Most travel brochures and tourist guides tend to heavily focus on the bigger cities in South Holland, such as Rotterdam, The Hague and Leyden. We think this is an injustice because there are so many smaller cities and towns in the region which also have a lot to offer. At the same time, this limited attention to these charming small cities also has its advantages. Visit them with the Tourist Day Ticket and feel as if you have the whole city to yourself.
While the name Gouda is world-famous, many people outside the Netherlands have no idea that the name of the cheese they are eating is also the name of a bustling small market town. Visit a museum or take a nice stroll through the old city centre and stop at the old town hall and the Weighing House where all the cheese was weighed. That said, Gouda’s best-known export product is never far: from April to September you can catch the traditional cheese market on Thursday mornings in the market square. It’s also a good opportunity to stock on some other regional specialties.
Nowadays Schoonhoven is a modest town with a population of 15,000 in the vast arable landscape that makes up the Green Heart of the Netherlands, but this old fortified city actually prides itself on a rich and interesting history. For over 700 years, Schoonhoven has been the centre of the Dutch silver industry. The town’s picturesque streets are lined with an above average number of jewellers and workshops of silver and goldsmiths. But the city by the River Lek is also home to the Dutch Silver Museum.
The extremely picturesque historic centre of Dordrecht is a good reminder of the city’s rich past. Due to its location at the confluence of four rivers, Dordrecht has been an important hub for the wine, wood and grain trade for several hundreds of years. If you are interested in seeing more of the city after one of the walking routes that were put together by the municipality such as their Rondje Dordt, you can also visit the Dordrechts Museum or the Van Gijn House, where you will be transported back in time.