Once a prominent trade town, Tiel is one of those largely unknown historic cities in the Eastern Netherlands with a tale of its own. It doesn't see too many visitors today, but the old centre still holds monumental buildings from former glory days and is famous for its fruits production. When you're in the Netherlands in May, Tiel is an excellent base to explore the lovely Betuwe orchards in bloom. In September, the city is the stage for the largest free pop music festival in the country: Appelpop, as well as for a flower parade. Although mid-sized, this is the largest city in the Betuwe area.
Many locals consider Tiel to be a largely industrial town, but for those prepared to look, there's plenty of older, interesting history around.
For most travellers, the train is the most convenient form of public transport when coming here. Nonetheless, Tiel is served by a range of buses, operated mainly by Arriva. They run mostly to and from smaller towns in the area, including line 42 to Druten (from where its possible to change for Nijmegen), 45 to Rhenen and Wageningen and line 46 to Culemborg and Nieuwegein.
phone: +31 344 61 30 54address: Lutterveldweg 7This place rents different kinds of bicycles (e.g. with and without gear). Bikes can be picked up from 8.30 and returned until 17.30.
The town itself has a number if historic buildings, several dating back to the 17th century when Tiel was a flourishing town surrounded by city walls. Parts of the walls are still intact, and the Tolhuiswal in the west of town is a good place to see them. Other highlights include:
WaterpoortThe original Water Gate originated in 1647 but was destroyed during the final days of WWII. It was entirely rebuilt in 1979. High on the façade is the city's coat of arms, with the words Asylum gentis Batavorum, or Refuge for the Batavi. The Latin memorial plaque originates in 1528, but was initially place on another gate, the Brunense Poort, which was demolished in 1853.
Grote Kerkaddress: Kerkplein 4This large, Gothic church was built in the 1420's-1430's. Although repeatedly changed and never entirely finished, it's a large building and used for services until today.
At the Plein, the main square where you'll also find cafés, markets are held on Saturdays (9.00-17.00h) and Mondays (12.00-17.00h).
In terms of local specialities, fruits and jams top the list, as they are is famous for both.
phone: +31 344 627959address: Korenbeursplein 2aNice atmosphere and a good, French and international menu. High quality ingredients and dishes make this place excellent value for money. The staff is helpful and friendly.
phone: +31 344 - 683 777address: Kleibergsestraat 6A modernly decorated restaurant, with coloured led-lightning all around. All-you-can-eat sushi and teppanyaki dishes is what most regular customers come here for. It's the best Japanese place in town and it does take-away too.
phone: +31 6 12741970address: Plein 51The historic building this restaurant sits in, makes it a lovely place for both lunch and dinner. It serves a wide range of dishes, including simple breads, eggs and soups for lunch, and a more extensive warm menu for the evening. They take pride in their classic fried sole dish (€27.50). Of course you're welcome at other times for coffee and cake, or even a high tea.
phone: +31 344 62 20 20address: Laan van Westroyen 10One of the few choices in the city itself, this is a standard and adequate hotel in the Van der Valk chain. Rooms aren't all very up to date but otherwise fine. Some, especially the more expensive rooms as well as the lobby, have been upgraded. Staff is friendly and there's an on-site sushi restaurant.
phone: +31 487501254address: Veerweg 2, WamelThis quaint hotel lies just across the river Waal, in the village of Wamel (part of Tiel municipality). A passenger ferry connects the village to the city, making it quite convenient to here instead of in the centre, even for those who wish to explore the city. It's also great for trips into the countryside, as they rent out bikes and allow for recharge of electric bicycles.
phone: +31 344 661236address: Lingeweg 18bSuited well for outdoor lovers and budget travellers, this place outside town offers camping spots as well as ready to use huts (with private bath and kitchenette) and caravans. It's situated along the river and rents out bikes and canoes. Note that they only accept cash payments. It's a 5 minute walk from the regional Tiel Passewaai station.
Post office inside Bruna bookstoreaddress: Waterstraat 10Close to the Flipje Streekmuseum, this is one of the convenient post offices in the city centre.
For a more natural next stop, Hoge Veluwe National Park or the forests of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug are excellent picks.