A pleasant day trip from Amsterdam is a visit to the picturesque Dutch village park at Zaanse Schans, approximately 15km north of the city.
You will find iconic views of the 6 windmills set on the river Zaan, traditional houses, shops and museums.
Alternatively, Connexxion's Industrial Heritage bus line (391) runs from the Oost (east) bus station at Amsterdam Central to Zaandam and the Zaanse Schans windmills.
The trip takes about 40 minutes and a single costs €5.
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Getting There: Take one of the regular stopping trains from Amsterdam Central (direction Alkmaar) to Koog Zandijk - a day return (2016) costs €6.20 and takes just under 20 mins. From there it's about 15 mins walk to Zaanse Schans - just follow the signs.Walk up the road then turn left towards the windmill and then right to cross over the bridge.The Zaans Museum (open daily 1000-1700) gives a historical overview of the people and industry of the area.It has a varied collection of paintings, costumes, furniture as well as multimedia exhibits. There are 6 working industrial windmills at Zaanse Schans: De Huisman - mustard mill De Gekroonde Poelenburg - sawmill De Kat - paint mill De Zoeker - oil mill De Bonte Hen - oil millhet Jonge Schaap - sawmill Visits to the windmills costs €4 each or €2 for children 6-12. The Museumshop Albert Heijn Grocery is a reconstruction of the first ever Albert Heijn store from Oostzaan dating back to the late 19th century.The museum also houses the Verkade Pavilion which is a history of the chocolate and biscuit maker. Today Albert Heijn is the Netherlands's biggest supermarket chain. Other museums at Zaanse Schans are the Zaan Time Museum and the Bakery Museum. There is a Zaanse Schans card available for purchase which will save you a couple of euros for entry into the Zaanse museum and a windmill visit. In terms of food and drink at Zaanse Schans there are 2 restaurants and the museum café.
River cruises can be taken from the 'Aan 't Glop' jetty - they depart on the hour 1200-1500 (Tue-Sun) and take 50 minutes. It is well worth getting out of Amsterdam to have a look around Zaanse Schans, a picture postcard version of a traditional Dutch village in a water and country setting.