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Discover the rich history of Hoorn

In a time of trade, discovery and wealth for the Netherlands, the astonishing city of Hoorn was renowned for its importance for the Dutch East India Company. Discover the traditional architecture, the picturesque harbors and the old town, and you will instantly fall in love with this city, just like we have.

Everything you need for a day trip to Hoorn..

Things to do in Hoorn..

steam tram hoorn

Steam train –  from Hoorn to Medemblik

The steam tram from Hoorn to Medemblik started running in 1887. Today, you can still enjoy the beautiful surrounding landscape by taking a ride on this mighty steam tram. Get ready, jump on the tram, wait for the whistles, lean back and have a good time riding on a great piece of history.

westfries museum

Westfries Museum

Located in the main city square, the ‘Roode Steen’, the ‘Westfries Museum’ is Hoorn’s main museum. The museum exhibits the wealth of the Golden Age, from paintings, silverware and VOC related artefacts. Visiting the ‘Westfries Museum’ means going back in time and truly experiencing 17th century life.

halve maen hoorn

‘Halve Maen’  – 17th century VOC ship replica

The ‘Halve Maen’ was a ship built in 1609, owned and operated by the Dutch East India Company, which sailed to what is nowadays known as New York. In Hoorn, you can visit the replica of the ‘Halve Maen’ and get a true understanding of how hard 17th century ship life must have been.

Things to see in Hoorn..

‘Oosterpoort’ – Hoorn’s only remaining city gate (1578)

As the only remaining city gate of Hoorn, the ‘Oosterpoort’ is a real piece of history to behold. The gate was first built in 1578, and about 30 years later, the gate was expanded and a little house was built upon it. The gate is located next to the ‘Draafsingel’, a canal which was dug for defense purposes to protect the city center. Today, the gate blends in perfectly with everyday life and many locals use it on a daily basis to enter or leave the city center. 

oostereiland hoorn

‘Oostereiland’ – From Warehouse, to Prison, to Hotel & Cinema (1668)

Oostereiland allows you to go back in time and experience the lovely nature that Hoorn has to offer. Located next to the Grashaven, the large prison building is a real eye-catcher. Take the time to walk around the island, appreciate the view of Oostereiland on the open water (IJsselmeer), and enjoy great cakes and coffee at the prison-based cafe ‘Brasserie Oostereiland’. 

hoofdtoren hoorn

‘Hoofdtoren’ – Hoorn’s main defence tower

A sight you can’t ignore when strolling through the main harbor of Hoorn is ‘de Hoofdtoren’. Named after the dock, ‘Houten Hoofd’, which is directly located behind the large defense tower. ‘De Hoofdtoren’ is the main defense tower of Hoorn and was used between 1532 and 1614. Today, you can still enter the tower, and a restaurant is located on its top floor.

city walk hoorn

Free Interactive City Walk..

From a small town, to a key player in the battle against Spain..

The waterside town was founded in 716. In 1356, Hoorn received its official city rights, which rapidly fueled its growth as a trade city. Due to its strategic location and access to trade routes, Hoorn became a center of importance to the Dutch East India Company (VOC), whose main focus was the trade in commodities such as pepper, nutmeg and cloves. Hoorn played a crucial role in the existence of the so-called Dutch Golden Age, a time of prosperity and wealth. Today, you can still see and feel that wealth the city echoed to the rest of the world back in those days, with impressive historical facades, stunning architecture, marvelous museums and picturesque harbors.

Discover Hoorn with a city walk ..