Or so you thought
From here we had planned a day out on the road to visit Kinderdijk (UNESCO World Heritage site) & we also wanted to have wander around Gouda, another famous cheese town, before we returned to Utrecht that evening.
Like most places in the Netherlands, Gouda not far from anywhere so you can make it a day trip
Or by rail it's
A helpful guide
If you're thinking of heading of to the land of tulips and cheese, then grab this DK Eyewitness guide to help with your planning.
I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.
A few days earlier we had visited Edam; I was immediately struck by how small the town/city was, for some apparent reason I thought it was going to be bigger, I certainly wasn’t disappointed though, Edam was a lovely picturesque town.
So, we headed off to Gouda, having briefly popped in there on a previous road trip to Amsterdam, we had already had a slight taster….but there is always room for more.
Parked up along one of the many scenic canals, we went to explore.
Gouda's Market Square is amazing; its unmissable centerpiece is the extremely imposing Gothic Style City Hall. Built between 1448 and 1450 after a devastating fire swept through the city and heavily damaged the previous town hall.
It truly gives the wow factor, particularly with its high reaching turrets piercing the skyline and the eye-catching red window shutters.
Although the City Hall is the primary focus in the square, all around the perimeter are some amazing Dutch architecture filled with shops, restaurants and bars.
Sitting directly opposite the City Hall is the Waag (Weigh House), built in 1667 de Waag is no longer used to weigh cheese for levying taxes, it is now a cheese museum.
Before 1987 Gouda used to host an official cheese market in the square opposite the Waag. Now the cheese market is only held for tourist purposes every Thursday morning, between early April and the end of August.
We weren’t in Gouda on a Thursday. However, we witnessed a similar display in Alkmaar. If you are in the vicinity of one of these cheese markets it is definitely worth watching; they are great fun and very popular.
This was our short video from the Alkmaar cheese market.
Before taking a further stroll around the town and the canals we decided to sample the local delicacy of Stroopwafel, a syrup waffle.
This sweet biscuit is created from two thin layers of baked dough, complete with a sticking syrup filling the middle.
Originating in Gouda around 1810 by a local baker, they continued to be produced solely in Gouda until 1870. Now, these little treats are produced throughout the Netherlands.
They are wonderful with a hot drink, not too sure if it’s the done thing, but they are rather nice dunked into your drink, which makes them soft and gooey.
Amongst the canals
After our pit stop, off we head again to discover more of the attractive city.
Gouda has a relaxed air about it and doesn’t need to be rushed, so take you time and enjoy.
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Inspired to visit Gouda?
Although we didn't stay at Gouda, after visiting we'd certainly consider on a return trip to the Netherlands
You could used it as your own base for a Tulips & Cheese roadtrip. Why not check out the latest deals on Booking.Com?