Seeing the windmills at Zaanse Schans in Netherlands

in Pinmapplelast month (edited)

I wonder if any Dutch see this heading cringe as they read the title and quickly skip over this post. I know I definitely cringe when I read a title like "I went on the London Eye in UK". Because only tourists go there to be ripped off, and there's really nothing to see on the London Eye. So if you're Dutch and am still reading this, thank you so much for bearing with me... or continue to read on and have a good laugh at a silly tourist 😄

But seriously, you cannot blame someone who has no windmills in their country to not be mesmerized by this sort of view.


Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans is located about 20km north of Amsterdam and is easy to get to by public transport. I caught the train and then walked 15 minutes crossing the River Zaan.

Back in the 17th century there were over 600 windmills in this area. Today there are only 8 left, and these were moved to this particular location in the 60's creating an open air museum. The windmills are dotted along the River Zaan, and along with the many pretty historical houses, offer a very unique experience for visitors.

Although this is a popular tourist area, some people actually live in these houses. Personally, I'm not sure if I would like this. I wouldn't mind staying here for a holiday, the novelty would be fun. But as a permanent home, it must be pretty annoying to have strangers peeping into your back garden all the time. And I'm sure there will be some badly behaved tourists who just don't care about trespassing into people's private property.

I came here on a weekday, it wasn't very busy and was able to wander around without anybody photobombing my shots. The area was very idyllic, little canals (or streams?) and a few bridges criss crossed the area nearby the entrance. It was a very welcoming sight.



The highlight of Zaanse Schans was of course the windmills. It was lovely to stroll along the banks and see the windmills at such a close distance. Each of them were different, in size, appearance and usage. You can find out more about each of them here if you're interested. A couple of them were open to visitors and one looked like somebody lived there! I didn't go inside a windmill as it was a bit too crowded for my liking, and more importantly, I wanted to see windmills, not see from inside a windmill if you know what I mean.









Businesses are very savvy nowadays as they know it's difficult to lure customers into a shop to spend money. But what if you invited them into a museum?

The first one we saw was the Albert Heijn Museum. I recognised the name, it's a chain of supermarket I see all around Amsterdam city center. The supermarket started out in 1887 and is the largest chain in the Netherlands today. This is a listed building, but I don't believe this is THE original store. My plan was to see the windmills first, then come back to have a look around afterwards. I never made it in the end as they were closed when I returned.


There were some other museums nearby, a clogs museum and it was free entrance. If you look at it from a floor area point of view, this is really a shop and not a musueum. There was a small display of some very old clogs, and some more modern ones like roller skates!! And there's even a bling bling diamond one. I didn't take any photos of the clogs as they were all inside a glass cabinet and photo's don't come out well.

This area looks like a clogs factory, I expect they do demonstrations on how to make clogs as they had some benches in front of it.

Then the remaining 80% of the 'museum' is the shop. Clogs in different sizes, colour and patterns, keyrings, magnets, pens, bags, wooden tulips, all the tourist products they set out to lure you to buy from the beginning. To be honest, I wonder if anybody buys the clogs, and if they do, do they really wear them? Would you?



If buying a pair of clogs isn't for you, you can take the mandatory tourist photo standing in these clogs. I waited quite a while for people to do their touristy thing before I could take this photo. I'm a bit too cool to stand in the photo 😎

But not cool enough to not take one in front of the windmills 🙃

You can checkout all my travel post on the Pinmapple here or click on Mr Pinmapple below


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They look pretty impressive to be fair. I would go to see them if I was nearby..

The harmony of houses and windmills with nature is wonderful :) Thank you for giving us this visual feast 🙂

Glad you enjoyed the tour, thanks for dropping by

You're welcome. I can say that I enjoy visiting your content 🙂

The clogs "museum shop" is cool. I am also wondering if they are comfortable to wear?
I have just one pair, a mini-size, for decoration at home.

And I imagine that visiting the windmills was an interesting experience.
Silly tourists or not, if we don't have something - we want to see it :)

That's very true, just like I enjoy seeing the lovely plants around the Canary Islands as they don't grow bso nice in England.

The small size clogs makes very nice gifts to take home. I bought a pair of dark blue ones as a fridge magnet, but I forgot I have a black fridge at home and I can barely see them 😂

Oh no, you didn't remember the colour of your fridge? 😂

Well, on some next visit to NL and clogs' shop you can choose another colour 😎

Uuh i miss so much nl, I worked there some years ago, the atmosphere of the places it's amazing and the windmills and the tulip fields very charming.

