pretty reasonable until we embarked on the tour and discovered the tour guide only spoke in Dutch, which I thought was quite strange as I had heard every other language but Dutch from the many tourists here today so Jaap had to translate most of it for me but it was still an enjoyable experience to relax on the water and obtain some great photos.

Ok so this may not be high-brow enough for certain travbuddies who prefer to always wander off the beaten track and stay away from typically touristy locations! - as do I usually but it really is a nice place to visit, I had stumbled across it on the net and also had it mentioned to me by fellow TB Dr Seuss (Thanks Ian!) and decided it would be a fun day out.  Just be prepared to spend more money than you intend - it advertises itself as free entry but then almost every single attraction within is to be paid for separately. Car parking costs 7 euros for the day. The only other main downside I can think of was the disgustingly filthy public toilets, I won't go into detail but the putrid smell and overflowing bins were not pleasant, if I'm paying 50 cents each time I want to take a leak I expect them to be clean!

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View from the entrance
View from the entrance
De Tinkoepel pewter foundry in an …
De Tinkoepel pewter foundry in an…
Main path into Zaanse Schans
Main path into Zaanse Schans
Bakery museum and traditional swee…
Bakery museum and traditional swe…
Interior of the sweet shop
Interior of the sweet shop
Mustard Mill de Huisman
Mustard Mill de Huisman
Photo of the day
Photo of the day
Private residence - I want one her…
Private residence - I want one he…
Riverboat cruise
Riverboat cruise
Italian ice cream truck
Italian ice cream truck
Antique/traditional Dutch costume …
Antique/traditional Dutch costume…
Restaurant De Hoop op d Swarte Wa…
Restaurant De Hoop op d' Swarte W…
Private residence
Private residence
Private residence - dont think I…
Private residence - don't think I…
The first ever Albert Heijn grocer…
The first ever Albert Heijn groce…
De Tinkoepel pewter foundry
De Tinkoepel pewter foundry
Spot where we enjoyed lunch
Spot where we enjoyed lunch
Bloody tourists
Bloody tourists
River Zaan
River Zaan
River Zaan
River Zaan
Mustard Mill de Huisman from anoth…
Mustard Mill de Huisman from anot…
Private homes and moorings to the …
Private homes and moorings to the…
Riverboat cruise
Riverboat cruise
Paintmill de Kat
Paintmill de Kat
Het Jonge Schaap
Het Jonge Schaap
Handfeeding a duck! The highlight …
Handfeeding a duck! The highlight…
Cant believe how tame the ducks a…
Can't believe how tame the ducks …
Paintmill de Kat
Paintmill de Kat
Boat ride to the other side of the…
Boat ride to the other side of th…
I can see the pub from here!
I can see the pub from here!
Iron drawbridge
Iron drawbridge
Our boat for the river cruise
Our boat for the river cruise
Wow what a lovely place to live
Wow what a lovely place to live
Converted warehouse into luxury ap…
Converted warehouse into luxury a…
Lovely building - would like to se…
Lovely building - would like to s…
View from the boat
View from the boat
View from the boat
View from the boat
Rear of one of the Zaanse Schans r…
Rear of one of the Zaanse Schans …
Floating restaurant
Floating restaurant
Old British Navy ship
Old British Navy ship
Clog making museum
Clog making museum
De Vrede souvenir & gift shop
De Vrede souvenir & gift shop
Mayflower
'Mayflower'
Interior of De Vrede gift shop. Lo…
Interior of De Vrede gift shop. L…
Lilliput Lane mini house collectio…
Lilliput Lane mini house collecti…
Delfts Blauwe collection
Delfts Blauwe collection
Statue outside De Vrede
Statue outside De Vrede
Statue outside De Vrede
Statue outside De Vrede
Delfts Blauwe style coffee mug s…
'Delfts Blauwe' style coffee mug …
Mmm advertising for yummy Verkade …
Mmm advertising for yummy Verkade…
Verkade biscuits advertisements ne…
Verkade biscuits advertisements n…
Zaans Museum as the title suggests!
Zaans Museum as the title suggests!
Zaanse Schans
photo by: inkie1010