Things to do in
Zaandam

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Our most recommended things to do in Zaandam

From Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans, Edam, & Marken Full-Day Trip

1. From Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans, Edam, & Marken Full-Day Trip

Immerse yourself in the culture of the Netherlands on a tour through the jewels of the Dutch countryside. Visit a cheese producer, a clog factory, a fishing village, and see the iconic windmills. Start your tour at Amsterdam’s Central Station and head in the company of your guide to the first destination of the day, Zaanse Schans. Admire the typical Dutch windmills of the town, and learn about how they are still used today. Next, drive to the Waterland area to arrive at the second stop of the tour, Edam. Walk around some of the town’s most historical sites, including the town square where the famous cheese market used to take place. Then, head to Volendam to visit a local cheese producer, learn about the production of Edam and Gouda cheeses, and try a cheese tasting. Head towards a clog factory next to discover the secrets of this typical Dutch shoe. Finally, travel back in time to the 17th century as you wander through the fishermen’s houses in the Marken, and explore this quintessential fishing village.

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Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam & Marken Spanish Tour

2. Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam & Marken Spanish Tour

Depart Amsterdam by luxury bus on this 8-hour, small group, Spanish-language tour and head north of the city to see the historic windmills of Zaanse Schans on the banks of the river Zaan. Explore the traditional 17th-century houses and a collection of beautifully preserved windmills from the nation’s industrial heritage. Continue on to visit Edam, a beautiful town known worldwide for its cheese. Before the end the day, go to Volendam and Marken, passing many authentic polders, the name given to land reclaimed from the sea. Wander down narrow streets, past colorful houses and visit the harbors full of fishing boats. You will have some free time to shop for souvenirs and sample the local fish specialties. Back in Amsterdam, you will be dropped off at the meeting point.

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From Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans Windmills Half-Day Tour

3. From Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans Windmills Half-Day Tour

Meet your guide and driver at a central meeting point just across from Central Station Amsterdam. A comfortable, air-conditioned single deck bus will take you to today’s destination in just 20 minutes. The windmill village Zaanse Schans is an open air museum that houses a collection of working windmills, wooden houses, barns and shops dating back to the 18th and 19th Century. All these buildings were brought here from 1961 onwards bringing back to life this most prosperous period of the Zaan region. In its golden age the Zaan Region developed into an industrial area on a scale never seen before, with 600 active windmills: wooden factories powered by wind. In these small factories many tasks were being executed with the aid of wind energy: wood sawn by machine, grounding spices, oil for food and paint, flower, cocoa powder and many other things. The prosperity in the 18th and 19th century can be seen in the Zaanse Schans windmill village in several ways. Alongside windmills, barns and other buildings, you will see beautiful houses that were originally built as home to rich windmill owners and merchants. These houses have attractive facades and have been painted in traditional colors such as green, beige and light blue. At arrival in the village, your guide will take you on an orientation tour of the village. You will visit the clog museum annex wooden shoemaker shop and in the cheese farm you will get to taste Dutch farmer cheese. Then it is time to further explore the village on your own. Before you set off to discover the Zaanse Schans on your own, your guide will give you further information on the Zaanse Schans and its unique character, teach you local history and culture, and give you insider’s tips about what to do and where to go.

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Amsterdam: Volendam, Edam, & Zaanse Schans Small-Bus Tour

4. Amsterdam: Volendam, Edam, & Zaanse Schans Small-Bus Tour

Leave Amsterdam for half a day on this guided tour of the rolling Dutch countryside. Sit back and travel comfortably in a minivan with your fairly small group to the rural village of Edam. Take a walk through the quaint streets of Edam. En-route to Volendam, stop to visit an old cheese farm to see how authentic Dutch cheese is made. Indulge in trying some of these huge spheres of delicious cheese. Upon arrival in Volendam, follow your guide on a journey through the fishing village’s winding streets. Hear about how this bustling place was once the harbor for neighboring village Edam. Enjoy some free time to eat lunch. Next, move on to visit the windmill village of Zaanse Schans. Once used to ground spices, dyes, lumber, oil, cocoa powder, and many other items, the mills are still in use today. Some are now living museums where you can learn about the ins and outs of milling. Visit a wooden shoe factory and behold how traditional clogs are created using antique machines. Afterward, go inside a windmill and take a look at all the mechanisms and go out onto the platform for a remarkable view over the surrounding area.  Filled with newfound knowledge and a taste of the traditional Dutch ways of life, relax and reminisce about your trip while on the journey back to Amsterdam.

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From Amsterdam: Villages and Windmills Tour

5. From Amsterdam: Villages and Windmills Tour

The first stop on this 8-hour trip from Amsterdam will be the windmills in Zaanse Schans. Continue to the region of Waterland, and visit the villages of Edam, Volendam and Marken. Your guide will tell you about the history of each place and the churches and traditional houses of the 15th century. Visit a factory where the clogs popular in this part of the country are made. Learn how they produce world-famous Dutch cheeses as well. Spend some of your free time enjoying a meal (not included in the tour price), before returning to Amsterdam at around 5:30 PM.

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Zaanstreek Bus Day Ticket to Zaanse Schans & Zaanstreek

6. Zaanstreek Bus Day Ticket to Zaanse Schans & Zaanstreek

Go to the bus platform of Amsterdam Central Station and get on the red/grey public transport bus 391. Show your ticket to the bus driver, then take a seat and make yourself comfortable. Enjoy the beautiful city of Amsterdam before you go under the IJ-tunnel. Once you leave Amsterdam, you be surrounded by stunning landscapes as you soon enter the city of Zaandam. Either choose to depart there, or remain on the bus and go directly to de Zaanse Schans, one of the highlights of the Dutch history. De Zaanse Schans is a residential area in which the 18th and 19th centuries are brought to life. Stroll past the bakery museum and enjoy the smell of fresh cookies, or take a look at the warehouse where clogs are made. Be sure not to miss the cheese factory, pewter foundry, and the various windmills.

