Gouda; There’s more than just cheese

A quintessential Dutch town, Gouda is a great place for a weekend getaway

A quintessential Dutch town, Gouda is a great place for a weekend getaway

The Netherlands is brimming with beautiful, quirky towns and cities, all with that famous Dutch charm. Gouda is considered one of the best places to visit in the Netherlands, and not just so you can fill your boot with cheese!

Where is Gouda?

You can find Gouda in the south of Holland, south of the capital city, Amsterdam, north of the major port of Rotterdam, and just to the east of the seaside city of The Hague. If you're planning to travel through the Netherlands, it's an ideal stop for a day or two.

You may think that driving to the Netherlands from France will take you hours, but it's actually only three hours and 43 minutes from our Calais terminal. You will experience a beautiful drive through France, Belgium and the Netherlands on your journey.  

Have I heard of Gouda before?

You probably know Gouda from its famous cheese.
You probably know Gouda from its famous cheese.

Gouda is known as a great place for tourists to visit, but the reason its name probably rings a bell is because of its cheese. Gouda cheese is famous all over the world, and while there are things to do that don't involve cheese, the Gouda residents are incredibly proud of their famous export and want its visitors to learn as much as possible about it.

Gouda Museum
Take a trip to the Gouda Museum to learn more about the history of this fascinating place.
Take a trip to the Gouda Museum to learn more about the history of this fascinating place.

Like many cities in the Netherlands, Gouda has a rich history, dating back to the middle ages. To get to know the city intimately, take a few hours to wander through the Gouda Museum. It's not only cheese that the museum focuses on, but the whole tapestry of Gouda's past, including religious art, relics and ceramics. After touring the museum, chill out in the walled garden at the back.

The museum is located in the old hospital, Catherina Gasthuis, on Achter de Kerk street, where Erasmus, a famous priest and theologian from the early middle ages, lived as a child. After spending his childhood playing in the streets of Gouda, he went on to become one of the world's most highly regarded Renaissance humanists, priests and teachers.

De Waag

For hundreds of years, Gouda has been producing its eponymous cheese, so holidaying here without learning about it is pretty difficult. To find out how the production of Gouda cheese put the city on the map, visit the former cheese weighing house, De Waag. Although it's no longer used to weigh the cheese, it is now a museum about Gouda, and its cheesy past.

The museum doesn't just focus on Gouda's important cheese history, but also the whole of the Netherlands too. See where they used to weigh the cheese, as well as a scale model replica of the market square. 

Cheese Market
Visit the cheese market and fill your car up to the brim with the world-famous Gouda.
Visit the cheese market and fill your car up to the brim with the world-famous Gouda.

After spending a couple of hours learning all about cheese, you'll definitely be feeling a little peckish! Plan your visit so you're in Gouda on a Thursday between April and August, when the famous cheese market is held. During the morning, make your way down to the market to purchase the cheese from the local traders. The market is still held in front of De Waag, just like it has been for hundreds of years.

Church of St John
Take plenty of photos of the church’s famous stained-glass windows.
Take plenty of photos of the church’s famous stained-glass windows.

As if the cheese didn't give Gouda enough reason to be famous, it is also home to a UNESCO World Heritage site. The stained-glass windows of Sint Janskerk (Church of St. John) are so famous that they have been put on UNESCO's coveted list.  

The church itself is a large, Gothic building, built in the 15th and 16th centuries. The famous windows were installed between 1555 and 1571 by the brothers Dirk and Woulter Crabeth.

Town Hall
The impressive town hall is a must-see for any visitor to Gouda.
The impressive town hall is a must-see for any visitor to Gouda.

As with many historical cities, the town hall is an incredible structure. The seat of power for hundreds of years, its impressive Gothic structure looms over the market square. The town hall dates back as far as 1450, or earlier. It has been through many modifications throughout the years, including the removal of the moat that initially protected the hall.

It's also striking on the inside, and visitors are free to wander through the halls, looking at the open rooms and snapping pictures (without a flash) of the art and interior decorations.

Has Gouda's draw of delicious cheese and historic monuments convinced you to pay a visit? If you book your tickets early with us, you'll get the best price. So now you can buy more cheese!

Book travel

from £30
Prices start from £30 per car, each way* *£30 Day Trip & Overnight - Ticket must be purchased as part of a 2 day return. Return must be completed by midnight (local time) on the second calendar day. Book your travel now