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Zoetermeer City Guide
Located in South Holland in the Netherlands, Zoetermeer provides convenient access to nearby cities such as The Hague and Rotterdam while exuding significant charm on its own. In the 1930's, there were over 50 butter farmers in the region, earning the city the title of the "Butter Village" in a Zoetermeer city guide. ¶ Today you'll find far more than just butter farms. Zoetermeer is a charming, fast-paced, and lively destination on. It's a popular centre of both outdoor and indoor recreation activities, from water sports to indoor skiing. Although the commercial city centre is dominated by skyscrapers and modern shopping malls, Zoetermeer's origins as a quaint fishing village are still evident in the medieval buildings on the other side of Lake Dobbe. The Old Church is one of the top attractions in town, with Classical architecture and construction dating back to the 16th century.
Things to do in Zoetermeer
Zoetermeer is becoming increasingly known as a top recreation centre in South Holland, with its theatres, cinemas, and entertainment complexes. One of the most popular things to do in Zoetermeer is pay a visit to SnowWorld. This sports complex is notable for being the first indoor ski slope in Europe. It opened in 1996 and now boasts three slopes for its estimated one million visitors each year. Another exciting recreational opportunity is Dutch Water Dreams, an artificial wild water rafting circuit. It's mainly used for training by rafting teams, but is also open to more casual visitors. In addition to these manmade attractions, you can explore the natural side of Zoetermeer in its expansive Westerpark, which rivals New York's Central Park in size and landscaping.
Things to see in Zoetermeer
At first glance the city will seem quite modern and new, but further exploration will reveal traditional things to see in Zoetermeer like the Vlamingstraat. This is a small dyke with water on one side, and a collection of lovely cottages and villas on the other. The Dorpstraat is another area to explore, with its small boutiques and traditional pubs. This area also features the historic "De Hoop" windmill, which is used as a corn mill. At the northern end of Zoetermeer, you'll also find a large artificial lake called the "Zoetermeerse Plas," which comprises part of the vast Noord Aa Recreational Area. It includes a serene beach and marina, which you can admire while enjoying the brisk air during a windsurfing or sailing session.
There's a very thorough system of Zoetermeer transport, due to its popularity with commuters. Driving is one option, particularly for those arriving in Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. When driving in, simply take the A12 highway to the Zeotermeer-Oost or Zoetermeer Centrum exits. The city's "ranstadtrail" light rail system provides easy connections from The Hague, Rotterdam, and Leidschendam. For areas not covered by light rail, you can find extensive local busses. All busses depart from Zoetermeer Centrum West, near the town hall. It's also possible to rent a bicycle in the city centre if you want to explore at your own leisure.
Liberation Day takes place on May 5 to celebrate the end of the German occupation in WWII. The festival takes place at the central Market, with an open mic for local talent along with dancing and music. King's Day is also one of the top Zoetermeer events, with food stalls and live music. The Floravontuur Walk takes place in May. This event leads participants through a series of hikes through the city and the surrounding countryside. And if you're interested in finding out what the future holds, the neighbourhood association Buyten Red plays host to a Spiritual Fair in October.
Restaurants in Zoetermeer
The culinary traditions in Zoetermeer date back to its success as a major centre of butter production in the 1930's. Local dairy products are rich, fresh, and delectable. Famous cheese such as Edam, Gouda, and Leyden come from the surrounding region. Its proximity to the sea also means that you can find excellent fresh herring, mussels, and oysters used in the local dishes. ¶ You'll find a concentration of Chinese and Indonesian restaurants in the village centre of the Dorp neighbourhood. The Staduisplein is a bustling hub of restaurants in Zoetermeer, where you can try simple yet tasty Dutch dishes.