Laura! That is ignorant! But before moving to Rotterdam I had no idea that there was a town in Holland called Gouda, which gives its name to one of the most famous cheeses in the world.
Our visit to Gouda was as quick as a flash, but that doesn’t mean that we didn’t enjoy this nice city. We spent there a rainy-Monday morning.
For those who travel by car: We parked in a paid parking next to Gouda’s Chocolate Factory, just 10 minutes walking from the city center. It’s a 24h parking and it is paid from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 21:00. The price is 1€ per 40 minutes with a maximum of 8€. It can be paid cash or with the mobile phone (then you need an app). Keep in mind that 80% of Duch parking can’t be paid in cash.
City Hall (Stadhuis)
The first thing that strikes us in this nice city isthe City Hall, which is located in the middle of a big square called Market Square (it’s impossible not to find it). I could explain to you lots of historical and architectonic facts, as it’s one of the oldest Gothic-buildings built in the Netherlands, or that it was built between 1448 and 1450, but you can find that on Wikipedia. So I’d better say that it is an amazing building that impresses you when you reach the square where it’s located. On the right side there is a kind of clock that rings each hour with a really lovely song and puppets.
The weight’s house (Goudse Waag)
In the same market square, just behind the City Hall, is the Waag, which was built many years ago to weigh the cheese. It was also used as an indoor market. Now a days you can find a cheese museum and a tourist office. The place was closed because we went on Monday, but with the help of Internet we found that the visiting hours for the Tourist Office are from Thursday to Sunday from 10:00 to 14:00.
Market Square (Kaasmarkt)
If we stay in the same place, in addition to the City Hall and the House of weights (or Waag, whatever you call it), there are cute buildings surrounding the square such as nice bars, shops and restaurants. When we went there the weather wasn’t as good as we wanted, but when it’s sunny (if this is possible in The Netherlands), it should be very nice to have a drink on one of the terraces.
Every Thursday from April to August from 10:00 to 13:00 there is a cheese market and you can see how they moved the cheese hundred years ago with wheelbarrows.
We haven’t had the pleasure of seeing it yet, but it should be a really curious and nice market.
RECOMMENDATION: (For those cheese lovers): On the left side of the square, behind the City Hall is a cheese and souvenir shop where you can try all types of cheese for free.
As the visit to Gouda was so quick, we couldn’t go into the main church. Anyway, I can say that it is close to the Market Square and is hidden by the surrounding buildings, that’s why it seems smaller than it is. Even though it is the longest Church in The Netherlands with 123 meters long. This church is known for its stained glass windows. I can’t give my opinion about the church because we didn’t go in, that’s why I’m going to leave some useful information about schedule and prices:
The church is open from the 1st of March to the 1st of November (spring, summer and fall), from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 17:00 and from the 1st of November to the 1st of March (winter) from Monday to Saturday from 10: 00 to 16:00.
The entrance fees are: 5 € for adults, 3€ for children between 12 and 17 years old and students. 1€ for children under 12 years old and 4.50€ for groups (from 15 people).
In addition to the places that I have already explained, I recommend you to walk aimlessly through the old town. It’s a really nice city and this is a great way to know it better. You can also find the Nieuwe Markt, which is a square placed very close to the main square and like most of the cities in The Netherlands, you can also find very beautiful canals. Turfmarkt and Blauwstraat streets are really nice to walk and enjoy the canals.
And for those who love museums:
This museum is divided into two buildings. The most important one is next to Saint John Baptist’s Church and it used to be the old City Hospital (Het Catherina Gasthuis). The other building is The Morian, a small smoke museum that used to be a refinery and a coffee shop.
The ticket prices are: 9 € for adults, 3 € for children between 5 and 17 years old and it’s free for children under 4 years old.
The schedule is: from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00 and Sunday from 11:00 to 17:00
I also leave the museum’s website here.
Verzetsmuseum Zuid Holland
This museum is about the Dutch resistance during the World War II.
The price is 4€ for adults, 3€ for people under 18 and over 65 years old and it’s free for children under 13 years old. For big groups the price will be 3€ and there’s also an audio guide for 5€ (15€ deposit).
More information about the museum here.
You can find this museum in Gouda’s port (Vest) and inside it you can see some historical ships. The entrance is free for everyone. For more information about the museum, here I leave the website, which is also in Dutch, like all others.
To learn more about this beautiful city, here you have the Gouda’s Tourist Office website
If you really love cheese… this is your city! And for those who do not, it also is!
Check how to save the map.