North Brabant is the second-largest province in Holland and for a year it was my home. Living in Tilburg, I got to travel a lot to nearby places. The cities are easily reachable by train and make for the best day trips. Read on to find out what not to miss in those 5 cities in North Brabant.
Eindhoven is the largest city, the modern, manufacturing centre of North Brabant. The city was bombed during World War 2, so not many of the old buildings have survived. In their place you will see modern buildings and futuristic architecture such as The Blob. Eindhoven is also home of Philips Lighting and once a year, in the second week of November, the whole city is illuminated for the Glow Eindhoven Spectacle. You can find a review of last year's Eindhoven Glow here. The tourist information centre is located close to the train station so you can quickly grab a map and start exploring the city.
What not to miss: Philips Museum, Eindhoven Museum, St. Catherine's Church
Where to eat: In the centre, there are a lot of small restaurants and cafes. If you fancy something more special check out the Down Town Gourmet Market.
The capital city of North Brabant, Den Bosch is famous for the painter Hieronymus Bosch and the Bossche bol. If you say to anyone that you are visiting Den Bosch, they will recommend you to try the famous chocolate dessert called Bossche Bol. They are prepared in the bakery Jan de Groot and are distributed to all of the restaurants and cafes in town. Figures from the famous painter Hieronymus Bosch can be spotted around town. So don’t be alarmed if you see strange animals peeking around the canals.
What not to miss: Hieronymus Bosch Centre
What to eat: Bossche Bol
Go back in time by visiting the small picturesque town of Heusden. You can reach Heusden by bus from Den Bosch. It is a good idea for a day trip, after exploring Den Bosch you can head for a quiet afternoon in Heusden. There you can discover old mills on the water front, ruins of a castle and old style Dutch houses along the narrow streets.
What not to miss: Just enjoy a relaxing afternoon walking around the town
Tilburg is the textile city of the North Brabant as once it was the centre of a textile flourishing industry. Today, you can learn about the history of textile in the Textile Museum. A beautiful part of town is Piushaven, the harbour. On a sunny day, it is a great place to hang out and have a beer. You can rent a bike and visit the campus of Tilburg University and just have a walk around the green campus. A good time of the year to visit Tilburg is during the annual Kermis (fair) where the whole city is transformed into an amusement park with swings, bars, live music, and lots of beer. For the beer lovers, you should visit La Trappe Brewery just outside the city.
What not to miss: De Pond museum, Puishaven
Where to eat: Asian Boulevard – all you can eat Koren BBQ
Masal Turks Restaurant – for an amazing Turkish breakfast.
Just 20 min by train you from Tilburg, Breda was a favourite destination of mine. Breda has a lot to offer. You can see the old Bastion of Breda build around the Breda Castle, which is now the Royal Military Academy. Then if you head to the old town you will find the Grote Kerk, that is Breda's Cathedral. Not far from the centre is Breda’s Begijnhof, a historical and cultural heritage site. If you happen to go for the Carnival in February visit Breda for the parade, you won’t be disappointed.
What not to miss: Begijnhof, Breda Castle
Where to eat: There are so many cafes and restaurants in Breda, that you will not be left hungry.
As you can see, North Brabant is a great region and it has a lot to offer. Next time you are in the Netherlands, I recommend exploring the cities of North Brabant.
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A girl from Bulgaria, travelling around Europe and sharing her travelling experiences! Currently living in Scotland.