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Amersfoort Mini Guide
About the City
Amersfoort is a very historic city and one of the largest in the Netherlands. It is known as a city with a heart for its versatile and exuberant atmosphere.
History of Amersfoort
Amersfoort is also known as Keistad, which translates to 'Boulder city', named in the 17th century when Young Lord Everard Meyster celebrated the completion of his new house.
How you can get There
One of the main transport links is the National Railway and Amersfoort is a transport hub of the Netherlands. Located centrally, it serves all major locations around the Netherlands. With many visitors arriving by train, hiring a car is a convenient means to start your onward journey. The nearest major airport to Amersfoort is Amsterdam Schiphol approximately 45km away with car hire widely available there .
What There is to See in the City
Amersfoort is blessed with a beautiful medieval city centre which is full of historic buildings and streets which catch the eye of many tourists. There are also numerous museums and galleries to visit and lots of outside space to experience a variety of architecture, art, culture and nature. The Koppelpoort is also something to see in the city of Amersfoort, a medieval gate combining water-gate and land, which is built over the beautiful and famous River Eem.
What to See Outside the City
Only a 30 minute journey by hire car or train could take you to Amsterdam – the largest city and capital of Netherlands where you could pay a worthwhile visit to The Anne Frank House – Amsterdam's most popular tourist attraction, a place made famous from World War II, where Anne Frank and her family hid from Germans during the war. The visit can get very crowded and can be a long wait but is definitely something worth seeing. A BBC series entitled, The Diary of Anne Frank, broadcast in 2009 portrayed the life of Anne Frank and was hugely popular.
The River Eem is popular with boat trippers from April until October and a popular with cyclists who use the boats for longer legs of their journey.
Things to Do in the City
Amersfoort is has many cycle routes connecting the different parts of the city and renting a bike for a day is great way to get around. You will need to plan your route in advance as some attractions are far apart and a hire car may be easier.
The Dierenpark Amersfoort Zoo is the most popular in the Netherlands offering a wide range of animals and activities. It is particularly popular with school parties and can be explored independently of using the tour guide.
What is There for Shoppers?
Within its medieval city, Amersfoort also has a large shopping centre where a long stretch of popular Dutch shops are found. If looking for a more ‘market’ approach to shopping, the Amersfoort Street Market is held at the Hof Square where you will find a selection of stalls including flowers, cheese, vegetables and clothing.
Wining and Dining
As with most Dutch pubs, prices can be quite high but there are some great places to go that are better value for money, these are found in the two main squares – Onze Lieve Vrouwenkerkhof and Hof.
Amersfoort is popular for their regular festivals; The Amersfoort Jazz Festival takes place annually in May and becomes a massive event that attracts many residents and tourists for its impressive line up. Every year top jazz artists attend and create an amazing atmosphere all around.There are also plenty of open air rock and pop festivals in or near the city, a young music-lover's dream.
- From the 16th to the 20th May you'll encounter 'Trial Amersfoort' in the city. Don't worry, it's not as ominous as it sounds. Twenty of the city's top restaurants showcase their food for free and you can try any of them in that period, sampling the food. It's a great way to get to know Dutch cuisine and find your favourite restaurant. See www.proefamersfoort.nl for more details.
- From the 21st to the 23rd June, you can enjoy a wealth of musical styles in a series of concerts performed in a medieval setting. The Hawk Festival attracts seasoned professionals and new talent to the stage from all over the world.