The windmills are big enough to be very visible but not so big that you can't take a good photo, very charming I agree

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It does look beautiful. All countries have their own 'touristy tat' shops based upon their culture as stereotyped by the foreign tourists, but having some base in their culture which is really cool and when we visit places, we just have to get a momento!

Apology time. I didn't know you liked windmills and at the top of your post made a rather incorrect statement...

someone who has no windmills in their country

So the apology is because I possibly gave you some bad travel advice recently, as this windmill is in....


Of course, the Dutch scenery is far better than a Blackpool council estate as a backdrop!


What!!!! 😫

And you told me not to go to Blackpool!!!! I could have saved myself a trip to Netherlands and went to lovely Blackpool instead !!!

Going during the week was a smart idea. It doesn't look too busy for you there, though I'm sure some of the spots were regardless.

I didn't buy any clogs either - they just didn't seem practical (and I'm cheap... or frugal lol). I wanted to buy a small pair to one day put flowers in and tack onto the outside of our potting shed back home, but I didn't end up doing that either lol.

🤔 how can you fit flowers in clogs? You mean to use them as a flower pot?

The shops and museum part was fairly busy but surprisingly not the bank where the windmills were. Suited me fine as I really enjoyed the stroll there

Yeah as a flower pot for outside. Something like this but with just one pair. They sold cheaper ones specifically for it. They were like 12€ or something but I still didn't go for it lol.


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I’m Dutch… hahaha but I’m fine with reading your post @livinguktaiwan 😎😁
It did made me laugh your first sentences hahaha lol
Must say, I haven’t been there myself as seen plenty of windmills when I lived 28 years in Dutchyland.

I sooo can’t imagine people actually living there all year, what a horror that must be. All those tourists all the time. When I lived in Malta and tours would come past our house I hated it already. Luckily we lived mostly in the first floor and the ground floor was kitchen and office.

Beautiful to look at your walk through it. It looks very cute. All those small houses and so many windmills close together.
Thanks for showing us 😁🤩
Happy Monday!

I didn't realize you're Dutch! So a Dutch married to a Brit living in Spain. How international!

Were you living at a tourist attraction in Malta? It must have been so annoying for people peeping through your window when you're having breakfast.

Let’s make it a bit more complicated than @livinguktaiwan
I was born in France hahaha 😉 my first spoken language was German when we moved to there. I only moved to The Netherlands when I was 6 😁 but passport still says I’m Dutch now.
Very international indeed 😎

Yep, I lived right in the middle of the city of Birgu - Vittoriosa… well known amongst the tourists. And our road was one of the highlights. Hahaha work had us relocated there. But we just couldn’t get used to it and moved out after 1 year, back to Spain.

Wow!!! Very beautiful place

It was a great day out!

Windmills, I have never seen in person the day I see it I will remember you.

What did you mean at the beginning of the publication about the London Eye? It's very expensive to get in, you can't enjoy the scenery, what kind of robbery do you mean.

You are right, it was not a museum, for me it was a Swedish factory and its store, I am glad you went in there, I really enjoyed seeing that part, the Swedes are beautiful.

I have seen them in movies in China and Japan, I don't think I would buy them but if I borrowed them I would use them for a photo.

@livinguktaiwan 😘

The London Eye is quite expensive and personally I don't think it's worth it, that's why I say it's a rip off ie cheat someone of money.

The clogs in Japan are different, more like flip flops, and some older people still wear them, or they are worn as part of the traditional Kimono dressing. They look more comfortable than the Dutch one, but I've never wore either before 😉

Very nice pics.

I visited this place in 2017, on a cloudy/light raining day. So I don't have so many beautiful pics like you.

You look very cool on the photo!

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Ha ha Pauline. I would do that kind of selfie too. Looks great. What a fun trip. @leaky20 just posted about the tulips in the Netherlands. I am wanting to go more and more.

I couldn't resist taking a photo in front of the windmills 😉

Just saw leaky's post. I went to Keukenhof as well, now I have to wait a while before I post my visit as my photos aren't anywhere as nice as his. Actually, it would take me ages to post anyway, I still haven't posted the rest of my cruise holiday from end of February

The intro made me laugh 😁

As for the windmills, I feel you. I used to be so fascinated by them a few years ago until I moved in the place where I currently live and we have an open air museum with so many windmills in there. It's true that the museum is presenting more than the windmills but they are the main attraction of the tourists. However, I'm happy to see some more styles of windmills presented in your post because these from here look a little bit different. I'll leave a picture below:


Nice, yours looks more rustic and authentic, and it must be really nice to have this so near you. Do you get many visitors, and have you posted about it before.... Or did I miss the post 😅

Beautiful ❤️

Just like in fairytale, except for Don Kihot :)