From my window I see tourists on rental bikes and sometimes in an electric rickshaw going to the Zaanse Schans and then I wonder, “should tourists walk to the Zaanse Schans?”. In fact many actually walk all the way. But some clever business men started renting bicyles to tourists and one started a electric rickshaw taxi service. But is this necessary and are those tourist duped?
So I open my trusted Google maps and just let Google calculate the distance from the railway station Koog-Zaandijk to the entance of the famous open air museum Zaanse Schans. And what was the result? A mere 900 meters. A healthy person could walk that in less than fifteen minutes.
Taking a bike may save you some time, but not much. As a tourist you’re not used to the frantic Dutch traffic and you most likely have to stop a lot in order not to get in trouble. And you have to wait for the traffic lights just as much as a pedestrian. But most importantly you’re going to miss out at some photo opportunities the walkers enjoy.
First of all there is the windmill the “Bleeke Dood” (pale death). You’ll reach this windmill in less than 5 minutes. Walking on the other side of the street, which you will coming from the railway station, you are well positioned for a photo-op.
The windmill the “Bleeke Dood” is on the foot of the Juliana bridge across the river Zaan. It’s a big new modern bridge, you can’t miss it and you have to cross it to reach the Zaanse Schans. From this bridge you have beautiful view on the east shore of the river Zaan where the Zaanse Schans is located. Are you crossing the bridge on a bike? Prepare for a hassle and busy traffic which will dictate your course of action.
Now you’re almost there. Enjoy your visit at the Zaanse Schans. When you’re done, on the way back you can grab a bite at two excellent bakeries. First a bit north of the Bleeke Dood at the other side of the busy crossing there is “Het Zaanse bakkertje”. On the same road back to the railway station you find “Bakkerij de Wijn“, a famous pastry shop in the Zaan region. You might have spotted it on your way to the Zaanse Schans.
So don’t spend your money on a stupid bike or rickshaw. But spend it on good food. And don’t forget to take some pictures with your iPhone, Nexus, Huawei or Samsung Galaxy.