Download GPX file for this article
52.20004.4000Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Not to be confused with Valkenburg aan de Geul, the namesake town in Limburg..
Beach huts at Katwijk aan Zee.

Katwijk is a town and municipality in South Holland, the Netherlands consisting of Valkenburg, Katwijk aan den Rijn (Katwijk on the Rhine), Katwijk Noord (Katwijk North), Rijnsburg and Katwijk aan Zee (Katwijk on Sea), which together house some 65,000 people.


Katwijk aan Zee and Katwijk aan den Rijn were once two separate towns, with Aan Zee being a fisherman's town and Aan den Rijn being more agricultural. Over time both towns grew together along with Valkenburg. The municipal office is held on the border of the two Katwijks, with the town hall itself on the Aan de Rijn-side, and the mayor's house being on the Aan Zee-side. This has been done so to not favor any of the two Katwijks during the merging of the two former municipalities. North of Katwijk aan Zee is a third district with Katwijk in its name, Katwijk-Noord, which consists of mostly post-war housing.


Valkenburg is the oldest of the five districts. It began as a part of the county of Utrecht, and was transferred to the county of Holland in the 12th century. Katwijk and Valkenburg were always a part of the same ambacht, though the two were split when Valkenburg was sold in 1615. In 1798, during Batavian times, the municipal forms such as heerlijkheden, which Valkenburg was one of, were being dropped in favor of general municipalities. After annexation of the Batavian Republic by Napoleonic France in 1810, a new norm for municipalities was added, stating that a municipality needed to have at least five hundred inhabitants to be considered a municipality. Valkenburg did not, and was therefore reunited with Katwijk, only to split apart again after these rules were dropped following Napoleon's defeat and independence of the Netherlands. Since 2006, the municipalities have been joined again under the name "Katwijk".


Katwijk came to be where the Old Rhine meets the North Sea, possibly being named after the Germanic tribes that once lived there, the Chatten, with the -wijk suffix coming from the Latin word vicus, meaning settlement. The aan de Rijn suffix refers to the Rhine river, which used to run here until the eleventh century, when the river changed directions, leaving the Oude Rijn (Old Rhine) as a narrower river through the town.

Katwijk aan den Rijn is first mentioned in a 1231 document. The town lost its fish market to Katwijk aan Zee in 1388, after which Katwijk aan den Rijn focused more on agriculture. Katwijk aan den Rijn was besides that a small regional hub for water-bound transport. In the twentieth century, the Katwijk vegetable market grew bigger, with Katwijk being the biggest producer of carrots in Europe. The town lost this title at the start of the twenty-first century, when the vegetable market was disbanded.

Get in[edit]

Traffic in Katwijk

By car[edit]

All motorized traffic towards Katwijk uses the N206. Once on this road, follow signs leading you to Katwijk aan Zee. From here, follow the signs towards "Boulevard".

From Amsterdam, take the A4 heading for Schiphol and Leiden. Directly after exit 4 (Nieuw-Vennep), switch onto the A44. Here you take exit 8 (Leiden) followed by a right turn onto the N206. From here, use the directions listed above.

From The Hague, use the N44 heading for Wassenaar. This road will become the A44, which you should exit at exit 8 (Leiden), followed by a left turn onto the N206, after which you follow the directions above.

From Utrecht, use the A12 heading for Gouda. At exit 12a, head onto the N11 heading for Alphen aan den Rijn. You should follow this road until it connects to the A4, which you turn onto using a left turn. Immediately take the next exit on the A4 (exit 7, Zoeterwoude-Dorp). At the roundabout at the end of the exitramp you should take a right, followed by a left turn onto the N206, which you follow through the suburbs of Leiden. Once you've passed underneath the A44 highway, you should follow the instructions above.

By public transit[edit]

Katwijk does not have a train station. Instead, 1 Leiden Centraal is the nearest train station. Once here, you can transfer onto a bus heading for Katwijk. Several bus routes connect Katwijk with Leiden. Bus 30 runs from Leiden station to the beach in Katwijk. Bus 90 connects the central station of The Hague with the beach in Katwijk.

Get around[edit]

The town is small, and easy to walk around.




The main shopping streets of Katwijk are Taatedam, Voorstraat, Emmaplein and Princestraat, all very close to the Boulevard and the beach.




Dunes around Katwijk

Nearly all of the hotels in and around Katwijk are on the beachfront. If this is not what you're looking for, there are a few further in town.

Not near the beach:


Go next[edit]

  • Leiden - This typically Dutch town is known for it's old university and as the birthplace of Rembrandt.
  • Wassenaar is best known for its enormous swimming pool and amusement park Duinrell.
  • The Bollenstreek, which Katwijk is a part of, is known and named after the beautiful flowers that colour the countryside every summer. The best example of this is the Keukenhof in Lisse.
  • The Hague, one of the biggest cities in the Netherlands and home of the Dutch parliament.
Routes through Katwijk
HaarlemNoordwijk  N National route N206 S  LeidenZoetermeer

This city travel guide to Katwijk is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.