Zaanse Schans (Dutch Countryside)

Can you believe these views are just 20 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam?
Zaanse Schans, Netherlands (@theranoosharma, @theplatinumtravelgirl)

On my third trip day, as I wandered, well not wandered but shopped, around Amsterdam Centraal, I came across a lot of tourist tours. There were a lot of tours and trips to Zaanse Schans that were advertised all over the station. Not wanting to get cramped up in some bus with a group tour, I ditched the tour operators, and I asked the station staff as to how can I get there.

The staff was kind enough to explain everything to me. Multiple trains are leaving periodically from the Centraal to Zaanse Schans. After grabbing a water bottle and a protein bar. I hopped on one at around 10 am, and within 20 minutes, at the stop after Zaandam, I stood at a quaint little station. The ticket costs you about 10-15 euros, back and forth.

It was a beautiful sunny day, with a little rain shower here and there. I walked out of the station and spotted a rent a cycle store just outside. What better way to explore the village than to cycle around? Also, cycling is so much better because you get to see everything, feel the wind on your face, and avoid the enormous tourist groups that flock the area. The only drawback would be that you won’t be able to get down for too long (there is a 2-3 hour limit on the rent period) or leave them unattended. If you have someone with you and you know how to cycle, there isn’t any reason you shouldn’t do so.

I opened my google maps and started cycling my way to the windmills. It is a relatively small area, and you can’t miss them anyway. The streets were beautiful and smelled of hot chocolate, no seriously, hot chocolate. This village is a perfect representation of old Dutch country life with perfectly preserved windmills. It feels like living in two timelines with a cup of hot cocoa!

There is also an extended cycling track that stretches beyond the windmill parking/ entrance area. If you want to cycle around freely for a bit, you can explore that way and then come back to the windmills.
Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

The windmill area is so quaint and beautiful; it feels like you have been transported back to the 18th century. The path had some of the most beautiful houses, cute benches and small flower-lined bridges I have ever seen. You also have a spectacular water view with the windmills lined along the shore, which makes for a perfect photo opportunity. The windmills are a sight to see plus you can have hot chocolate topped with marshmallows while you admire this very view!

There is a museum, windmill tour, cheese factory, and hot chocolate tasting that you can do in this village. As I was cycling, I stopped by this beautiful place called Cocoa Lab. This was a fantastic place to crave my hot chocolate cravings. You can read more about it in my Amsterdam Food Guide here.

As I made my way back to the rental shop, I stopped along many scenic places to capture some beautiful pictures. Make sure you have space on your phone and carry an umbrella with you on this trip to the beautiful Dutch countryside. I had a taste of life in the 18th century as a girl cycling along with the vast, beautiful fields. One of the most memorable trips ever!


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