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Famous for cheese-making and pipe-smoking, Gouda is much more than your favourite yellow cheese. Whether you pronounce it “Goo-da” or “(G)h-ouw-da”, which is the correct pronunciation by the way, search for cheap air tickets to Gouda, to visit a genuine cheese-making Dutch town and get lost in tradition and delicious tastes! Sitting between Rotterdam and Utrecht, Gouda captivates visitors with its traditional character, left untouched by time since the 16th century. When history meets culture and quality, Gouda features a fine collection of museums and galleries, keeping a low profile and a relaxing laid-back atmosphere. A definite must-see if you wish to get the whole picture of the Netherlands, Gouda should not be omitted from your Dutch itinerary. Find cheap accommodation in Gouda and enjoy the Netherlands’ most delicious town!
Gouda is a small town of the Netherlands with a population of 72,000. Arguably one of the country’s most idyllic and photogenic destinations, Gouda holds a leading role in the development of cheese, wax and ceramics-making.
The golden era of Gouda arrived in the 16th century, with the establishment of the largest wax factory in the Netherlands. It was the development of the Gouda cheese though that defined the Dutch town internationally.
As a travel destination, Gouda is a pleasant, quiet place with lots to see and experience. Museums, historic buildings, cultural events and galleries will offer you a proper amount of food for thought, while its audience is wide, from families and couples to even lone travellers.
Did you know that most of Gouda stands below sea level?
An indispensable stop on your Dutch itinerary, Gouda manages to attract hundreds of visitors without losing its traditional spirit and genuine character. “Taste” Gouda and you’ll never regret it!
Gouda is served by the airport of Amsterdam (Luchthaven Schiphol), located 58 kilometres north of Gouda and accessible by train, bus and taxi.
Getting around Gouda
The best way to get around and explore Gouda is by doing as the locals do; get a bicycle! Bicycle rentals are available throughout the city, so you can easily rent one. Otherwise, you can explore Gouda on foot, considering it’s a small and compact town.
The centre and beating heart of Gouda lies at the central square, known as the Markt. If you’re visiting on a Friday, it’s definitely worth attending the legendary Kaasmarkt. Continuously held since 1198, this is the traditional open-air cheese market with stalls selling cheese and all kinds of dairy, as well as souvenirs and other items.
Around the square gather all of Gouda’s sights and points of interest, starting from the Church of Saint John (Sint-Janskerk).
The 123-metre-long Church of Saint John is the longest church in the Netherlands!
Built in the 16th century, the Gothic Sint-Janskerk is famous for its decorations with fine examples of Goudse Glazen stained glass.
The Markt is dominated by the imposing Stadhuis, the town hall of Gouda and one of the oldest Gothic town halls in the country. Built in 1448-1459 by architect Jan Keldermans III entirely by sandstone, the Stadhuis impresses not only with its elaborate Gothic façade, but also with its impressive interior, decorated by David Ruffelaer.
Continue to two of the city’s most notable museums:
- At the northern part of the square, you will come across the historic De Goudse Waag, a former cheese weighing building. De Goudse Waag was built in 1669 by Pieter Post and today houses the Kaaswaag, a museum dedicated to the history of cheese and dairy production and trade in the Netherlands.
- Next up, the Museum Gouda is situated southwest of the Markt, housed in the Catherina Gasthuis, a 15-century former hospital. Collections focus on the history of the city and include antiques, local hand-made pipes, gold artefacts and the traditional ceramics of Gouda, known as “plateel”.
The official language of Gouda is Dutch, but English, French and German are also widely spoken.