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Gouda, a Dutch city in the south of Amsterdam in the province of South Holland, Netherlands:

Gouda Markt Market Square Travel and Home

When in Gouda there are basically 3 things that stand out:

  • Gouda Cheese

  • Siroopwafels (Syrup Waffles)

  • Monuments and Museums

During Christmas time if you ask any local what Gouda is famous for, the answer would be Cheese and the Candle Light Festival. 

Gouda Bij Kaarslicht

This traditional and magical event has been part of Gouda in the Netherlands for more than 60 years.  People from all over the world come to witness this special event.  Kongsberg in Norway each year sends Gouda a giant specially selected Christmas tree as a gift.  The event of lighting the tree as well as numerous wonderful activities around the city is a huge highlight.  It’s a festive day with carols and music and much more. In the evening everyone gather at the Gouda Markt and then the tree, the town hall and the other buildings around the square are all lighted by thousands of candles:  A magical moment to experience. 

Here is a link to their website for updated and latest information and news as well as the fascinating story behind the Christmas Tree: Gouda Bij Kaarslicht

But any other time of the year, no one can mistake the fact that Gouda is famous and well known for its cheese:  Specifically Gouda Cheese.

Gouda Cheese

In my opinion it is no wonder that you will find fantastic cheese shops, factories and museums all over town.  I would suggest stopping at:

De Goudsche / Goudse Waag

De Goudse Waag is a historic building dating back to 1668 where you can book a delicious private Gouda Cheese tasting.  It was the cheese-weighing station of Gouda.  Stop at the museum to explore the history of De Goudse Waag and the products that were weighed and traded here. There is a museum shop that has delicious real Dutch cheeses and a variety of traditional Dutch souvenirs you can buy.

Shop cheese and more cheese

You just have to buy and sample as many cheeses as you possibly can.  Here are a few interesting shops where you can buy and sample cheese in Gouda:

  • Gouds Kaashuis  (Cheese House) – This delightful shop sells real farm cheese made in and around Gouda as well as speciality cheeses and many other products.  All of this you can buy and ask them to help you put together a special gift for someone.  Or buy a ‘special gift’ for yourself and enjoy a picnic somewhere tranquil.  I think that is one of the best ways to enjoy the Gouda experience.
  • ‘t Kaaswinkeltje – “We sell the original Gouda farmhouse cheese. Cheese that is still made according to the old traditions on farms around Gouda. And which, unlike factory cheese, is not pasteurized, so that the delicious taste is preserved.”
  • Kaas van Kees – “Because cheeses – both farmhouse cheeses from the Netherlands and special cheeses from Italy, Spain and France – are really a passion for Kees and Joke. Our search for products with a beautiful, pure quality and a fair price yields a wide range in the five cheese shops of Kaas van Kees. Each cheese has its own story and we are happy to tell those stories to every customer who wants to hear (and taste) it.”
  • The ‘Markt Gouda’ or Gouda Cheese Market is a real experience. Cheese has been traded on the Markt for hundreds of years. For centuries, farmers from the surrounding area come together to sell their cheese on the market square.  This tradition is still continues on Thursdays from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm and on Saturdays from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.  But do visit their website to get the latest and updated information:  Markt Gouda
Gouda Netherlands
Kamphuisen Siroopwafels Shop Gouda Netherlands Travel and Home

Siroopwafels in Gouda Netherlands

If there is one thing besides cheese that you must try in Gouda it is their syrup waffles.

In my opinion the Kamphuisen Siroopwafel Shop is the place to go to.

  • Visit the Kamphuisen Siroopwafels Factory / Shop to buy the authentic Syrup Waffles of Gouda.
  • While you’re there book a Kamphuisen syrup waffle factory Tour and see how the waffles are made.

The waffles have been baked according to the original Gouda recipe of the Kamphuisen Syrup Waffle from 1810.  Now that is something special.

Monuments and Museums

Het Oude Stadhuys

Central to the market square is ‘Het Oude Stadhuys’.  This beautiful old town hall with its red shutters is often used for business meetings, events, and weddings.  It is also often the backdrop to beautiful Instagram photos as well as the Gouda Christmas Candle light Festival.

Sint Janskerk

The ever impressive Sint-Janskerk or St John is the longest church in the Netherlands and has 72 beautifully stained glass windows.  Visit this beautiful church while you’re there.  You can book your tickets online.  The church is completely dependent on its own income and donations, so your visit will help them a great deal.  Furthermore you get to see something really special:  Like the glass of Philip II which are up to 20 meters highA good tip would be to go on a very sunny day to experience the light shining through the windows.

Sint Jan Church Netherlands 72 glass windows longest church in netherlands
Gouda Markt Town Hall Market Square Netherlands Travel and Home

The Gouda museum houses 16th century religious art, works by The Hague School and 20th century pottery and is well worth a visit.  During summer time you can enjoy the walled courtyard of the Catherina Gasthuis for something to drink.

DID YOU KNOW

Gouda in Netherlands has 355 Monuments to discover.  Here is a link to get more updated info on all of them. Discover the monuments of Gouda

The best tours in Gouda according to Viator travelers are:

  • Out with a local
  • Charming Gouda Cheese Tasting Tour
  • Private Guided Tour of Gouda
  • Gouda Cheese Experience & Non Tourist trap visit Cheese Farm & Windmills
  • Private Transfer from Gouda to Amsterdam City Center

Click on photo for link to these tours and more.