5 reasons North Brabant is one big open-air museum

From historic fortified towns to water mills, from unusual castles to mighty cathedrals. If you are interested in culture, history and heritage, you won't get bored in North Brabant. Take a city walk, visit one of the beautiful museums, or discover the story behind world-famous figures such as Hieronymus Bosch and Vincent van Gogh. You can even experience history and culture in your sleep! Book a room in Van Gogh's Kostershuisje (sexton's house) or at Hotel de Draak, the oldest hotel in the Netherlands. Brabant is Open, are you ready to go exploring?

1.    Bustling Breda! 

If you walk through the city of Breda, you won’t be able to ignore 'the pride of Breda'; the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwenkerk (the Church of Our Lady) towers above the city from every corner. Breda is a bustling city with water, greenery and centuries-old monuments. The Begijnhof (Beguinage), with its botanical garden and museum, is one of those places where you can imagine yourself to be back in the middle ages. “A beautiful little place, not to be missed if you are in Breda for the day," says Miriam in her blog ikwilmeerreizen.nl, where she wrote about 10 fun things to do in Breda during a weekend break. If you want to know more about the story of the city, visit the Stedelijk Museum, or walk along the Blind Walls Gallery, where you can get to know the city by means of murals.

Stedelijk Museum

Stedelijk Museum

The pride of Breda

The pride of Breda

The Begijnhof, an oasis of peace

Picture: Eelco Roos

Blind Walls Tour

Blind Walls Tour

Picture: Travelisto

Boating in the canals

Picture: Ik wil meer reizen 

2.    The rich history of 's-Hertogenbosch

's-Hertogenbosch is a city where there is always something to do. The city centre you is one picturesque street after another and lots of charming little corners and unusual sights. Enjoy fantastic museums, numerous hotspots, boat trips or city walks. And taste the city’s local delicacy: the Bossche Bol! Which cultural-historical hotspots should you definitely visit? Here they are:

Historical streets

Picture: Kerstin Oppel

Noordbrabants Museum

Noordbrabants Museum

Boating on the Dieze

The mighty Sint-Jan

The mighty Sint-Jan

Jheronimus Bosch Art Centre

Jheronimus Bosch Art Centre

3.    Follow the trail of Van Gogh... 

The traces of Vincent van Gogh can be found all over places in North Brabant. How about Nuenen - with 23 buildings and places, each with their own story - or Zundert, his birthplace? In Etten-Leur you can get to know about a relatively unknown period in the life of the world-famous painter. If you want to see his original works, then Het Noordbrabants Museum is the place to be. A special exhibition can be seen here until 12 January 2020: Van Gogh’s Inner Circle. A must-see for the enthusiast!

Van Gogh Church Zundert

Picture: Goodmorning World Blog

Kostershuisje

Exhibition Van Gogh's Inner Circle

Exhibition Van Gogh's Inner Circle

L’Arlésienne (Madame Ginoux), februari 1890. Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome. By permission of Ministero per I Beni e delle Attività Culturali

Van Gogh cycle route

Van Gogh cycle route

The OPWETTEN watermill

The OPWETTEN watermill

4.    Heusden: taste the atmosphere of yesterday!

For lovers of art, culture and history, Heusden is a great destination. Visitors of this fortified town can imagine themselves in a different world: centuries-old buildings, picturesque streets and an attractive fortress. Are you up for a nice, long walk? Then the Zuiderwaterlinie walking route is a must. This walk takes you past 11 fortified towns in Brabant, including Heusden.

Gouverneurshuis: the story of Heusden

Picturesque streets

Ramparts with mills

Zuiderwaterlinie walking route

Zuiderwaterlinie walking route

Garden De Meulenwerf

5.    Bergen op Zoom: getting lost in the past

The spot where North Brabant kisses its neighbour province of Zeeland... Bergen op Zoom is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, with narrow streets, old squares and quirky monuments. The city breathes culture and is a beautiful setting for a holiday or weekend break. In Bergen op Zoom you will not only find the oldest hotel and oldest city palace in the Netherlands, you will also find numerous historical hotspots, each with their own story.

The imposing city gate

Markiezenhof

Markiezenhof

Picture: Eelco Roos

The oldest hotel in the Netherlands

The oldest hotel in the Netherlands

Lively city square

Picture: Nico Oppel

Dilemma Maze

Dilemma Maze

Explore more...