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Den Bosch / ’s-Hertogenbosch – full of history, culture and the Burgundian lifestyle

When in the Netherlands, you surely should visit Den Bosch! It is not as much as a touristy place like Amsterdam, but that makes it even more able to experience the real city! The Netherlands is small, so hop on a train and visit Den Bosch!

The official name of the city is 's-Hertogenbosch, but most people call it Den Bosch. In detail, it is the capital of the southern province Noord-Brabant and the 4th biggest city of this province. Den Bosch is situated between Utrecht and Eindhoven. Because of it's centuries-old buildings it has, up to the present time, a great history-vibe to it.

Welcome to my hometown!

How to get to Den Bosch

Visit Den Bosch by train

The national and international railway network in Europe is of very high quality. At the same time, the trains run very frequently and are very comfortable. Therefore, visiting Den Bosch by train is explicitly a good idea!

Visit Den Bosch by train - international

Den Bosch is easy reachable by using the international railway system. For example, from Antwerp Central (Belgium) it will take you just over one hour. As a matter of fact, from London that will be just about 5 hours! When taking to train from Berlin this will be about 6 hours or just 3,5 hours from Paris. When you want to include Den Bosch in your Europe trip, take a look at this site for all the details about schedules and prices 📅.

Visit Den Bosch by train - domestic

Also, the railway network in the Netherlands is really good. So if you stay in another city in the Netherlands you can just hop on the train and visit Den Bosch. To illustrate, it will take you one hour by train from Amsterdam, 30 minutes from Utrecht, Breda or 20 minutes from Eindhoven. In general, trains will run at least 4 times an hour.

Railway operator Netherlands

The principal passenger railway operator in the Netherlands is the Nederlandse Spoorwegen, short: NS. You can plan your trip with Google Maps or the journey planner of the NS 🚅. You can buy your tickets online or at the station. Please take a look 💻 which type of ticket suits your travel best.

Promotional traintickets
Holland Travel Ticket
Whereas you can just buy one-way tickets, there are also promotional tickets available, for example the Holland Travel Ticket.

Combination tickets Spoordeelwinkel
At this Dutch website you can buy promotional train tickets in combination with an entrance ticket or a meal or drink, to illustrate: trainticket + zoo or trainticket + lunch. Certainly worth checking this site out! Offers vary throughout the year. Tip: although this site is Dutch, use Google Chrome with Google Translate to translate the website it into your desired language.

Discount traintickets
Dutch shops like Kruidvat or AH also offer promotional traintickets once in a while. Look for 'treinkaartjes'.

Visit Den Bosch by plane (via Eindhoven or Amsterdam Schiphol)

There is no airport in Den Bosch. But you can fly to the close by airports Eindhoven Airport or Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. As a matter of fact, time-wise it doesn't really matter which one. Eindhoven Airport is closer on the map, but you have to take a bus and a train. The distance between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Den Bosch is longer, however you only need to take the train, no bus. Personally I like Amsterdam Schiphol Airport more because I don't like to transfer if not needed 😊 But of course it differs from time to time where I depart or arrive, given the destination of my travel.

Visit Den Bosch via Eindhoven Airport

At this time, 71 cities are connected to Eindhoven Airport by a direct flight. From Eindhoven Airport you take bus 400 or 401 to the central train station of Eindhoven. At Eindhoven you can take the direct train to Den Bosch. This train leaves every 10 minutes and only takes 18 minutes till you arrive in Den Bosch city centre!

Visit Den Bosch via Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Amsterdam Schiphol is the biggest airport in the Netherlands with the capacity of, so far, 75 million passengers a year and still growing. When traveling from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Den Bosch, you will need no bus, only a direct train to Den Bosch. Direct trains run 2 times an hour and take you 1 hour and 4 minutes. In addition, there are 2 other trains per hour, where you change trains at Utrecht, this will add 5 minutes to your travel time.

What to do in Den Bosch

The name of the city ‘s-Hertogenbosch can be translated to English as ‘The Dukes Forest’, as this city is no forest anymore, there is still a lot of nature to be found in and around the city.

Nature in and around 's-Hertogenbosch

Het Bossche Broek - vast nature reserve with water streams

Enjoy nature at Het Bossche Broek, you can see the cathedral while walking through the nature. Unquestionably a great place to get a breath of fresh air or go for a run. If you come from the city, you enter Het Bossche Broek from the Pettelaarseweg at de Sterrebosweg.

De Moerputten - swamp area and a stunning former train bridge

Another place to find nature is De Moerputten with a stunning bridge and lower wooden bridges through swamp area. To get there, navigate to Deutersestraat 2 (address of the parking place), you can enter from there, and there is also a map with the walking routes (or click here if you rather look for it online 🛤).

