The best way to reach Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam is by taking a bus from Amsterdam Centraal Station. The bus number 391 leaves every 10 minutes and it is the shortest, fastest and cheapest way to reach the famous windmill district of Amsterdam. The return bus ticket is 11 euros and can be bought online, from the kiosks and also from the bus driver. Tickets from the bus can be purchased using credit cards only.
The bus took 40 minutes to reach Zaanse Schans. The road to the windmill district passes through some beautiful canals, houses, roads, and villages. The view from the bus was captivating and didn’t let us get bored all through the journey.
The bus dropped us in front of the Zaanse Schans Museum. The first glimpse of the windmills from the bus stop was enough to mesmerize us.
The distance from the bus stop to the windmills is a short walk of 10 minutes through a picturesque village with old cottages, clog factories, farms, cheese factories, and a diamond factory. Before we went towards the windmills we went to visit the famous ‘clog’ factory. Holland is famous for the manufacture of clogs or wooden shoes. Clogs were conventionally used by farmers however these days clogs are used to make a fashion statement.
The village of Zaanse Schans has houses that are 500 years old but they have been maintained in such a way that they seem as if they were built the other day. Exploring those old cottages are also a treat in itself. We spent quite some time gazing at the houses before we went near the windmills.
Once we reached the threshold of the village we found a small lake and the windmills were standing on the edge of that lake. It was almost sunset time and the reflection of the setting sun on the water in the backdrop of the windmills created a surreal image. This place is undoubtedly a place to attain nirvana.
There is an option to climb atop the windmills by purchasing tickets worth 5 euros, however, we had to skip it as it was closing time. Nevertheless, the view from the ground was equally satisfying and we have no complaints.
There are a cheese factory and an adjoining farm that we visited. It gave us an idea about the rustic life of Holland and an idea about how cheese is made. Cheese factory also offers free cheese tasting and there were close to 100 varieties of cheese on display.
It was getting dark but we still didn’t feel like leaving this beautiful village. This was undoubtedly the highlight of my trip to Amsterdam. Leaving with few more images for the readers to cherish.