I recently made my third visit to Amsterdam. While my main goal was to hang out with my friend Gigi who was staying there for a few weeks, I also wanted to check off a Dutch attraction I’d managed to miss on my previous two visits: windmills. I did get to see tulips on my first visit, but the windmills eluded me.
I got in touch with some friends I know who live in Amsterdam, and Yvette was able to meet up with me. She wanted to take a day trip somewhere too, so I suggested we go see the windmills in the nearby village of Zaanse Schans. It’s a UNESCO-listed village with a long row of windmills, some of which have been maintained for centuries.
We saw the first Albert Heijn, a popular grocery store chain in the Netherlands.
We also saw a color mill where stones grind chalk and make natural pigments and dyes. It was established in 1782 and is the last working color mill in the world.
It also had a great view from the platform up top. Although there was a fence to prevent you from getting decapitated, it was actually a little scary to have those windmill blades swinging by. I’m sure they weren’t nearly as close as it seemed.
We saw goats and chickens…
and an Italian guy selling gelato out of what looked like a rickshaw, decorated in both Dutch and Italian themes…
and these people…
Overall it was a fun day. A little cheesy, but still quite enjoyable.
Visiting the windmills in Zaanse Schans
If you don’t want to worry about transportation and you want to go with a tour, check out this one or this one. They’ll give you lots of interesting information about the windmills and village along the way, and one of the tours even takes you to other villages as well.
To visit Zaanse Schans on your own, take the train from Amsterdam Centraal to Koog-Zaandijk. It takes 15-20 minutes. The walk from Koog-Zaandijk to the windmills is about 15 minutes and passes by a chocolate factory that emanates the most delicious scent for several blocks. Unfortunately it did not appear to be open to the public.
Train tickets cost 7.20 euros round trip, and entrance to the color mill windmill with the viewing platform cost 4 euros.
You might also enjoy:
- How Much I Spent Traveling in Amsterdam
- Amsterdam Food Tour Review
- Why I Didn’t Visit Museums in Amsterdam
- How Much We Spent Traveling in the Netherlands