Zaanstad is actually a municipality made up of several smaller towns and villages that is located in the northern part of the Netherlands, not far from Amsterdam. With a combined population of 151,000, it is one of the largest municipalities in the North Holland province behind the capital and Haarlem. Towns included in the Zaanstad umbrella include Zaandam, Westzaan, Wormerveer, Assendeltf and Krommenie.
Zaandam is the main city of Zaanstad and almost half the population of the municipality live here. During the Dutch Golden Age, this city was a major milling centre for the country and contained a vast number of windmills that powered the saws. Although Zaanstad lies in close proximity to Amsterdam, it has a plethora of tourist attractions in its own right and offers a huge amount of culture and history for those who seek it.
Lets explore the best things to do in Zaanstad:
1. Zaans Museum
The main attraction of the small village of Zaanse Schans, this museum is dedicated to preserve the history and culture of the region and was originally opened in 1994. Included inside this complex are several recreated buildings such as the Weavers House, the Cooperage, the Jisper House and Czar Peter House.
Aside from the faithfully reconstructed buildings, there is also an important collection of artwork and artefacts from the Zaans region included paintings from the renowned impressionist artists Monet.
An exhibition entitled “De Zaanstreek Maakt Het” (The Zaan region really makes it) displays the history of the industry in the area and what products were made here.
For an in-depth and interesting look at the history of Zaanstad, there is no better place.