Things to do in
Zaandam

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Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans, Volendam, and Marken Day Trip

1. Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans, Volendam, and Marken Day Trip

Enjoy the picturesque Dutch countryside on a day trip by comfortable coach. Encounter the famous windmills, and learn about Dutch traditional crafts. Take advantage of free wi-fi on board the coach before your first stop at the quaint village of Zaanse Schans. Stroll around at your leisure and admire the well-preserved historic windmills and houses.  Next, head to the fishing village of Volendam. Visit a cheese shop that still makes cheese using the traditional Dutch method and take in a demonstration. Enjoy lunch at a traditional fish restaurant at your own expense, before visiting the Volendam Museum and the Old Dutch Bakery. Select the all-inclusive tour option for more activities including a boat ride, visit to an operating windmill, and clog-making demonstration. In Volendam, try to spot the recognizable Dutch traditional costumes often featured on tourist postcards and posters. Afterwards travel back in time to the quaint island community of Marken.

From Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans, Edam, & Marken Full-Day Trip

2. From Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans, Edam, & Marken Full-Day Trip

Immerse yourself in the culture of the Netherlands on a tour through the jewels of the Dutch countryside. Visit a cheese producer, a clog factory, a fishing village, and see the iconic windmills. Start your tour at Amsterdam’s Central Station and head in the company of your guide to the first destination of the day, Zaanse Schans. Admire the typical Dutch windmills of the town, and learn about how they are still used today. Next, drive to the Waterland area to arrive at the second stop of the tour, Edam. Walk around some of the town’s most historical sites, including the town square where the famous cheese market used to take place. Then, head to Volendam to visit a local cheese producer, learn about the production of Edam and Gouda cheeses, and try a cheese tasting. Head towards a clog factory next to discover the secrets of this typical Dutch shoe. Finally, travel back in time to the 17th century as you wander through the fishermen’s houses in the Marken, and explore this quintessential fishing village.

From Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans Windmills Half-Day Tour

3. From Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans Windmills Half-Day Tour

Meet your guide and driver at a central meeting point just across from Central Station Amsterdam. A comfortable, air-conditioned single deck bus will take you to today’s destination in just 20 minutes. The windmill village Zaanse Schans is an open air museum that houses a collection of working windmills, wooden houses, barns and shops dating back to the 18th and 19th Century. All these buildings were brought here from 1961 onwards bringing back to life this most prosperous period of the Zaan region. In its golden age the Zaan Region developed into an industrial area on a scale never seen before, with 600 active windmills: wooden factories powered by wind. In these small factories many tasks were being executed with the aid of wind energy: wood sawn by machine, grounding spices, oil for food and paint, flower, cocoa powder and many other things. The prosperity in the 18th and 19th century can be seen in the Zaanse Schans windmill village in several ways. Alongside windmills, barns and other buildings, you will see beautiful houses that were originally built as home to rich windmill owners and merchants. These houses have attractive facades and have been painted in traditional colors such as green, beige and light blue. At arrival in the village, your guide will take you on an orientation tour of the village. You will visit the clog museum annex wooden shoemaker shop and in the cheese farm you will get to taste Dutch farmer cheese. Then it is time to further explore the village on your own. Before you set off to discover the Zaanse Schans on your own, your guide will give you further information on the Zaanse Schans and its unique character, teach you local history and culture, and give you insider’s tips about what to do and where to go.

Zaandam: Zaanse Schans Card - Attractions & Museums Tickets

4. Zaandam: Zaanse Schans Card - Attractions & Museums Tickets

Go on the perfect Dutch trip from Amsterdam and head to Zaanse Schans that brings the 18th and 19th centuries back into the present-day Netherlands. Explore the wooden houses, barns, and workshops, and get even more value for money with this ticket. Visit the Weaver’s House, where two families lived with their five looms. See the Coopery, where you'll observe how barrels were made. Get free entrance to the Zaans Museum and to the Verkade Chocolate and Biscuit Factory and experience a real-life Willy Wonka event. Benefit from a free audio guide in 8 languages offered at the Zaans Museum.

Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam & Marken Bus Tour

5. Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam & Marken Bus Tour

Depart Amsterdam by luxury bus on this exciting tour and head north of the city to see the historic windmills of Zaanse Schans on the banks of the river Zaan. Explore the traditional 17th-century houses and a collection of beautifully preserved windmills from the nation’s industrial heritage. Continue on to visit Edam, a beautiful town known worldwide for its cheese. Before the end the day, go to Volendam and Marken, passing many authentic polders, the name given to land reclaimed from the sea. Wander down narrow streets, past colorful houses and visit the harbors full of fishing boats. You will have some free time to shop for souvenirs and sample the local fish specialties. Back in Amsterdam, you will be dropped off at the meeting point.

Amsterdam: Giethoorn, Volendam, and Zaanse Schans Tour

6. Amsterdam: Giethoorn, Volendam, and Zaanse Schans Tour

You will begin with to a trip to the enchanting village of Giethoorn in the north of the Netherlands for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Known as the “Venice of North”, the village is notable for its many canals and complete lack of roads. You will explore this fairy tale village, where less than 3,000 people live, throughout a 1-hour guided boat tour. Explore the preserved village on foot, and see how each farmhouse is built on a small man-made island. Wander the narrow footpaths to discover hundreds of bridges, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the village. Your trip will continue to the village of Volendam, where you can admire brightly painted wooden houses and see locals wearing their colorful regional attire. Your guide will take you on a short walk through the Volendam harbor, which has been one of the most popular tourist attractions in the village since 1875. This is a great place to pick up souvenirs and gifts for those at home or for yourself, and to have photos taken in traditional Dutch costume in one of many photo studios of the village. Your last destination is to explore the most picturesque traditional 17th-century Zaanse Schans village which contains houses and a collection of beautifully preserved windmills from the nation’s industrial heritage. In Zaanse Schans village you can stroll past the charming greenhouses and visit a factory where the clogs popular in this part of the country are made. There’s also nothing more Dutch than cheese, and whilst there you can try some at the Catharina Hoeve Farm where you will also learn about its production.

