Things to do in Gouda Netherlands + Buy the Best Cheese

Gouda is a city in The Netherlands which is world famous for its cheese.  Things to do in Gouda Netherlands;

  • 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 several good value hotels.

The Best Gouda Cheese in the World

Things to do in Gouda - The Best Gouda Cheese in the World

The reason I visited Gouda was to check out the cheese and that’s probably the reason you’ll 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.

Gouds Kaashuis Cheese Shop

Gouda Netherlands - Gouds Kaashuis cheese shop

In the Gouds Kaashuis cheese shop you’ll find a lot more than cheese.  In addition to cheese are Gouda inspired souvenirs.  You’ll even see a Gouda version of the famous monopoly board game!

Gouda Pronunciation

I have disagreed with my Dad for years on the pronunciation of ‘Gouda’.  However, I discovered that both of us were pronouncing it incorrectly.  The correct Gouda cheese pronunciation 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.  In fact, if I went into a shop in England correctly pronouncing Gouda they wouldn’t understand me anyway!

Town Hall

Gouda Netherlands - Old Town Hall

If you came to Gouda for the cheese then you’ll be pleasantly 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 Museum

The Gouda museum is interesting and includes artwork from the region as well as pottery.

Canals of Gouda Netherlands

Gouda Netherlands - Canals and houses

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.

Red Lion Windmill

Gouda Netherlands - Red Lion Windmill

Gouda is the home to a traditional Dutch windmill called the Red Lion Windmill.  If you haven’t seen or photographed a traditional Dutch windmill yet then Gouda is an easy place to do it.  As a matter of fact, there’s a canal in front of the windmill, as a result you can get a wonderful reflection photo of it.  The best place to see windmills in The Netherlands is the UNESCO site of Kinderdijk close to Rotterdam.

Traditional Dutch Bikes

Gouda Netherlands - Dutch Bikes at Gouda Train Station

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!  Finally, you’ll see them parked all over the city and they make both wonderful and colorful photos.

How to get from Gouda to Utrecht

Train from Gouda to Utrecht

There are regular trains at Gouda train station to Utrecht.  The journey time is less than an hour.  Additionally, there are also regular services to all over The Netherlands, it’s incredibly easy to visit Gouda on a day trip!

Utrecht to Amsterdam

2019-01-01T10:44:46+00:00March 9th, 2017|The Netherlands, Western Europe|48 Comments


  1. Carrie Bradley March 10, 2017 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    Gouda looks so picturesque with all the colourful buildings! I’ve not visited Gouda yet but as a cheese lover it must go on my list! The amount of bikes at the station is amazing- never seen anything near that amount before!

  2. Rhiannon March 10, 2017 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Super interesting to read the pronunciation! I actually have a Dutch friend with whom I have pretty regular conversations about cheese, and now I’m absolutely mortified I’ve been saying “Goood-a” all these years and she didn’t correct me! I’d love to visit Gouda just to buy one of those huge wheels of cheese.

    • James Smith March 10, 2017 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      hahaha, that’s how my dad pronounced it, Goood-a!

  3. Bhushavali March 10, 2017 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Wow!!! I love Gouda cheese! Its just yummm… I did taste some authentic ones in Amsterdam but never visited Gouda! I just love those colorful building beside the canal – looks like its a definite scene all over Netherlands!!!

  4. Gerun March 11, 2017 at 4:54 am - Reply

    I see, so that is where the name for the cheese came from? That would be a good idea when you visit – I’d be picking up all the cheese I can! LOL. It looks like such a wonderful city. It has all of the feel of a Dutch city but not as flocked with tourists.

  5. Marcie March 11, 2017 at 11:43 am - Reply

    No way there is a place named like that! Never have been myself to Netherlands ! Great article, would love to go.

  6. FS Page March 11, 2017 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    I am amused to say this, but I too was pronouncing Gouda incorrectly till I read your blog. I have heard a lot about Gouda cheese and I would certainly like to go there to gulp down lots and lots of cheese. Such big bars of cheese makes my mouth water!

  7. Clare March 11, 2017 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Gouda looks beautiful. I have only ever visited Amsterdam though I did stop in the countryside somewhere to try the cheese and clogs. Would love to visit next time I am over there.

