Your guide to the coolest things to do and see when traveling in Breda, Netherlands (North Brabant)
Breda is one of Brabant’s most beautiful cities, famous for a cobblestoned Old Town, a Gothic Cathedral and even a large castle in the city center. You’ll find countless cafés and restaurants with large patios throughout the city center. It’s the type of city that looks so typically Dutch, making it a cozy weekend destination. Start here with my basic Breda travel tips, or jump down below to read my latest Breda travel blogs.
When to Visit
Like most of The Netherlands, Breda is a year-round destination. Though, in the summer months, you’ll find a lot more street life, outdoor seating in cafés and restaurants and a better environment for exploration. The city is home to the Graphic Matters design festival—a small exhibition and celebration of international graphic designers which takes place every two years. It’s an important visual representations of political and social movements of the time. Look out for the annual Breda Photo showcase each autumn.
Cool Things To Do
Breda isn’t often at the top of most travel lists for Netherlands, but it’s actually a surprisingly hip city. It’s a great city for a weekend break, or equally fun as an alternative escape from Amsterdam.
Wander the Grote Markt — The central square of Breda, the Grote Markt is in the heart of the Old Town and home to countless bars, cafés, restaurants and shops. The cobblestoned streets fill up with street vendors twice a week selling fresh fruits, vegetables, and snack foods.
Check out the street art — Like most of the Brabant region, there’s a strong predilection for creativity in the city. The city is home to the organization Blind Walls Gallery which regularly commissions artists from around the world to paint Breda’s walls. Each commissioned artwork is required to tell a particular story related to its location (generally the street it’s located on) creating a beautiful tapestry of colorful walls around the city which reflect the local spirit.
Other popular attractions in Breda include the Breda Castle, a one-time fortress built in the 15th century. A small moat and a series of canals circle the castle where you can join boat tours or rent swan paddle boats.
Like everywhere else in The Netherlands, Breda’s most popular activity involves bicycles. While the beautiful old city is a bit rough to get around on a bike because of the cobblestoned pedestrian streets, it’s useful to rent a bike to get to the areas further from the city center—whether it’s cycling through the park or scoping out the street art in the former industrial areas. Check out some additional Breda tours here:
LGBT – Gay Breda Guide
Breda has a fairly young population thanks to the nearby universities, and there are at least two gay bars in Breda—more than most other cities in North Brabant.
Venise Bar is a gay bar located in the Old Town, close to the main shopping and restaurants. It’s one of the longest-running gay bars, open for 50 years as of 2017! Café D’n Heilige Antonius is a more hipster (but still gay/queer) bar also located in the Old Town with quirky decorations (pink flamigos) and a fun environment.
Hotels in Breda are mostly located in the Old Town—a mostly pedestrian-only area with cobblestoned streets, outdoor cafes and restaurants and hundreds of small, independent shops. I recommend booking hotels through mega hotel search sites such as Booking.com, Agoda.com, or HotelsCombined.com—all are especially great for finding last-minute deals, though HotelsCombined offers comprehensive comparison deals to make choosing a hotel easier.
Recommended hotels in Breda
Hotel Nassau — One of the city’s only luxury hotels, it’s surprisingly affordable. The hotel, part of the Autograph Collection, is located in a former convent in the citiy’s Old Town. The restaurant in the lobby serves high-quality meals in a picturesque setting, steps from the former cathedral. Inside the rooms you’ll find fun and quirky photographs playing off the theme of the former convent. Room prices from just 120€/night.
Apollo Hotel — Located next door to the main train station, this 4-star hotel is in a former post office. A lovely terrace on the front looks out on a small garden and the interior design of the hotel is comfortable and friendly. Free flavored water and fresh fruit are available in the lobby and restaurant. Room prices from just 90€!
Search more Breda hotels here and look for other accommodation deals in The Netherlands.
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