Purmerend is a city close to Amsterdam, Netherlands. It's one of the largest towns in the Zaanstreek-Waterland region and many of its 80.000 inhabitants work in the nearby capital. In many ways, modern Purmerend has become a suburb of Amsterdam. It has a history of its own though, and some historic heritage to show for it too.
Many thousands of commuters daily take the A7 to get to their jobs in Amsterdam (~30 min). It's the only main road in, and while road improvements and extra lanes have lessened the daily traffic jams, this is still a very busy piece of highway during rush hour. The N235 is the alternative, and is the shortest route if you're headed for North-Amsterdam. Even outside of rush hour however, it's only a few minutes shorter, if at all. The N244 passes through Purmerend on its way from west to east, allowing connections to nearby Volendam (in the east) and Alkmaar in the north-west.
The train is a useful alternative, with direct connections to Zaandam (14 min), Amsterdam Sloterdijk (20 min) and [Schiphol]] (31 min). To get to Amsterdam Central station (30 min), you'll need a transfer. While possible at all three of these stations, Zaandam is the easiest as you just hop on the train at the other side of the platform, with only 2 minutes of transfer time. Purmerend has three train stations, but just Purmerend, the city's central station, is of most use to visitors. The others are Purmerend Weidevenne and Purmerend Overwhere.
Buses are available, although rarely more useful than trains. The main regional connections are line 118 to Edam, Volendam and Amsterdam and line 103 to Monnickendam. The regional bus station is at Beatrixplein, right outside the train station.
Volendam Cycle Route - Polders and fishing villages along the Zuiderzee coast (45 or 37 km). Starts at Purmerend train station.
Purmerend's town centre doesn't compare to the historic wealth of neighbouring Amsterdam, but this once flourishing market town does have a number of monuments, mostly houses from the 19th century, but some older ones too.
- Lutherse Kerk, Hoogstraat. Originating in 1880, this church is no longer the stage for regular services but is still used for special celebrations and exhibitions.
- Purmerends Museum, Kaasmarkt. The city's museum is nicely housed in the former town hall, a 1912 building at the former cheese market square. The museum collection contains a fair amount of Jugendstil earthenware, and lots of historic pieces that give an insight in the city's past. €4.
- Hendrickje, Standaardmolen 12, ☎ +6 2042 9644. This small and simple but pleasant bed & breakfast may feel as if you're staying the night in a friend's guest room. Homely, clean and friendly, this is a nice choice, also for smaller budgets. The internet isn't too fast, but at least it's there. from €30/50 for a single/double.