TILBURG CITY GUIDE
Tilburg is the perfect stop for those wanting to experience the Netherlands like a local. Away from the souvenir shops and mad rush of the high season, you'll find a beautiful city boasting packs of well-worn bicycles and café seating sprawling out into the street. The Netherlands' sixth largest city is a hive of activity, with students from Tilburg University bringing a lively atmosphere to the rapidly growing area. You'll never be at a loss for things to do in Tilburg. Travel from Hull to Rotterdam with P&O Ferries and explore the urban art and fairy-tale surrounds of this ever-growing city for yourself.
Step back in time- St Joseph Church in Tilburg
Here I can breathe freely and I feel happy," said Willem II when describing Tilburg, which is a pretty strong endorsement from the most famous King of the Netherlands. The country's monarch from 1840-1849 is forever immortalised in his favourite part of Benelux – both in the form of a statue in Tilburg's city centre, and in the name of the local football team. Despite the large amount of reconstruction required after World War II, the city's history is present throughout its streets. One of its best art galleries, De Pont Museum, is housed in an old textiles factory left over from when the city was known as wool capital of the Netherlands, thanks to an abundant supply of surrounding herds from the nineteenth century right up to the 1960s.
Beekse Bergen Safari Park -Things to do in Tilburg
The rise of urban development in the area has been matched by a vibrant street art scene, with empty industrial warehouses, particularly in the Spoorzone area, often being taken over by local artists to house galleries or craft markets. Alternatively, take a break from the concrete jungle with a 15-minute drive to Beekse Bergen Safari Park, where you can see meerkats, tigers and white-cheeked gibbons all from the comfort of your own car, or by boat along the surrounding river. For more family fun, plan your trip around July and prepare for the biggest funfair in all of Benelux. Tilburgse Kermis is a legendary 10-day event that takes over the city centre, all bright lights and elaborate rides, and draws in huge numbers from surrounding towns. Don't leave without trying Kermiskoek (Dutch carnival cake), a heart-shaped ginger cake rich with honey and candied sugar.
Brewing monks and local delicacies
Tilburg's local delicacy is Toepertoetje, a deliciously light square cake covered with hazelnuts and almonds, with a generous helping of chocolate cream. Treat yourself in one of the inviting coffee shops, or drop by one of the jazz bars for live music and a dash of Schrobbelèr, a sweet herbal liqueur similar to bitters which was named after the textile workers of the historic city.
De Koningshoeven Brewery has been producing the local favourite, La Trappe, since the late 1800s, and we'd highly recommend taking the short drive southeast of the city centre for a tour of the magnificent abbey setting. The beer was originally made both to earn revenue for the monks of the nearby monastery, and to offer an alternative to the less-than-desirable drinking water of the time, but today it's more popular than ever. Tilburg is also famous for its selection of imported wines, dating back to the days when they needed something to fill the empty ships returning from exporting the city's textiles.
Efteling - Disneyland of the Netherlands
Lose yourself in one of the oldest theme parks in the world, which is twice as large as the original Disneyland in California. Just 15 minutes' drive from Tilburg, the Efteling theme park first opened in 1952 and is rumoured to be the inspiration behind Walt Disney's 1955 rival.Attracting millions of visitors every year, Efteling is an enchanting destination filled with miniature towns, stunning forests, exhilarating roller coasters through old castles, and the famed Spookslot haunted house. The incredible sculptures, architecture and surrounding gardens are guaranteed to leave the whole family speechless. Be sure to add this to the top of your list of things to do in Tilburg.
Explore the Netherlands with P&O Ferries today by booking a trip on our Hull to Rotterdam crossing crossing and discover this fantastic city firsthand.