At the time, the surrounding Zaan region was an important industrial area and hundreds of windmills there helped produce linseed oil, paint, snuff, mustard, paper and other products. Many of the village's characteristic houses are now museums, gift shops or workshops while others are still used as private residences. Some of the Zaanse Schans' remaining windmills are also open to the public.

Visiting Zaanse Schans
International tourists have flocked to the Zaanse Schans for generations. Nowadays, it attracts nearly a million visitors per year and it's one of the Netherlands' best loved attractions. You can admire the outdoor portion of the Zaanse Schans without admission, but opening times and entrance prices vary at each of its museums, workshops, and windmills.

The Zaanse Schans is easy to reach from Amsterdam's Central Station. A 15-minute train ride will take you to Koog-Zaandijk and it's a 10-minute walk from the station. Just look for the windmills!