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Tilburg is a large city in southern Netherlands. It started to grow during the Industrial Revolution, when wool factories were set up, thus making it the wool city of the Netherlands. Because wool was treated with urine during processing, employees had to bring along a full bottle to work every morning. This gave the Tilburgers their nickname of Kruikezeikers. As of April 1, 2011, Tilburg has 206.186 inhabitants.

Understand

History

Tilburg already existed in the late medieval period, when there was West-Tilburg and East-Tilburg (Which is now in Oisterwijk). The lordship was known as Greater Tilburg, of which it was first Oisterwijk also with it, later it was Goirle. It was a part of the Bailiwick of 's-Hertogenbosch. Around the late 15th century, Tilburg contained a castle and Herd Places. These small places, streets with houses along it and agriculture between those streets formed the structure of which would once become the city of Tilburg.

Going further to the 18th century, slightly the first herd places became filled. In 1809, Louis Napoleon gave Tilburg city rights, after centuries of neglecting by the Dutch politics due to the catholic background of the city. However, the King William II, had found his nice place in Tilburg, and gave the mission to build a palace. Sadly, three weeks before completion in 1849, William II died. The palace is still standing as one of the few who survived the mayor Becht's destruction terror in the '60s.

The city expanded rapidly in the coming century, from being not much more than a village, to one of the largest cities in the Netherlands. The industrial revolution meant that hundreds of looms were standing in the city, filling the rest of the former herd places. Wool and textiles from Tilburg were very known at the first half of the 20th century. These times gave Tilburg the name of Kruikenzeikersstad (Jars-pissing-people city).

As the 2nd World War was over, Tilburg shortly retained this position until halfway the 1960s. Since then, the economy would implode, that did not happen due to government money to attract Tilburg for modern industries. Many monuments have not survived the renewal terror from Cees Becht in the 1960s. Beautiful historical buildings have made place for wider roads and gray flats. Also the train station was a historical one, but isn't anymore.

Tourist Information: VVV Tilburg, Nieuwlandstraat 34, 0900 2020815, [1]

Get in

Central Station of Tilburg

By train

Tilburg is connected to the rest of the country by a twice an hour Intercity service, bound to both Eindhoven - Venlo and Breda - Rotterdam - The Hague.

A second intercity goes twice an hour from Flushing-Middelburg-Bergen op Zoom-Breda to Tilburg and goes further 's-Hertogenbosch-Nijmegen-Arnhem-Zwolle. Trains in the Netherlands usually drive from 5.30/6AM up to 12AM.

Intercity trains will drive in the night on Friday and Saturday nights from and to Eindhoven, 's-Hertogenbosch and Breda/Rotterdam/The Hague from midnight to 4AM.

By car

Tilburg is connected by highway only from Breda (with Belgium, Rotterdam-The Hague) and Eindhoven (Limburg, Ardennes, Rhine-Ruhr). To Waalwijk, it goes partially on a highway, and that is also for the city of 's-Hertogenbosch (!), which is not recommended for travelling fast and safe. From Turnhout it is the small road via Ravels, Poppel and Goirle.

By bus

An exception for the buses from Waalwijk, the Efteling, Oosterhout and Turnhout, buses are useless. Tilburg is the largest Dutch city without Eurolines connection! This makes the trains to Breda and Eindhoven useful to go to another destination of Eurolines.

  • Efteling with 169 or 137
  • Oosterhout with 127
  • Turnhout with 450 (De Lijn)
  • Waalwijk with 137

By boat

No timescheduled ferries come along the Wilhelminakanaal, but if you've got your private owned boat, you can reach it from Eindhoven and the Meuse on the Wilhelminakanaal.

A topographic map of Tilburg

Get around

Tilburg has three railway stations, and around ten city bus lines, going through all of the city, so every neighborhood is connected easily with the city centre. Some night buses drive through Tilburg, but not in every neighborhood.

Tilburg is a very bicycle-friendly city, and has, like many other Dutch cities, red bicycle lanes. Bicycling might be faster than driving in a car or bus, and brings you much closer to many places. On the Heuvel, Pieter Vreedeplein and at the train stations are bicycle parkings.

