If you’re looking for things to do in Den Bosch you’ve come to the right place. There’s so much to discover and best of all, the tourists are few and far between so you can have it all to yourself.
As much as I love Amsterdam as the next person, there’s something to be said for taking the road less travelled and exploring a less well-known city. It’s time to visit Den Bosch. Well technically it’s called ‘s- hertogenbosch but that’s just a mouthful, so most call it Den Bosch.
Den Bosch is a city in the south of The Netherlands that’s really, really easy to get to and a great place for a day or two, especially if you want to pair it with a visit to the iconic city of Amsterdam. It’s just a short 60-minute train ride. I cover how to get to Den Bosch towards the end of this post. You’ve been wondering what to do in Den Bosch, so here you go…
13 Den Bosch Things to Do
1. Head to De Dry Hamerkens
Head to De Dry Hamerkens for a hot chocolate with a twist. Pick your very own chocolate block of a spoon and order a cup of hot milk or coffee, then use your chocolate block as your spoon to stir it. The result is pure indulgent heaven. This spot is adorable, with the cute tables in the loft offering the most charm.
Address: De Dry Hamerkens, Hinthamerstraat 57, Den Bosch
Recommended Reading: 7 things to see and do in Amsterdam
2. Try a Stroopwafel
For a more budget, but equally delicious experience head to the supermarket to pick up some Stroopwafel.
It’s essentially a wafer cookie made from two thin layers of baked dough joined by a caramel filling, but that description doesn’t do it any justice at all. There’s a reason it’s such an iconic Dutch treat.
Brew a coffee in your apartment/hotel room and pop a Stroopwafel on top of your mug, letting the steam hit it. After a minute or two you’ll have an extremely satisfying piece of gooey goodness ready to eat. Just be warned – it’s incredibly hard to stop after one!
3. Hang With the Locals
Cute streets are filled with small coffee shops and sweet little bistros. The bars spill out onto the cobbled streets, with most of them offering outdoor seating.
In the winter fluffy blankets lay waiting for you to snuggle under with a beer in hand. Despite it being cold enough to snow, the outdoor heaters really do keep the chill at bay. Teamed with the twinkly lights, I’d definitely recommend allowing a few hours to sit back with the locals. We loved it.
4. Visit the Market Square
Head to the main market square to soak up the atmosphere. The Dutch are big on their snacks, so you’ll see lots of stalls and little spots selling all kinds of meal fillers.
In December, cute cabins offer that Christmas market vibe, selling cute gifts and keepsakes.
5. Shop in Den Bosch
There are so many super cute, stylish boutiques and adorable independent shops in Den Bosch. Wander down the lanes and let the beautifully designed shop fronts pull you in. There are many in one of the most charming spots, Minderbroedersplein.
For more mainstream shops head to the main shopping street, Hinthamerstraat.
6. Hop on a Boat
A river cruise is one of the top activities in Den Bosch. There are a few companies offering tours, with this one offering the most options.
Travel through the old harbour, under bridges and past the city walls, all whilst learning about the history of the Den Bosch.
7. Eat at Sitio
Head to Sitio for dinner. It attracts a mixed crowd from couples to groups of all ages. At a few months old Nova was the only little one in the place, but no one seemed to mind. In fact it was quite the opposite!
This Den Bosch restaurant and bar serves a good range of options from the hefty burger to the more refined salmon fillet. It’s ideal for a group.
Book ahead if you have your heart set on a particular restaurant, even if that is only an hour or two before you’re planning to eat, as they get quite busy, especially at the weekend.
Address: Sitio, Korenbrugstraat 16, Den Bosch
8. Admire Sint Jan Kerk
If you want a bit of an architecture fix head to Sint Jan Kerk aka St. John’s Cathedral. Even if like me you’re not religious, it’s still a beautiful building to admire.
Address: Sint Jan Kerk, Torenstraat 16, Den Bosch
9. Visit De Loonse en Drunense National Park
Got a bit more time to play with during your visit to Den Bosch? Head to De Loonse en Drunense National Park aka Dunes of Loon and Drunen National Park to enjoy the beaches and sand dunes in this national park. Described as a little piece of desert in Holland, it’s beautiful.
