Formerly deemed the Garden of Amsterdam, Hilversum is a serene, breezy city covered in trees (660 different varieties to be exact). Situated in Noord-Holland, it is a short metro ride away from Amsterdam, a perfect afternoon respite from the urban chaos. Travelers and locals flock to Hilversum for cycling or hiking through the heathlands, forest, and lakes surrounding the area.
Below is an optimal itinerary combining food, art, and the beauty of the city. To make your way to the Netherlands, check out www.fly.co.uk for airline tickets offered at low prices.
This award winning coffee shop brings the taste of Italy to Hilversum. Although the menu is in Dutch and the baristas have limited English, they are happy to give suggestions. I’d recommend the vegetarian goat cheese sandwich on local bread. Grab a lime green tea to go and prepare for an afternoon in the sun.
Van der Lindenlaan 125
Founded by Amsterdam bank director B.W. Blijdenstein in the 19th century, this 1.5 hectare botanical garden has gathered an extensive amount of rare and endangered trees and plants. It also contains one of the most impressive collection of conifers and other gymnosperms in the world. It is a wonderful retreat to wander around and photograph the flora.
Begin at Dudokpark 1
W.M Dudok crafted approximately 75 buildings in the city, making the entire city feel like an open-air museum for modernist architecture. To highlight the best of his work, the W.M. Dudok Architectural Route was created. This 10km, three-hour walk takes you through several of his most important works, including his most lauded work, Hilversum Town Hall. Another eye-catching building is the 2006 built Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. The colorful exterior is etched glass featuring important moments from Dutch television history.
As Hilversum caters primarily to the upmarket, there are a few splurge spots for fine dining. Curiously based in a historic Dutch farm, Royal Mandarin is considered to be one of the best Chinese restaurants in the country. The prices are high, but the quality of food and knowledgeable staff is comparable. Order from the Surprise Menu to allow the chef to demonstrate his best dishes.