Middelburg (Zeeland)

Middelburg is in the capital of Zeeland. In colonial times, this was one of the most important cities in the country, and still today Middelburg is packed with monuments reminding of those golden times. A good part of the centre is still surrounded by the old, star shaped canal ring. Lined with boats and cycleways, this part of town is both attractive and typically Dutch. The centre is dominated by a large square, still regularly used as a market square and overlooked by the beautifully ornamented former town hall. Around there, you'll find a mostly pedestrianised shopping area.

Slightly further out from the centre is the shipping canal connecting Veerse Meer to Vlissingen. The train station is also located on the far side of this.

Get in

Topographical map of Middelburg

By rail, Middelburg is one of the stops on the so-called Zeeuwse lijn or Line F, running from Vlissingen via Middelburg to Goes, Bergen op Zoom and Roosendaal.

As for roads, the N57 originates here, passing four of the Delta Works dams, ending near Brielle and Rozenburg. From there, it connects further to the A15. The A58 passes Middelburg on its way from Flushing to Goes and on to the A4. There's a clearly marked exit for Middelburg.

Rotterdam is the closest airport, served mostly by discount carriers. Brussels Zaventem is the nearest large international airport (1.15h drive), and Amsterdam Schiphol is about 2 hours from Middelburg.

Get around

The centre of the city is well navigable on foot and very approachable by bike. Despite the pedestrian zones, much of the centre is accessible by car. Like in many Dutch cities, parking can be hard though and is typically paid (up to €2 per hour) , with very few options in the old centre. There are several parking garages just out of the centre, which are well indicated when approaching the city centre.

See

The Kuiperspoort, once home to the city's tub makers guild, is now one of the most picturesque alleys
The massive former abbey is now home to the Zeeuws Museum

Hundreds of Middelburgs monuments were damaged or completely destroyed in WWII, but in the decades that followed, the city worked hard to rebuild its centre and restore the cultural heritage that remains. And with success, as over 1100 national monuments make Middelburg a top ten Dutch heritage site. There's a clearly historic feel to the old town, which is encircled by a pretty pattern of canals, once part of the 1595 Sea Beggars fortifications.

To see the best of town, stroll along the canals and through the old streets around the charming Market Square. There, you'll see the beautiful former City Hall, now in use by the university. Right in the city centre also stands the impressive Middelburg Abbey, built in the 12th century by Norbertine monks. The massive complex has a more or less round shape with a pretty square in the middle. It has 3 churches, 5 towers and a number of gates. The tallest abbey tower is called Lange Jan Long John, and is the most famous landmark in the Middelburg skyline. It's accessible for visitors and offers a great view over town. After the 2 year siege of Middelburg in 1572-1574, the abbey life was ended by force and the buildings were used for local and regional government. Today, the abbey complex is (among other things) home to the Zeeuws Museum.

Do

Eat

There are plenty of large and small eateries, serving to all tastes. The Market Square, Plein 1940, the Vlasmarkt and the Dam are good places to look for bars and restaurants.

Drink

Especially on weekends, the city centre has plenty of bar activity in the evenings. The main areas are roughly the same as the ones where the restaurants are, including the Market Square and the Vlasmarkt. Popular places include café Brooklyn and Seventy Seven (Market Square), and Schuttershof on the Vlasmarkt. The last one is open later than most others, until about 4am. For real clubbing you'd have to go out of town though, and the best option then is perhaps 'De Hooizolder' in Westcapelle. A taxi there from the Plein 1940 will cost around €40.

If you like beer, De Mug on the Vlasmarkt is your best bet, as it serves a wide selection, including many Belgian brands.

Sleep

There's a good selection of hotels in the city, but, as in many Dutch cities, few of them really lie in the low budget range. There's no youth hostel in town, but if you're travelling on a budget you might consider the one in nearby Vlissingen, as that's only a few km away. Alternatively, bring a tent and go camping, as several camp grounds are available in the area.

Go next

Routes through Middelburg

Vlissingen  W  E  Bergen op Zoom Eindhoven


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, December 12, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.