Zaanstad and the beautiful Dutch countryside

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The area of Zaanstad and Purmerend is characterised by rural areas, historic villages and plenty of work. Well-known producers of goods such as cocoa, edible oil and cheese are found here.

Zaanstad heritage

The Zaanstad and Purmerend area, located directly north of Amsterdam, is characterised by beautiful countryside, historic villages and lots of industry. It is home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Beemster landscape and the Amsterdam Defence Line. Thanks to its key location near the former Zuiderzee and other important waterways, the Zaan region and the port cities of the IJsselmeer played an important role in the economy of the Golden Age of the Netherlands. The Zaan region has even been described as one of the oldest industrial areas in the world. The city is famous for its well-known producers of semi-finished products such as cocoa, edible oil and sugar, as are numerous cheese producers. And the cultural and industrial heritage lives on today, the region is still an important centre for the Dutch food industry.

A peaceful town close to Amsterdam

From Zaandam, a direct train reaches Amsterdam Sloterdijk in just over 5 minutes and Amsterdam Central Station in just over 10. It takes less than 20 minutes by train to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and less than 30 minutes by car. For motorists, the Coentunnel tunnel connects the western part of the region to the centre of Amsterdam. From Purmerend, Volendam and Edam, Amsterdam is easily accessible by bus and metro. Driving takes between half an hour and 40 minutes to Amsterdam Central Station.

Famous people in the city

Many of the biggest Dutch names in the food industry come from the Zaan region, including Verkade, Duyvis, Lassie and supermarket giant Albert Heijn. There’s also edible oil specialist Bunge Loders Croklaan and multinational agricultural conglomerate Tate & Lyle, as well as other intermediate producers such as Cargill and ECOM Dutch Cocoa. To the west, the large steelworks of Tata Steel Europe tower over IJmuiden. Companies such as Airborne Oil & Gas and wind turbine builder MHI Vestas Offshore Wind operate near the port of IJmuiden and Velsen. Many small and medium-sized enterprises have settled in and around Purmerend. Important industries there are construction, IT and healthcare.

Business in Zaanstad

The area is an important logistics hub for companies in the food industry, and various maritime, offshore, logistics and shipping companies are clustered around the ports of Amsterdam and IJmuiden. An increasing number of IT, technology and healthcare companies are also choosing the region.

The region is an important centre for companies in the food industry. From a logistical point of view, the Port of Amsterdam offers significant advantages. The Port of Amsterdam is a logistics hub and industrial centre, and the Port of IJmuiden/Velsen is also home to heavy industry and offshore operations. At the same time, the region is located directly north of Amsterdam’s city centre, and various business services and the city’s financial district are only a few steps away. In the eastern part of the region, in and around Purmerend, numerous companies in the construction, technology, sustainable energy, tourism and agriculture industries can be found. The Baanstee-Noord business park on the outskirts of Purmerend offers fantastic opportunities for new and expanding businesses, including customisable plots and fantastic sustainability ratings.

Moving to Zaanstad

The area around Zaanstad and Purmerend offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities such as cycling, fishing, golf and water sports. There is also an impressive selection of museums and family-friendly attractions in the area, and every summer the region hosts an increasing number of cultural and music festivals. International schools in Amsterdam and Haarlem are easily accessible by car. A wide mix of housing, from modern flats to 1930s terraced houses and new build projects means there are plenty of housing options for students and young professionals, families and those looking for more space outside the big cities. Purmerend has long been the housing choice for families, but the central towns around Zaanstreek and Waterland are also increasingly popular, offering the charm of Old Holland with a pleasant and safe home working environment.