Discover Amsterdam
Meetings and Conventions
Live, Work and Study
Do business in the Amsterdam Area
Discover Amsterdam
Meetings and Conventions
Live, Work and Study
Image from Gemeente Zaandam

Zaanstad & Purmerend area

Zaanstad and Purmerend area is characterised by rural stretches, historic villages, plenty of industry, and is home to big-name manufacturers of goods such as cocoa, edible oil and cheese.

Position yourself at the centre of industry in Amsterdam’s harbour

Located directly to the north of Amsterdam, the Zaanstad and Purmerend area is characterised by rural stretches, historic villages and plenty of industry. It is home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Beemster landscape and the Defence Line of Amsterdam. Thanks to the key position near the former Zuiderzee and other major waterways, the Zaan region and the harbour towns of the IJsselmeer have played an important role in the economic boom in the 17th century.

The Zaan region has been described as one of the world’s oldest industrial areas. Big-name manufacturers of intermediate goods such as cocoa, edible oil and sugar have made their home here, as well as a number of cheese manufacturers. The cultural and industrial heritage endures, and the region remains an important hub of the Dutch food industry.

Image from Gemeente Zaandam

USPs for business

  • Important centre for the food industry and manufacturers of intermediate goods
  • Strength in logistics
  • Located directly north of central Amsterdam
  • An ideal location for IT and tech businesses due to proximity to the Amsterdam Internet Exchange
  • The Baanstee-Noord business park offers plenty of opportunities for new and expanding businesses

How to get there

From Zaandam, direct trains run to Amsterdam Sloterdijk in just over 5 minutes and to Amsterdam Central Station in just over 10 minutes. To Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, it is under 20 minutes by train and under 30 with a car. For drivers, the Coentunnel connects the western part of the region with central Amsterdam.

From Purmerend, Volendam and Edam, Amsterdam can easily be reached by bus and metro. When driving, you'll arrive at Amsterdam Central Station in about 30 to 40 minutes.

Prevalent industries, including sub-sectors

The area is an important logistical hub for the food industry, while various maritime, offshore, logistics and shipping companies are centred around the Ports of Amsterdam and IJmuiden. A growing number of IT, tech and healthcare companies are also choosing to settle in the region. 

Image from Gemeente Zaandam

Who's here?

Many of the Netherlands’ biggest names in the food industry are from the Zaan region, including Verkade, Duyvis, Lassie and supermarket giant Albert Heijn. Edible oil specialist Bunge Loders Croklaan and agribusiness multinational Tate & Lyle are located in the region as well, among other manufacturers of intermediate goods such as Cargill and ECOM Dutch Cocoa.

In the west, the great steelworks of Tata Steel Europe loom over IJmuiden. Offshore operations near the Port of IJmuiden and Velsen include Airborne Oil & Gas and wind turbine builder MHI Vestas Offshore Wind. Many SMEs have settled in the Purmerend area and include Important industries like construction, IT and healthcare.

Good for business

Logistically, the Port of Amsterdam offers significant advantages. The Port of Amsterdam is a logistics hub and centre of industry, while the Port of IJmuiden/Velsen is home to heavy industry and offshore operations. The region is also located directly to the north of central Amsterdam, and the city’s diverse portfolio of business and financial services are just a stone’s throw away.

To the east in and around Purmerend, you can find numerous businesses working in construction, tech, sustainable energy, tourism and agriculture. The Baanstee-Noord business park on the edge of Purmerend offers fantastic opportunities for new and expanding businesses, including customisable plots and fantastic sustainability initiatives.

Image from Floor van der Vlist

Attracting talent

The Zaanstad and Purmerend area offers endless opportunities for outdoor pursuits like cycling, fishing, golf and water sports. The area also has an impressive selection of museums and family-friendly attractions, as well as an increasing number of cultural and music festivals which take place in the region every summer.

The international schools of Amsterdam and Haarlem are easily reached by car. The broad mix of housing, from modern apartments to 1930s terraced housing and new build projects means there’s plenty of residential options for students, young professionals, families and those seeking more space outside of the bigger cities. Purmerend has long been a residential choice for families, but the central towns around the Zaanstreek and Waterland are also increasingly popular, offering an Old Holland charm with a pleasant and safe home-work environment.