  8. Veronika March 11, 2017 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    I love Gouda cheese, this looks like a heaven to me! Thanks for teaching me how to pronounce it, I had no idea that ‘G’ is pronounced as ‘H’! 🙂

  9. Raymond Carroll March 11, 2017 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    Nice language lesson, James – good to learn something new every day – I didn’t know that about Gouda – the correct pronunciation, I mean – and I do now, thanks to your post. That picture of the streets by the canal with the reflection on the water is a cracker! And how do those cyclists find their bike in amongst that lot – looks like of tangled mess of metal. Good post. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Victoria Watts Kennedy March 11, 2017 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    Oh wow, I love Gouda cheese. Had never even thought to visit there! Great tips 🙂

  11. Nicky March 11, 2017 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    Aged Gouda is one of my favourite cheeses! Delicious! And such a beautiful place too by the looks of it. A great read, thank you!

  12. Warren March 12, 2017 at 12:39 am - Reply

    Great Article! We are originally coming from Holland, so we know the places you are referring to! Great job!

  13. Nicole Helgason March 12, 2017 at 1:46 am - Reply

    Mmmm the Netherlands is such an awesome country. Everyone is so happy and the landscape is gorgeous. Mixed with all of this mouthwatering food who wouldn’t want to visit!

  14. Jean March 12, 2017 at 5:45 am - Reply

    Oh this is a Gouda post! I can’t disabrie with anything you’ve written here. I’m glad that the Gouda Museum is more then just a cheesy affair. Your photos of Gouda are delightful and makes me want to pack my bags and go right away.

  15. Leroy March 12, 2017 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Gouda looks beautiful and I definitely want to visit next time I am in the Netherlands. I have a good friend in Utrecht and this would be a great opportunity to take a day trip! And now that I know how to pronounce it, I will be confusing shop staff all over Britain for my own amusement!

  16. Dot March 12, 2017 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Love the cheese but never thought of Gouda as a travel destination! After reading your post this has been added to that ever-growing bucket list!

  17. Ellis March 12, 2017 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    Funny to see tourists make their way all the way to Gouda. BVut it is a beautiful city indeed. Have fun in the netherlands and great to see you’re going to so many other places than just Amsterdam.

  18. Krista March 12, 2017 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    Cool, I didn’t know Gouda was a city! It looks really beautiful. I absolutely love nice cheeses as well, they’re much harder to find in the USA (and impossible here in Peru, haha!)

  19. Mackinaw Road March 12, 2017 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    Looks like a beautiful city and I loved the photo of all of the bikes- how fun!!!

  20. Isadora Koller March 13, 2017 at 12:32 am - Reply

    I havent heard of this city before! Looks very beautiful! I love the architecture of Netherlands in general!

  21. Ami Bhat March 13, 2017 at 4:36 am - Reply

    I am in love with Netherlands on the whole. Gouda definitely appeals with its quaint colorful buildings, cyclist friendly streets and prisitine atmosphere. Loved the pictures that you have shared here.

  22. Andrea March 13, 2017 at 6:12 am - Reply

    I’ve lived in Netherlands for a year and used to bike around the country during the weekend and loved it! Shame on me for never going to Gouda though, it’s one of my favorite cheeses and I’m sure the Gouda Cheese Market is EPIC!

  23. Danijela March 13, 2017 at 11:14 am - Reply

    Didn’t know there was a museum dedicated to cheese, interesting detail. Love your photos, as usual! Never thought of going there, but your post made me wonder, it would be one nice stopover. Thanks! 🙂

  24. Melanie March 13, 2017 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Gouda is one of my absolute favorite cheeses, so a trip there would be absolutely amazing!! Cheese and strolling through those gorgeous streets?! Sign me up!!

  25. Louiela March 13, 2017 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    Great read about How-duh… 🙂 Hope I can find a cheese from any store here from Gouda,,, would love to try Gouda cheese as well… With the bikes, I was also thinking how to find your bike…

  26. Becky Angell March 13, 2017 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    Ha ha that cheese is amazing, just imagine the nightmares you would have though!! Gould looks fantastic, think I might need to pop over for a visit, need a weekend break 🙂

  27. Archana Singh March 13, 2017 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    WOW! That’some information I had no clue about. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Stella March 13, 2017 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    I ate some very delicious Gouda when I was in Amsterdam, but I didn’t get to Gouda. The buildings are much prettier than I imagined. I liked the Gouda in Amsterdam much better than the Gouda in the States, so I’m sure I’d love it in Gouda too!

  29. Philip Mathew March 14, 2017 at 1:51 am - Reply

    There were ton of bikes at the train station. How to people identify theirs?
    I just love the colorful buildings beside the canal.

