Day trips

Summer in Gouda, The Netherlands: 5 must do’s

Summer in Gouda, The Netherlands: 5 must do's | Your Dutch Guide

When you think Gouda, you think cheese. And yes, the cheese originates from the city of Gouda in The Netherlands. A small city so pretty, that you’d be mad not to visit during your trip in The Netherlands. Especially since it’s really easy to get to Gouda from either Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam or Utrecht. Are you visiting The Netherlands in summer? Here are 5 good reasons why summer in Gouda should be on your list. 

Gouda, The Netherlands: how to get there?

  • Get to Gouda, The Netherlands, is really easy. You can catch a direct connection from all the large cities in the country. Dor example, a direct train takes you from Amsterdam to Gouda in just 50 minutes. Take a look at the train timetables to plan your trip there.
  • In summer, when the traditional cheese markets are held every Thursday, it’s also a possibility to visit Gouda on a day trip from Amsterdam.
  • Read more about a visit to Gouda, The Netherlands, in my complete city guide.

Summer in Gouda, The Netherlands

Visit the Gouda cheese market

Gouda, The Netherlands. Traditional cheese market | Your Dutch Guide

When I wrote about Gouda first, people commented surprised. They had no idea that Gouda cheese actually came from Gouda. Well, here’s news for you: all Dutch cheeses are basically named after the places they’re from. So Edam cheese… you guessed it, from beautiful Edam, which is only a 15-minute bus ride from Amsterdam.

But back to Gouda and its world-famous cheese. When you decide to celebrate summer in Gouda, you are in luck. Because between the months of April and September, every Sunday morning the spectacle of the traditional Gouda cheese market takes place. Touristy? Yes. Cheesy? Without a doubt. Still, it’s very interesting to see the reenactment of the traditional way of bringing cheese to market and to admire the traditional costumes worn by the farmers and tradesmen. Plus, the market is held on Gouda’s gorgeous market square next to the breathtakingly beautiful city hall.

Take a look at the traditional harbour

Museumhaven, traditional Dutch boats | Your Dutch Guide

Summer in Gouda, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

Gouda’s Museumhaven is the authentic old harbour of the city and next to modern motorboats, there are quite some traditional vessels to admire. You’ll feel like you’ve moved back into the golden age, watching these mighty wooden ships. Every year in June the Museumhavendagen are celebrated. A week to view the most beautiful Dutch historical boats in the Gouda harbour, whilst tasting some local beers.

Get on a bike

Windmill The Netherlands, Gouda by bike | Your Dutch Guide

Like any Dutch city, Gouda is very enjoyable when discovered by bike. And the best way to do so is to take a guided tour by bike. During the tour, you’ll see the historical centre of Gouda and find out that the city is not only famous for its cheese but is also the place to buy the best Dutch stroopwafels and the most beautiful handmade candles of The Netherlands. But the bike you will take you further afield, to the countryside which not many tourists will see. Enjoy some windmill views and taste some handmade cheese if you’re up for it.

Enjoy Gouda from the water

Photo by Jaba SUP | Your Dutch Guide

Summer in Gouda is the perfect excuse to see that lovely harbour and those dreamy typically Dutch canals from up close. Hop on one of the canal boats and keep your camera ready, as the views are stunning and the tales the skippers tell you, are pretty good. If you’re more into doing something active, why not rent a paddleboard. Jaba SUP is one of the youngest companies in town and organises Gouda tours by paddleboard. It’s a really great, and original, way to discover this traditional city.

Have a drink along the canals

Photo by De Kleischuur | Your Dutch Guide

There’s no way you should stay indoor’s when it’s summer in Gouda as there are so many cafés with outdoor seating and beautiful views. The market square is the place to enjoy a drink overlooking the beautiful old city hall and Kaaswaag (cheese weighing house). But there’s also something to be said for having a drink beside the water, enjoying the views over the canal and see the boats go by. Museumhavencafé ’t IJsselhuis is a great place to have a traditional beer from Gouda. But my favourite place, by far, is De Kleischuur. An amazing restaurant with splendid water views and a 100% organic menu.

Where to stay in Gouda? B&B Het Goudsche Huys

B&B Het Gouden Guys, Gouda | Your Dutch Guide

Is staying in a traditional Dutch canalside house on your absolute must-do list? Then chances are you won’t be able to afford B&B’s or hotels along the Amsterdam canals (don’t worry, only the Kardashians can currently afford that). But in Gouda, you’ll get the full-blown Dutch canalside experience without breaking the bank whilst sleeping in a stunning B&B. I highly recommend B&B Het Goudsche Huys as it’s a traditional Dutch mansion, full of all the old details, whilst being quite luxurious at the same time.

Read more about Gouda, The Netherlands

  • To plan your trip and see all the amazing sights Gouda has to offer, have a look at my complete city guide to Gouda, The Netherlands.
  • Gouda is famous for its cheese, but there are more Dutch traditions that the city is really well-known for, and not just in The Netherlands. Read my article Discover traditional Gouda, The Netherlands and find out.
  • If you don’t mind Dutch traditions, but would like to counter that with some modern sights, Gouda is a good place to visit. In my Hip guide to Gouda, The Netherlands you’ll see my favourite contemporary places to go in Gouda.
  • Coming to Gouda in winter? Don’t worry, the city is equally mesmerizing in wintertime.

Would you like to spend a day of summer in Gouda?

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Gouda, The Netherlands. Summer in Gouda, The Netherlands: 5 must do's | Your Dutch Guide

Gouda, The Netherlands. Summer in Gouda, The Netherlands: 5 must do's | Your Dutch Guide

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  • Reply
    August 7, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    I’m there for the cheese and the stand up paddleboarding. I found out that Gouda came from “Gouda”, when a work friend from the Netherlands mentioned it. And since you guys pronounce Gouda differently than we do in “English” I get him to pronounce it for me all the time…. I’m sure it’s super annoying.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    You’re inspiring me to get back to the Netherlands – Gouda looks like a perfect stop! Love all the paddleboarders in the canal. Do you pronounce “Gouda” the same way we typical would or has it got a completely different pronunciation?

    • Reply
      August 7, 2019 at 9:47 pm

      Hi Cynthia,
      We pronounce it the correct way 😉 The ‘ou’ sounds like a ‘wow’ sound, so phonetically I think you’d say ‘Gowda’, something like that. Though I don’t think anyone would mind if you say ‘Gooda’ when admiring their city!

  • Reply
    August 7, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    If I’m lucky enough to return to the Netherlands, I’m definitely adding Gouda to the itinerary and not just because of the cheese, although that is pretty irresistible! That market looks so fun and how gorgeous is that B and B? I might have to learn to ride a bike first though…

  • Reply
    Rhonda Albom
    August 8, 2019 at 2:02 am

    Yes, I think of the cheese when I think of Gouda. The city looks like it has all the classic icons when I think of a city in the Netherlands. I am intrigued by the paddleboarding on the canal.

  • Reply
    August 15, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Gouda looks amazing: I love the cafe with beautiful canal views and stylish interiors! I’ve never actually thought that Dutch cheeses were basically named after the places they were from, maybe cause I haven’t been to either Gouda or Edam! Would love to see more of the Netherlands!

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