What to do in Amsterdam for a Day Trip
Zaanse Schans Ideal Day Trip from Amsterdam
Do you want to see the Dutch countryside but has limited time in Amsterdam? Then you should consider visiting Zaanse Schans with its historic windmills only about 17 minutes by train from Grand Central Station in Amsterdam. It is a popular tourist attraction while visitors can also experience cheese and wooden shoes manufacturing. It is best to experience Zaanse Schans when it is not raining with clear skies. Numerous day trips are offered from Amsterdam by different tour operators, but many tourists prefer to spend the day on their own to do their own exploring. Zaanse Schans is part of the European Route of Industrial Heritage and offers a very interesting and enjoyable day trip.
How to get to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam
It is very easy to get to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam's Grand Central Station. A train departs every 30 minutes from platform 10A (but it could change so just make sure when you buy the ticket). You can buy your ticket at any of the yellow ticket vendor machines or at the counter at the station (although you will have to pay a small penalisation fee if you use the counter to buy your ticket). All the stations where the train will stop are announced in the train, make sure you buy a ticket for Koog Zandijk. Once the train stops at Koog Zandijk, you will need to do a very pleasant 10 minute walk to reach Zaanse Schans which will also take you over a bridge. Immediately when you leave the train station there is a huge billboard map to show you how to walk to Zaanse Schans. You can also take a map (free of charge).
What to do in Zaanse Schans
Visit the Zaanse Schans windmills
The six windmills are visible from far and the closer you get to the town, the more impressive they become. They are all historic and were built around 1574. You will pay a small entrance fee to visit inside but it will be worthwhile. A steep wooden stair case takes you to the top where you will have a beautiful view of the surroundings. You could also visit the Windmill museum if you are really interested in the history of the windmill.
Explore and buy traditional Dutch craft
Visit the Wooden Shoe Workshop where you could see how the famous Dutch wooden shoes are made. To buy some wooden shoes here are less expensive than in Amsterdam. At the cheese farm, known as De Catherinahoeve, you could see how Dutch cheese is made and even taste it. You will be able to buy traditional Delft ceramics as well as Dutch jewelry.
Eat some traditional Dutch pancakes
Your visit to the Netherlands will not be complete without tasting their mouth watering pancakes. De Kraai restaurant specialises in Dutch pancakes and you will be able to choose from a great variety according to your taste. The pancakes are expensive but they are huge and taste divine.
A visit to Zaanse Schans will never be forgotten and kids will enjoy the experience too.