City guide of best things to do in Dordrecht
Feeling rushed off your feet from the demands of modern life? Get swept off your feet instead by the peaceful city of Dordrecht, just half an hour from the port of Rotterdam.
The oldest city in Holland is full of charisma, with fairytale buildings and scenic green spaces circled by drifting rivers. Tradition lies at the heart of area - while it may be a hub of activity today, it still maintains the relaxed atmosphere of a much smaller town.
So if you’re looking for somewhere to switch off your phone and be truly transported to another world, you should take a look at these fantastic things to do in Dordrecht.
Stunning Architecture in Dordrecht
Dordrecht is a city that has lasted through the ages. The streets are lined with houses that date back to the 17th century, and the Nieuwkerk – the oldest building in Dordrecht – still standing from 1175.
The most striking building in the city is the Grote Kerk, which means ‘big church’, whose original Renaissance choir stalls and lavish copper and marble pulpit reflect the colours of the magnificent neo-gothic stained windows. For fantastic views of Dordrecht, climb the unfinished leaning tower that reaches 108 meters.
Groothoofdspoort, the city gate, crosses 3 rivers and is a site note to be missed. To get a real insight into the oldest city in the Netherlands, try a guided tour with a local guide who will show you these historic points of interest and uncover centuries of history in just 3 hours.
The last windmill in Dordrecht, Kyck over den Dyck, is another remarkable piece of architecture that is definitely worth a visit – but for a truly stunning scene, venture out to the surrounding wetlands to see the mills of Kinderdijk. The 19 structures, built in 1740, is one of the Netherlands UNESCO world heritage sites and still holds on to many original features. Not only do they look picture perfect, but the working windmills have been keeping the soil dry for nearly 1,000 years.
Explore Beautiful National Parks
The wonderful thing about Dordrecht is that its beautiful architecture is matched by equally magical green open spaces.
National Park de Biesbosch, just 10-minutes’ drive from the center of Dordrecht, is one of the largest national parks in the Netherlands, with 90 square kilometers of twisting waterways, lakes and marshes. The wetlands make for fantastic walking routes, and on dry land you can enjoy cycling, hiking and horse riding.
For a taste of greenery in the heart of the city, Wantijpark, complete with wilder wooded areas, natural ponds and landscaped paths, is ideal for taking a breather. Once you’ve built up an appetite exploring, sit down and enjoy a meal with a view on the terrace of the park’s restaurant.
Traditional Markets & Bazaars
Adding to Dordrecht’s vintage charm are the traditional markets and bazaars - they regularly pop up in the city square and feature a variety of authentic stalls selling food, flowers and fabric from around the Netherlands.
If you’re after a classic festive fair, then look no further. The Dordrecht Christmas market is the largest in the Netherlands, with 200 stalls and an impossibly cosy atmosphere. Browse unique Christmas gifts with a steaming mug of hot chocolate or mulled wine in hand, before testing your skating skills on the ice rink. Set to the sound of live music from both choirs and bands, the market is sure to make for a Christmas to remember.
Ready for a trip to Dordrecht? Take a look at our crossings from Hull-Rotterdam today.