Before I came to The Netherlands to study for the first time, the typical image of authentic, traditional Dutch life was an abundance of cheese, grassfield, wooden windmills, wooden shoes and farm ladies in wide white aprons carrying milk jugs. Zaanse Schaans is probably one of the few remaining places in Holland with this exact view. It’s an open air museum displaying the (idealized) re-creation of the Dutch villages from the 17th and 18th century.
The site is beyond adorable; with traditional green houses and buildings, meticulously restored and transported here from elsewhere in the region. There are only a few wooden windmills left now but you get a sense of what the place must have been like in the past when hundreds of them existed here.
The Connexxion 391 bus from Amsterdam Centraal Station (from the IJssel side) runs every 15 minutes and you can buy the Connexxion Industrial Heritage day ticket from the bus driver (€10), which allows you to travel anywhere within Amsterdam – Zaanstreek area for the whole day. On our way back, we stopped at Zaandam Centrum to have lunch in front of the Inntel hotel. See more photos of Zaandam below!12