The Windmills of Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans is a popular destination that offers visitors the opportunity to explore windmills, museums, and the natural and cultural aspects of the area. If you have a love for windmills, this is a must-visit destination!

Discover the wonders of Zaanse Schans, a captivating living museum that takes you on a journey through time in the beautiful Dutch countryside. Immerse yourself in a world of traditional windmills, charming wooden houses, and artisanal craft shops that bring the past to life. This historic site, nestled along the banks of the Zaan River, offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s rich industrial heritage and cultural traditions.

Whether you’re enchanted by the rhythmic turning of the windmill sails, the aroma of freshly-baked stroopwafels, or the sight of masterfully carved clogs, Zaanse Schans invites you to experience the timeless beauty of Dutch craftsmanship and indulge in the pleasures of a bygone era.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, approximately 600 windmills were built along the river Zaan in North Holland.

History of Zaanse Schans

Architect Jaap Schipper devised the plan for the Zaanse Schans in 1946, with the intention of creating a site that would showcase the industrial history of the Netherlands.

Between 1961 and 1974, several old buildings from the Zaanstreek region were transported to the Zaanse Schans using lowboy trailers. Two windmills remain in their original location and have not been moved like the other structures. They are preserved in their original state.

The Zaans Museum, which was founded in 1994, is situated to the south of the neighbourhood near the first Zaanse Schans windmill.

Today, the Zaanse Schans is a popular destination that offers visitors the opportunity to explore windmills, museums, and the natural and cultural aspects of the area.

What to Expect

Get ready to step into a captivating open-air museum at Zaanse Schans, where picturesque windmills, charming wooden houses, and traditional craft shops come together to create an immersive experience that transports you to the rich cultural heritage of the Netherlands.


The windmills at Zaanse Schans, such as De Huisman, De Kat, and De Zoeker, are proud symbols of Dutch craftsmanship and ingenuity. With their massive sails gracefully turning in the wind, these magnificent structures inspire awe and wonder.

As you explore the open-air museum, you will come across various windmills, each with its unique purpose. De Huisman grinds grain, while De Kat produces pigments for paint. Inside De Zoeker, you can appreciate the intricate machinery at work, marvelling at the clever engineering that powered the industrial revolution of the past.

The windmills at Zaanse Schans, including De Huisman, De Kat, and De Zoeker, offer a fascinating glimpse into the history and ingenuity of the Dutch people. Visitors leave inspired and humbled by the enduring legacy of these remarkable structures.


Zaanse Schans, known for its picturesque windmills and charming wooden houses, is also home to an array of delightful museums that offer a deeper dive into the region’s rich cultural tapestry.

The “Zaans Museum and Verkade Experience” stands out, whisking visitors on a flavourful journey through the history of chocolate and biscuit production, complete with vintage packaging and machinery.

Step into “The Zaanse Time Museum,” where the intricate workings of historical Dutch clocks come to life, telling a story that transcends mere tick-tocks.

With numerous other museums scattered across Zaanse Schans, each visit uncovers new layers of this enchanting Dutch village, ensuring that every trip is unique.


As you walk through the Zaanse Schans, the sound of wooden clogs on cobblestones is a reminder of the skilled artisans who crafted this unique footwear.

You can observe various artisans at work and ask them about their products. The craft shops offer a diverse range of souvenirs that celebrate our rich cultural heritage.

Scroll through the vibrant image gallery of Zaanse Schans, where you’ll feel the wind from towering, antique windmills, catch the earthy aroma of time-worn wooden houses, and sense the creamy goodness of Dutch cheese – all brought to life in snapshots of this charming, historical hamlet.

Book Tickets Online

While you can easily purchase tickets for Zaanse Schans online or at the museum, keep in mind that no ticket is required if your plans simply involve a peaceful stroll among the iconic windmills.

Benefits for buying a Zaanse Schans Card:

  • Free admission to the Zaans Museum and the Verkade Chocolate and Biscuit Factory
  • Free admission to the World of Windmills
  • Free admission to saw mill ’t Jonge Schaap
  • Free admission to paint mill De Kat
  • Free admission to the Weaver’s House and Cooperage
  • Free access to the Zaan Time Museum
  • 10% discount at restaurant De Kraai (minimum spend €10)
  • Discount on parking ticket € 9,- instead of € 11,-/ € 15,-

Getting There

Use the Google Maps below to get directions for driving, public transit, walking, ride-sharing, cycling, flight, or motorcycle from your current location to the House of Bols. You can also use the map to explore the surrounding areas to find something interesting.

Contacts Details

For general information about Zaanse Schans:
Telefoon: 075 681 0000

Physical Adres:
Zaanse Schans
Schansend 7
1509 AW Zaamdam
The Netherlands

Opening Hours:

  • Information Centre: 09:00 – 17:00
  • Parking Area: 08:00 – 19:00

For more details about Opening Hours, visit the Zaanse Schans website.

When the wind of change blows, some people build walls, some build windmills.

Chinese Proverb

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