“Visiting the Netherlands and not setting your foot or eyes on a windmill is like visiting Disney Land and not getting to see your favorite Disney character.”- Manali Desai
An hour and a half away by road from Tilburg lays the charming town of Zaanse that we cannot get enough of. Yes, this was our second visit here. Previously we had visited this charming town during the peak of winters in January 2019.
Why did we visit it again?
- Our parents are in town and this was the best place to give them a tour of yestyear Dutch. And this place has everything that the Dutch country is famous for at one place
- Our previous visit was by public transport and we wanted to travel by car this time around.
There is a paid parking area for about 25-30 cars, located right next to the Zaanse Schans Museum.
Other than the quintessential windmills, this 18-19th century restored and replicated town has so much more to offer. There are 3 cafés, more than one souvenir shop, and a cheese factory + shop. The cheese factory tells the history of the cheese-making in the country and also provides free tasting samples of over 20+ varieties of cheese as well as chocolates.
One thing different we noticed and were really happy to experience from our previous visit was the Windmill Tour. One of the Windmills lining the two sides of the Zaanse river has been opened up for public access. At a cost of just 5 Euros per person, you can see an actual windmill and how it functions from the inside. You can climb to the top and witness the beauty of this town from its roof as the wheels of the mill churn away.
The place also has a clogs shop, which tells the history of clog making, and gives you the chance to buy one for yourself too. This photo is taken outside that shop.
Just like the many colors on this wall, the town is colorfully splashed with many beautiful things, natural as well as man-made.
You can see windmills working, modern-day clog making, and learn about traditional architecture, all within a span of two hours at the max.
It was a repeated and yet a wonderful experience for us, more so because our parents’ wish of watching the windmills in action, was satisfied.
Pro-tip: There is a cycling path, so if you’re a biker, do go for it. You can even take a boat ride on the Zaanse river that runs through the town. If you want to make a holiday out of it, there are rental spaces available as well.
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Thank you for reading.