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Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans 3-Hour Small Group Tour

7. Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans 3-Hour Small Group Tour

Starting from Amsterdam, enjoy a comfortable drive to Zaanse Schans. There, hear your guide tell you about the sights and history of this unique, small village and region. Visit a wooden shoe workshop to see how the traditional wooden clogs are made. Also, enjoy a trip to a local cheese farm to learn how the Dutch Gouda cheeses are made. There, taste all kinds of delicious cheeses. After hearing about the magnificent windmills from your guide, enter one to see how these wind-powered industries operate. Get out on the balcony to experience the power of the wind yourself and to enjoy the lovely view of the countryside. After your guided tour at Zaanse Schans, head back to Amsterdam.

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Zaanse Schans: Authentic Dutch Windmill Entrance Ticket

8. Zaanse Schans: Authentic Dutch Windmill Entrance Ticket

Enjoy an afternoon learning about the inner workings of windmills in the village of Zaanse Schans. To begin, find out how the mill saws a tree into a plank and then learn more about the history of the famous Dutch windmills at an exhibition in the basement of the mill. Next, come inside the world's last-remaining, still-working paint windmill, which is dated back to 1782. If there is enough wind, you can even experience the grinding process and watch how the mill grinds chalk under the large grind stones. In the back of the mill is where the loggers stands, and it is where tropical wood is chopped. Be sure to check out the impressive working wooden interior of this "old" industrial factory.

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Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans and Giethoorn Day Tour

9. Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans and Giethoorn Day Tour

Your experience begins as your guide meets you at the pickup point from where you travel to the typical Dutch windmill village of Zaanse Schans. Zaanse Schans is an open-air museum complete with a cheese farm, clog factory, diamond museum, bakery museum, and Kuiperij, where barrels were made to transport goods, green timber houses, traditional crafts, and windmills. Following noon, be transferred to the unique Dutch village of Giethoorn, heading further north out of Amsterdam. As you travel, listen to nice stories including the history and significant elements in the region of Giethoorn throughout the roughly 2-hour bus ride, with a break included to ensure a pleasant journey. Giethoorn is beautiful in all seasons, and contains a simple beauty which hardly seems real. Discover this as you glide gently through its small canals, passing old but pretty thatched-roof farmhouses. Throughout this 1-hour boat trip around town, be accompanied by a local guide who also doubles as your captain. Get to know everything about Giethoorn throughout your boat trip, with extra time included to walk along a narrow footpath by foot or by bike, or to learn how to operate the ''whisper boat'', an electric-motor boat. In the evening, arrive back to Amsterdam's center with the rest of your night to look forward to.

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Amsterdam: Volendam, Edam and Windmills Live Guided Tour

10. Amsterdam: Volendam, Edam and Windmills Live Guided Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam on a half-day guided tour of the Dutch countryside, starting with a 20-minute drive to the windmill village of Zaanse Schans. This outdoor conservation area is situated on the banks of the Zaan River and is home to traditional 18th and 19th century architecture, including several functioning windmills. Watch live demonstrations of craftsmen at work, including a clog maker crafting the famous wooden shoes of the Netherlands. There will be some free time to explore the village on your own, before traveling through the distinctive polders (land reclaimed from the water) of the Beemster area. From there continue on to Edam, also commonly referred to as the pearl of the Zuiderzee. Edam’s ancient streets and tranquil canals are lined by beautiful 17th century buildings, including the leaning Carillon tower, the Great Church, and town hall. Most famous in Edam is beyond any doubt the public weighing house, where in summer still every Wednesday the famous Edam Cheese is being sold. After a stroll around this history-rich town, you’ll have the opportunity to see how Edam’s world-famous cheese is made and, of course, to taste it in a closeby cheese farm. Finally, you will stop in the beautiful seaside village of Volendam. This typical fishing village with its bustling harbor has been a major tourist attraction as early as 1875. People come from all over to see the small buildings and houses and take in the locals in their traditional Dutch clothing. This is a great place to pick up souvenirs for those at home or a memento for yourself, and to have photos taken in traditional Dutch costume. Your guide will take you on a short walk through the oldest parts of the city, exploring a labyrinth of twists and turns to sites such as St. Vincent’s Church, the wooden Stolphoevekerk and the Visafslag (Fish Auction).

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What people are saying about Zaandam

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 8,073 reviews

Our tour guide lady, Laura Garcia, is the best. Besides providing information about the tour sites, she also consistently shares her different experiences while living in Amsterdam. She is very talkative, very energetic, and very friendly. I had a great time.

Juliette was a wonderful guide, she answered all our questions, shared insightful information about the sites and kept the day moving as there is a lot to see. We enjoyed each town for its own charm, our driver was great as well.

Excelente Actividad, muy bien llevada y muy interesante con bellos paisajes Personal muy capacitado, entrenado y muy agradable para hacer de este paseo un un dia excepcional Altamente recomendable

Excelente experience to know the "real" Netherlands . Great time with the guide, always telling good, fun, and historical stories about visited places. Friendly driver and nice warmed Van.

Everything worked very well. It was very easy to pick up the tickets with the voucher from the automatic machines in the airport's baggage collection area.