History in 's-Hertogenbosch

Birthplace of Jheronimus Bosch

In case you know more about painters, you likewise know that the famous 15th-century painter Jheronimus Bosch is born in the city of Den Bosch. Given that, houses that he depicts in his paintings can still be found at ‘de Markt’ (‘Market’, central place in the city). Also his birth house is still there (Markt 29). In case you want to know more about this famous painter, then without a doubt visit the Jheronimus Bosch Art Center (Jeroen Boschplein 2) to learn more about Jeroen Bosch in Den Bosch.

The Cathedral Church of St. John

A city that embodies this much history cannot go without an immense cathedral. The Cathedral Church of St. John (Sint-Janskathedraal) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in all its glory. The architectural style is mostly gothic and the tower is 73 meters high.

Nativity scene around Christmas
Around Christmas there is a beautiful and unquestionably big Nativity scene inside the cathedral in Den Bosch. The Christmas story is brought to life with life-size animals! Including camels and tigers! A must see when you visit Den Bosch at this time of year. To point out, the Nativity Scene at The Cathedral Church of St. John habitually starts at the 12th of December till the 28th of January. It is free, but then again it’s customary to give money to the angels to support the builders of the scene.

De Markt: central square

De Markt is undeniably the central square of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. As a matter of fact, you will find the statue of Jeroen Bosch (Jheronimus Bosch) at this square. Along the edge of the square you find restaurants, terraces and shops. De Markt embodies the Dutch ‘gezelligheid’, conviviality.

Weekly outdoor market at De Markt
At Saturday you will find the weekly outdoor market at De Markt in Den Bosch from 9am to 5pm. You will experience the real Den Bosch and you can buy the best cheeses and bread here.

City Townhall of Den Bosch
The city townhall (Dutch: Stadhuis) is located at Markt 1, originating from 1366 and built in a classicist barok style, with wall tapestries from the 17th century.

Centuries-old canals in the hearth of the city

Den Bosch is famous for its waterways that are partly under the ground, called de Binnendieze. The canal tour is open from April to October. Since forever, the Kring Vrienden van ‘s-Hertogenbosch organise the boat tours. The Kring Vrienden van ‘s-Hertogenbosch is an association with numerous volunteers that embraces the cultural heritage of the city. In brief, you can buy tickets at Parade 12, Bolwerk Sint Janssingel 25, or online 💻. You will get on the boat at Molenstraat 15A. Kring Vrienden has a website with other activities to do in Den Bosch, please take look if you are interested in activities regarding cultural heritage.

Culture in 's-Hertogenbosch

Carnival (carnaval) in the south of the Netherlands is a big festivity, mostly celebrated in the southern provinces Noord Brabant and Limburg. Because Den Bosch is the capital of Noord Brabant, you can imagine that Den Bosch is the place to be during carnival. In short, it starts 40 days before Easter, so the dates vary every year (February or March). Most important is to dress up! You should get changed into your favorite carnival clothing which can be anything! The people of Den Bosch have their own traditional clothing: mainly a blue keel and a red-white-yellow hand knitted scarf. Want to know more about the carnival? Visit the museum dedicated to carnival: the Oeteldonks Gemintemuzejum (Zusters van Orthenpoort 27).

Shopping in Den Bosch

The most important shopping streets are the Hooge Steenweg, Vughterstraat, Kerkstraat, Markt and the Hinthamerstraat. But in particular you should also check out the Snellestraat, Ridderstraat and Kolperstraat. Visit the little boutique shops like a local :-) Eventhough it can get really cold in summer, there are no inside shopping malls.

Modern Architecture

The ‘New’ Den Bosch is called Het Paleiskwartier and is situated at the west side of the Central Station. You will find all modern architecture, new restaurants and a (2018-brand new) cinema. Explore Het Paleiskwartier by exiting the Central Train Station at the back (west) at Leeghwaterlaan. After that go left on the Statenlaan or Het Rechte Pad and walk alongside the water next to the sail-shaped buildings (water at your left hand) . You will reach the big tower (Jheronimustoren) and you can find some restaurants here. Grab a coffee at the Bagels & Beans and walk back to the city centre via the Paleisbrug. Or watch a movie at the cinema Kinepolis Den Bosch.

Remarkable architecture outside the city centre

Really into new and remarkable architecture? Visit de Bolwoningen and the modern castles of Haverleij.

