Cultural and industrial heritage

The cities, towns and villages of Beemster, Purmerend, Zaanstad, Waterland (including Marken and Monnickendam), Landsmeer, Wormerland, Uitgeest, Oostzaan and Edam-Volendam all have an enduring cultural and industrial heritage. Today, its infrastructure remains steeped in history, with shipping warehouses, windmills, cheesemaking factories and iconic Dutch fishing villages that have remained virtually untouched for centuries. The area is simultaneously looking towards the future, blending the old with the new and finding innovative ways to repurpose and showcase its industrial character. 

Why live in the Zaanstreek & Waterland area?

  • Spacious and modern housing 
    From charming character homes to modern-day architecture and lakeside apartments, residents enjoy a relaxed lifestyle near the water, with extensive options for existing and new-build housing for all budgets.  
  • Convenient access to Amsterdam
    This region has long been an attractive choice for those seeking an alternative to big city life. Residents of its city centres and villages can take advantage of ever-increasing facilities, shops, cafés, restaurants and culture, all with nature and outdoor opportunities nearby. The growing population is also a benefit for small business owners. 
  • Friendly and welcoming village communities
    Traditional villages retain a small-town community feel, which is becoming increasingly difficult to find. Events like farmers’ markets and fairs bring the locals together.   
  • A haven for history buffs
    The region is infused with iconic Dutch industrial heritage, charm and character (windmills, fishing boats, museums) – a benefit for anyone with an interest in history and residents looking to escape the bustle of large cities.  

International community

Locals can enjoy the convenience of shopping centres, supermarkets, cinemas, restaurants and cafés in the city centres. Volendam, Marken and the Zaanse Schans are popular with tourists, so English and German are spoken widely, and services for residents are becoming increasingly internationally oriented. For social and networking opportunities with fellow internationals, the Expats Zaanstad international community is in development.