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A Perfect Day Trip from Amsterdam - Things to Do in Amsterdam

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Zaanse Schans is a neighborhood of the small town of Zaandam. It's located 20 KM from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. There's a frequent direct train and bus connection to Zaandam train station from Amsterdam.

Best town near Amsterdam
Zaanse Schans, Amsterdam

It takes around 20 minutes by train and 40 minutes by bus. When visiting Amsterdam and looking for Things to do in Amsterdam, visiting Zaanse Schans should be on your to-do list.

Windmills in the Netherlands
Zaanse Schans, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

It’s always a good idea to rent a scooter or cycle in Amsterdam and enjoy the countryside and neighboring towns.

In our case, we also rented a scooter but be careful with the scooter companies and also check their ratings and reviews of the user.

Unfortunately, we rented a scooter from “Scooter Rent Amsterdam” and we had the worst experience with them. That’s another story that we are going to explain later. Normally, you can get the scooter for 30 for a day plus the fuel price.

To celebrate the birthday of my wife after our marriage in March 2018 we went to Amsterdam, Netherlands on the 1st of October, 2018 and we decided to visit the Zaanse Schans as well.

Even though I have been to Zaanse Schans before in the March of 2016. Coming back to our trip to Zaanse Schans, we headed towards Zaandam on my scooter on a lovely sunny day and were enjoying the beautiful autumn at its fullest.

How to reach to Zaanse Schans, Amsterdam
Driving Scooter in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The leaves were all over the road from the trees and covered the road dedicated to cycles and scooters. If you haven't been to Europe in Autumn then you are missing the most alluring scene.

We were crossing small Parks and canals on our way to Zaanse Schans and believe us it's one of the best places to drive a scooter. Near “Hemweg Amsterdam”, we waited for a ferry for a while and crossed the canal on it.

There were so many cars, scooters, and bikes on the ferry. It reminded my trip to Denmark when I took the ferry from Hamburg but it was a huge ferry and the DB train went straight into it and crossed the narrow sea.

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Windmill in the Netherlands
Windmill at Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

After a journey of one hour on the scooter and passing by small towns and the Zaandam, we finally reached to Zaanse Schans. This was my second time here. What I beauty it is!!

We parked my Scooter and on the right-hand side, it is a Zaans Museum. I started walking toward the countryside.

Zaanse Schans is a heaven on Earth !!

It's a typical Dutch countryside with preserved windmills and houses and gives a real feel of how the Netherlands was used to be in the 17th and 18th Centuries.

Things to do in Zaanse Schans, Amsterdam
Zaanse Schans

It's a place attracting lots of tourists from all over the World and it's a must-do activity during your trip to Amsterdam.

We started our exploration by entering into Catharine Hoeve Shop. The shop offers a wide variety of typical Dutch cheese, Honey, Chocolates, other dairy products, and small souvenirs.

 Catharine Hoeve Shop, Zaanse Schans
Catharine Hoeve Shop, Zaanse Schans

There’s also a machine installed in the shop so you can have a look at how cheese is being produced. The small farm with goats, sheep, horses, and hens is in front of the shop.

Catharine Hoeve Shop in Zaanse Schans, Traditional Dutch Cheese
Catharine Hoeve Shop in Zaanse Schans, The Netherlands

Catharine Hoeve also has a farm behind the store.

Things to do in Zaanse Schans
Farm behind Catharine Hoeve
Things to do near Amsterdam
Zaanse Schans

You can see the windmills next to the bank of the Zaan River. It's one of the most photogenic spots. There are a total of ten windmills which have different names and purposes and produce Mustard, dye, and Oil.

Windmill in Zaanse Schans
View from the top of Windmill in Zaanse Schans

We decided to have a look at the Windmill called “De Zoeker”. You can get the ticket at the entrance of the windmill. The ticket is 4.50. The traditional wooden machinery was installed and designed to crush the peanut.

The peanuts and linseed are pressed by the rotating machine and extract the peanut oil and linseed oil. The machine was rotating with the windmill. You can also buy fresh peanut oil from the mill as well.

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Things to do in Zaanse Schans
View from the top of Windmill in Zaanse Schans

The windmill also has old framed black and white photographs showing how it had been installed. The big traditional wooden drums were placed for the collection of the oils. The video was also played on the windmill to show how it started.

Dutch Windmills in Zaanse Schans, near Amsterdam, Netherlands
Miniature windmill in De Zoeker Windmill

The miniature windmill has also been placed there to give a clear idea of how it is working. The windmill has an amazing view of the River.

How to reach Zaanse Schans
Amazing view of the River from Windmill

Then, we climbed up the stairs to see the machine and how it is working. The windmill is continuously rotating and makes the machine rotate along. The view of the countryside is just breathtaking. On the one side, It has green lush fields, and on the other side Zaan River.

The wooden shoe “Clogs” workshop is also located there. It was so fascinating to know about the history of Clogs. And don’t forget to buy a traditional pair of Clogs from there.

We would highly suggest enjoying some time on the bank of the Zaan River as well. There’s a coffee shop located and also some other traditional shops for buying souvenirs.

Windmills near Amsterdam
Windmill in Zaanse Schans

After having an amazing time, we started walking towards the parking where our scooter was parked. NO WAY !!! It was not starting at all. The petrol gauge was showing that the fuel is full and everything seemed fine.

We also tried to take the help of the locals but nobody got succeeded. We had tried to call “Scooter Rent Amsterdam” but the lady was not helpful at all.

She told us that they will pick up the scooter in the morning and they can’t help me at that moment. The most shocking thing she told us- if they found out in the morning that Scooter was fine. They will charge us from my security. WORST SERVICE EVER.

Scooter in Netherlands
Our Broken Scooter

On the next day, we got a call from the company that the Fuel was finished in the scooter and the needle was broken.

Trip to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam
Trip to Zaanse Schans

So, I left the scooter there and started walking towards Zaandijk train station. It was around 15 minutes by walk from Zaanse Schans and it took around 20 minutes to reach Amsterdam Central Station.


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