Little ones will love building sand castles and everyone can enjoy the bike and walk trails. If you’re lucky you may even spot some wildlife, including birds of prey and badgers.
It’s just a 20-minute taxi ride from Den Bosch, so super doable.
Address: De Loonse, 5151 RG Drunen, Netherlands
10. Visit Nationaal Park De Biesbosch
Got even more time to play with during your visit to Den Bosch? Drive 40-minutes from the centre and you’ll find De Biesbosch National Park.
It’s another nature reserve, so perfect for wearing little ones out or just getting a bit of fresh air. There are lots of walking, cycling and even canoeing opportunities.
11. Culture Fix at Noordbrabants Museum
If you like museums or perhaps it’s raining, head to Noordbrabants Museum where you’ll find a collection of art, including some of Van Gough’s work, culture and history.
Children under the age of 18 are free and adult tickets cost 15 Euros. You can get 50% off if you have a student card.
Address: Noordbrabants Museum, Verwersstraat 41, ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Just a 10 minute taxi ride or 40 minute walk from the centre of Den Bosch you’ll find Heempark. Full of pretty flowers and wildlife, such as woodpeckers and colourful butterflies, it’s a nice spot for a stroll.
13. Splash at Sportiom Centre
If you’re travelling to Den Bosch with children and have a bit of extra time this is a good option. It’s basically home to a big aqua park, complete with caves, slides, wave pools and rocks. You can hop on an inflatable and slip and slide to your hearts content!
Open everyday except Mondays, it’s a cheap, fun day out. The water is warm and there’s even a dedicated children’s pool.
Address: Sportiom Centre, Victorialaan 10, 5213 JE ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Den Bosch With Kids
Once you’re in Den Bosch everything is walkable. It’s ideal for family travel as you don’t need to worry about a car seat for taxis. Simply use a baby carrier, or a sling in our case.
Hotels in Den Bosch
There are quite a few Den Bosch hotels, with many smack, bang in the centre. Hotel ‘t Keershuys is a beautifully designed hotel that’s only 500m from the train station.
And Golden Tulip Hotel Central is in the heart of Den Bosch and overlooks the market square. The lobby and other parts of the hotel are more stylish than the rooms, but it’s a good spot and they’re not that bad.
For something a little bit more quirky, but still stylish head to Yoga Bed and Breakfast. Free bikes are available during your stay and there’s an onsite children’s playground.
Apartments in Den Bosch
If you’re travelling with kids it may make life a bit easier to stay in an apartment in Den Bosch.
We booked Bossche Suites. It’s just a ten minute walk from the central station and three minutes from the main shopping street (Hinthamerstraat).
Our block was made up of just four suites and we lucked out with the loft room. It has exposed beams that kept Nova entertained, as well as things that you and I want, such as a fancy coffee machine, double sink and a super comfy bed.
Apart from Dunes of Loon and Drunen National Park everything I’ve mentioned is completely walkable and all pretty central. It’s perfect for a day or a weekend in Den Bosch.
Of course the great thing about visiting Den Bosch is that you can easily team it with a visit to Amsterdam, even if you only have a weekend in the Netherlands to play with.
How to Get To Den Bosch
1. Fly to Amsterdam
From the UK, fly directly to Amsterdam. Budget airlines like easyJet and Ryanair offer many flights. The Dutch airline, KLM, flies from major cities, but also regional hubs like Birmingham.
There are plenty of different flight times to choose from and it’s a super short flight, so it’s perfect for family travel. Nova was just two months old when we went.
2. Catch the Train to s’Hertogenbosch
From there it’s a really simple hour’s train ride. And you can get the train straight from the airport and they run every thirty minutes for the direct option. Easy peasy, right?
Tips for Den Bosch? Just make sure you look for the full name of s’Hertogenbosch, rather than Den Bosch on the timetable.
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