  30. Ana Ojha March 14, 2017 at 4:13 am - Reply

    Gouda looks so splendid and loved its vibrant architectures! I love cheese and so adding it to my bucket list!

  31. Punita Malhotra March 14, 2017 at 5:07 am - Reply

    We missed Gouda while in Netherlands, but will save this idea for another trip. I can imagine the smell of gouda right now. Those hundreds of bikes outside the train station make a gorgeous photograph.

  32. Laura March 14, 2017 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Gouda looks like such a pretty little town, and it is also my second favorite cheese, so it seems like a no-brainer to visit one day! Thanks for sharing!

  33. Swati March 14, 2017 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Had no idea that there is a city called Gouda and the cheese are super famous. Would love to visit the place someday and will definitely keep in mind to try the cheese. Rambling around the town with a bike would be awesome fun.

  34. Brian March 14, 2017 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Gouda looks like Amsterdam. The only Dutch city I’ve seen. That’s an impressive bike collection. “Bicycle Race” is a Queen song!

  35. Gokul Raj March 15, 2017 at 4:08 am - Reply

    A place known for its cheese. Sounds tasty 😛 The place is beautiful as well with that colorful architecture.

  36. Stephanie March 15, 2017 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Wow, sign me up I am on my way to Gouda. Love how it can be a day trip from Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Great information on travel with purchases and how long it keep. The town looks charming and deserves and overnight stay.

  37. Oana March 15, 2017 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Love the pictures, especially the one with the colourful houses and the bikes. I am a cheese lover, for me happiness is that big cheese that you are holding. Would love to visit one day.

  38. Paul March 16, 2017 at 3:22 am - Reply

    We love cheese so this would be a perfect place to visit for us! Great photos too!

  39. Sandy March 16, 2017 at 5:30 am - Reply

    Cheese and cheese! I can only think of a happy picture where cheese is a staple food in Europe. Now I

    get the part how Europeans preserve their art of making cheese. Gouda cheese and Gouda both of them

    are my favorite now.

  40. Shona @ March 16, 2017 at 8:07 am - Reply

    In a cheese shop in Amsterdam, I heard someone say “How-da” and had no clue what she was talking about. Thanks for letting us in on that one, James.
    I think you might be winning now with the bike pics. 😉 That would be a serious job getting one out from the middle.
    Gouda has to go on the list now, I have to eat mountains of it from its hometown.

  41. Tracy March 16, 2017 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    It’s years since I visited Gouda (I had a friend living in The Hague so visited often) Making me want some of that lovely cheese I have to say! Trying to organise a train trip from the UK to see the tulips so may try to get to Gouda too!

  42. Barry March 17, 2017 at 1:34 am - Reply

    I stopped here for on a road trip a couple of years back. It was a great place and the picture you took remind me of what a great time I had. Very colourful!

  43. kathy March 17, 2017 at 3:55 am - Reply

    When I read your title I was trying to think where Gouda was. I knew I recognised the name and then it occurred to me that it is the wonderful cheese of the Netherlands.
    I love trying all different types of cheeses. I am the one at the country fairs where I live tasting all the tasters to find the perfect purchase.
    This sounds like the place for me. You would find me at the Thursday Market day for sure!

  44. Siddharth March 17, 2017 at 5:36 am - Reply

    Gouda looks lovely. The cheese you are holding looks huge! Was it very heavy? We love cheese. Wouldn’t mind paying excess baggage for some yummy Gouda 🙂

  45. Noemi March 18, 2017 at 10:58 am - Reply

    How-duh! That’s really interesting. I think nobody I know is pronouncing it the correct way. I’ll probably use it next time here in London when I’m buying cheese, just for the sake of it. Lol. I’m not into cheese but I do love gouda from time to time. I didn’t know that there’s actually a place called Gouda. :p

  46. Lisa March 19, 2017 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    What a neat place to visit. I would eat my weight in that cheese. Love the architecture of some of those old buildings & houses, beautiful. Would love to visit one day will pin for later.

  47. Iza June 27, 2017 at 6:21 am - Reply

    How-duh! It is very interesting to know about this. I have probably pronounced other names of cheeses incorrectly but I am not aware of it. When I see good food, I do not care much about the pronunciation. I just eat. Haha! I think it is amazing that there are a lot of people who bike in Gouda. It is a great exercise and form of commuting.

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