BredaBreda is a city in the Dutch province of North Brabant. It has a long history as a military stronghold and army base. Still today, important parts of the Dutch military still reside here. The military character is still at the heart of town, as the national Dutch Military Academy resides in the historic Castle of Breda, right in the centre of the old town.
phone: +31 900-522 24 44address: Willemstraat 17-19
phone: +31 900-522 24 44address: Grote Markt 38
By planeBreda does not have a commercial airport, but thanks to the excellent public transportation system of the Netherlands, it can be reached easily from numerous airports in the Netherlands and even in Belgium.
- Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) is the largest in the Netherlands and one of the most important global hubs, with extensive flight connection network across many continents. From the airport's train station (directly underneath the terminal), NS Dutch Railways operates frequent Intercity Direct high-speed rail service every 30 minutes to Breda. The journey takes 1 hour and costs €21.40 one-way (including €2.40 supplement for using the Intercity Direct)
- Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM) is closer to Breda and served by a number of short-haul connections. From there, one needs to take RET's bus 33 to Rotterdam Centraal railway station and continue to Breda by the same Intercity Direct or regular Intercity to Breda. The total journey takes about an hour as well and costs €11 (Intercity Direct supplement does not apply, as it is only required for journeys including the stretch between Rotterdam and Schiphol).
- Eindhoven Airport (EIN) is the country's second-largest airport by number of passengers, served mostly by low-fare traffic from all over Europe. Again, one needs to take a bus from the airport to Eindhoven's railway station and change to an Intercity train to Breda, with a total journey time of slightly above 1 hour and costs €12.90.
- Brussels Airport (BRU) is another international and intercontinental hub close to Breda, with many flights to Africa in particular. It has an integrated train station as well, but trains from Brussels Airport no longer run directly to Breda - one has to change in Roosendaal. The total journey time is 1.5 hours and cost of both train tickets should not come above €20.
By trainBreda is a major railway hub. Two railway lines meet at the Breda station - the north-south line from Rotterdam to the Belgian border, with further extensions to Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport and The Hague, and the east-west line branching out in Breda through Tilburg towards Eindhoven and 's-Hertogenbosch. The latter connects to branches going to Utrecht, Arnhem, Nijmegen and Zwolle. A variety of trains, including frequently stopping Sprinters, traverse those lines connecting Breda not only to those major cities but also many smaller stations along the way, such as Delft. Pretty much all of the Netherlands can be reached from Breda by trains with one train change.
High-speed premium Intercity Direct trains connect Breda to Amsterdam, Schiphol and Rotterdam without intermediate stops. As of 2018, Breda once again has direct international connections to Antwerp and Brussels, eliminating the need to change in Roosendaal along the way.
Train schedules and ticket prices can be found on the Nederlandse Spoorwegen website.
By carFrom Amsterdam, Breda can be reached by taking the A2 to Utrecht and then the A27. Breda is less than a 90 minute drive from the three main ferry ports in Holland. From Rotterdam, Breda can be reached by taking the A16 to Breda, which will take about 30 to 40 minutes.
By boatP&O Ferries operates overnight ferry service between Hull, England and Rotterdam, the nearest port to Breda. The journey takes 12 hours.
On footThe city centre and most of the sights are easy to discover on foot.
By bikeAlternatively, biking is a good option, and bikes can be rented at the train station bike parking.
By busThe city bus is another option, circling through town.
Grote KerkBuilt in the Brabantine Gothic style in the 15th and 16th centuries, the church dedicated to Our Lady (as Virgin Mary is most often referred to in the Netherlands) boasts a tower of almost 100 metres and one of the largest organs in the country. Inside you will find in. al. the Prinsenkapel, where members of the Orange-Nassau family had been buried until the city of Breda fell to the Spanish.
Old city hallCompared to the large church, the city hall standing at its back in a wall of buildings lining up the elongated Grote Markt is inassuming at best. Apart from being a neat example of Dutch 18th century architecture, quite ascetic compared to the raging rococo found in many other countries at that time. The building is now a historic monument and home to several works of art as well as tourist information, but the actual municipal facilities have been moved to a modern building on Claudius Prinsenlaan.
Castle of BredaThe castle originates in the 14th century and was substantially renewed in Renaissance style around 1540. Unfortunately, the castle is not available for visitors as it is home to the Military Academy since 1826, but of course it can still be admired from the outside.
address: Entrance is at the CatharinastraatEven though it lies right in the middle of the bustling city centre, much of the historic peace and tranquillity remains in this former Béguinage. Today, although no beguines remain, the small houses around the charming courtyard are still inhabited by single ladies. There's a herb garden and a small museum at nr. 29, which is a side branch of the much larger Breda's Museum.
Sint-AntoniuskathedraalNestled in a side street (incidentally named after Saint John), the cathedral church of the long-standing diocese of Breda is much less imposing than the Grote Kerk, but quite unique in that it is a 19th-century creation built in neoclassical style, both inside and out, which is a relative rarity as far as cathedrals go, especially in the Netherlands.
Koepelgevangenisaddress: Nassausingel 26A panopticon-style prison, whose name refers to the cupola topping the round building with prison cells stacked in rounds on the outside walls around a large covered courtyard. It is this prison that held the "Breda four" - the only German prisoners of war that served their sentences after the Second World War in the Netherlands for war crimes committed. The prison building complex is no longer in use and a national monument, but generally is not open for sightseeing.
