Clogs, cheese and chocolate at the Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans, a stunning living and working community dating back to 1850, is one of the highlights of the Netherlands. You can see firsthand how Dutch people lived and worked by visiting the windmills, crafts, museums and houses. Visit a wooden clog making workshop to see how these distinctive Dutch shoes were made for farmers, workers and the general public - and discover one of the best clog collections in the Netherlands. Follow the path to the weaving house, where two families lived together in close quarters. Experience how it must have felt at that time; crawl behind the loom, relax in the box bed and admire the sail weavers in their traditional costumes. And then visit the cheese farm, where cheese makers will tell you all about the different Dutch varieties, and show you how cheese is produced. Wondering why the air at Zaanse Schans smells like chocolate? You can find out (and taste some delicious local delicacies) at the CacaoLab.

Authentic Dutch cuisine  

There’s nothing better than a warm, hearty meal after a winter’s day in the countryside, and Zaanse Schans  offers two wonderful restaurants serving a choice of authentic Dutch dishes. Tuck into a choice of 16 traditional Dutch pancakes in an 18th century Zaan granary at Pancake Restaurant De Kraai, or travel to the restaurant De Hoop op d’Swarte Walvis to feast on culinary delights such as mustard soup or pheasant with croquette, with a view of the windmills along the river Zaan.

The Zaanse Schans is a stone’s throw from Amsterdam, easily accessible from the city by bus 391, train, car and bicycle.