Zaanse Schans

The Zaanse Schans is one of Holland’s most popular tourist attractions. A village full of typically Dutch farms and windmills. We ventured there to shoot some classic Dutch landscape photos.

We arrived around 15:00 on the scene. Of course during the day, there are a lot of tourists here. It’s impossible to photograph anything without 300 Chinese in front of your lens making selfies. But we were not here to shoot photos, yet. Instead we scouted the area and looked for the best places to go to around sunset.

The buildings close at 18:00 hours. After that it is much more quiet and peaceful on the Zaanse Schans. I recommend anyone who wants to visit this place to go around this time. All the buses of annoying people are gone and the experience of the area is so much better. Ok, the mills, shops and museums are closed. But that’s a small price to pay. So now we were able to wander around freely and photograph the beautiful landscape. It was extra quiet because we had a little bit of rain. Not too much luckily, but just enough to scare away any remaining tourists.

Most of the buildings at the Zaanse Schans were not originally situated there. In the late 60’s they were moved to this location, to preserve them in an open air museum village. There is no fee to enter Zaanse Schans. The houses are occupied with residents, so it is not only tourists wandering around.

It was actually pretty hard to find good spots for photographs around this time of year. The water was dirty with crush and plants, sometimes they were entirely green, with no reflections left.

We focused on some of the more well known spots, the mills along the water and the farm with the nice bridge in the front. I think it worked out quite well. The original idea was to come back the next morning very early. But we were satisfied with this session, so we skipped that plan in favor of some extra sleep and a nice breakfast at the Van Der Valk hotel we were staying in.

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