Inside the cathedral

Dutchie-DenBosch-StJan

De Moerputten

Dutchie-DenBosch-Natuur

Het Bossche Broek

Dutchie-DenBosch-BosscheBroek3

Nativity Scene Cathedral

Dutchie-DenBosch-kerststal

Where and what to eat in Den Bosch

Local specialties

Eat a Bossche Bol: a must eat when in 's-Hertogenbosch

A must eat when visiting Den Bosch is the Bossche Bol, surely the local specialty. It is a large ball, like a chocolate éclair or profiterole, filled with cream. Eat at: Jan de Groot Shop and lunchroom (Stationsweg 24), that is the original bakery. Surprisingly, they even sell a book about Bossche Bollen!

Try UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage: 'Brabants worstenbroodje'

Also try the Dutch Noord-Brabant specialty 'worstenbroodje', you can buy it at the market or any bakery for that matter. It is a bread with sausage inside and you generally eat it when hot. The 'Brabants worstenbroodje' is on the UNESCO Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage! A local specialty that must be remembered!

Most popular restaurant- and pub street

Eat at Korte Putstraat

Thé street with eateries is the Korte Putstraat, you will find something for everyone. Without a doubt, the Den Bosch Burgundian lifestyle is well practiced here. Hence the street is packed with restaurants and terraces, the food is great and the ambiance is amazing. All throughout the day you will be welcomed and able to enjoy food, appetizers and drinks of all sorts. My favourite restaurants: Zoetelief, Le Méridien, Allerlei Vis & Vlees.

Beer and pubfood

Furthermore, for drinks and a pub meal you should visit the Uilenburg, a little street full of terraces with a good ambiance night and day. Especially visit Bar le Duc, a cosy pub with their own local brewery (Korenbrugstraat 5-7).

My recommendations for eateries in Den Bosch

Meat restaurants in three price ranges:
$ - The Ribsfactory is situated at the hearth of Den Bosch (Markt 34) and offers very good ribs, hamburgers and steaks. Undoubtedly a great price-quality ratio!
$$ - Visit M'EAT - Bar&Grill (Minderbroedersstraat 22) if you want your meat to be grilled on the Green Egg.
$$$ - ff Swanjéé is the place to go for really good meat, I advise to make a reservation if you go for dinner because they are often fully booked (Hinthamerstraat 76-78), alongside the cathedral.

For a good lunch at de Markt: ’t Opkikkertje. Good food, big portions, not expensive, good taste and equally important: a great ambiance. They have a terrace, an inside and alsoan upstairs. The restaurant is all over the place decorated with frogs and in particular has a real laid back homey feeling.

As I love to eat out, I can go on and on about the restaurants! If you are looking for something specific or have any questions please leave a comment or send an e-mail. I think I know (at least) 95% of the restaurants 😁 (is that a good or a bad thing, ha-ha).

Get around in Den Bosch

These boots are made for walking

Walking will probably do for you, as Den Bosch is not that big. To illustrate, taking de Markt (hearth of the city) as the central point, the following walking times apply: at first, the train station: 8 minutes’ walk. Secondly, Het Bossche Broek (nature reserve): 11 minutes’ walk. At last, Sint-John’s Cathedral: 4 minutes.

Public transport

Den Bosch has no metro or tram service, but the bus network in Den Bosch is very good. You find line-busses available, I recommend you use Google Maps to plan your trip.

Free inner city bus

There is also a free inner city bus, all drivers are volunteers, with 14 stops inside the city centre. Search for “route binnenstadsbus den bosch” or click here for more information about the route.

Take a taxi

Taxi’s can be found at the outer edge of the city or the train station of Den Bosch. They operate on meter and are highly regulated. To illustrate, the maximum tariffs are set by the government. In general, the price will be calculated on bases of start rate, kilometres and time. At daytime you will pay about €10 for 3 km / 10 minutes. At websites like ‘Wat kost een taxi’ (What is the price of a taxi?) can the expected price be calculated.

The traffic in Den Bosch

You will be very safe in traffic in Den Bosch. At the streets there are pedestrian crossings (zebras), good sidewalks and traffic lights, this is all well taken care of. In general, the traffic contains of cars, scooters, bicycles and pedestrians. The inner part of the city is purely a pedestrian zone. As being in the Netherlands, there will be a lot of bicycles too. If you are not used to them, pay some extra attention. They can appear out of nowhere sometimes 😉

Carnival Parade in Oeteldonk (name of 's-Hertogenbosch during carnival)

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Inside St. Johns Cathedral

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Glimpse at the St. Johns Cathedral

Dutchie-DenBosch-algemeen

Want more information?

  • If you want more information about my hometown 's-Hertogenbosch, please ask, I will be happy to help!
    You can leave a comment below or send me an e-mail ✉.

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