Gouda is a lovely old town in the province South Holland in the Netherlands. There are several nice things that you can see and do there, making it a perfect day or two-day trip form anywhere else in the Netherlands. On this page I’m sharing the top sights and activities in Gouda.
You can find Gouda in between Rotterdam and Utrecht, so it’s super easy to reach from those two cities. And it’s just a little over an hour by train from Amsterdam.
By far my most favorite spot in Gouda is the central market where you can find this beautiful Town Hall. Doesn’t it look like a fairy tale? It’s a popular spot for weddings and you can see why! On the right side there’s a carillon with mechanical puppets that move every 30 minutes.
On Thursday mornings from April to September you can visit the famous Gouda cheese market on the Town Hall square.
De Goudse Waag
De Goudse Waag is a building that dates back to 1668. In this building goods were weighed and sold. Now it houses the tourism information desk, a shop and a museum.
Gouda Cheese Experience
Gouda is known all over the world because of its cheese. As of 2020 there’s an interactive cheese museum in which you can learn all about the world of cheese. The Gouda Cheese Experience is great for kids, but because it’s so well done it’s nice for adults too. The experience starts with a beautiful animated movie and after that it takes you to different rooms that each focus on one aspect of Gouda cheese. From the cows to the export. And you end your journey with a small cheese tasting!
Syrup waffles are a very well known cookie in the Netherlands and are even sold all over the world. But even though most people call it ‘stroopwafels’ according to the Kamphuisen bakery in Gouda, they’re actually called ‘siroopwafels’. The claim to bake them via the original recipe which has a thinner cookie and more syrup. If you’re in Gouda you can learn all about the history in a hidden syrup waffle museum! You might not expect it, but at the back of the small shop on the square is a factory that you can visit. Click here to order your tickets for the Syrup Waffle Factory (‘Siroopwafelfabriek’).
The Sint Janskerk is the big church in the center of Gouda. The church is unique because it’s long stretched. With 123 meters it’s the longest church in the Netherlands. And the stained glass windows are on the UNESCO list! You can visit the church with its beautiful windows for €8,50.
Achter de Kerk
When you’re at the Sint Janskerk, don’t forget the exterior too. It’s nice to walk around it and see the lovely streets and the small canal. Many of the buildings here are hundreds years old.
Close to the church you’ll find the Gouda Museum. The museum houses some wonderful ancient Dutch art works. They also have a lovely museum cafe, of which you see the terrace pictured here. The cafe is also accessible if you’re not visiting the museum. It’s a great spot for a cup of coffee, lunch or a nice piece of cake.
The house at Naaierstraat 6 is also called ‘de vier gekroonden’ (the 4 crowned ones). The house was build in the 1500’s and has a picture of 4 workers, you see masons and stonecutters.
I love getting lost in small alleys. Gouda has several nice little tucked away streets. This one is one of my favorites. It’s a great Instagram spot, don’t you think? It’s called the Speldemakerssteeg.
The Gouda Cheese Experience is housed in the former cinema. You can find this futuristic new cinema on the other side of the central station. The circles on the facade refer to camera lenses, but many people see a cheese with holes in it.
Huis van de Stad
Also on the North side of the central station is this building. It’s the City Hall. The municipality building has the fitting name: House of the City. It was build in 2012 after the inhabitants of Gouda voted this design as their favorite. The lines refer to the pattern on a syrup waffle.
Love getting lost in small streets and cute alleys too? This is a lovely little courtyard can be found as a side street from the Nieuwehaven street in Gouda. I loved all the plants and the cute windowstills. It’s so Instagrammable!
Gouda has several canals. I always love it when a city has water flowing through it. I do have a lot of respect for the people who parked their car here without falling in the water!
This colorful work of art is a bit of a hidden gem. But once you’ve found it, I’m sure that it’ll cheer you up! It’s called ‘badgasten’ and you’ll see 4 women in bathing suits. It’s made by Jaap van Vlaardingen, a Gouda based artist. You can find them in the city center, close to the Waag, at the Hoogstraat.
One last top sight in Goud is this wonderful flower bike. I’ve seen it many times on Instagram when girls where posing with it. You can find it close to the church and the Gouda Museum.
The yellow color reminds me of Gouda cheese, but maybe that’s just me.
Gotten hungry after visiting all these sights in Gouda?
Click here for my favorite food spots in Gouda.