Gouda is a name probably more known for its cheese than for the name of the Dutch historic city 27 km north east of Rotterdam.
Although the city center is small in size. It is well worth a visit as there is so much to see and do.
When you stroll through the city center you are surrounded by many beautiful restored buildings.
The facades of the houses and shops are narrow and high.
Roofs are steep sloping because in the 1600-1700’s they were thatched.
A steep roof drains rain water quickly and is less prone to leaks.
Here you find art and artifacts connected to the history of Gouda.
The economy here did not only depended on cheese but was also famous for the production of beer, pottery, clay pipes, candles and “stroopwafels” (a Dutch delicacy).
You can also see a big collection of religious art within the museum.
Gouda Town Hall
With most of the houses in the city center tightly packed together the Town Hall, which stands proudly in the center of the Market Square, is a real statement.
At the back of the building it has a 9 step high gable.
The small windows at the back and the side are decorated with red and white painted shutters which contrast nicely with the lime stone building.
It is a stunning gothic style building.
Cheese Museum and “de Waag”
Behind the Town Hall you will find “de Waag”.
Originally it was a place where products which were sold in the market, including cheese, were weighed.
The weighing promoted fair trading and the fees paid for the obligatory weighing would go to the treasury of the city.
Since 1995 “de Waag” has been converted into a cheese museum.
Here you find out that Gouda cheese has actually never been made in Gouda itself.
Farmers around Gouda would produce the cheese and come to the market in Gouda with a horse and cart to sell their wares.
Typical Dutch food
Here are some examples you might want to try:
“Stroopwafels” – a typical Dutch treat which might at first glance not look very special but after tasting them you will surely want more.
A stroopwafel consists out of 2 thin waffles glued together by a thin film of syrup.
If you are lucky enough to be in the city on one of the special market days there is often a stall where they are freshly baked to order.
A cast iron waffle press gives them their typical shape.
“Dutch apple pie” – a deep filled apple pie with cinnamon and raisins in a sweet pastry.
This always goes well with one of the specialty coffees available in the cafes.
“Erwtensoep” – a thick winter pea soup with smoked sausage for cold days.
To shop in this city is good fun.
Along the tiny streets and alleys you find many small individual shops.
A toy shop called “de Speeldoos” sells lots of old fashioned, colourful wooden toys, and if you have small children, or grand children, you are sure to find a really special gift for them here.
Then there are candle shops, sometimes with their own candle production units.
Typical Dutch food such as cheese, salt herring and certain sweet treats can be bought in the delicatessens shops in the center of town or eaten in one of the many cafes, pubs or restaurants.
Some events in Gouda
Summer Cheese & Craft Market
In summer on Thursday mornings there is a cheese market, an event that mainly takes place for the benefit of tourists.
The cheese market is starting up the first Thursday in April and goes on until the last Thursday in August.
Check more dates and opening hours
Link to Gouda Tourist Website: https://welcometogouda.com – for updated information and opening hours