While most people tend to flock to Amsterdam, Breda is undeniably, one of my favorite cities in the Netherlands. It’s brimming with history, architectural marbles, and buzzing nightlife.
Strolling across the city of Breda is every traveler’s favorite activity, and it’s easy to see why. With Gothic-style buildings like Kasteel van Breda, an ancestral castle that dates back to 1530, and a wealth of museums, monuments, and over 1,250 acres of emerald green forests, every detail in the Dutch city of Breda is an extravaganza of cultural delights.
If you’re planning a trip to this picturesque city, make sure to bookmark this guide of the top attractions and things to do in Breda.
1. Kasteel Van Breda (Breda Castle)
Breda is home to many treasures. Luckily for us, one of these treasures is located just a few steps away from the historic town center. Built during the 12th century, this magnificent fortress has been around for centuries and is one of the best-preserved castles in the Netherlands. Home to critical noble figures like William III of England, Kasteel Van Breda is a great place to kick off your Breda getaway, especially if you’re an avid history buff.
2. Take a Stroll Through Old Town Breda
The city’s picturesque historic center offers a glimpse into what life would have looked like hundreds of years ago with its medieval buildings that date back to the 1300s. So don’t be afraid to wander around aimlessly as there’s a lot to see and do in Breda’s postcard-perfect Old Town center.
3. Head to Grote Markt, Grote Kerk, & Stadhuis
Visit Grote Markt, a large commercial market nestled right in the heart of Breda that connects many of the surrounding shopping streets. It’s a great place to take a break and have some beer and croquettes or gemberthee (ginger tea) and waffles.
You’ll be surrounded by picturesque canals, the 18th century Stadhuis, and Grote Kerk, (also known as Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk) a Brabantine Gothic-style church you can tour around freely. There’s an impressive organ (one of the largest in the country) and a large painting of St. Christopher that dates to the 1500s, so you’ll definitely want to spend an hour or two here.
4. Hit All the Local Gems All at One on a Bike Tour
The easiest way to explore everything Breda has to offer, (and not torture your poor feet along the way) is with a guided bike tour. There’s nothing like spending an afternoon cycling through the most important highlights in the city. There are many tours to choose from, but this three-hour Breda Highlights Bike Tour hits the most important landmarks. The first stop is Stadspark Valkenberg, a picturesque city park that connects Breda station and Kasteel Van Breda, which will be your next stop.
There are plenty of photo opportunities along the way, such as Ginnekenmarkt, a central square full of history, cafes, and bars, Kasteel Bouvigne, a well-preserved castle that dates back to the 15th century, Grote Kerk, and Spanjaardsgat (Spaniard’s Hole), an impressive water gate that was built in 1610 to celebrate the liberation of Breda and avoid another ‘Turfschip’ attack, a clever tactic similar to the Trojan horse used by Maurice Nassau to capture Breda.
If your energy levels are up for it, consider strolling on a Waterbike Tour around Breda. You’ll cycle through the most important sights while getting a mini-workout.
Breda is a truly special town with an incredible history, so I hope I was able to help you find something new, fun, and exciting in this little corner of Holland!