Weekend Getaways near Zaanse Schans

HALF-DAY TRIP FROM AMSTERDAM: ZAANSE SCHANS

I spent my half day from Amsterdam down to Zaanse Schans and this is my experience.  I watc...

Isabel Leong
Exploring windmills in the scenic Dutch countryside

I have always been in awe of wooden windmills, from the first time I, as a child, attempted to pa...

Swagatika Priyadarshini
3 Days
The Unconventional Honeymoon : Amsterdam

This 5 part series on "The Unconventional Honeymoon" talks about our first self-planned and self-...

Smiti Maini
5 Days
Offbeat Netherlands in 5 days (Western Holland)

Solo. Backpacking. Wanderlust.Windmills, Bicycles and Canals. This was the essence of Holland for...

Spandan Pathak
5 Days
A Never Seen Before Guide To Exploring Amsterdam With Your Family

One of the many canals in Amsterdam. Credit: Sharmistha ChaudhuriAmsterdam is a stunner. Trust me...

Sharmistha Chaudhuri
1 Day
Chasing Sun- 7 countries on a shoestring- 1 (Amsterdam)

Backpacking is indeed the best way to travel Europe. This year , we decided to chase the sun acro...

Amruta

Vondelpark
Van Baerlestraat & Vondelpark, Museum Quarter, Amsterdam
Dam Square
Dam Square (end of Damrak), Amsterdam
Heineken Experience
Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE Amsterdam


Brussels
Brussels, capital of Belgium, is said to be the capital of Europe since it’s home to the European Parliament, European Council and European Commission.This old city has its own charm when it comes to attracting people. Belgian waffles, beer and chocolates oh and did I forget the Belgian fries? Definitely add it to the list. However I would say that Brussels is pretty famous for its Gothic structures and art in various form that makes another reason for this place to be experienced at least once.
Bruges
If you've seen the cult dark comedy In Bruges, you know exactly what to expect in this peculiar city. It's a prominent world heritage site according to UNESCO and that automatically makes it a haven for art connoisseurs. It's also called the "Venice of the North" so you can imagine how many new fairytales of your own you can create whilst walking down the cobbled roads to the whitewashed facades of historic churches. Spring is meant for daffodil carpets spread all over the city.Famous for: Beer and art.Things to do: Climb up the 366 stairs of the medieval Belfry Tower. Admire the flemish primitive artworks at Groeninge Museum.Weather in January: Average temperature is 5 degrees celsius. Remains dry, but nippy.Average budget per head for 5 days (excluding flights): Rs. 62,000For more details, read this.

About Zaanse Schans

I have always been in awe of wooden windmills, from the first time I, as a child, attempted to paint a Dutch country side with a windmills-dotted skyline to the time when I visited a windmill-turned-brewery (Browerij’t IJ) in Amsterdam on my student trip in 2011. My short time in Amsterdam had not given me the scope to visit any other windmills around the area and my awe persisted. In my recent Euro-trip, I decided to get a closure on my infatuation and visit the Dutch countryside teeming with these imposing wooden structures. The visit turned out to be much more than windmills and alas, my love for the Dutch countryside continues…In Netherlands, there are two very popular neighborhoods which have been protected and preserved to display the Dutch way of living and trades and crafts from rural Netherlands. One is Kinderdijk (near Rotterdam) which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The other is Zaanse Schans (near Amsterdam). We decided on Zaanse Schans because it was easier for us travel-wise. We took a bus from Stuttgart to Amsterdam and then bought an Amsterdam & Region Travel Pass, which covers a lot of neighborhoods around Amsterdam including the famous Keukenhof tulip gardens and Zaanse Schans. Zaanse Schans is a short 45 mins trip from Amsterdam Central by bus.We had booked an Airbnb accommodation in Zaandijk, very close to the site of Zaanse Schaans. After freshening up, we took our bicycles and made our way to the site. It was very windy and our hair was windswept. As we neared the place, a strong odour accosted us. We were to find out later that it was the emissions from the chocolate and starch factories in the region.We had a preconceived picture of a few windmills and wooden houses that we would get to see at the site. But the scene that welcomed us transported us immediately to the industrial age in Netherlands. It is like an open-air museum with bakery, cheese factory, clog-making warehouse and wooden houses with barns and working-windmills on the banks of river Zaan that flows in the area. It indeed looked like a painting.
Zaanse Schans

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