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Oosterhout City Guide
The charming town of Oosterhout earned its official city rights in 1809. Yet the city's history goes back much further, with archaeological excavations showing evidence of settlement since prehistoric times. Located in the heart of the southern Netherlands, Ooosterhout has since been home to a booming ceramics industry, and is still a well-known centre of arts and crafts. ¶ Today, an Ooosterhout city guide reveals a vibrant, welcoming city. The perfectly preserved city centre offers an intriguing blend of the old and the new, where you'll find the 16th century Monastery of St. Catherine rubbing shoulders with modern shopping centres along ancient cobblestoned streets. The Efteling theme park is located a short drive away in the village of Kaatsheuvel, with a variety of rides and fairy-tale attractions. Ooosterhout is also well-situated for those seeking a more natural getaway, due to its close proximity to dense forests and golden sand dunes.
Things to do in Oosterhout
Oosterhout is a pleasurable destination for the whole family, with its sun-dappled streets, ice cream stands, and wide open parks. Children will enjoy a visit to the city's cheerful toy museum, which boasts a wide selection of vintage toys to delight all ages. The historic city centre market is dominated by St. John's Basilica, a Gothic church dating back to the 15th century. It holds special value for its ornate stained glass, which bathes the interior in a warm glow. One of the top things to do in Ooosterhout is visiting its bustling shops, which can be found in the Arnedshof shopping mall and nearby pedestrian streets. These include national chains as well as local boutiques, specialising in everything from party goods to handcrafted shoes.
Things to see in Oosterhout
For an interesting viewpoint into Oosterhout's history, you can pay a visit to the impressive ruined castle at Strijen. It stood at the strategic location on the border of the Duchy of Brabant and the County of Holland, but was destroyed during the Eighty Years' War. The stones were eventually used in the construction of many things you'll see in Ooosterhout, such as the Freedom House. In addition to the attractive sights in the quaint city centre, you can enjoy the fertile greenery of the Dutch countryside surrounding the city by visiting the Biesbosch. This region is known for its walking trails, lakes, and resting spots to enjoy. In the evening, you can return to Oosterhout to enjoy a show at the classic Bussel Theatre.
Oosterhout is conveniently located on two major motorways, including the A27 and A59. It's within 90 minutes' driving time of three major ports, while Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport is a one hour's drive. Bus links connect Oosterhout with neighbouring towns such as Breda, Tilburg, and Hertogenbosch. The nearest rail stations are in Breda and Gilze-Rijen, providing access to further destinations throughout the Netherlands. One of the best ways to get around the city centre is on foot, which allows you to admire the old-fashioned architecture and leisurely way of life. Bike rental and taxis also provide alternative means of Ooosterhout transport.
With its prevalence of pubs, theatres, and historic venues, Oosterhout is an ideal place to take in live music. One of the premier annual Oosterhout events is the Blues and Roots Festival, which has been held since 1988. It draws both local and international blues and roots musicians, who perform in local venues. The Park Festival is another prime live music event, held every May in the city's Battle Park and playing host to a diverse line-up of pop and rock acts. Carnival is also celebrated in Ooosterhout, with festive costumes, dancing, and musical performances lasting late into the night.
Restaurants in Oosterhout
Cuisine in this region embodies a blend of German, Belgian, and French influences. Traditional restaurants in Ooosterhout may serve dishes like potatoes and asparagus in a rich cheese sauce, or fruit and cream-filled pastries. Meals are often accompanied by potatoes, which are double-fried in the traditional Dutch method. ¶ In addition to restaurants serving this traditional Dutch cuisine, you'll also find a wide range of Mediterranean, Asian, and Pancake restaurants to select from in Ooosterhout. Many of these are clustered in the market area near St. John's Basilica, although you'll find cafes on nearly every corner in the city centre.