Breda is a city in the west of the province North Brabant of the Netherlands and has over 170,000 inhabitants. It is a very cozy and social city, partly due to the large number of students that live in the city. In the historical city centre you’ll find lot’s of interesting architecture and cultural delights. The city centre was crowned best innercity in 2009.

A Wealth of History

Breda is largely comprised of medieval buildings that have managed to remain intact to this day. For those individuals who may be major history enthusiasts, this would be the ideal destination for you. From Breda’s stunning castles to other major architectural monuments within the town, there is tons of interesting and fun activities to participate in and sites to see in the lovely little medieval town. The city’s main square is referred to as the Grote Markt. There you can discover the Church of our Lady in the stunning Gothic style along with an 18th century city hall perfectly centered in town.

The vast history of Breda is intensely intriguing. With the name itself being derived from brede Aa which refers to the confluence of the rivers Mark and Aa, this fortified city was a strategic military location and politically significant township. Check out the lovely history that is associated with Breda’s direct correlation to the Holy Roman Emperor.

Throughout history Breda has been a fortified city and is named after the confluence of the two rivers flowing through the town. It has spent time under the direction of the Holy Roman Empire and in 1327 was sold to John III, Duke of Brabant. Following a string of exchanges the city of Breda came under the ownership of the House of Nassau. During the 1500’s the alliance with the House of orange saw the city develop into a major residential area for the wealthy.

Many nobles moved to Breda with the Orange-Nassau Alliance and build fine homes and gardens. In 1530 a fire destroyed 90 per cent of the city. During the Eighty Years War in 1581 Breda was captured by the Spanish who took out their anger on the residents. Over 500 citizens were killed during Haultpenne’s Fury. The Dutch reclaimed the city in 1591, however it fell under Spanish rule again in 1624, and this was immortalised in a painting by Diego Velasquez.

During the English Civil War Charles II of England spent much of his time in exile in Breda as his sister was the widow of William of Orange. The Treaty of Breda was signed in the town in 1667 which ended the Anglo Dutch War. Breda was taken by French Revolutionary troops in 1795.

In the Second World War Breda was occupied by the German forces before being liberated by the Polish Army in 1944. To this day the event is commemorated and the Polish forces are remembered. Breda is rich in history and has many stories from its past to discover and any visitor to the city will find lots of interesting facts to discover.

Historical map Breda
Historical map

 Attractive Night Life

The locals generally consider Breda as the best in history, art and shopping. It is a hub for culture in the Netherlands. With a population of less than two hundred thousand, the township of Breda is lively in comparison to the other cities of equivalent size in the surrounding areas. There are one hundred and twenty two bars, eleven museums, one hundred and seventy restaurants and one hundred and thirty eight shops and boutiques in this relatively miniscule town. Most tourists have yet to see them all.

Breda’s city center is totally encompassed by a single water stream. This is the typical way that tourists manage their sightseeing. Simply get on a boat, relax and enjoy the ride while taking in the breathtaking sights and atmosphere of this historic city. In comparison to the majority of other major cities that may offer boat tours, Breda possesses a unique advantage. They offer a calm atmosphere that to be enjoyed leisurely. Have a glass of champagne or a nice lunch while absorbing what the city has to offer you. Do not forget to see the Jazz festival while in the city as well. It is held annually and has been deemed a fantastic opportunity for both Jazz enthusiasts and those just looking for a fun time.

Delicious Dining and Shopping Experiences

With vast numbers of cozy pubs and even the finer dining establishments that feature daily wine menus, there truly is something for every taste available on the menu. The immense history and culture is absorbed deeply into the age old and proven scrumptious recipes that are offered in Breda. Take a taste at one of the city’s small budget restaurants or go out on the town for a night of wining and dining. Either way, you are bound to have your cravings satisfied. Do not forget to also see the town’s Grote Markt near the epicenter. It features all of the best in boutique and village shopping experiences.

Transportation in Breda, Netherlands

Breda is a medium sized city in the province of North Brabant. Although not a large place in itself, Breda has extremely good transport links and you should have no trouble in arriving at the city, or in finding your way around during your stay there.

Getting to Breda

If you are arriving by air then you will go to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. There is a train station in the airport, so this means that you do not usually have to travel into Amsterdam to catch the train. The journey from the airport to the city of Breda is not very far and should not take you more than an hour to complete, if you take the high speed Fyra train.

The train journey from Amsterdam can vary depending on whether you take the normal NS train or whether you, instead, travel on the high speed Fyra trains. If you have already got your ticket before you decide to get on the Fyra, you can still board the train and just pay the extra, over an above the price of your ticket. There is also a high speed service from Rotterdam. If you are driving from Amsterdam then you will need to take the A2 as far as Utrecht, and then change to the A27 which will take you to Breda. The drive should take about an hour and a half. Breda is only about 60 km from Rotterdam on the A16.

Getting Around Breda

Although Breda is a good sized city, the centre of the town is fairly compact, so you should not have any trouble finding your way around. The main form of transport in Breda is the local buses. As with most public transport in the Netherlands, the buses in Breda are generally clean and reliable. Probably the easiest form of transport in Breda is the bicycle. You can easily get to any of the sights in the centre of town and you are able to hire them, quite cheaply from the central station.

If you are using a bike do remember to take a lock to secure it. There are many bicycle parks in the city, so you should have no trouble finding somewhere to leave it. If you want to take a taxi then  you can get one at the station taxi rank, or you can phone one to pick you up at, Petax +31 76 571 0000, or at Taxi line BV Breda ,+31 76 520 1919 .

Breda Tourism

Breda is a nice medium sized city in the Netherlands. It benefits by being in easy reach of Amsterdam, and also Rotterdam. But is also a very interesting place by itself. The centre of Breda is, as is often the case in Holland, surrounded by a canal. Although the city is a fair size, the centre is actually very compact. It is not always the easiest place to find your way around as the street plan is still based on the medieval layout. But there are plenty of signs so you can usually get to where you are going without too much difficulty. And their windy streets really just make it a lot more interesting.

Museums And Churches

The Great Church of Breda was built in the 1400’s, The church is a very impressive building from the outside and it is worth taking a few minutes to admire the architecture before going inside. The interior of the church is equally grand and the monument are well worth visiting. There are also excellent frescoes, but the most interesting part of the church is the Prince Chapel where the forebears to the Dutch Royal Family are interred. The ceiling of the chapel is actually covered in gold.

The Beer Advertising Museum is near the centre of the city and a fascinating place to spend an afternoon. The collection is mainly made up of old enamel beer signs, but there are also some advertising posters, beer mats, glasses, brewery machines and some wonderful taps and other furniture from all over Europe. The General Maczek Museum is devoted to the free Polish armoured division who fought their way through the local area, defeating the occupying German army in 1944-5.

Shopping And Eating

There is some great shopping in Breda. The middle of the city is mostly a pedestrian area and that always makes wandering around the shops a much better experience. You will find that some of the best shopping is in the central streets of Torenstraat, Veemarktstraat and Halstraat. There is also the De Barones covered retail centre where there are many great fashion shops and some very good boutiques.

Qui Don John is a good French restaurant that has great food and a charming ambience, with friendly staff and understated decor it is well worth a look. It also has some excellent beer on tap. One of the best Italian restaurants in Breda is the Restaurant La Cucina Italiana. It serves fine, authentic food and has a very good menu with something for everyone.

Breda is a fine and welcoming city with much to offer the holidaymaker. And if you take a wander round its medieval streets you will be sure find many interesting things and buildings.