We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A beautiful Dutch windmill Village”
Review of Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans
Book on TripAdvisor
More Info
and up
Zaanse Schans Windmills and Volendam Tour from Amsterdam
Ranked #1 of 25 things to do in Zaandam
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: This open air museum recreates a Dutch village with wooden houses and windmills dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Smyrna, Delaware
Level Contributor
132 reviews
86 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“A beautiful Dutch windmill Village”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

Zaanse Schans is a small village on the banks of the Zaan river, complete with tidy green houses, real working windmills, and small topical museums such as the Clock Museum and the first Albert Heijn store.

In the 17th and 18th century there were thousands of windmills along the dykes; sawmills, dye mills, oil mills etc that powered the Dutch economy. The Zaanse Schans village gives you a picture of what it must have been like. Not all the windmills and buildings started out in Zaanse Schans, many of them were moved here from the region as they came under threat from urban development across North Holland.

The windmills are all working mills, and the perform various functions, including a saw mill, a paint mill (grinding pigments), and oil mill (grinding linseed or peanuts to draw off the oil).

On the ground floor of the oil mill for example, you can see huge grindstones crushing peanuts which were then roasted and pressed so that the oil could be extracted. Both the grindstones and the press are driven by the windmill.

Climbing a narrow ladder to the first floor gives a view of the huge wooden cogs that transform the wind energy down to the grindstone. From this floor small doors lead onto the outside platform where you can watch the sails of the windmill go past. They fly past - really quickly! One full rotation took 16 seconds, this dropped to about 10 seconds as the wind picked up.

Visited October 2011
7 Thank RLW306
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

4,832 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Hebrew first
  • Hungarian first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
69 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Nice Day Trip out of Amsterdam”
Reviewed September 20, 2012

Very quaint village with working windmills which you can visit (EUR3/person/windmill). Parking < 30mins is EUR1 but > 30mins is EUR7.50. Yes, that is expensive but considering they do not charge an entrance fee to the place, it's still worthed it. A leisurely stroll will take you about 2.5hrs. About 13km NW of Amsterdam so defintely worth the drive if you have a car.

Visited September 2012
Thank clubhead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Wonderful sights”
Reviewed September 18, 2012

Having read other reviews here about Zaanse Schans,often saying that they needed more time than their tour allowed, we decided to go on the train and take as much time as we needed. After 4 hours of wandering around, watching demonstrations, tasting cheeses & taking photos we still had not seen everything.
It truly is a wonderful place. The windmills are still in commercial operation. We had a great tour and knowledgeable guide at the saw mill. The captain on the boat trip gave a proper tour, explaining the history of the area, none of the recorded information and disinterested staff that the Amsterdam tour boats use.

It was easy to get to and from the station, four stops from Amsterdam Central, an easy 20 minute stroll to the village, a wow view as you turn the corner to the bridge and see the windmills for the first time. Then you notice the buildings and out comes the camera. The walk from the station is easy, straight along the road after coming up the steps, a sign post clearly confirms the direction. Turn left at the bottom of the road, short stroll to the next main road junction and turn right and you are at the start of the swing bridge and the windmills are in view.

One tip if you go on the train, write down the platform number and train time for the return journey, as this is a local station there is no English announcement. We took the Rotterdam bound train on the return. The trains run every half an hour and were clean and tidy.

It was just three euros per adult to go into each windmill that charged. The spice mill was free, the paint mill allowed you to climb the ladders to the top. I only went to the first level, but what an experience, stood so close to the sails whooshing around.

This is one place not to be missed.

Visited September 2012
6 Thank MrsOgg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beverwijk, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Level Contributor
34 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Cheesy but fun”
Reviewed September 15, 2012

It gives you a nice perspective of what the northern part of Holland was like in the past. And it's very fotogenic with windmills, wooden schoes, gabled houses, arts and craft demonstrations, etc. All the stereotype Dutchness, but in a pleasant way.

Thank Borsboom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2012

interesting, very enjoyable,especially for children, not far from Amsterdam,make sure its a nice day.

Visited September 2012
Thank Eleanorsaasha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Zaanse Schans also viewed

Lisse, South Holland Province
Amsterdam, North Holland Province
Amsterdam, North Holland Province
Amsterdam, North Holland Province

Been to Zaanse Schans? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing