Hoorn is ‘the place to be’ for lovers of cultural and culinary highlights. A city in which is rich of ample means to go out, shop, play sports and socialize. The monumental city centre with modern facilities in which the dynamic and diverse mix of beautiful shops, fun bars and trendy restaurants make an attractive streetscape.
Events like te cheese market, the Hoorn Fairground with it’s traditional “Lappendag”, the horse race and many other themed days and markets make the city centre exciting and alive. The historic harbor, our steam train, the theatre, the many musea, swimming pool, ice skating rink and the spa make Hoorn a city in which there is always plenty to experience.
Around the harbor there is a great many to see: the old lock, the cheese warehouses and the modern Yachting clubs with all amenities. The “Houten Hoofd” (the wooden berths), these days used by the historic merchant sailing vessels and the Main Tower both date from the 17th century. In the immediate surroundings of the harbor there are many terraces, restaurants and park benches available to enjoy the activity.
Hoorn is a museum city as well. There are four different museums within walking distance of each other. The Museum of the 20th Century, located within a former cheese warehouse, offers an exciting journey through time, while the West-Frisian museum gives a nice impression of the city and region’s history.
The museum has such treasures of different nature that a single description won’t do it justice. It has a wealth of archeological findings, with recent uncovered artifacts shedding new light on Hoorn’s past.
The museum has four militia portraits that adorn the 17th century militia hall, painted by Jan Albertszoon Rotius. These wall-covering paintings accurately portray the wealth of the 17th century. The hall is home to a painting of Jan Pieterszoon Coen and his young wife Eva Ment, founder of Batavia and a – formerly renowned, infamous at present – commander of the VOC . Besides that, there are navigation tools, maps and ship models from that same VOC era.
What is more, the museum carries a wealthy collection of silver, various aquarelle wallpaper designs (Hoorn owned a lucrative wallpaper factory in the 18th century), numerous curiosities, old clock tower timepieces, many West-Frisian costumes and a collection of naïve paintings. All of these wondrous collections are displayed in historically styled rooms, an ancient garden, an attic crafts room and archeological basements.
The small Toy Museum is located near the harbour. A 17th-century building with a wooden cornice and a plaster facade to give it an early 19th century image, is now the home to an impressive collection of toys. Apart from encountering puzzles and games, one will see antique dolls and doll houses, tin toys, miniature warehouses and ‘Dinky Toys’ up for view. It is a collection that clearly portrays how children have entertained themselves throughout the centuries. Toy Museum Hoorn, Italiaanse Zeedijk 106, 1621 AK Hoorn, 0229-217589.
Hoorn is also the first stop of the Museum Steamtram, which journeys to Medemblik. The tram passes by wonderfully restored station buildings during the ride, where both the waiting room and station master office have been reverted back to their original state. Freight wagons travel along with the tram, adorned with historical, rounded enamel advertisements. The tram itself is, needless to say, pulled by a genuine steam locomotive. Once you arrive in Medemblik, you may if you so desire travel onwards to Enkhuizen with the “Friesland” museum ship.
Hoorn, the shopping centre of West-Friesland. With a full range of shops, Hoorn offers shopping opportunities for recreative shopping, sustainable investments as well as for covering daily grocery needs. Hoorn has three weekly outdoor markets:
- on Saturday in the inner city
- on Tuesday in the Kersenboogerd
- on Wednesday in Risdam
Fairy-tale Wonderland (“Sprookjeswonderland” in dutch) is a theme park close to Enkhuizen and is entirely focused around fairytales. The themepark depicts different fairytales through the use of (moving) dolls and houses. It is also home to numerous attractions, all of which again pay homage to different fairytales. Fairytale Wonderland is located in the periphery of Enkhuizen; next to the Ijsselmeer. The themepark predominantly focuses on families with young children. The fairy tales are often seen in individual houses, sometimes indoors.
Theatre, conference centre
Theatre The Park is a versatile theatre that has both a large hall and a hall with a flat floor. The ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ restaurant is there to enjoy dinner prior to attending a performance. Of course, the restaurant can also be visited if you are not attending anything. The Park has up to some 300 performances per year.
Ballorig is an indoor playground in the Hoorn municipality for children aged 0 up to 12. Children can enjoy all kinds of activities here, from climbing, scrambling, gliding, jumping to playing in the ball pit. There is a separate area for the youngest children up to age 4. As the children go wild in the playground, the parents or supervisors can enjoy a nice cup of coffee or a snack in the restaurant.
Hoorn possessed one of the largest cheese markets of North Holland in the 19th century. Hoorn’s cheese market, in collaboration with Beemsterkaas, tells the historic tale through a theatric performance with a market overseer, a setter, cheese carriers, traders, farmers and a horse & wagon. Both on Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening, you may attend the performance (of approximately 1 hour) during the summer season at the Rode Steen.