‘One hour and we’re out’ is what we had decided. My friend and I had a tight-packed weekend planned in Amsterdam you see. So we made our way to Zaanse Schans – a picturesque village located just north of Amsterdam, along the river Zaan in Zaandam. (How to get there below)
“I see windmills from here” I shouted as we walked towards the village. The walk was serene. While one side of the stream was filled with colourful houses with boats parked outside (yes, no cars). The other was lined with bright windmills, calling upon us.
After 15 minutes of walking through mouth-watering aroma of fresh chocolates (we walk past a chocolate factory) we finally arrived.
One look and we both exclaimed, “Forget one hour”
The hands of time had stood still. This village was like travelling back in time. There were no roads, just streams and bridges connecting houses. From flora to fauna, from animals to birds this place was nature’s playground.
A click here! A click there, it was crowded with tourists, yet somehow, one could enjoy the village peacefully. It’s said that each windmill is actually a different factory. So, we set out. From chocolate museums, to cheese factory. From shoe museum to paint factory. We were running around like kids, except we were excited to learn.
And then after getting numerous calls from our awaiting Airbnb host and spending half a day there, we returned home with tons of Instagram-worthy pictures and a real Dutch experience.
HOW TO GET THERE
Take one of the regular NS Sprinter stopping trains from Amsterdam Central (direction Uitgeest) to Koog Zandijk – a day return (2017) costs €6.20 and takes just under 20 mins. There is a €1 surcharge for disposable tickets.
From there it’s about 15 mins walk to Zaanse Schans – just follow the signs. Walk up the road then turn left towards the windmill and then right to cross over the bridge.
DON’T FORGET TO PACK
- Empty bag (you will buy souvenirs here for sure)