Natuurmuseum Brabant

See

Tilburg heritage is both historic and industrial of nature. The Oude Markt' (Old Market) is a good place to start sightseeing, with the 1828 Heikese church and its 15th century tower as the main point of interest. There are many churches in the city, and the 19th century neo-gothic Heuvelse kerk (devoted to St. John) is another one you'll easily spot when exploring the town centre. It sits on the cosy Heuvelplein, where you'll also find outdoor terraces and an 1852 neo-classical statue of Dutch King William II († 1849). William II enjoyed Tilburg and spent a lot of time in the city. Streets, schools, and the local professional soccer team are named after him. In 1847, he commissioned the build of a palace and placed the cornerstone himself. The king died shortly before it was finished, but the Palace-Council House remained a Dutch royal possession in Tilburg until it was donated to the city in 1931. It was changed and renovated over time, to allow use of the palace for a school and later as a city hall. Most famous student of the school housed there was young Vincent van Gogh, who would later become a world known painter.

Entrance to Museum de Pont

The Lancierskazerne (located on the Kazernehof) is the oldest (former) army base for the Dutch cavalry to have survived. It's a fine example of the historic and industrial heritage in Tilburg, as these barracks were later used for two large wool- and leather factories. Today, it houses a part of the city archives.

Inside the Textile Museum

There are also museums:

Do

Tilburg is home to two concert halls: the Concertzaal in the Schouwburg Tilburg at the Louis Bouwmeesterplein 1, and 013 (being called after the net number) at Veemarktstraat 44, which gives more pop music.

  • Dierenpark de Oliemeulen; Reitse Hoevenstraat 30 [2], a small zoo existing mostly of reptiles, insects and birds of prey.
  • Efteling, a theme park, is close to Tilburg. It's the largest among the Benelux countries, and it's comparable with Tivoli Gardens (Copenhagen) and Disneyland Resort (Paris).
  • Gipsyfestival. End of May
  • Tilburg Funfair (Tilburgse kermis). The largest funfair of the Benelux, which is held in July for ten days.

Three cinemas are known well throughout Tilburg. All cinemas have movies in English, while Cinecitta has many movies in French, Spanish and Italian languages.

Cinecitta is an arthouse cinema, with arthouse movies, documentaries and is cosy, has no pauses and in a historical building.

The Euroscoop

Euroscoop is a large cinema in the south of Tilburg, with twelve halls of cinema with many Hollywood movies, has large seats, pauses and automatical ticket sale.

Pathé is also a large cinema, but is in the city center, in opposition to Euroscoop. It has 7 halls, large seats, no pauses and online reservation.

Learn

Tilburg has one university, known as Tilburg University, since its name is even in English! There are dozens of English-language only programmes. 8% out of 13,000 are foreign students. It specialises in Social sciences, Economy and Law. Unlike many other universities, It is not owned by government (Rijksuniversiteit).

There are also other schools with the bachelor/master system, such as Avans and Fontys. Also they offer many programmes in English. For the younger travellers: there are also secondary schools (American: High Schools) which offer a largely English-language programme.

Buy

Tilburg is not that one shopping city, it has even been worse in the past, though. Now there are more chains of shopping since the opening of the renewed Pieter Vreedeplein. There are shops in the Heuvelstraat, the Pieter Vreedeplein, the Pieter Vreedestraat, the Emma Passage, the Stadhuisplein and also the Schouwburgpromenade Because Tilburg is not seen as a tourist city, there are no souvenir shops with products dedicated to Tilburg

Emma Passage and Piusplein

  • Selexyz Gianotten, for many books, as well as English books and dictionaries

Heuvelstraat

  • Apple Premium Reseller
  • H&M, Swedish clothes brand
  • HEMA, small-size department store, known for their smoked sausages sold at the entrance.
  • V&D, Medium-size department store. Upstairs there's the lunchroom of La Place. Also contains a Dixons, so Dixons is twice at the Heuvelstraat.
  • Vodafone, T-Mobile and Hi, for mobile telephones and issues with the telephone.

