Unless you are only going to be in the country for the day, don’t buy your souvenirs here! Everything they have can be bought cheaper elsewhere.
The only exceptions to this are ‘real delft’ and special decorated wooden shoes. Real delft is expensive no matter where you go, and the wooden shoe shop does offer one of the widest verities of decorated shoes.
Zaanse Schans is a money-machine. This begins with a parking fee of 7.50 EUR for everything more than 30 minutes and continues with extra entrance fees to the actual sights, the windmills. Apparently, a combi ticket is available, but according to our guidebook this is not exactly cheap at 14.50 EUR. You are even charged 0.50 EUR for the toilets...
Unique Suggestions: We were shocked when we saw the parking lot fees, but as every stay under 30 minutes only costs you 1 EUR, we though, we'd better be quick. So our Zaanse Schans experience (and that of quite a few others) was one of the running kind. We entered the village via the main entrance, jumped out of the way of the stupid photographers taking pictures of you while you step through the entrance (What for?!?) and raced from sight to sight in order to take a photograph of everything that looked remotely interesting. There is quite a lot of that (see my Things to do tip), but having been to Kinderdijk, we considered Zaanse Schans less likeable. Anyway, if you want to see a bit of the village and have come by car, then be quick!
Fun Alternatives: Kinderdijk is a much nicer and at least in early spring much less crowded place. Not only are there more windmills, they are also more picturesque.
Touristy but convenient to visit from Amsterdam with some good photo opportunities
Unique Suggestions: Go inside a windmill