What to do in Hoorn? Our tips
A few days away in a nice city is always a good idea. Shop, soak up culture, eat well and enjoy a nice hotel together. In Hoorn in North Holland, you can stay in a very special place: a design hotel in a monumental church. The beautiful Heavens Hotel with its 43 luxurious rooms is located in the centre of Hoorn, surrounded by cosy streets with nice shops and restaurants.
Historic city on the IJsselmeer
Hoorn is a charming picturesque town on the IJsselmeer. The imposing historic facades and architecture in the city centre betray the prosperity of the Golden Age when Hoorn maintained trade relations with Asia. This former VOC (Dutch East India company) town is now a modern vibrant city where there is plenty to do.
There are exhibitions and performances at the schouwburg and in the theater. Stroll through the picturesque streets with nice shops, restaurants and cafés with cosy terraces. OR visit one of the cosy harbours and have a drink at the café ’t Schippershuis, the place where the famous song 'In 't kleine café aan de haven' was written. As you stroll along Hoorn's beautiful harbour, you will come across the statue of the Bonte Koe Boys - a tribute to the city's legendary chocolate makers. For more than 130 years, they have been making handmade chocolate of exceptional quality.
Grab a terrace on the Roode Steen, a cosy square full of restaurants and pubs with the beautiful Waag as eye-catcher. The Waag houses the Westfries Museum but unfortunately it is closed until mid-2025 due to renovations. From mid-June to the end of August, the cheese market is held on the Roode Steen every Tuesday. Nice to take a look.
Insiders tip: try the local speciality De Hoornse Broeder. This is a sweet bread/cake baked only in Hoorn. It is delicious as a snack or with coffee.
Visit the Museum of the 20th century, fun for young and old alike. This museum is on Oostereiland, a former prison complex that now includes a hip cultural centre and residential houses. A fun place to walk around, have a drink or go to the cinema.
Surroundings of Hoorn by bike or boat
You can also discover Hoorn by water. Take a canal cruise or hire a whisper boat from Hoorn's picturesque harbour. This way, you will see a whole different side of the city. Or sail to nearby Enkhuizen. Enjoy the fresh sea air and beautiful landscapes from the IJsselmeer.
Hoorn is surrounded by beautiful landscapes and is ideal to explore by bike. There are several cycling routes that take you past historic villages, windmills and other sights. If you visit the city in spring, don't miss the chance to see the colourful tulip fields found in the area.
VOC (Dutch East India company) town Enkhuizen
Another beautiful VOC town, near Hoorn, is Enkhuizen. This port town is perhaps one of the most beautiful cities in the Netherlands. From Hoorn, you can take an old steam tram to the Zuiderzee Museum and Enkhuizen. An extraordinary experience. A cruise through Enkhuizen's canals is a fun way to explore this pretty town. From Enkhuizen, boats go to Urk and Stavoren.
Alkmaar and Zaanse Schans
Cheese town Alkmaar is about a forty-minute drive from Hoorn. Alkmaar is a very cosy city with picturesque canals and nice shops. You can do extensive shopping in Het Fnidsen, the old shopping area with the nicest boutiques. From April to September, there is the traditional cheese market on Fridays. In the summer months, the cheese market is even twice a week. A cheese town is not a real cheese town without a cheese museum. For the real enthusiast, a must visit!
Half an hour to the south you reach De Zaanse Schans. Never been here before? Then it is definitely worth a visit. Walking through this beautiful village and seeing the industrial mills and monumental houses, you can only be proud of our little country.
Have you ever been to one of the typical North Holland villages on the IJsselmeer? Many a foreign tourist comes to our country especially to visit these villages. From Heavens Hotel, you can be in the charming centre of Edam in twenty minutes. Cosy streets and atmospheric canals. Visit the cheese market in summer or grab a terrace. A little further south is Volendam. Although very touristy, it is definitely worth a visit. Eat a fish on the Dijk, take a picture in traditional costume - great present for grandma's birthday - or take the ferry to the Marken peninsula. A fun way to explore this area is on a elektrische scooter. This will take you to places you won't easily get to by car.
When you head south from Edam, you come to Waterland. This area, just above Amsterdam, is easy and quick to reach from Hoorn. It is beautiful there. Beautiful villages like Monnickendam, Zuiderwoude and Broek in Waterland let you step back in time for a moment. Although the village farmers have given way to prosperous Amsterdammers in recent decades, the rural feeling is still tangible here. Discovering the villages from the water is an absolute must. And whilst you are here you should definitely pay a visit to the lovely Theetuin Overleek, where you can also hire boats from.
Day trip to Haarlem or Amsterdam Both Haarlem and Amsterdam are easy to reach from Hoorn. Don't want to take the car into Amsterdam? There is a train (30 minutes) from Hoorn to Amsterdam Central Station. Alternatively, you can take bus 314. The ride takes about three quarters of an hour and also passes Broek in Waterland, Monnickendam and Edam. Still feeling frisky after a day in Amsterdam? Then get off to visit one of these villages.
A day of relaxation in a wellness resort
A day of relaxation is always nice. In the beautiful Fort Resort Beemster you will enjoy a wonderful wellness in beautiful surroundings. Let yourself be pampered and you will feel reborn at the end of the day. A great end to a few successful days away.