Duration: 1/2 day or a full day
- Take bus 391 from Amsterdam Central Station to Zaanse Schans, or take a Sprinter service train from the station to Zaandijk Zaanse Schans and walk from the station. The walk takes just under 20 minutes, but the journey is slightly quicker than taking the bus.
- Zaanse Schans offers a perfectly preserved glimpse into the Netherlands' industrial past with its traditional houses, warehouses and workshops. While there you can watch traditional craft demonstrations such as clog and cheese making and visit the magnificent windmills and historic buildings.
- At the entrance to Zaanse Schans you can rent a bike, which is the best way to explore the Zaan region - and you can buy a cycling route map. Perhaps an even nicer way to reach the region is to take the special Zaan Boat from Pier 14 (behind Amsterdam Central Station). Children under 12 travel for free, and you can take a bike on the boat for free as well.
- Whether you walk, cycle or drive along the River Zaan, you’ll pass historical merchants’ houses and old food factories. Of the latter, the Verkade complex is an impressive example.
- Further north is the town of Wormerveer. The dyke runs directly along the River Zaan and overlooks an impressive industrial river landscape, with a view of the great 19th-century factories and warehouses of Wormer (the Industrial ‘Wall’).
- On your return, stop off in the city of Zaandam, known for its car-free shopping area, modern Zaan Theatre and many cafés and restaurants. Don’t miss the Inntel Hotel, a modern interpretation of the traditional green Zaans houses. Complete your visit to the Zaan region with an overnight stay in this hotel or head back to Amsterdam by train (from platform 4).