And many clothes and fashion shops

Pieter Vreedeplein

  • Saturn, a chain of electronics stores from the same owner as the MediaMarkt. Also here it has many Blu-ray discs and games, but also things for the kitchen etc.
  • The Sting, Tilburgish brand of clothes, also is throughout Europe now.
  • V&D Back entrance.
  • Zara, clothing shop from Spain.
Koopmansgebouw, a modernist skyscraper of the Tilburg University

Eat

Restaurants in Tilburg are mostly concentrated on the Heuvelplein, the Piusplein, the Oude Markt and in the back area, towards the train station. Different shops in the city center provide food, mostly for lunch to eat on multiple places. There are supermarkets selling lunch to eat en route such as AH to go (near the central train station) and places where you can eat en route as well as inside, such as Bakker Bart (in the Heuvelstraat).

Budget

  • El Caso, Heuvelstraat 122. This pizza, pasta and tapas places serves all kinds of Mediterranean dishes. If you're on a budget, their pizza's (between €6.75 and €10) are a good deal, and pasta's start around €10. Full tapas menus from €22.

Mid-range

  • Restaurant Sjieque, St Josephstraat 138, +31 13 543 20 85. This place may look café-style rather than "chique", but the food is great and the service even better. From 33.50 for a 3 course menu.
  • Sushi Koi, Heuvelring 126, +13-5451000. One of the best sushi places around, serving grilled Japanese dishes too. It uses an all you can eat-menu for €24.50 Thu-Sun (€22.50 on other days). €24.50.
  • De Kievitshoeve, Nijkerkstraat 1, +31 13-570 51 05. Former farm, now a friendly bistro with a nice outdoor terrace. Also a good place for kids, as they have a playing area. The food is nice and price worthy, and there's a set menu of the month for €23.50 Mains from €17.

Splurge

  • Hofstede de Blaak, Dussenpad 1-3. In a residential area, this historic English style mansion offers fine dining and has a lovely outdoor terrace in summer. When eating indoors, ask for a table in the "jachtkamer" ("hunting hall") The set Menu Hofstede De Blaak is excellent value for money, but you can eat a la carte too. Call ahead. €24,50 for 3 course menu, mains a la carte from €23,50.
  • Taste, Heuvelpoort 300, +31 13 535 32 96. The restaurant of the Mercure hotel deserves a separate mention. Pretty plates and tasty combinations; this place is a favourite for locals as much as for staying guests. The menu is simple: there are 10 dishes, and you can pick how many of them you want to eat, allowing for 1 to 10 course dinners. Dishes aren't too large, so count on having at least 3 or 4. 3 courses for €34,50, 4 for €42.50, €74.50 for 10.
Tilburg Synagogue - facade detail

Drink

Since Tilburg has a University [3] with several undergraduate and graduate schools, this college town boasts lots of places where people congregate for a drink. Cafés to drink are allowed to be opened until 4AM, where in the last hour before closure time, only may come people out and not in. To neutralize the effects of alcohol, the municipality decided that bread-selling shops, shoarma/kebab tents and equivalent places are allowed to open up to 5AM. These opening times mostly will only be applied on Friday and Saturday nights.

A typical drink for Tilburg is the Schrobbelèr. This is a liquor with an alcoholic percentage of 21.5%, and is an herbal (and bitter) liqueur, although sweeter than most bitter liqueurs. The drink is sold throughout the year, more popular during carnival. It's sold in many restaurants and liqueur stores, also national stores in the city.

For example:

Most out and about places are in and around the city center, in three areas, all of them within one kilometer radius:

  • Heuvel and Heuvelring, with the city's most discos and some restaurants.
  • Korte Heuvel, which is a small street, packed with nice and cosy cafés.
  • Piusplein — a residential area with one McDonald's and several cafés and restaurants.

Specific non-alcoholic drinking places

  • Mugs and Muffins, Willem II Straat 57, [4], tel: (0031-)013 590 4585 a cafe where tea and coffee are served, as well as muffins, cakes, donuts etc.

