Netherlands
Zaanstad

Here you’ll find travel reports about Zaanstad. Discover travel destinations in the Netherlands of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

13 travelers at this place:

  • Day3

    Zaanse Sanchs (NL)

    July 10, 2017 in the Netherlands

    The Zaanse Schans is a residential area in which the 18th and 19th centuries are brought to life. It is a little hamlet, really just for tourists. My timing was perfect, as I was leaving all the tour buses began arriving.

    Leaving Zaanse Schans I battled a bit with my navigation. Lesson #1: don't always believe directions given by a local. Finally found my way and began heading towards the coast, and the North Sea.Read more

  • Day64

    Monday is Gesloten Day in the Netherlands. Many cafés and museums are closed so we had some difficulty finding things to do with Alison on the last day of her visit. Earlier in the week she'd mentioned wanting to see some traditional windmills and up til yesterday we hadn't seen any up close.

    After a too brief scan of internet I found a place boasting several windmills and traditional houses in the same area. Not only that, but it was also a short bus ride from the center of Amsterdam. Due to my lack of due diligence I take full responsibility for the way the day unfolded.

    The first sign that this might not be a good idea was that the public bus was twice as expensive as I'd read on the bus system website. I looked around as we boarded and realized that we were only surrounded by fellow tourists. As we pulled away, a gaggle of three, twenty something, Chinese women began peppering their Mandarin with Sitcom English phrases such as "You don't know nothin' honey" and "Oh no she did-ent!".

    As we neared our destination the bus threaded itself through several warehouse districts before stopping in what seemed to be an office park. We de-bussed next to a modern building housing the Dutch Heritage museum. As we followed the throngs around the building and past twenty or so private tour busses, my anxiety about the day just picked up speed and pitch.

    Zaanse Schans is a fictional village with traditional housing and windmills collected from around the area into one special theme park. The paths, shops, and pretend cafés were teeming! The scene stretched out as far as we could see. It was like Williamsburg, but with no historical geographical reference. No one had ever lived in this place. There were no stories of so and so having done such and such back in the day. It was open farmland converted to something else. Sort of like the orange groves in Southern California giving way to Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm.

    Given my very low tolerance for places with people in them, we ended up doing a quick walk around and snapping a few photos before heading back to the bus.

    We were largely silent on the ride back. I felt pretty low for having made Alison's last day into such a thing. Looking around at the factories, shipping yards, and neighborhoods surrounding Zaanse Schans I began to suspect that this whole traditional Holland attraction was perhaps a redevelopment venture. Some way of lifting up a pretty blighted area with an injection of some international cash. Not such a bad thing really.
    Read more

  • Day12

    Windmill experience

    September 26 in the Netherlands

    We had a bit of Netherlands experience today at the Zaanse Schans. I must admit the place is a bit touristy but what the hell this is the closest we will get to Dutch countryside.

    The place had some magic and was particularly special to me. Ever since my dad painted some windmills I always dreamed of visiting a place like this.

    From Amsterdam was an easy 45 minutes ride on bus 391 from Amsterdam centraal. Ww spent half a day walking along windmills, cheese making workshops and farms. There were plenty of photo opportunities and time to chill out

    In the afternoon we took a canal cruise that turned out to be pretty good. It was an open boat with only 15 people on board with made for a far better experience
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Zaanstad, ZST

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