Tilburg is a beautiful city in the south of the Netherlands. It has a surface of a little over 118 km2 and is one of the biggest cities of the province Noord-Brabant. Whenever I come there, I am surrounded by smiling faces and people in an overall good mood.
Tilburg offers a big variety of things to do, which might be a bit overwhelming if you don’t know the city. This travel guide will help you pick the best places to visit in Tilburg, and answers the question "Is Tilburg worth visiting?".
Tilburg is definitely worth visiting. The atmosphere is great and the people are kind. There are a lot of things to do and see, ranging from cultural monuments to a big park for sunbathing. There are several great restaurants with different price ranges and there are plenty of stores for shopping.
If Tilburg has gotten your attention and you want to learn more about what to do and what places to visit, check the list below. You will find that even when the famous Carnival festival isn’t taking place, Tilburg still is a lovely city to visit for people of all ages, with all kinds of interests. So definitely read this "Tilburg travel guide" if your planning to visit this beautiful city.
Tilburg is a city that is widely known across the country for the elaborate parties during Carnival. But that is not all Tilburg is good for. The city is a big student city, but it is also the home of some famous people. The Dutch soccer club Willem II is based in Tilburg and so is the biggest fair of the Benelux. In short, Tilburg is a city with a wide variety of highlights.
Since the city has a great public transport system and lots of biking lanes, it is easy to get around. This means you can go shopping in several parts of the city in just one day, which is great because there are quite some stores in Tilburg. It also means that a pub crawl is a great option, you might even find a place where you can try Tilburg’s famous herb liquor.
If you want to see some art, Tilburg is the place to be. You can visit several museums, you can watch a movie or you can go to the theater. If you want to listen to music you can visit one of the many concerts. The best part is that you can make this as expensive as you would like. International stars come to perform in Tilburg, but you can watch less-known artists as well.
So as you have probably realized by now, there are a lot of different things to do in Tilburg. This means Tilburg is a great place to visit for everyone since there are activities for all kinds of people with all kinds of interests. So to answer the question, yes Tilburg is definitely worth visiting!
Tilburg is a city located in the south of the Netherlands. It is part of a small region called Hart van Brabant, which lies in the province of Noord-Brabant. Noord-Brabant can be divided into West Brabant, Middle Brabant, North-East Brabant and South-East Brabant. Tilburg is part of Middle Brabant. Every city in the Netherlands is part of a township. For the city of Tilburg, this township is also called Tilburg of which it is the biggest city.
Since Tilburg is one of the bigger cities of the province Noord-Brabant, the city is fairly easily accessible. You can come by car, as there are roads throughout the city. You can also choose public transport. Next to a train station, Tilburg also has several bus stations. If cycling is your preferred method of transport, you will feel just as happy in Tilburg as you will in the rest of the country, because cycling is very popular in the Netherlands.
If you want to travel from Amsterdam to Tilburg by car, it will take you about an hour and a half. You should take the A2, which is a very long highway connecting the cities. Because most of your travel will be on the highway, it is relatively easy to move between these cities.
If you prefer to travel by public transport, it will take you approximately 82 minutes to get to Tilburg from Amsterdam. You start at train station Amsterdam Central and only have to change once to get to Station Tilburg.
To get from Rotterdam to Tilburg by car, you will have to drive for about 67 minutes. Most of the route exists of driving the A16, after which there is a small part of the A58 left before you get to Tilburg. A big part of your journey will be on the highway, which makes it a pretty clear route.
It is really easy to get to Tilburg from Rotterdam by public transport. There is an intercity train that connects Tilburg train station with Rotterdam Central Station. This means you don’t have to change once. Within 37 minutes of departing Rotterdam Central Station, you will arrive at Tilburg train station.
Tilburg is a popular city in the Netherlands, which means there is plenty of stuff to do as well. It is known to be a student city, due to the many higher education instances, but there is something fun to do for all ages. Next to the pubs and clubs, there are a lot of cultural things to be found as well. You can visit museums, churches or the theater. In Tilburg, it is unlikely that you will get bored.
So if you are wondering what to do in Tilburg, here are the 9 best things to do in Tilburg that will guarantee a good time.
