Walking tour

Free walking tour Hoorn

Self-guided walking tour Hoorn..

There is no better way to discover and experience Hoorn than by strolling through the streets. This city-walk through the center and harbors of Hoorn allows you to discover Hoorn and its well-known landmarks as close as possible. The free walking tour gives you the opportunity to enjoy Hoorn all by yourself. Use our interactive map and read more about the history.

Distance: 3km (1.9 mile)
Estimated time: 60-90 minutes (including sightseeing)

Go to walking route now!


Start your free city walk in Hoorn – map of Hoorn:

map of hoorn

Prefer a walking tour with a guide?

If you really want to get to know Hoorn, book a guided tour! Exploring Hoorn, is a lot more fun with a local expert! Join Alette in your discovery of Hoorn and learn all about Hoorn’s rich history.

More info

1. Starting point: Roode Steen – Hoorn’s main city square

Being the main square in Hoorn, the ‘Roode Steen’ is a site you don’t want to miss. The centrally located square is the crossroad from several shopping streets to the city’s harbors. On the ‘Roode Steen’, you can also find the ‘Westfries Museum’ and the statue of ‘Jan Pieterszoon Coen’. Literally translated in ‘Red Stone’ this particular place got its name from the many executions that happened on the square. Next to the statue of Jan Pieterszoon Coen a large red stone is a silent witness of the past.

2. ‘Vismarkt’ – Fish Market

The ‘Fish Market’ (Vismarkt) in Hoorn, is one of the shortest streets in Hoorn. Only 9 buildings make this a full street. The street got it’s name from the Fish Market which was held on this street till 1912. The Vismarkt connects the main city center with the harbours of Hoorn.

3. Korenmarkt – Connecting the city with the harbours

The ‘Korenmarkt’ is the street name of the street connecting the ‘Appelhaven’ with the main harbour. The street is located next to a canal, which holds two small bridges, which are nowadays official city monuments. The canal was created in 1558, to make it easier to reach the warehouses on on the street, where grain used to be stored. In Dutch ‘Koren’ translates to ‘grain’, where most of the warehouses used to store grain.

4. Binnenhaven – Hoorn’s main harbour

binnen haven hoorn

The main harbor of Hoorn is the ‘binnenhaven’, which holds a very important place in the city’s history. As a key destination in the Dutch Golden Age, the ‘binnenhaven’ was the center of trade. With the arrival of large ships such as the ‘Bontekoe’, it became an important place for business. The harbor holds some of the most beautiful warehouses in traditional style with impressive facades.

5. ‘Scheepsjongens van de Bontekoe’

‘De Scheepsjongens van de Bontekoe’ or ‘Bontekoe’s Cabin Boys’ is a story written by Johan Fabricius and is inspired by the journals of Willem Bontekoe. The story is about three cabin boys: Padde, Hajo and Rolf, who were the cabin boys of skipper WIllem Bontekoe. The boys joined Willem Bontekoe on his ship ‘Nieuw Hoorn’, destined for Dutch India. Padde caused a fire on the ship which led to a massive explosion. Only 70 out of 200 crew members survived the incident. They continued their journey to Sumatra for more adventures to come. In 2007, a movie with the same title was released.

6. De Hoofdtoren – Hoorn’s main defense tower

hoofdtoren hoorn

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. Don’t forget to walk around the tower, to enjoy the tower from the waterside.

7. Oostereiland – from Prison to Hotel & Cinema


Over the years, Oostereiland has taken different shapes, while it all started in 1662 when the artificial island appeared out of the ‘Zuiderzee’. Soon after creating the island, when the Dutch East Indian Company was flourishing, homes and warehouses were built on the island. For a long time, the island was also used by the Admiralty (marine). Looking back at the diverse history of the island, it’s most known for its prison that operated between 1829 and 2003. In 2012, a complete renovation of the complex that included the warehouses and prison was completed. Today, the buildings on the island are used as a cinema, museum, office space, apartments, restaurant and hotel. The fun fact is that the hotel rooms are actually old prison cells. On Oostereiland, you can also find the ‘Halve Maen’, which is a replica of a 17th century Dutch East Indian Company ship.

8. Grashaven – Hoorn’s largest harbour


Just around the corner of the main harbor and next to Oostereiland, you can find the ‘Grashaven’. More efficient than the old city harbor and a lot more structured, the ‘Grashaven’ is mostly used by boat owners, usually locals and visitors to the city.

9. Westerdijk & ‘Het Park’ Theatre – Open view over the IJsselmeer

watertaxi hoorn

The Westerdijk offers an amazing view over the open water and leads to ‘Het Park’, which is the official name of the theatre in Hoorn, which is located at the edge of the city with a beautiful view over the IJsselmeer. The building is recognizable by its unique roof color and shape. While the building was officially opened by the queen in 2004, it had to overcome a major setback when the building completely collapsed in 2001 due to a technical error. During the year, you can visit this location for a wide variety of shows; from musicals over concerts to stand-up comedy. If you plan to visit Hoorn, check out their website and make sure you book your tickets in advance.

10. Grote Noord – Hoorn’s main shopping street

grote noord shopping in hoorn

The main shopping street in Hoorn is the ‘Grote Noord’. Together with the ‘Kleine Noord’, you can find a wide variety of shops by wandering through these two streets. The ‘Grote Noord’ was first to be established around the 14th Century and back then it was called ‘Noertstraat’. The shopping street is most busy on Saturdays, when many of the locals go for their weekly round of shopping.

11. Kerkplein – Grote Kerk

grote kerk hoorn

‘Het Kerkplein’ literally means ‘Church Square’, where the ‘Grote Kerk’ is located on the square. ‘Het Kerkplein’ is, next to the ‘Roode Steen’, the second most famous square in Hoorn. The ‘Grote Kerk’ is built in 1881 and has a height of 60 meters. On the ‘Kerkplein’, you can also find the ‘St. Jansgasthuis’.

During the city walk you will walk by..

De Hoofdtoren

hoofdtoren houten hoofd


oostereiland hoorn

Jan Pieterszoon Coen – de Roode Steen


St. Jansgasthuis – Kerkplein 

Koepelkerk – Grote Noord/ Roode Steen

koepelkerk hoorn


haven hoorn

Explore the city center of Hoorn with a free walking tour..

Exploring a city by foot, is most likely the best way to enjoy the architecture and different sights. For this reason, we are happy to offer you our free walking tour. The free tour is a self-guided walking tour, through the city center of Hoorn. The tour allows you to experience the most important sights Hoorn has to offer. This makes it a perfect way to explore the city, if you are visiting Hoorn for a day. The tour starts the the ‘Roode Steen’ and includes part of the city center, the main harbour of Hoorn and the main shopping street. The self-guided city walk takes approximately 1 – 1,5 hour.