Den Bosch: a medium sized town in North Brabant with the warm hospitality the southern provinces are known for. Don’t be fooled by its size though. Den Bosch has a lot to impress you with. You can be eating the most delicious chocolate covered, cream filled pastry you have ever had in only one hour by train from Amsterdam. For as soon as you step outside the railway station the first must-do is to order a Bossche Bol at bakery Jan de Groot. Only those baked at this bakery are the true Bossche Bollen.
Be sure to pick up a rental bike when you arrive. Even in winter, cycling through the narrow streets and along the medieval fortifications around town is an easy way of exploring Den Bosch – and very Dutch-like!
The first fortifications date back to the year 1225 and are one of the oldest in the Netherlands. Parts of it are still visible and some are being renovated. When standing on the city wall at the south eastern end, you will notice the large open, green space immediately bordering the town. This nature reserve is called ‘Bossche Broek’ and is unique in its closeness to the city. Bicycle paths through the reserve make it ideal to extend your tour.
When you go around, definitely hop into the Sint Jans cathedral for a look and perhaps a climb up the tower to enjoy the view. If weather turns bad (always likely in the Netherlands) stop at the Noordbrabants Museum to marvel at the works of painters who lived in this area, like that one famous guy called Vincent van Gogh. The upper floor takes you through North Brabant’s history of religion, occupation and trade. The same building also houses the Stedelijk Museum showing contemporary art and design.
If you have time to visit only one museum though, make it the Jheronimus Bosch Art Center. You may call it visionary, ominous or fantastical, but the work of painter Jeroen Bosch will make you want to linger the rest of the day, until you’ve discovered every little detail in his paintings, all neatly explained by an audio tour. Your visit will be a true expedition between heaven and hell!
Jheronimus Bosch Art Center:
- Costs: € 6,-
- Address: Jeroen Boschplein 2, Den Bosch (51.687918, 5.312121)
- More info: Jheronimus Bosch Art Center website
- Bring: sense of humor, warm clothes (in winter)
- Costs: € 12,-
- Address: Verwersstraat 41, Den Bosch (51.686698, 5.304812)
- More info: Noordbrabants museum website
- Costs: € 7,50 / day
- Address: Stationsplein 77, Den Bosch (51.691286, 5.294408)
- More info: Fietspointvandeursen.nl
- Open daily