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Gouda - how much time?

We are planning a trip to Belgium and would like to spend a day or two in the Netherlands. We have been to the Netherlands before and have visited many towns. However, we have never been to Gouda or the Hague. We are leaning towards going to Gouda for one night.

Is Gouda interesting?

How much time would you spend there?


Posted by
2487 posts

Gouda might not live up to your expectations: it is not unattractive, but the interesting historical centre is quite small. A half day maximum. Combine it with nearby tiny, but wonderful Oudewater (half-hourly bus from the railway station; also a direct bus from Utrecht railway station) and you can have a nice day trip from Leiden or Utrecht, which are far better for an overnight stay.

Posted by
27503 posts

I visited Gouda once for 2 or 3 hours, including lunch. There is a nice but very short walk around the town and across the river and back, and to the church, and the Waag is there. I haven't been back since, but while I was there it was decent.

Posted by
1843 posts

We spent a few hours in Gouda riding the Waterland bus. It was charming but small. I had done no research to speak of, so there may have been much more I was not aware of, but our couple of hours strolling were pleasant.

We have spent an entire day in Delft and it was worthwhile. Didn’t get to The Hague, because the main draw...the Maurithuis was closed when we visited, but I’d guess a better overnight could be had between those towns. Safe travels,

Posted by
20866 posts

Both have picturesque historic centers. I visited them on different trips, and both a long time ago, but I think there's more to see in Den Haag even aside from the very good Mauritshuis. A quick look at TripAdvisor shows there are many, many other museums in Den Haag.

Posted by
2487 posts

The Hague is a good museum city, but the lack of a lively centre doesn't make it a nice place to stay overnight.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks for all the comments - we will probably skip Gouda.

Posted by
379 posts

If you like art, The Hague has plenty to see. Besides, Mauritshuis (which has a great free app), nearby, within walking distance, is the Escher Museum which we enjoyed very much. There is also Gemeentemuseum that has a large collection of Mondrian's.
We stayed at the Ibis at the city center. It was reasonably priced with a wonderful breakfast buffet. Good location to the museums and pedestrian walk. There is a small Chinatown with inexpensive, authentic Chinese food.

Posted by
3923 posts

Just wanted to chime in - we visited Gouda as a day trip from Dordrecht and spent the afternoon. The bad thing - for some reason we went on Easter Sunday, so pretty much everything was closed. The good thing - we picked up a walking tour book at the cheese house (oh, I forget the name) and used that to take a few hours walking tour around the city. I wish we'd been there when things were open.

Posted by
11280 posts

I really liked both Leiden and Utrecht. I agree with Ton that if you haven't been to either of these, they would be very good for an overnight stay.

Utrecht has unique, bi-level canals and several very good museums. Leiden has the oldest university in the Netherlands and a nice "college town" atmosphere, plus a science museum, where I learned that EKG's and kidney dialysis were developed in the Netherlands. As a bonus, both towns are dominated by locals rather than tourists.

The Hague has a number of interesting museums, but I didn't find it appealing otherwise. I haven't been to Gouda.

Posted by
21 posts

If you happen to be in Gouda on their cheese market day (Thursdays 10am - Noon) it might make it a worth-while stop? I know a couple of places do cheese selling re-enactments and they are one of them.