24 hours in Amsterdam. Zaanse Schans and a burger cruise! (Day 1 of Europe Road Trip.)

Our first port of call (after the actual port, that is) was Zaanse Schans, a very touristy ‘open air museum’ about 30 minutes to the north of the city. With very limited time in Amsterdam, and the Netherlands, we needed a quick hit of ‘Dutch culture’ that was easy to do with the kids. With several well preserved and still working windmills, multiple mini-museums, experiences and shops, all within easy walking distance, Zaanse Schans was perfect. 

Zaanse Schans windmills from the viewing tower. (We did take Pip, but he was cowering on the stairs. turns our hes afraid of heights 😦

Our first stop was the clog workshop. We were drawn to the giant yellow clogs they have outside for tourists to be tourists in. So we were tourists in them too.

One of our favourite bits of the visit to Zaanse Schans was the clog making demo. It was so cool! (See time lapse below!)

We had our first experience of dining out with a coeliac in another country! And we were catered for very well with delicious gluten free pancakes!

After lunch we had a quick wonder through the cheese shop, which ironically was clogged up! It was Gouda though! Boom boom! 

Then came the best, most iconic bit, the windmills! The kids did a bit of scooting to see the windmills. We did’t walk past all of them, but the second one was open to visit. It was €4 each for grown ups and €2 for kids over 6yrs, so our two were free. It was brilliant seeing the inner workings of a proper windmill! Safety barriers were minimal, and stairs were steep, but we managed it without incident (probably more by luck than judgement!).


We left Zaanse Schans and got to our hotel about 3pm, with two zonked out kiddies in the back of the car! We stayed at the Urban Lodge Hotel, one train stop to the west of Amsterdam (Sloterdijk). We had a chill out in our room for a couple of hours as we were all pretty knackered from the ferry and windmills, and pondered how best to see Amsterdam the remaining part of the day. Deciding we would need food, and a sit down tour that was undercover (it was raining), we booked onto the ‘Burger Cruise’ after the hotel concierge kindly rang them to check about gluten free options. We got the (double decker!) train into the city at about 5pm. 

The boat company staff could not have been more helpful in sorting out Pips coeliac friendly meal. And the burgers were amazing!

It was a great to just get a taste of Amsterdam – we’ll definitely visit properly in the future. The tour was good, and the food was amazing! The kids did pretty well considering the boat only set off at 6:30pm and food wasn’t U gone 7pm. But Bee got EXTREEMLY screamily possessive about the basked of crisps on the table. According to her they were NOT for sharing. We had the only children I the boat, so we were THAT family. Luckily the boat wasn’t full so we did spread out a little so the kids could move about. Here’s a selection of some more piccies…

On our was home we accidentally travelled in a first class silent carriage. It was birthed first class or silent with us in it! The guard let us off because there was no one else in and we were just going one stop. So hurray, we’ve now travelled first class!

Bedtime was a nightmare again with Bee. Definitely overtired. But also can’t sleep with light on. And pip can’t sleep without a light on! Thank goodness we have seperate rooms for most of our nights!


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