With a day to spare before officially being on holidays for the Christmas break I took the train from Rotterdam Central Station and headed towards Gouda, the city famously known for cheese! Gouda is only approximately 20 minutes by train and is another city in the province in South Holland.
Gouda received its name due to the Van der Goude family who lived in the city and built a fortress near the Gouwe River. Eventually the marshland was developed into what it is now.
As I walked from the station towards the main square called the Markt or “Market” there were many shops and small cafes to enjoy along the way, the Christmas decorations are also up really getting me into the holiday mood!
Gouda is most famous for its cheese that is known globally! The best time to come and visit the city is on Thursdays when there is the cheese market, unfortunately for me it is during the warmer months (I missed it but will return in the spring) and it is apparently a great show and scene to see as the big pieces of cheese are displayed and sold. Make sure that if you visit Gouda to check whether the market it taking place.
Sinterklaas or St. Nicholas recently took place on the 5th December and one of the best treats to eat on that day are pepernoten (in the picture above). It is a kind of biscuit with differing spices and upon reaching the market I found a store specializing in them! All the colors and flavors that I had never seen before.
Walking just a few steps further we were at the market square.
The Market square is the iconic location of the cheese market as well as the location of the famous Stadhuis or “town hall” that looks like a castle from a really old fairytale. After having walked around for a while I stopped to have lunch at one of the café’s around the market. You must try ErwtenSoep, it’s a soup made during the winter season and very dutch!
This town hall is open daily for the public until 3pm and is one of the oldest gothic buildings in the whole country. The building really stands out I could have stared at it for hours, the details are amazing!
This small city is lovely for a day, walking around you come across such distinct buildings and if you love photography it is a great place to visit and take pictures!