Wijk aan Zee

Wijk aan Zee is a small Dutch village with about 2400 inhabitants on the coast of the North Sea. It lies between the dunes, the sea and a huge steel factory, which makes it both an interesting and beautiful place to live.

Wijk aan Zee has been a place of fisherman until around half of the nineteenth century. Then tourist discovered Wijk aan Zee and people from Amsterdam spend their holidays on the beach or enjoyed the fresh air in order to get better from a sickness (the steel factory wasn’t there yet).

We only have a school for children from 4-12 years old. We do not have a high school but with Amsterdam, the capital, only a 30 minutes drive away and the nearest city only 10  minutes, the young people can stay and live in Wijk aan Zee even when they go to University. A problem for young people who want to stay in Wijk aan Zee are the expensive houses. It’s almost impossible to buy a house and there are no houses for rent that students would be able to pay.

Wijk aan Zee is culturally very active: In 1999, Wijk aan Zee named itself “Cultural Village of Europe“, recognizing the special nature of village life in general. This was three years after the Danish village of Tommerup had claimed  the same title, but this time a large project was about to start.

We have several festivals during the year. The biggest chess tournament in the world: the Corus Chess Tournament takes place in January every year (Corus is the name of the steel factory).

Wijk aan Zee won two prices for villages this year. One will have a follow up on European level and with the other we won 25.000 euro’s to establish a new cultural centre where cultural events can take place.

Special about Wijk aan Zee is living in a village but still having almost all the possibilities of a city. It is very easy to go by bus, bike or car to nearby cities. Lots of people work in other places, sometimes even in Amsterdam, but still want to live in Wijk aan Zee. In some way is living in Wijk aan Zee taking the best of both worlds.