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Discover Amsterdam
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De Zaansche Molen / Windmill Museum
Image from De Zaansche Molen

Industrial Heritage Cycleseeing Route: windmills and shipyards

Amsterdam and Zaandam go together like coffee and biscuits – and on this tour you’ll get a taste of both cities’ deep connections to their industrial pasts. In this part of Holland, for well over a century people have lived in the shadows of huge factories. Some of these are still in use today, others have been transformed into apartments or cultural venues. Yet the real jewel of this journey is the Zaanse Schans – a living village of windmills, wooden houses and artisanal workshops that is frozen in time.

Cycle route highlights:

Kissing Couple XXXL

This iconic sculpture awaits at the Amsterdam Westport. A symbol of the Netherlands, the kissing couple is on par with the tulips and windmills. Placed on the bike route leading to Zaandam to endorse cycling, it's become an invitation to celebrate love.

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Huis
Image from Cris Toala Olivares

The Zaanse Schans has come to life as a 19th-century Dutch masterpiece – an area dotted with windmills, craft shops and lovingly preserved houses. Visit the impressive Zaans Museum to learn more about the history of the area, see clogs from centuries ago in the Klompenmakerij or follow your nose to the Verkade Experience.


Ijver café-restaurant exterior and terrace
Image from Ijver

The NDSM shipyard was once the largest shipyard in Europe. At its peak in the 20th century, thousands of people worked here on cargo ships and oil tankers. Since the closure of the shipyard in 1984, the area has been redeveloped as a start-up hub that you can explore on foot.

Rent a bike

Amsterdam Bike Rent, IJdock 47, 1013MM Amsterdam;
Fietsenpakhuis, Vinkenstraat 46, 1506 CN Zaandam;
NS Fietspoint Pieters, Provincialeweg 21 1506 MA Zaandam;
NDSM bikes, NDSM-plein 8 1033 WB Amsterdam.