Hilversum Mini Guide
What Can you Tell me About Hilversum?
Hilversum is a great place to spend a few days as it is so different to many other cities in Holland. For a start it is built on one of the country’s few hills giving it a surreal feel and it is full of green spaces. Many of the houses were designed in a villa style with large gardens creating open spaces. Added to a number of city parks and the botanical gardens, there’s a feeling of openness and the countryside about many parts of the city. The land around the city is owned by a conservation charity which has worked to ensure it remains protected as well as being put to good use by the people.
How do I Get to Hilversum?
It’s really easy. Flights from many UK
regional airports land at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport
and there’s a direct train taking thirty minutes that gets you into the heart of Hilversum. You could hire a car at the airport but it’s often less wearing to get the train and collect a pre-booked car in the city if you want to get out and about.
What is There to See and Do in the City?
Hilversum rewards getting out and about with the sight of unusual modern architecture and open spaces. Go to the city hall to begin with. It’s held as a good example of the architectural style of much of the city, though it’s not to everyone’s liking. Then take a look at the Institute for Sound and Vision whose glass walls are thousands of televisions showing important moments from Dutch TV!
Away from buildings to more natural sights, if you like conifers, you can spend some time at the botanical gardens where they have a collection of over two hundred species. This adds to the 660 species of trees planted throughout the city, the largest variety of any city in the world. If you’ve hired a car, leave the city for a couple of hours to experience the dramatic heathland and forests that are a protected feature of the city area.
What Can I Buy as Gifts From the City?
Shopping in the city is regarded as the third best in the whole of Holland with fashion and accessories top of the list. Outside of that there are many specialist shops including De Globetrotter which sells crafts, musical instruments and clothing from many world cultures and even if you don’t buy anything, it’s a great place to just browse.
What Should I eat in Hilversum?
Try Stroopwafel, the traditional Dutch waffle, served with syrup, fruit or cream. Poffertjes are another traditional sweet snack served with coffee. Many coffee shops do them and you’re sure to want more than one!
What About Entertainment?
Head for the area known as Groest. There, you’ll find the bars and cafes that entertain the young and not so young of Hilversum. There are also what is known as ‘brown cafes’, the old traditional drinking places, so-called because of their dark wood and nicotine stained walls.
Hilversum is an oasis found between Amsterdam and Utrecht
and is often used as an escape from hectic city life by inhabitants of those cities. Its greenness has given it the soubriquet of the garden of Holland as not only does the city have many parks, public gardens and a stunning botanical garden but it’s also surrounded by wild heathland and forest with plenty of marked walking and biking trails.
The city is also renowned for its unusual modern architecture. Whilst not to the taste of all, the boxy design of the city hall is held out as a prime example.