Zaanse Schans
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Zaanse Schans: Tours & Tickets

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Windmills, Crafts, Museums! The Best of Zaanse Shans

Get a sense of what the Dutch are all about in Zaanse Schans, located right outside of Amsterdam. Take a day trip out to the quaint community that dates back to the 18th century and take in the countryside tulips, fresh cheese, windmills, barns and museums.

Zaans Museum & Verkade Pavilion
Photo: Bogdan Migulski@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Zaans Museum & Verkade Pavilion

These two museums offer a delicious history of the region’s food production with equipment, utensils, clothing and paintings. Bring your sweet tooth, tasting is encouraged!

Albert Heijn Museum Shop
Photo: daryl_mitchell@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Albert Heijn Museum Shop

Find goodies to bring home to your loved ones at an adorable replica of the original Albert Heijn, a Dutch supermarket chain.

Zaan Time Museum

You’ll be hearing ticking while trying to fall asleep later that night, but it’s a small price to pay to view this collection of beautiful historic Dutch clocks.

De Kat

De Kat

Piet Kempenaar wears a traditional outfit complete with pipe and hat while manning his massive paint mill.

De Gekroonde Poelenburg
Photo: Karen Blaha@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

De Gekroonde Poelenburg

Different from all other working windmills in the city, the sawmill De Gekroonde Poelenburg can turn around on a rig of wooden rollers depending on the direction of the wind.

Our insider tips

Opt for bike rental

It’s small enough that walking will do, but you’ll feel like a local with the fresh air rushing by on a bicycle.

Did we mention Zaanse Schans’ restaurants?

It’s all about the food here! Check out the distillery and tasting room, or the traditional pancake house.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    From April to November, almost everything is open from 10:00AM to 5:00PM.
  • Is it expensive?
    Prices vary depending on your plans and the addition of transportation, tours, and other perks.
  • Will I need a guide?
    It's a great idea to experience Zaanse Schans with a guide.
  • How to get there
    From Amsterdam Central Station, take the Connexxion bus 391 to Zaanse Schans.
  • Additional information

    • If you plan on doing more than a day trip, there are many great hotels and B&Bs in the area.

What people are saying about Zaanse Schans

Overall rating
4.4 / 5
based on 6,333 reviews

Absolutely outstanding - the best we've have in Europe thus far

This was an absolutely fantastic tour - it knocked our socks off way exceeding my expectations. It was relatively quick (half day) with three great sites and a boat ride. Above all, the tour guide Steve (Esteph?) the Rock was just incredible! The other tour guides were excellent too, very kind and competent, but Steve the bus driver was out of this world. He played a piano keyboard on the bus and sang songs (extremely well), was incredibly friendly and sincerely interested in making it the best tour ever, helped the guides during all the tours, was uber enthusiastic, took time to walk with us and show us things himself, carried souvenir bags for other guests, etc. I'm use to the bus driver remaining silent and driving the bus. Steve is nothing less than a prodigy when it comes to this line of work. I've never experienced a tour guide like him and couldn't recommend him higher. I'd go WAY out of my way to get on his bus with him and his fellow tour guides. Not enough words, but thanks!

Great experience and very friendly host!

The whole event was great from the beginning to the end. Bart, the owner of the scooters first explained us the possible five routes and gave some recommendations, while having a cup of coffee. Afterwards we had a short "training session" on the yard to make sure that we understood how to operate the scooters and felt safe driving them. When everything was looking good we left off to our tour, which was really nice: We could explore the beautiful landscape in our own pace and pause whenever we wanted. To not get lost we had gotten a map of the route and there were guiding arrow stickers at every lamp post or traffic sign where it makes sense (i.e. when the road reaches a crossroad or you have to leave the current road). After we arrived back we had another cup of coffee and some nice words with Bart, the owner. We can definitely recommend this activity to anyone who would like to explore the beautiful countryside, but does not like to do such a long trip (about 40-50 km) by bike.

This is a great tour and I definitely recommend it!

Thank you, this was the highlight of Amsterdam. We went in at the back of the windmill village and got to experience it quietly and private. We went to a little farm where they still make the wooden shoed by hand. We understood that this was the only place around where they still make them by hand. We stayed away from the mass in Volendam and the guide gave us the option to go with him to a local and unique fishing village. Wow, all by ourselves with the locals. Thank you so much to take us of the tracks and show us the real thing tol! Good luck!!!

Villages & Windmills Zaanse Schans Small Group Tour Reviewed by

Beautiful trip with lots of interesting things to explore

It was a really nice tour, every place with its own charme and little places. You could easily spend a whole day at Zaanse Schans and enjoy the many things there, but also Volendam and the Cheese Factory are worth a visit and are great fun. I'd definitely recommend this tour, everything worked perfectly without any troubles or delays. We were very satisfied and head a great time in northern Amsterdam.

Interesting tour, but try to choose a sunny day!

The buses were comfortable and generally arrived on time. Drivers were polite and helpful. Unfortunately the App did not work on every bus. Outside the bus you need internet access to check e.g. the arrival time of the next bus. Some of the stations do not have any shelter for protection against rain and wind, which leaves the passengers freezing and wet.

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