Gouda 2024: Best Places to Visit (with Map & Photos)

Gouda is a city located in South Holland between old Utrecht and Rotterdam. For many, its name evokes associations with cheese, but after a little acquaintance with the history of the town, it becomes clear that it hides many fascinating stories. Gouda is the birthplace of the famous scientist Erasmus of Rotterdam, who became the symbol of the Netherlands. Also, clay products are recognized as a landmark of Gouda - smoking pipes and dishes. The colorful festivals are definitely worth a visit, when a town in the Netherlands is illuminated by a thousand lights and resembles a major metropolis.

Gouda Netherlands
Gouda Netherlands

General Information

The city in the province of South Holland is located on the banks of the Hollandsse-IJssel and Gauve rivers. The population of Gouda is about 72 thousand people. Today the city is a popular tourist destination. Of interest are the numerous churches, the beautiful Town Hall dating back to the 15th century. For many tourists, the purpose of a trip to the city of Gouda in Holland is to visit the city market, where you can buy the very famous cheese. According to a centuries-old tradition, the market is open on Thursdays.

A small historical excursion

Gouda received the status of a city in the Netherlands in 1272. The settlement was founded by the Van der Gaude family. The territory on the banks of the Gauve River was chosen for the construction of the ancestral castle. Over the course of two centuries, the swampy, densely vegetated lands turned into habitable terrain. Soon the mouth of the river turned into a harbor.

Gouda Netherlands
Gouda Netherlands

However, in the mid-14th and early 15th centuries, fires broke out in the city, which destroyed Gouda. The situation was aggravated by a rebel mutiny and a plague epidemic, as a result of which the city suffered even more damage. As a result, by the end of the 16th century, the castle fell into complete decay.

Modern Gouda is a typical Dutch town with a rich history. It is rightfully called the most cycling because of the huge number of two-wheeled pedal cars. In addition, Gouda is called the center of high-tech laboratories. The latter were built in the city center. Pharmacies of the 18-19 centuries, antique shops, art galleries give a unique flavor to the settlement.


In addition to the famous cheese, guests will find numerous historical and architectural sights of the city of Gouda.

City Hall

The Town Hall and City Hall of Gouda is the oldest attraction in the Netherlands, the building is decorated in the Gothic style, it looks like a temple. The decision to build was made in 1365, but the start of work was postponed due to lack of funds. Construction began only in 1448 and lasted 11 years. Until the 17th century, the building was surrounded by a moat, and the only way to get inside was a drawbridge.

Gouda Netherlands
Gouda Netherlands

Over the centuries-old history, the Town Hall has been repeatedly reconstructed, completed, statues of the rulers of the Netherlands are installed on the front part.

Today, weddings and official events are held in the city hall. The interior is decorated in the style of the 17-18 centuries - there are many tapestries, sculptures, paintings and portraits. Unfortunately, for ordinary tourists, the doors of the City Hall are often closed, but if you're lucky, you can get to the open day.

The Town Hall is located at Markt, 1 or Market Square.

Central Square

The best way to see and experience Gouda's central square in Holland is to take a walking tour or purchase a road map from the Tourist Information Center detailing the attractions of the city of Gouda in the Netherlands. Experienced guides will tell you a lot of interesting facts about the city, show you hidden courtyards, where you can hardly get there without the help of a guide.

Gouda Netherlands
Gouda Netherlands

As in many cities, Gouda's central square in Holland is a market square. The visiting card is the Town Hall. Be sure to visit the Weighing Chamber, where cheese producers and sellers used to weigh their product. After that, the amount of the obligatory payment to the city treasury was established. The building of the Weighing Chamber is considered one of the most beautiful in the Netherlands, built in 1668. The front part is decorated with marble and the coats of arms of local burgomasters.

Another attraction in Holland that is of interest is the Church of St. John. The cathedral's stained glass windows are undoubtedly its adornment. Most of them were made between 1555 and 1572. The stained glass windows are listed by UNESCO and are a World Heritage Site.

St. Catherine's Hospital is located nearby. Tramps used to come here in search of shelter and food. Since 1938, a museum has been located in the hospital building.

There are ceramic workshops on the territory of the Church of Our Lady.

Church of St. John the Baptist

The attraction is the longest temple in the Netherlands - 123 meters. The modern church appeared in the 15th century after a terrible fire that destroyed not only the chapel, but also most of the city. The temple was rebuilt again in 1485, and this building became the longest in the country.

Gouda Netherlands
Gouda Netherlands

The church is famous for its unique stained-glass windows, which look quite unusual for a Protestant temple. Some were built in the 16th century. The bell tower of the church has 50 bells of different diameters.

Practical information:

  • address: Achter de Kerk, 16, Gouda, Holland (150 meters from the Market Square);
  • work schedule: in winter - from 10-00 to 16-00, in summer - from 9-00 to 17-30;
  • ticket prices: adults - 7 EUR, children (from 13 to 17 years old) and student - 3.50 EUR, for children under 13 years old admission is free.

Cheese market (fair)

A colorful, theatrical performance that will take you to the distant Middle Ages. The fair is held every Thursday from 10-00 to 13-00 from April to August. Hundreds of farmers and traders come to Gouda. The cheese is sold straight from carts and deals are made in the old fashioned way.

Gouda Netherlands
Gouda Netherlands

On the market, you can taste each type of cheese, get acquainted with the cooking technology and even take part in this entertaining process.

City Museum

The exhibition presents canvases painted from the 17th to the 19th centuries, sculptures, religious objects, altars. You can visit the old pharmacy and take a look at the dental office. The basement rooms evoke ambiguous feelings - torture rooms and chambers where patients with mental disorders were kept were preserved here. In addition, guests will learn a lot about the creation of clay pipes, cheese, beer and ceramics.

Gouda Netherlands
Gouda Netherlands

Practical information:

  • address: Achter de Kerk, 14, Gouda, Holland (next to the Church of St. John the Baptist);
  • work schedule: from Tuesday to Saturday - from 10-00 to 17-00, Sunday - from 11-00 to 17-00, Monday - day off;
  • ticket prices: adults - 10 EUR, children (from 5 to 17 years old) - 4 EUR, for children under 5 years old admission is free.


There are four mills built in the city. The most interesting are De Mallemolen (renovated and receiving tourists since 2010) and De Roode Leeuw - known as the largest in Gouda.

It is De Roode Leeuw that is the goal of travelers. The mill was built at the beginning of the 18th century and was used for its intended purpose until the first half of the 20th century. A local businessman wanted to buy out the building, however, the city council, wishing to preserve an important historical landmark in the city, seized the initiative. The building was restored by the local authorities.

Gouda Netherlands
Gouda Netherlands

Building address: Vest, 65, Gouda, Holland. You can visit the mill on Thursday and Saturday, but it is advisable to pre-negotiate a visit using the official website. Excursions are conducted only for a group of at least 25 people, the cost will cost 40 EUR. Nearby there is a gift shop selling flour, organic mixtures for various pastries.

How to get to Gouda from Amsterdam

Gouda (Netherlands) is a small town, for this reason it does not have its own airport. The most convenient and fastest way to get here is by plane to Amsterdam.

However, let's return to the most comfortable route. International flights to Amsterdam are accepted by Schiphol Airport. Within the country, there is a well-developed railway connection between all settlements, so it will not be difficult to get from the terminal building to the town with a cheesy name.

Gouda Map