You can visit a traditional beer brewery in Berkel-Enschot (just east of Tilburg) at the Trappistenklooster. It needs to be said that the brewery is now owned by the big brewer Bavaria, so it's not that traditional anymore.

Stationstraat, one of the typical Dutch historic streets in Tilburg

Sleep

  • Bastion Hotel, Kempenbaan 2, +31 13 5441999. This hotel is next to the highway, near Hilvarenbeek and the Beekse Bergen
  • City Hotel Tilburg, Heuvelring 126, +31 13 535 1355. This place in the centre has a modern style and spacious rooms. Take into account that in the morning you'll likely be woken by the church bells. €95 for a double.
  • Auberge Du Bonheur, Bredaseweg 441. At the outskirts of town, this place is almost in the forest. There's a good breakfast and the restaurant serves gourmet cuisine, but it's not cheap. From €79 for a double.
  • Het Wapen van Tilburg, Spoorlaan 362, +31 13 542 2692. This "Inn" is in the city center, near the shopping district as well as near the central train station. They have group rooms for up to 6 people as well as fairly small but cosy singles/doubles. There's no real breakfast, but they provide some free sandwiches, fruit and juice in the morning, if you don't want to eat somewhere else.
  • Bed and Breakfast Tilburg "Gust van Dijk", Tivolistraat 22, +31 13 544 4495. Situated in a cosy neighborhood south of the Interpolis Tower.
  • Hotel Brasserij Grand Central, Spoorlaan 422, +31 13 543 6234. Just opposite the central train station.
  • Ibis Hotel, Dr. Hub Van Doorneweg 105, Tel: (0031-)013 4636465 situated next to the highway, near Goirle.
  • Mercure Hotel, Heuvelpoort 300, Tel: (0031-)013 5354675 situated in the city center, in the shopping district.
  • De Postelse Hoeve, Dr. Deelenlaan 10, Tel: (0031-)013 463 6335 situated north west, next to the road to the Efteling.

Stay safe

Like many other cities at the outer provinces, never talk like you're in Holland. It causes disgust, because Brabant and Tilburg have, according to locals, an own identity.

Connect

Internet

In the Netherlands generally, mobile internet via your mobile phone may cost no more than €3.50/Mb, and from July 1, 2012 the law allows no more than €0.90/Mb

Internet and Wifi locations: At the central library on 10, Koningsplein (King's Sq), there's internet, with payment. At the McDonald's, free WiFi at four locations: Piusplein 75, Zuid at Mina Krusemanweg 4, West/Reeshof at Aphroditestraat, and (December 2011) at the Kreitenmolenstraat, close to Udenhout and Oisterwijk. The uppermost floor of the V&D offers paid WiFi, at Heuvelstraat 33, at the La Place

Post

Since the modernizing of the post system, no post office will (ever) serve Tilburg (anymore). To send post, you have either to do it via small points in supermarkets, unmanned, which are faster than the previous offices, and mostly open for longer hours too, since the shops where they are also keep open until 6, 8, 9 or even 10PM on some days and on some specific Sundays too. To find a location, you can go to a web site of PostNL: [5]. Type in: Tilburg and click at Postkantoor van PostNL.

Cope

Tilburg is home to two hospitals:

St. Elisabeth Ziekenhuis Tilburg, Hilvarenbeekse Weg 60, Tel:(31-)013 539 1313

Tweesteden Ziekenhuis Loc. Tilburg, Dr. Deelenlaan 5, Tel:(31-)013 4655655

There are five police stations in Tilburg:

Inner City police station: Stationsstraat 22, for the centre and the southern part

Leijdal police station: Ringbaan Zuid 498a, for Tilburg southeast and Hilvarenbeek

West/Reeshof police station: Karel Boddenweg 9, for everyplace west of the 'Ringbaan West'

Wilhelmina Park police station: Wilhelminapark 6, for the northern half of inner Tilburg

Tilburg North police station: Brucknerlaan 18, for everyplace north of the Wilhelminakanaal

Go next

Routes through Tilburg
VlissingenBreda  W NL-A58.png E  Eindhoven


This city travel guide to Tilburg 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.