Zaanse Schans: Authentic Dutch Windmill Entrance Ticket

7. Zaanse Schans: Authentic Dutch Windmill Entrance Ticket

Enjoy an afternoon learning about the inner workings of windmills in the village of Zaanse Schans. To begin, find out how the mill saws a tree into a plank and then learn more about the history of the famous Dutch windmills at an exhibition in the basement of the mill. Next, come inside the world's last-remaining, still-working paint windmill, which is dated back to 1782. If there is enough wind, you can even experience the grinding process and watch how the mill grinds chalk under the large grind stones. In the back of the mill is where the loggers stands, and it is where tropical wood is chopped. Be sure to check out the impressive working wooden interior of this "old" industrial factory.

Amsterdam: Giethoorn and Zaanse Schans Small Group Day Tour

8. Amsterdam: Giethoorn and Zaanse Schans Small Group Day Tour

Your experience begins as your guide meets you near Amsterdam's Central Station, from where you travel to the typical Dutch windmill village of Zaanse Schans. Zaanse Schans is an open-air museum complete with a cheese farm, clog factory, diamond museum, bakery museum, and Kuiperij, where barrels were made to transport goods, green timber houses, traditional crafts, and windmills. Following noon, be transferred to the unique Dutch village of Giethoorn, heading further north out of Amsterdam. As you travel, listen to nice stories including the history and significant elements in the region of Giethoorn throughout the roughly 2-hour bus ride, with a break included to ensure a pleasant journey. Giethoorn is beautiful in all seasons, and contains a simple beauty which hardly seems real. Discover this as you glide gently through its small canals, passing old but pretty thatched-roof farmhouses. Throughout this 1-hour boat trip around town, be accompanied by a local guide who also doubles as your captain. Get to know everything about Giethoorn throughout your boat trip, with extra time included to walk along a narrow footpath by foot or by bike, or to learn how to operate the ''whisper boat'', an electric-motor boat. In the evening, arrive back to Amsterdam's center with the rest of your night to look forward to.

Amsterdam: Volendam, Edam, & Zaanse Schans Day Trip

9. Amsterdam: Volendam, Edam, & Zaanse Schans Day Trip

Leave Amsterdam for half a day on this guided tour of the rolling Dutch countryside. Sit back and travel comfortably in a coach to the rural village of Edam. Take a walk through the quaint streets of Edam. En-route to Volendam, stop to visit an old cheese farm to see how authentic Dutch cheese is made. Indulge in trying some of these huge spheres of delicious cheese. Upon arrival in Volendam, follow your guide on a journey through the fishing village’s winding streets. Hear about how this bustling place was once the harbor for neighboring village Edam. Enjoy some free time to eat lunch. Next, move on to visit the windmill village of Zaanse Schans. Once used to ground spices, dyes, lumber, oil, cocoa powder, and many other items, the mills are still in use today. Some are now living museums where you can learn about the ins and outs of milling. Visit a wooden shoe factory and behold how traditional clogs are created using antique machines. Afterward, go inside a windmill and take a look at all the mechanisms and go out onto the platform for a remarkable view over the surrounding area.  Filled with newfound knowledge and a taste of the traditional Dutch ways of life, relax and reminisce about your trip while on the journey back to Amsterdam.

Zaanse Schans: 75-Minute Private Luxury Cruise

10. Zaanse Schans: 75-Minute Private Luxury Cruise

Your journey starts at the main dock of Zaanse Schans. After being greeted by your host, you will step aboard the luxury licensed boat to start your adventure. The first stop is the famous windmills of Zaanse Schans. While you sit back and enjoy the comfortable boat, you will be able to admire a panoramic view of the centuries-old windmills. Your local tour guide will tell you everything you need to know about the history of the windmills and the rest of the area. Next, you will see some of the most beautiful houses of the area, which can only be seen properly by boat. You will pass close by these houses and your guide will tell you about their history.  You'll then head through the Dutch countryside to reach the scenic town of Wormerveer. This town has an interesting mix of old architecture and raw industrialism. Both towns are destinations where you can get a real taste of Holland. At the end of the cruise you will return to the starting point.

Frequently asked questions about Zaandam

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What people are saying about Zaandam

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 8,436 reviews

With this type of "transport card" you can travel outside Amsterdam and reach for example Haarlem station (where you can rent bicycles to reach Keukenhof park) or the wonderful Zaanse Schans area. Also included is the train to and from the airport. A little expensive but it saves you the time to always buy tickets and in addition you save

It was a fun time, I could have skipped the cheese and wooden shoe stuff but that was personal preference. The guide is very nice and informative. The locations are beautiful

Efficient. Punctually to the minute. Very good travel conditions. Eva the guide, speaking in 3 languages, polite, patient, smiling.

Very interesting and informative-our guide was very knowledgeable! The cheese was lovely and the windmills are amazing

It was the wonderful trip and the guide was explaining everything through the journey and it id really worth of money.