Gouda is a city in The Netherlands which is world famous for it’s cheese. Gouda offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;
- The best Gouda cheese in the world (I can confirm this!)
- Gouds Kaashuis cheese shop
- Gouda Town hall (Stadhuis)
- Gouda cheese museum
- Traditional Dutch bike and canal photography
- Red Lion Windmill
You can easily visit Gouda on a day trip from Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and even Amsterdam but if you want to stay overnight there are a few hotels.
The reason I visited Gouda was to check out the cheese and that’s probably the reason you’d visit too. In the main square of downtown Gouda you’ll find a famous Gouda cheese shop called Gouds Kaashuis. You can try any of the cheeses in there and whichever cheese you want they can vacuum pack it to go. Cheese is allowed in your check in luggage and keeps for up to 3 months (you won’t resist it for 3 months). I treated myself to 2 kg of their standard Gouda which was so much better than the Gouda I can buy at my local store. I wish I had bought 5-10 kg as it was delicious and didn’t last long.
I have disagreed with my Dad for years on the pronunciation of ‘Gouda’ and discovered that both of us were pronouncing it incorrectly. The correct pronunciation of Gouda is best explained as follows; The drink Mojito has the Spanish J, so pronounced ‘mohito’ with a hard h. Gouda is also pronounced with a hard H in place of the G. ‘How-duh’ with a hard H. I doubt anybody other than the Dutch have been pronouncing Gouda correctly and if I went in a shop in England correctly pronouncing Gouda they wouldn’t understand me anyway.
The Gouda museum is interesting but it isn’t all about cheese, there’s a lot of pottery in there too.
If you came to Gouda for the cheese then you’ll be presently surprised to find such a stunning building in the market square, Gouda Town Hall. This is the oldest Gothic Town Hall in The Netherlands and dates back to 15th century. You are allowed to take photos through the front door of the Town Hall if you wish. On market days which are every Thursday during Summer months you’ll find the famous Gouda cheese market surrounding this building. The market square is surrounded with restaurants so foodies can try something other than cheese!
Gouda is a small city and you can easily walk everywhere. There are a few canals in the city and lots of traditional Dutch style houses so plenty of photograph opportunities. You’ll come across lots of Dutch bikes to photograph too. Gouda is the home to a traditional Dutch windmill called the Red Lion Windmill, if you haven’t seen or photographed one yet then Gouda is an easy place to do it.
Outside of Gouda Train Station you’ll find hundreds of bikes, imagine coming home from work and having to find your bike where hundreds are parked!
From Gouda train station I took a train direct to Utrecht which are regular and take less than an hour.