Whether you're looking for thrilling roller coasters, enchanting rides or spectacular shows, theme park Efteling is the place for creating wonderful memories. Discover Efteling, the Netherlands' largest amusement park, uniquely situated in the middle of the countryside! And if you don't want the fairy tale to be over at the end of the day, stay in the Efteling Hotel or in the charming holiday parks Efteling Loonsche Land or Efteling Bosrijk. Or sleep in the beautiful Guesthouse Hotel with unique roof garden and lovely family rooms, which is also within walking distance of the theme park.
The nearest city is Tilburg, originally a town with a large textile industry, now a bustling city where there is always something happening, but which also has tranquil areas for people who would like some peace and quiet. The many parks are such areas, for example Stadsbos 013 with its mountain bike trail, mini campsite and geocaches hidden everywhere. The waterfront of the trendy Piushaven is also a lovely place to unwind on one of the many pavement cafes. But if you are always on the lookout for cool new stuff, trendy coffee houses and popular lunch cafes, then be sure to explore the maze of streets in the Dwaalgebied area or the industrial-chique Spoorzone with its new, extensive Spoorpark. Visit the impressive LocHal. Or escape from reality in Meta Maze Doloris, where you will literally walk through works of art in a surrealistic maze, after which you can enjoy the rooftop bar with a view over the city.
Just outside the city centre you will find Moerenburg, a rather lovely big park on the southeastern outskirts of Tilburg. It forms the westernmost part of Het Groene Woud, a stretch of protected countryside between the cities of Tilburg, Eindhoven and 's-Hertogenbosch. Very photogenic and beautiful in every season. A good starting point for a nice walk is café Zomerlust, a unique beer cafe with a choice of more than 100 different beers. A great place for a taste of the hospitality of North Brabant!
Huis ter Heide is also a delightful piece of countryside. It is not far from Tilburg and is owned by Natuurmonumenten, the Dutch Society for preservation of natural monuments. A beautiful and versatile area with woods, heathland and meres. A great place for cycling and horseback riding, but the best way to explore this area is on foot. With marked walking routes, lookout towers and an unusual wooden walkway it is an amblers’ paradise. Visitors are guaranteed to see some Scottish Highlanders, and bird lovers will have plenty to spot. Rest from your walk with a snack and a drink at the Moerse Hoeve or bring along a bottle of wine and picnic blanket and enjoy the peace and quiet of the verdant surroundings! Going out with kids? Be sure to plan an afternoon on the beach at Experience Island near Loon op Zand, near Huis ter Heide. Here you will find two large beaches with sunbathing areas, lovely swimming water and a comfortable large pavement cafe.
Not far from Efteling and Tilburg is the town of Waalwijk, mainly known for its shoe industry. The town is bursting with pleasant pavement cafes and several historic buildings are more than worth visiting such as the Sint Jan de Doper church, the old town hall designed by the architect Kropholler and the Dye Sprancke windmill. An unusual feature of Waalwijk is the defunct Langstraat railway line, which partly runs through the town. This was once an industrial railway line from the village of Lage Zwaluwe to the city of 's-Hertogenbosch. It carries the nickname “Halvezolenlijn” from the Dutch word halvezool which means both “half a sole”, referring to the shoe industry for which the line was used, but also “halfwit” referring, jokingly, to the people living along the line. Leather and related articles were transported to and from the Langstraat. The Halvezolen route (51 km) follows the original railway line as much as possible. It takes you past old signal houses, railway bridges, benches and information signs. A lovely route for cycling! Tip: the Nieuwe SchoenenMuseum (new shoe museum) will open its doors in 2021 in the side wing of the former town hall on Raadhuisplein in Waalwijk centre.