Here you will find all the tourist information about Hoorn, the Netherlands that you need for a visit. Read about the sights, restaurants, hotels and things to do.
Hoorn is a historic port city located at the front of the Markermeer, and a very important trade city in the Netherlands during the Dutch Golden Age (1602 – 1702). In the historic center of Hoorn many traces of this past can be admired. The city has 368 national monuments and just over 74,000 inhabitants. At about 35 minutes from Amsterdam Hoorn is very worthwhile to visit and to spend a day wandering around the cozy streets and alleys. It is a perfect base for a multi-day visit to Holland.
Sights and monuments Hoorn
My favorite landmark is without a doubt the Hoofdtoren / Main Tower. And this is not just about the tower itself but also about the surroundings. The tower itself was built in 1532 …read more!
2. Roode Steen
De Roode Steen (Red Stone) is the central square of Hoorn and is surrounded by a collection of monuments.For the inhabitants of Hoorn it is a kind of summer living room ….read more!
Among my favorite sights, the Oostereiland (Eastern island) cannot be missed. When I take a walk around the city I almost always walk around the Oostereiland. ….read more.
Private tours with local guide Alette
If you really want to get to know Hoorn, book a guided tour! Ideal for families, couples or larger groups. I will take you along the historical sights, the hidden pearls and will introduce you to the stories of the city.
On a tour, we can’t escape the historical monuments, but the stories about the inhabitants are just as interesting. I take you along on an instructive but above all fun walk! Guests and participants rate Local Guide Hoorn with five stars at Google and five stars at Tripadvisor! Tours are always tailor made and usually last 1.5 to 2 hours.
Private guided tours
Highlight tour Hoorn
During the Highlight tour I will take you along the most important monuments of the city such as: the Main Tower, the central square (the Roode Steen) including ‘De Oude Waegh’, the Bossu houses and much more. …more info
Golden Age tour
During the Golden Age guided tour we will pass the most beautiful monuments from this period. In this time Hoorn was an important and rich trading city. We visit the old harbor and the most beautiful squares …more info
Harbour tour Hoorn
The harbor tour takes us along the various old and new harbors of Hoorn. Of course we meet the ‘Shipboys of Bontekoe’ and pass by the Main Tower (Hoofdtoren), the Eastern Island (Oostereiland) …more info
What to do in Hoorn?
Museum 20e Eeuw
The Museum of the 20th Century in Hoorn tells about life in the Netherlands during the last century on the basis of hundreds of objects and dozens of interiors. A real attraction for young and old. The building alone is worth a visit.
Forget futuristic time machines and space travel. The most exciting journey through time is made in an original steam train through the historic triangle Hoorn – Medemblik – Enkhuizen. Immerse yourself and experience history.
The ‘Westfries Museum’ displays the wealth of the Dutch Golden Age in more than 25 furnished rooms with painting, porcelain, glass and silverware. You step through the gates of the 17th-century monument and walk into the Golden Age.
Where to stay in Hoorn?
Located directly by the main square in the historic center and opened in 2020. Ysbrantsz has beautiful rooms and a very nice restaurant. Really a ‘relax-place’ for a long weekend or midweek in Hoorn. Certainly not the cheapest hotel in Hoorn but worth every euro.
Have you always wanted to spend a night in a real prison? This is your chance! In this former prison you will receive a warm welcome. The location is great with a view of the old harbor of Hoorn. No excessive luxury, but clean rooms with excellent care.
Perhaps this is the most special B&B in all of the Netherlands. Sleeping in a defense tower along the old city canal of Hoorn! This listed building has recently been converted into a B&B and is also located close to the railway station. Make sure you reserve on time!
Where to eat in Hoorn?
Without doubt the best restaurant in Hoorn and for years awarded a Michelin star. Despite the stature of Lucas Rive, the atmosphere is very casual and everyone will feel at home. The restaurant is located on the old inner harbor in the historic center.
De zwarte olifant
The Zwarte Olifant (Black Elephant) is one of my personal favorites. A restaurant where you can eat very good vegetarian food. The restaurant is a bit hidden in an alley near the central square, but is worth a little search.
A special restaurant in a special building with special people! Ridderikhoff is a restaurant that offers work experience places to people with a distance to the labor market. This guarantees you service with extra attention. And the chef knows what he’s doing!
