Zierikzee isn’t a large city in The Netherlands. On the contrary. It’s a largish town at most. But since there are over 500 monuments within the ancient city walls, numerous amazing restaurants and several fun things to do and see in the direct vicinity, Zierikzee is well worth a visit. I’d even recommend staying the night, as the small city is so incredibly picturesque, with the beach a stone’s throw away. If you’re wondering what to see and do? I’ve listed all the top things to see and do in Zierikzee.
- How to get to Zierikzee
- Plan your trip to Zierikzee
- Hotels in Zierikzee
- Things to do and see in Zierikzee
- Restaurants in Zierikzee
Zierikzee is a 2-hour drive from Amsterdam and about an hours drive from Rotterdam. It’s the perfect destination for a day trip, with both culture, gastronomy and the beach nearby. It’s pretty difficult to get to the town by public transport, so if you don’t have your own car at hand it’s best to rent a car for the day. If you’re staying anywhere in the Zeeland province, it’s easy enough to visit Zierikzee for a morning or afternoon.
- Parking your car is pretty easy. Around the city centre, there’s ample parking space, with clear signs leading towards the parking spaces. In the high season, I’d recommend arriving early, so you don’t have to wait for a parking space.
- Alternatively, you can opt for a hotel with parking space.
- If you prefer staying in a holiday park, Aquadelta, Zeeland Village and Landal Port Greeve are closest to Zierikzee, as well as many other Zeeland attractions and of course, the beach.
- Want to see more of Zierikzee? I highly recommend seeing Middelburg as well.
‘Verwennerij’ means ‘to spoil’ in Dutch and that’s what B&B De Verwennerie is all about. The B&B is located in one of the most beautiful historical buildings in the heart of Zierikzee. The rooms are large and very tastefully decorated. The B&B also offers roomy suites, which are perfect for a weekend getaway with the entire family. From the B&B you’ll easily walk to all the beautiful sights in Zierikzee.
If you’re into staying at amazing boutique hotels, Mondragon in Zierikzee should be on your list. It’s one of the prettiest boutique hotels in The Netherlands for sure. The hotels is located at one of the prettiest spots in town, the old harbour, set in a stunning historical building called ‘t Gouden Elfje. The rooms, suites and apartments are large and decorated to utterly pamper you. At night you don’t have to go far for dinner, simply make reservations for a table at the hotel’s restaurant, Restaurant Cristó, where you can enjoy the region’s specialities in style.
Landal Port Greve
If you’re travelling to Zeeland for a week or if you’re bringing your family, you may prefer staying in a holiday park instead of a B&B or hotel. Luckily, near Zierikzee there’s a good choice of holiday parks. Landal Port Greve has everything a holiday park needs for a perfect week on the Dutch coast. The park is located right on the shores of Grevelingenmeer, one of the nicest lakes in The Netherlands, as well as close to the sea. The park offers a multitude of cottages, for four up to ten people. It’s the perfect destination if you like cycling or walking and there is a lot to do and see for children, with plenty of playgrounds, kids entertainment and an (indoor) swimming pool.
568 historical monuments
Zierikzee may not be a large city, it sure is grand. It has an impressive 568 historical monuments within the old city walls, pretty much labelling the entire city centre as a monument. And yes, walking through Zierikzee will seem like being in an open-air museum. The most famous monuments are Gravesteen, Burgerweeshuis and Sint Lievensmonstertoren (also known as the Fat Tower). But don’t go looking for the monuments, simply get lost in the narrow lanes to see where your journey will take you.
The city gates
The city gates of Zierizee are probably the most interesting sights in the city. There used to be six of them and three remain, which is quite a lot for such a small city. If you’re parked at the P1 parking you’ll walk to the city via the southern gate and drawbridge to the city centre, offering some lovely views over the old harbour. This is the largest of the city gates. Both the southern gate, northern gate and Noble gate were built in the 14th century.
Zierikzee city museum
The Zierikzee city museum is a must-see during your visit. The museum is located in the old city hall, which is by far the prettiest building in the entire town. The 16th-century building alone is worth the visit, though the museum itself is also rather interesting with loads of archaeological finds, silverware and beautiful traditional costume.
You wouldn’t think so, but there’s actually quite a lot of street art tucked away in the narrow lanes that form the historical city centre of Zierikzee. Montmaertre square is a bit of a secluded spot, with some lovely street-side cafés en some street art.
The large central square of Zierikzee is Havenplein, Harbour Square. And the best way to experience it is to sit down outdoors at one of the cafés and drink in all the historical buildings surrounding the square. The Gasthuis church is the square’s eye-catcher. It started out as a poorhouse, later turned into a trade mission and is now a church. Walk underneath the blue arches for a pretty view over the square.
During your visit, you’ll be automatically drawn to the bustle of de Nieuwe Haven, the new harbour of Zierikzee. Along the quayside, you’ll find loads of (good) restaurants and cafés with outdoor seating. The perfect place to have a bite to eat and watch the boats go by.
Go on a seal safari
If you’re spending a day in Zierikzee it’s such fun to go on a seal safari boat trip. The boats leave from the harbour. During the trip, you’ll see the beauty of National Park Oosterschelde, with lots of birds. On the sandbanks, lots of seals will be sunning themselves and sometimes even small whales can be spotted. So keep your camera ready.
Roekoekoe is one of the best places in Zierikzee for a coffee or a lovely lunch. It’s terribly cosy inside the restaurant, as well as at the tables just outside. Roekoekoe only uses organic produce and all dishes are fresh and well-made. I especially loved starting the day there with a cup of coffee and a large slab of cake.
Brasserie Maritime in the new harbour is my favourite Zierikzee restaurant. It’s famous for its seafood and has the best on the menu that the Oosterschelde has to offer. You really should order the Oosterschelde lobster, some mussels or other seafood. The quality is amazing. The restaurant itself is lovely, but I preferred sitting outside and having my dinner whilst watching the boats go by.
De Zeeuwse Hemel
Once you set foot into De Zeeuwse Hemel you never want to leave. Inside you will find yourself sitting amongst pretty tableware or opt for a table in the lush garden outside. The menu is so elaborate and extravagant that you can easily spend a day in this café. Order a cup of tea and some cake, or a local beer and some savoury lobster bites. Another great option: if you’re going out for the day, simply ask De Zeeuwse Hemel to make you a picknick basket.
Zierikzee, The Netherlands
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