The people in the province of Noord-Brabant really enjoy socializing. For many people, socializing also includes a nice drink. If you also like a good drink and are interested in discovering locally brewed liqueur and beer. Then it is certainly advisable to visit one of the two breweries below.
Located at the Piushaven, you will find Stadsbrouwerij 013. This is a local beer brewery that is definitely worth a visit. You can book a beer tasting, in which they can let you taste twenty different brands of beer. Of course, this includes their own beer. If you want to have a nice meal with your beer, that is also possible.
They have a special menu in which pairings of food and beer are recommended to you. After all, no one knows what beer goes with which food better than the people who actually brewed the beer. If you want to step up your beer game, try one of the amazing "hoptail" beers. You can also book a tour, in which they will teach you all about the ins and outs of beer brewing.
Schrobbelèr is a herb liquor that originates in Tilburg. Inhabitants of Tilburg will often tell you that you must have at least tried it once while visiting Tilburg. It consists of 21.5 percent alcohol and 43 different herbs. People drink it in many different ways, such as a shot, with ice, or in hot chocolate.
In order to learn more about this unique drink, you should book a tour. You will learn fun facts, get to see how Schrobbelèr gets made, and obviously, you will get to taste it.
The Netherlands has the largest museum density in the world. It will therefore not surprise you that there are also some interesting museums in Tilburg. Below you will find three great museums, each with a completely different subject.
If you are into fashion, or just generally curious about how clothing gets made, the textile museum is a must-visit. In this museum, you get to see the machinery that has been used to produce clothing, but you can also take a look at the textile lab. Here actual designers produce their clothing, which lets you take a unique look behind the scenes.
You can visit one of the many exhibitions, or you can design your own knitwear in the design studio. Keep your eyes and ears open to hear about the fun workshops and masterclasses, you don’t want to miss out on the activities in this extraordinary museum.
Museum de Pont is a museum for modern art. The museum has over 800 works of several (inter)nationally known artists. Examples of those artists are Anish Kapoor and Bill Viola. Each year the museum organizes three big exhibits, but throughout the year there are several smaller solo exhibits as well. The art in the museum does not just get limited to paintings, other forms of art, such as photography, are accepted as well.
In the Natuurmuseum you will find all things related to nature. You can admire several animals, both bones and stuffed animals. The main goal of this museum is to teach people about nature next to letting people look at a big collection. You can learn about the ice age and they also host lectures. This museum is great for people who are eager to learn and love nature.
During the sunny days, you will find most locals enjoying the nice weather in the Spoorpark. This park is perfect for having a picnic, as most people sit down in the grass. Close by the entrance of the park there are a few picnic tables as well.
Besides this, Spoorpark is also home to quite some organizations and events. You can climb the Kempentoren for a nice view of the park, grab a bite or a drink at the T-huis, or visit the free food truck festival called TREK in July.
For a nice beer in the sun, or perhaps a hot chocolate in the winter, Piusplein is the place to be. If you’re having one of those days where you keep asking yourself what to do in Tilburg, you should definitely visit Piusplein.
Because of the many cafes, Piusplein is basically one big terrace. The atmosphere is always nice and you will never feel alone here. Piusplein is also home to several events, so if you’re lucky you might be able to visit the free "Festival van het Levenslied" or the "Winter fair".
Tilburg has two big cinemas where you can enjoy a good movie, a drink and obviously some popcorn or nachos. To see which movies are playing you can visit the websites of both cinemas. Pathé Tilburg is probably the most well-known among Dutch people, as Pathé has cinemas all over the country and is quite a big chain. Another big name is Euroscoop, which is owned by Pathé but has its own look and feel.
This activity is not always available, as it depends on who or what is playing at the moment of your visit. However, if you can get tickets to something you like I highly recommend going. Poppodium 013 is a neat building that has plenty of experience with smaller, even local artists, as well as big stars from all around the world.
The venue is located in such a way that it is easy to grab a bite beforehand at one of the many restaurants, and there are places to spend the night close by as well.
Piushaven, not to be confused with the Piusplein, is a small port. You won’t find any big boats here, which makes the water perfect for a fresh dive in the summer. During the sunny days, you will find people having lunch next to the water. It is also perfect to go sup boarding or rowing.
