The Zaanse Schans  is an open air conservation area and museum, on the bank of the Zaan River, north of Zaandam in the Netherlands. It displays the traditional architecture of the area (green wooden houses) and has several functioning windmills and craftsman's workshops, which are open to visitors. Located next to it is the regional museum, the Zaans Museum.
To get there, take a train to railway station Koog-Zaandijk. The ride is four stops from Amsterdam Central Station and takes 17 minutes. From there, it is a 10-15 minutes walk through the village of Zaandijk (just follow the signs).
Alternatively, Connexxion  serves the area with buses. Take bus 91 from Amsterdam Central Station which has its terminus right beside the main entrance of the Zaanse Schans. The bus ride takes you there in around 40-45 minutes and the bus leaves every 30 minutes (in rush hours even more frequently). The bus link at Central Station is at the bus station at the east side of the main station entrance, at the bridge. The buses are the only ones painted red, so you can't miss them.
Another possibility is to go by boat from the centre of Amsterdam. It is not very far and it is a truly lovely ride. You could even combine the ride to the Zaanse Schans with breakfast, lunch or dinner on board and you can ask the captain for a quick history lesson on the way. The best way to get to the Zaanse Schans by boat is to book a boat through Rent a Boat Amsterdam .
As the area is quite small, you can easily get around on foot. It is also popular to navigate through the area by bicycle. You cannot rent a bicycle at the Zaanse Schans or Koog-Zaandijk railway station, but you can at the railway stations in Zaandam and Amsterdam.
The access for the open air museum is free, the wooden houses are mainly normal living houses. Most of the windmills can be visited for a small fee.
- Saw Mill De Gekroonde Poelenburg (address: Kalverringdijk 27)
open: Every second Saturday 10:00-17:00
- Paint Mill De Kat (address: Kalverringdijk 29) +31 75 621-0477
open: 09:00-17:00 daily
- Oil Mill De Zoeker (address: Kalverringdijk 31) +31 75 628-7942
open: Su-F 9:30-16:30
- Oil Mill De Bonte Hen (address: Kalverringdijk 39) +31 75 621-7452
open: Sa 10:00-16:00
- Saw Mill Het Jonge Schaap (address: Kalverringdijk 31a) +31 75 640-1377
price: €3, children 6-12 €1.50
open: Apr-Sep M-Sa 09:30-16:30, Oct-Mar M-F 09:30-16:30
- Zaans Museum and Verkade Paviljoen (address: Schansend 7) +31 75 681-0000
price: €7.50, children €4
open: 10:00-17:00 daily
- Grocery Museum Albert Heijn (address: Kalverringdijk 5) +31 75 616-9619
Old coffee grinders, coffee storage boxes and commercial posters from the history of the most famous Dutch grocery store chain.
- Bakery Museum In De Gecroonde Duijvekater (address: Zeilenmakerspad 4) +31 75 617-3522
price: €1, children €0.50
- Museum of the Dutch Clock (address: Kalverringdijk 3) +31 75 617-9769
price: €6, children €4
- Distillery Museum De Tweekoppige Phoenix (address: Kraaienest 3) +31 75 635-3111
open: 09:00-18:00 daily
- Cheese Farm De Catharina Hoeve (address: Zeilenmakerspad 5) +31 75 621-5820
open: 08:00-16:00 daily
A very small demonstration of cheese making, but it is basically one room with a big cheese blender. You can also pet the goats that wander in the back yard.
- Wooden Shoe Workshop De Zaanse Schans (address: Kraaienest 4) +31 75 617-7121
A small and interesting collection of many types of both old, original clogs (for every day life and special occasions) and new artistic version of clogs. Every ten minutes or so there is a live demonstration of modern machinery clog making.
- Pewter Foundry De Tinkoepel (address: Kalverringdijk 1) +31 75 617-6204
open: Jan-Mar Sa-Su 11:00-16:00, Apr Sa-Su 10:00-17:00, May-Oct 10:00-17:00 daily, Nov-Dec 11:00-16:00 daily
- Craft Centre De Saense Lelie (address: Zeilenmakerspad 7) +31 75 635-4622
open: 08:30-18:00 daily
- The Coopery (address: Kalverringdijk 27) +31 75 681-0000
price: €2, free entry with Zaans Museum ticket
There are many gift shops selling much of the same touristy things. However there is a clog workshop with a store selling may designs and sizes. The cheesemaking workshop too has a shop selling a variety of cheeses.
The bakery In den Gecroonde Duyvekater sells typical sweet bread and self-made candies. The grocery store of Albert Heijn gives you an idea how the first grocery around 1900 was set up. This was the first store of Albert Heijn, currently the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands. They sell some tourist oriented products of Albert Heijn.
- Hip aan 't Glop (address: Kalverringdijk 21) +31 75 670-1290
open: Apr-Oct 10:00-17:00 daily, Nov-Mar Sa-Su 12:00-17:00
This building dates from the 19th century, but the porch is as old as from 1630. The building has functioned as a book shop annex library at the Rozengracht in Zaandam, but now is a design and gift shop with watches, bags, ceramics, jewellery and many other small products.
There is also a smaller cafe, a fried food snack bar and many gift shops. Not to mention the cheese available on site.
- De Hoop op d'Swarte Walvis (address: Kalverringdijk 15) +31 75 616-5629
open: 11:00-22:00 daily
- De Kraai (address: Kraaienpad 1) +31 75 615-6403
open: Mar-Oct 09:00-18:00 daily, Nov-Dec, Feb 10:00-17:00 daily, Jan closed
This is an excellent pancake house in an authentic former granary. Their specialty are Dutch pancakes, but they also have a range of cakes, salads, soups, snacks, and drinks.
- Museum Cafe (address: Schansend 7) (directions: at the Zaans Museum) +31 75 681-0000
open: 10:00-17:00 daily
Before or after heading out for the windmills you can have a cup of coffee or tea at the Museum Cafe. There is a beautiful view of the Kalverpolder and the lined-up windmills at the banks of the Zaan River.
- Heerlijck Slaapen (address: Kalverringdijk 17-21) +31 75 670-1290
This bed and breakfast is the only accommodation in the Zaanse Schans. There are three rooms in unique old Zaan houses that are protected as monuments. Price includes breakfast.
There are many other interesting villages in the Waterland and Zaan Region, including Broek in Waterland, Edam, Marken, Monnickendam, and Volendam.