Alphen aan den Rijn
Alphen aan den Rijn is a town in the western Netherlands. The city is situated on the banks of the Old Rhine between Utrecht and Leiden. The area around Alphen aan den Rijn has been inhabited for 2000 years. During the Roman Empire, the Old Rhine was the head branch of the Rhine. On the modern center of the city, the Romans built a fortress (Castellum Albanianae). Remnants of the Romans have been found and can be seen in Leiden at the National Museum of Antiquities.
Alphen aan den Rijn is in the middle of four big cities (Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, The Hague) in the Randstad, the West-Center of the Netherlands, also known as the Green Heart. The large cities are a half hour drive away by car.
Alphen aan den Rijn has a railway station. Trains arrive coming from Leiden, Utrecht and Gouda.
- From Leiden, take the train to Utrecht.
- From Amsterdam, go to Leiden and change to Utrecht.
- From the Hague, go to Leiden and change to Utrecht.
- From Rotterdam, go to Gouda and change to Leiden or go to Leiden and change to Utrecht.
- From Utrecht, take the train to Leiden.
- From Amsterdam take the A4 to The Hague and Rotterdam. At crossing 4, Nieuw Vennep, take the N207 to Alphen aan den Rijn.
- From The Hague take the A4 to Amsterdam and at crossing 6a. Zoeterwoude Rijndijk, take the N11 to Alphen aan den Rijn.
- From Rotterdam take the A13 to The Hague, proceed over the A4 to Amsterdam and follow the route given for the Hague.
- From Utrecht take the A12 to Rotterdam/the and at crossing 12a Bodegraven take the N11 to Alphen aan den Rijn.
- Archeon. A 'theme park' about living history of the Netherlands, containing 43 buildings from the Prehistory, Roman and Middle Ages, founded in 1994.
- Avifauna. A bird park with garden, ponds, restaurant, hotel, playground founded in 1950, May 17.
- Recreation Park Zegerplas. With animal farm for children, stork park, pancake restaurant.
- Wet 'n Wild. At the Zegerplas, waterski and wakeboard possibilities.
- Green heart. Bicycle and walking routes through typical Dutch polders.
- Oudhoornse Kerk (Oudhoorn Church). A Protestant church at the border of the Old Rhine founded by Cornelis the Flemish.
- Remonstrantse Kerk (Remonsttant Church). Formerly a synagogue.
- Korenmolen de Eendracht (Cornmill de Eendracht). This mill was founded in 1752 and located at the north side of the river de Gouwe. In 1898 the mill has been transferred to Alphen aan den Rijn to replace another mill. Until 1955 the mill has been used commercially. Open every Saturday for public viewing.
- Old City Hall. Nowadays houses the music school. At the Burgemeester Visserpark.
- Town house. In 2003 the new State House has been opened. A revolutionary design with trends of openness accentuated by using glass.
- Catholic St Bonifatius Church. Founded in 1884.
- Crypt of the family De Smeth. In the Protestant church
- Advents Church. Formerly the first Bonifatius Church, but during the Eighty Years' War destroyed and rebuilt as Protestant church.
- 20 of Alphen. Athletics run of 20 km, every 2nd Sunday in March. Founded in 1952.
- Yearmarket. Every 3rd Wednesday in September. One of the largest Yearmarkets of the Netherlands with a small carnival.
- Old Timer day. On a Saturday in September.
- Taptoe Alphen. Saturday evening before the Yearmarket at the Thorbeckeplein.
- 2 hours of Alphen. On Queens day a windsurfing championship around Zegerplas.
Alphen aan den Rijn is a regional town with a lot of shops in the center of the city. The finished Masterplan has created more shopping facilities at the other side of the Old Rhine.
Most restaurants are located in or near the city center so make reservations. The given list is just a small part of all restaurant in Alphen aan den Rijn.
- De Gelaarsde Kat (Puss in Boots), Hooftstraat 81, 2496 GE, 0172-491401, French-Dutch, has a veranda at the Old Rhine.
- De Monnick, Raadhuisstraat 106, 2406 AH, 0172-495254, French Restaurant, higher prices but also better quality.
- El Caballo, Rhenanialaan 1, 2406 GS, 0172-424843, Argentina Meat Restaurant.
- Hong Kong City, P. Doelmanstraat 12, 2405 CE, Chinese Restaurant with a view at the Alphense Bridge and the Old Rhine.
- Is Morus Pizzeria, Raadhuisstraat 186, 2406 AK, 0172-475606, Not only Italian pizza's, but also meat and fish dishes.
- Proto Tapas Restaurant, Rijnkade 5, 0172-476566, Spanish Tapas, but the owners are Greek, situated at the Old Rhine with a view on the new city center.
Although there are very good restaurants in the center, it is worthy to look for restaurants outside the center.
- Alfred's Diner, C. Geellaan 43, 2406 JE, 0172-425757, French, higher prices but also better quality, situated in a park.
- Lubo Steal Grill, van Nesstraat 1a, 0172-499441, Balkan kitchen.
- Original Chines Palace, Burg. Bruijn Slotsingel 20, 2406 AE, 0172-436655, Located near the Zegerplas and in a chines pagode.
- Sari Djawi, Gouwsluisseweg 48, 2405 XS, 0172-472316, Indonesian kitchen, situated in an old mill at the old Rhine.
- Zorba the Greek, van Nesstraat 21, 2404 AV, 0172-493335, Greek kitchen with a very friendly owner.
- La Caleche, Hooftstraat 157, 2496 GG, 0172-492932.
- Kwatro, Hooftstraat 126, 2406 GM, 0172-472549
- Meeting Point, Thorbeckeplein 2, 2406 CG, 0172-474004
- De Natte, Julianastraat 19, 2405 CG, 0172-426193, Special Beer café
- Querelle Swing Café, Julianastraat 32, 2405 CH
- Under the Bridge, Hooftstraat 165, 2406 GH, Blues Rock Café
- Keukenhof - The best way to visit Keukenhof is to go to Leiden which can be used as a base by many to explore the tulip district in April and May. From the Central Station in Leiden there are special busses going directly to Keukenhof. (Bus service 54). If you want to avoid half an hour in a cramped bus for an extra 500 m walk, just ask which busses go to Lisse (50, 51 and 57).
- Rijksmuseum van Oudheden. (National Museum of Antiquities). Includes an outstanding collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities, and a small temple that was given to the Netherlands by the Egyptians for their help with the Aswan monuments transfer project. It also features an exhibition on the archeological history of the Netherlands including dug-up burial treasures and the like.