MuseumsThe city has a number of museums worth noting.
phone: +31 76 527 40 89address: De la Reijweg 95, BredaThis museum is dedicated to the 1st Polish Armoured Division, which under the leadership of General Stanislaw Maczek liberated important areas of the Netherlands in 1944 and 1945. (Military area; identification is required.)
phone: +31 76 529 99 00address: Boschstraat 22, BredaWrong language! Museum Breda is het museum voor erfgoed en geschiedenis van de stad Breda en voor actuele beeldcultuur. Het museum komt voort uit Breda’s Museum en MOTI, Museum of the Image.
De geschiedenis van Stedelijk Museum Breda gaat terug tot 1903, toen het eerste gemeentelijke museum werd opgericht. Sinds die tijd is een rijke en gevarieerde collectie opgebouwd, gericht op ontwikkelingen in en om de stad. Daarbij hebben zich deelcollecties gevormd over thema´s als religie, het leger en de industrie. Het museum heeft ook een omvangrijke beeldende kunstcollectie en verzamelingen van grafische vormgeving en digitale beeldcultuur.
phone: +31 76 521 41 56address: Ginnekenweg 76, Breda(War and Peace Museum)
phone: +31 76 514 01 21address: Dreef 36, Breda
phone: +31 76 522 09 75address: Haagweg 375, BredaThis museum shows a permanent exhibition of mainly enamel signs (+/- 1000 pieces) and antique posters of old beer adverts. It is said to be the largest collection in The Netherlands or perhaps in Europe.
phone: +31 76 561 27 42address: Pennendijk 1, Ulvenhout
- Get a guided tour through the old moats of Breda. There's plenty of stories behind the historic façades. Book ahead via the tourist office. Alternatively, they sell a Dutch language booklet called "Historische Kilometer", which (if you can understand it) allows you to walk around yourself and still read up on the historic backgrounds.
- Visit the old neighbourhood Zandberg and Ginneken, just south of the Wilhelminastraat. It has lots of old merchants' houses and on the south end you will find the Mastbos, one of the nicest forests in the Netherlands.
- Rent a canoe and make your own way through the Breda canals. On Saturday and Sunday you can rent one from the starting point at Spanjaardsgat without reservation. For other days, reservations are required and bookable via the tourist office or via the Beleef Breda website
- Head out for a picnic in Park Valkenberg, a large and pleasant park halfway between the trainstation and the Grote Markts.
- If you have a smartphone, you can enjoy walking around the city with free audio tours, published on izi.TRAVEL platform.
address: St. Janstraat 4Small but busy restaurant. They don't take credit cards. Rather than "starters" and "main courses", they have portions which are somewhere in between, for €8.50 each.
phone: +31 76-51 51 340address: Ginnekenweg 35Call ahead, as this ambitious place gets raving reviews and is regularly booked full. It offers fine dining French cuisine in a modern restaurant. The service is good too. Menu's start at €36,50, but if you're out for a splurge, try the 7 course tasting for €67.50.
phone: +31 76 5718099address: Van Voorst tot Voorststraat 44The food in this small place is better than you might expect from its looks, and the portions are large. The dishes are simple but fresh and very tasty. They do take away too, so expect people to come in and out for that. With 3 course menus for €24.50, this is great quality for money though.
phone: +31 76-5214306address: Grote Markt 17A small place where you can find the real French dishes for breakfast and lunch and where everything is fresh. The service is also very kind and helpfull.
Het Smaakwarenhuisphone: +31 76 762 01 74address: Ginnekenweg 11-13This place is an interesting combination of a fresh food supermarket and a small restaurant. Virtually all products are produced in or directly around the Netherlands, and many in the region. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, often with a typical Dutch twist. Dinner is a set 3, 4 or 5 course meal with only a few choices. A fun place to discover Dutch produce.
Restaurant Chocolataddress: Torenstraat 9
phone: +31 76 - 5143900address: Grote Markt 35For the best authentic Italian style dishes. The service is very good and it's very cozy inside. They have something for everyone and every week they have a week special.
Restaurant Dickens & Jonesaddress: Grote Markt 40
address: Visserstraat 14
address: Grote Markt 20
Kerkpleinaddress: Torenstraat 17-19
address: Catharinastraat 2In the centre of town, in the lively bar district, which can cause some noise at night. For the rest, rooms are simple but good. There's no elevator, so you'll need to carry you luggage up the stairs.
phone: +31 76 751 30 00address: Schorsmolenstraat 6A bit on the edge of the centre, this 4 star hotel is quiet and offers free parking. They specialise in hotel stays with health care options, making it perfect for senior or care dependent travellers, although regular guests are just as welcome.
address: Keizerstraat 5Good quality hotel with friendly staff and spacious rooms. It's just outside the city centre but still at easy walking distance. There's no private parking, so if you come by car, you'll need to park for a fee at one of the public parkings.
address: Nieuwstraat 21-25This luxurious boutique hotel is a part of Marriott's Autograph Collection and is located in a complex of converted historic residential and religious buildings.
phone: +31 76 514 35 14address: Liesdreef 40, 4838GV, BredaMainly chalets but area for tents. Site uses cardkey system so you pay deposit on the card plus a pre-payment and deposit/unused pre-pay is refunded (pre-pay used for e.g. showers). Credit cards accepted.
- Tilburg, student city famous for its 10 day long fun fair in July, which is the largest in the Benelux.
- Kaatsheuvel, equally famous for fun, as it is home to the Efteling theme parc.
- Dordrecht, major historic trade port with a well preserved medieval old town and hundreds of monuments.
- Antwerp. This historic Belgian town is less than 45 minutes from Breda.