Close to Hoorn
Enkhuizen: 19 km
By train you will be in Enkhuizen in 25 minutes. Enkhuizen, like Hoorn, is a historic trade town full of monuments from the Dutch Golden Age. Take a walk around the city gate ‘Drommedaris’ and through the old center. On a beautiful day you can also bike to Enkhuizen via the beautiful village of Westwoud.
Medemblik: 20 km
You can get there by bus in 36 minutes. Of course you can also take the steam train or get on a bike. Medemblik is the oldest city in West Friesland and received city rights as early as 1289. Radboud Castle and the Steam Engine Museum are worth visiting and are good to combine with a city walk.
Edam: 19 km
If the weather is nice you can cycle along the Zuiderzeedijk to Edam in less than an hour. By bus you are there in 30 minutes. This small town has a nice old center and on a nice day it is a great place to have lunch at the Damhotel. On Wednesdays you can visit Fort Edam, part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam.
How to get to Hoorn
From Amsterdam it is only 32 minutes by train to Hoorn. The train station of Hoorn center is only a 3 minute walk away from the historic center. A one-way ticket from Amsterdam to Hoorn costs approximately 9. Hoorn also has regular and direct train connections with Alkmaar, Haarlem and Schiphol Airport.
There is a good bus connection between Hoorn and Amsterdam. The bus takes you along other historical towns such as Monnickendam and Edam. From Amsterdam to Hoorn it takes about 56 minutes and a single trip by bus costs about 7 euros. From the bus station you can walk straight into the historic center of Hoorn.
Hoorn is located along the A7 freeway and is very easily accessible by car. The city has a large number of parking lots situated along the edge of the historic center. The following parking lots are conveniently located: (1) Parking garage Schouwburg Het Park, (2) Parking lot de Nieuwe Wal and (3) Parking lot Pelmolenpad.
Brief history of Hoorn
Hoorn originated somewhere between 1200 and 1300 around the small river ‘Gouw’ that flowed into the Zuiderzee. Because of its favorable location Hoorn was a logical place for trade. In 1356 Hoorn was rich enough to be able to buy city rights.
Dutch Golden Age (1600 – 1700)
In 1572 Hoorn, along with the rest of the region, took sides with William of Orange in the fight against Spanish rule. Hoorn was freed from Spanish hands at an early stage and quickly profited from the free trade opportunities. Hoorn became the administrative and economic center of the area north of Amsterdam.
1700 – 1900 period
However, Hoorn could not compete with Amsterdam. More and more ships passed Hoorn and the foundation of the Batavian Republic in 1795 put an end to all administrative functions of Hoorn. In the nineteenth century trade flourished for a while, thanks to the large agricultural production of the area around the city.
Recent history of Hoorn
In the twentieth century this market function disappeared again, but Hoorn remained an important city for the region. From 1970 the city got a new function as an ‘overflow’ for the overcrowded Amsterdam.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the key features of Hoorn, the Netherlands?
Inhabitants Hoorn: approx. 74,000
Province: North Holland
Postal code(s): 1620-1628, 1689, 1695
The city lies on the edge of the Markermeer about 35km above Amsterdam. Hoorn has a beautiful historic center with more than 300 national monuments and a picturesque old harbor. Hoorn has a rich history as a trade town and is known as “Monument of the Dutch Golden Age”. Hoorn is regularly in the news because there is a statue of Jan Pieterszoon Coen, a controversial historical figure.
Is Hoorn worth a visit?
Hoorn is definitely worth a visit. The compact historic center is ideal for a city walk or guided tour. The most important monuments are within a radius of 1.5 km and can be visited in one walk. Besides the beautiful squares, stately streets and ancient alleys, the historic harbor of Hoorn is an absolute must see. In addition, Hoorn has several nice museums for young and old.
What are the best things to do in Hoorn?
The most enjoyable things to do in Hoorn are:
(1) A guide tour with guide Alette
(2) The Museum of the 20th Century
(3) The Museum Steam Tram Hoorn – Medemblik
(4) The Westfries Museum
What are the main sights?
The main sights and monuments of Hoorn are:
(1) the Roode Steen (central square) with the Staten College;
(2) the Hoofdtoren and the Houten Hoofd;
(3) the Oostereiland;
(4) the Oosterpoort;
(5) the Oude Doelenkade.
Click here for a complete list of sights plus a map!