The 10 best cultural hotspots of North Brabant according to our Locals
Inspiring places with a special story: North Brabant has plenty of them. Our Locals share their 10 favourite cultural hotspots; some of them are hidden gems, and some are well-known to many. From an old factory site that turned into a creative breeding ground to a cultural center in a cocoa factory. Visit a theatre in a monumental church or follow in Van Gogh's footsteps from the place where he was born. If you would like to know more, our Locals are ready to answer your questions.
1. Theater Speelhuis: from monumental church to theatre venue
According to Local Rob, this is Helmond's must-see: "For me, this is the most beautiful place in town. If you visit Helmond, don't miss Theater Speelhuis." The former church in Helmond has been beautifully converted into a city theatre: old details, lots of glass and beautifully lit in the evenings. To discover more about Helmond, visit our Helmond page with the best hotspots, events and tips from Locals.
2. LocHal: "This place breathes history"
The place where the inhabitants of Tilburg worked to repair trains for generations has been transformed into a meeting place, library and concert hall. "Anyone entering the LocHal in Tilburg's Spoorzone will be amazed. This place breathes history," says Local Jeroen. The LocHal was even nominated for the 'Building of the Year' architecture prize in 2019. If you have time to discover more of Tilburg, let yourself be inspired by our Tilburg page.
3. An oasis of peace, in the middle of Breda's lively city centre...
Entering the gate of the Begijnhof (Beguinage) on the Catharinastraat, one can imagine oneself to be centuries back in time. The houses are still inhabited by single women and many traditions are still respected. “An oasis of peace, in the middle of Breda's lively city centre. The Beguinage, the church and the herb garden are free to visit. The Museum of Miniatures and Dollhouses is also worth a visit," says Local Florence. And while you're in Breda, don't forget to visit the historical city centre with hotspots like the Grote Kerk church, Grote Markt square and the Blind Walls Gallery. Take a look at our Breda page for more great outings!
4. The Werkwarenhuis in 's-Hertogenbosch
For more than 100 years, this place was a flour and animal feed factory. Now it’s an amazing cultural hotspot. The Werkwarenhuis is located in the heart of the Tramkade zone in 's-Hertogenbosch. "Not only a great place for (urban) photographers, you can also enjoy a delicious meal. And don't forget to visit the design shop Social Label," says Local Arno. 's-Hertogenbosch has everything you need for a wonderful weekend away. Charming streets, a historic centre with the mighty St. John's Cathedral, the Museum Quarter and of course the local treat 'Bossche Bollen'. Discover more on our s-Hertogenbosch page.
5. Strijp-S: from Forbidden City to creative hotspot
An area of the city that used to be for Philips employees only has been opened to the public and allowed to fully blossom. In Strijp-S in Eindhoven you will find art, design, restaurants, city gardens, events and much more. Local Nicky loves to spend time there: "Trendy shops, good restaurants with great terraces and easy to get to. If you are ever near Eindhoven, then you should definitely visit this area!" And if you want to discover more of the lively city surrounding it, take a look at our Eindhoven page.
6. City palace Markiezenhof: "There’s just so much to see."
From 1485 to 1727, the Markiezenhof served as a noble residential palace for the lords and marquises of Bergen op Zoom. In 1968 it was decided to open the building to the public and to establish a museum. It's Local Marlies' favourite place: "If you are in Bergen op Zoom, then you should definitely visit the oldest city palace in the Netherlands. There’s just so much to see." By the way, did you know that the city of Bergen op Zoom has more than 800 monuments, of which 200 are national monuments? Discover more on our Bergen op Zoom page.
7. A museum on Vincent's native soil
Right where the house where he was born once stood, you can now visit the Vincent van Gogh House. A fun and educational outing according to Local Ingrid: "You not only learn about the early years of his life, but you will also find work by other artists inspired by Van Gogh.” The Van Gogh House is one of the locations in North Brabant where you can follow in his footsteps. If you would like to immerse yourself completely in the world of Van Gogh, book an overnight stay in Kosterhuisje in Nuenen, a bed and breakfast in a national monument dating from 1763.
8. The Governor's House in Heusden
"A little hidden, not everyone knows where to find it. But when you enter, you almost enter another world," says our Local Hildo. The Governor’s House (Gouverneushuis) was once a Dutch Reformed Church parsonage and later became the official residence of the governor of Heusden. Now it is the place where the history of Heusden and its surroundings comes to life, with a permanent collection and surprising temporary exhibitions. To discover more highlights in Heusden, see our Heusden page.
9. A lively cultural centre: de Cacaofabriek
The Nederlandsche Cacaofabriek(Dutch Cocoa Factory) in Helmond produced cocoa powder and chocolate products from 1894 to 1932. Since 2014 you will find a cultural centre on the same spot. In addition to a chocolatier (what else!), you will also find a concert hall, movie theatres, a restaurant and a lovely pavement cafe here in Helmond. A great place to visit, according to Local Vivianne: "The building is remarkable, it looks artistic and you can have a delicious meal."
10. Museum De Pont: a former wool spinning mill
“The beautiful work of art at the entrance alone is a reason to visit Museum De Pont," says Local Florence. Art lovers can also enjoy themselves inside the museum. The old factory with its large, bright hall and intimate side rooms is a beautiful setting for many works of art. "You see modern and contemporary art, with great diversity. Highly recommended when you’re visiting Tilburg!"