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Zaandam is a middle sized city just north of the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. It is just a short journey from Amsterdam. Zaandam is part of the municipality of Zaanstad (consisting of 7 towns of which Zaandam is the biggest), in the region that is called the Zaanstreek (Zaan area).

Directly outside the train station Zaandam there is a shopping esplanade (currently being completely rebuilt), a bike rental, taxi's and a hotel. It takes a ten minutes walk through the rather dull shopping esplanade (called Gedempte Gracht) to get to the slightly more atmospheric area where you can find the pubs and restaurants. That area, with streets like the Zuiddijk and Prins Hendrikkade, is located at the waterfront of the river Zaan.

In all honesty, the centre of Zaandam is not very special, except for a few nice pubs and a venue with live music. So...


Explore the typical Dutch landscape with completely flat meadows and windmills around the city. The region (Zaanstreek) is possibly the oldest industrial area in the world (it was not driven by steam but by wind), and it shows in many old buildings.

Get in

By plane

Trains run from Schiphol Airport, passing through station Amsterdam Sloterdijk.

By train

Zaandam is just two stops from Amsterdam Central Station. You pass through station Amsterdam Sloterdijk. Trains leave regularly until 1 am.

By car

Take from the northern part of the circular road of Amsterdam (Ringweg A10) the A8 to Zaanstad/Zaandam, and just follow the signs.


  • The old windmills and the original wooden houses in the open air museum of the Zaanse Schans, north of Zaandam. See topic Zaanse Schans for details
  • The whole area around the river Zaan, to be explored biking, walking or travelling by car. You will see a great mix of old style industry (unusual for the Netherlands), almost medieval old wooden houses and windmills, together with open green pastures (grass land) in the span of just a few miles. It will be like different epochs clash. This journey has to be arranged on an individual basis, as outside the Zaanse Schans tourism is not much developed yet.


If you are into culture, do visit the Zaanse Schans.


  • De Kade, [1]. Locally well known pop, rock and dance stage, with both DJ's as bands live performing. In the center of Zaandam at the Zuiddijk.
  • Fishline, [2]. Blues/Rock pub at the waterfront, with often live music. To be found at the Zuiddijk.
  • The Blacksmith, [3]. Small pub in the old workplace of a blacksmith. On the Hogedijk near the old harbour. A truly local pub.