Zaans Museum and Verkade Experience
The Zaans Museum tells the story of daily life in the Zaan region over the centuries. The Zaan is one of the oldest industrial areas in Europe, and wind and water played an essential role in its success. The museum is located in Zaanse Schans in a modern building with an industrial atmosphere. At the heart of the Zaans Museum, you will find the Verkade Experience. A treat for young and old alike, the Verkade Experience transports you back to the chocolate-and-biscuit factory of the early twentieth century, where the original machines are still churning away.
Zaans Museum, Zaandam
The area the Hembrugterrein acted as a base for a munition factory, producing artillery and firearms for the Dutch army from the end of the 19th century until 2003. The Hembrug Museum tells the story of the factory, in all its facets. The museum is an open-air presentation and is open for visitors every day. Also well worth the visit is Museum of Humanity, the result of a dream photographer Ruben Timman had in 2001. The museum features dozens of portraits he has shot of people all over the world. A visit to this startling, thought-provoking institution poses questions about the nature of art, culture and even what it means to be human.
The perfect stop for the modern art lover: gallery Artzaanstad is a household name in contemporary visual art in the Netherlands. It’s not only an art rental, but also an active gallery for contemporary artists. In addition to the visual art on show, you will find an extensive collection of design in the gift shop.
In its 18th and 19th century heyday, the Zaan region was an important industrial area dotted by hundreds of windmills producing linseed oil, paint, snuff, mustard, paper and other products. Many of the Zaanse Schans' characteristic village houses are now museums, gift shops or workshops while others are still used as private residences. Some of the Zaanse Schans' remaining windmills are also open to the public.
De Kaaswaag Edam (Edam Cheese Weighhouse) invites you to explore the cheesemaking traditions of Edam, the cheese capital of the Netherlands located north of Amsterdam. Tasting is allowed!
Countless paintings, models and original instruments take the visitor back to the 17th to 19th centuries when the Zaanstreek flourished as one of the first and most important industrial areas of Europe. This charming Windmill Museum, only a 15 minute walk from the Zaanse Schans, forms an excellent beginning or end point of a visit to the Zaanse Schans.
Windmill Museum, Koog aan de Zaan
The town of Marken is like an outdoor museum in itself. The village is unique in that its residents have preserved many of the island’s traditions. Ethnographers and anthropologists flocked to the village in the 19th and 20th centuries to study what was considered a relic of traditional culture. While you may not encounter too many people still dressed in attire that was all the rage in similar fishing communities back in the 19th century, you will find many of its historic homesteads still standing. While you’re there, visit the Marker Museum, which offers a fascinating look into the area's heritage and distinctive way of life.
Museum Zaanse Tijd
Timekeeping is at the heart of science and technology, and this museum pays homage to it with its unique focus on the craft of the clockmaker. Travel back in time and marvel at animated clocks depicting themes that are typical of the historical Zaan region, such as spinning windmills or whaling scenes. The museum proudly presents the rich Dutch heritage of beautiful and intricate timekeepers stemming from the Dutch Golden Age. Exhibits include a wide range of timepieces, from an Egyptian water clock to 19th- and 20th-century precision clocks by way of 16th-century turret clocks, the earliest pendulum clocks and richly decorated bracket and longcase clocks from the Dutch Golden Age. In addition, there are clocks from all Dutch and Flemish provinces and an equally extensive collection of Dutch pocket watches.
Museum Zaanse Tijd, Zaandam
The Katwouder windmill, also known as the Kathammer, is a windmill in the Achterdichting neighbourhood of Katwoude village, just south of Volendam. It’s a polder windmill, meaning its function is to provide power to drain the local polder. But don’t forget the windmills at Land van Leeghwater and the Zaanse Schans.
Enkhuizen’s Zuiderzeemuseum tells the stories of the people who once made the shores of the Zuiderzee their home. As you wander among the exhibits you can practically see, hear, taste and smell everyday life around the Zuiderzee as it was before the major Afsluitdijk dam transformed the sea into the IJsselmeer in 1932. Focusing on the themes of water, crafts and communities, historic buildings, ever-changing exhibitions and fascinating ephemera from the past make this a day trip from Amsterdam that won’t disappoint.
The Volendams Museum, located in the town of Volendam, is definitely one of the Netherlands' most unconventional museums. Here you can get a glimpse into some of the more unique elements of early Dutch life in the region, with an interesting assortment of art, life-size dioramas and fascinating artefacts. Its collection includes works by celebrated painters like Henricus Rol and Edwin Austrin Abbey, along with more unusual items like 19th-century fishing vessels and antique uniforms. One of the museum's cornerstones is a series of large mosaics which comprises over 11 million cigar bands.
Volendams Museum, Volendam
Overlooking the world famous square Waagplein in Alkmaar, the Hollands Kaasmuseum has been the go-to spot for cheese ever since 1983. Housed within a monumental building in the North-Holland town of Alkmaar, the museum has a unique collection of historical artifacts. The museum puts the spotlight on the two most famous cheeses of the Netherlands: Edam and Gouda cheese. Children have their own section with interactive games and videos, and may enjoy the specially laid out scavenger hunt.