You can rent a small boat or partake in one of the walking routes. Next to the water, there are several places where you can grab some food and a drink, so you can easily spend a whole day enjoying the Piushaven.
Each city has its own famous buildings, which you should not miss when visiting the city. This is also the case in Tilburg, which is why below are two of the buildings that are absolutely worth a visit during your visit to Tilburg.
It used to be an important workplace for the railroad company in the city, but the LocHal has been given a new purpose between 2017 and 2019. The makeover was noteworthy because it led to the building receiving an important prize in architecture.
It has won the World Building of the Year award in 2019 so that in itself is a reason to visit this building while you’re in Tilburg. The building is now a public library, so if you are into reading you might want to check out this place as well.
Next to that, LocHal is home to an art organization and there are plenty of conferences, meetings, and events hosted here.
The Watertoren, water tower in English, is a historical building in Tilburg. It was one of the last water towers to put down its original purpose in 2017, but it is still standing tall. Besides this, it also played an important role in the Second World War.
It was a perfect place for the Germans to watch over the city, as the building is 50 meters tall. So if you want to see some culture and history, you should certainly check out the Watertoren.
Just like most big cities, Tilburg has quite some stores you can visit. You can visit the Emma Winkelpassage, the Pieter Vreedeplein or Heyhoef. Besides those malls, Tilburg also has quite some streets where shops are located.
You can just walk around and see what Tilburg has to offer, or you can google the addresses of your favorite stores. Some examples of well-known stores that are located in Tilburg are Primark, H&M, and Levi’s.
Next to the well-known places and attractions, Tilburg has to offer, there are some hidden gems as well. The places listed below are definitely worth a visit because they are unique, underrated, and allow you to experience Tilburg in the best way possible.
If you love music, in particular music that is not made for revenue, you will enjoy visiting Paradox. This stage is made specifically for new artists and others to discover them. You’re not likely to hear pop music here, as the venue focuses mainly on more alternative styles.
Paradox was thought of by a few jazz musicians who wanted unknown artists and music that does not necessarily make it to the radio, to have a place to be heard as well. The staff consists mostly of volunteers and it has close ties with other organizations in Tilburg, such as the College for Higher Arts.
It is not a well-known place to tourists, but absolutely worth your time. A nice bonus, some of the shows they host are completely free!
This beautiful cinema looks like it belongs to royalty. The place is over a hundred years old, which means it has shown quite an amount of movies. Cinecitta does not show a lot of blockbuster movies. Instead, they opt for film festival movies, artistic movies, and other movies with a message.
Besides movies, the building also hosts exhibits, workshops, debates and it is even home to a local chess association.
With over a million visitors each year, the Tilburgse Kermis, or Tilburgian Fair, is the biggest fair in the Benelux. The fair takes place in July and is over 440 years old.
During this fair, there will be attractions throughout the city, covering a surface of 4,5 kilometers (2.7 miles). If you are visiting Tilburg in the summer, this is definitely something that you should check out.
Doloris is a unique experience for every art lover, but also for people who just want to see something out of the ordinary. Instead of the usual, neat rooms where paintings and other forms of art are exhibited, Doloris is a big maze. In this maze, you can see the art and enjoy the experience.
The initiative taker has described the experience as a trip without drugs. If you decide to visit Doloris, make sure you wear comfortable clothing. You might have to climb over stuff or crawl through spaces. Doloris also has a rooftop bar, where you can enjoy quite a variety of meals or a nice drink.
Tilburg has plenty of restaurants and cafes where you can grab a bite. Especially in the city’s center, there are many fun places to eat, but you will find restaurants spread all through the city. There is a great range of specialties, kitchens, and prizes. Below you will find a few recommendations of restaurants from all kinds of ranges.
Happy Italy is a restaurant that is great for people on a budget or who simply do not want to spend a lot of money on food. It is an Italian restaurant where you can eat mainly pizza and pasta. The food is good and it is affordable. The atmosphere is very relaxed and you will find a lot of students here.
Monarh is a restaurant that is not cheap, but you will get your money's worth. This restaurant offers French cuisine, along with an international kitchen. It also offers several kinds of seafood and has been awarded a Michelin star.
Sarban is a restaurant that offers food from the Middle East. You can eat Afghanese dishes originating in places such as Takhar and Wardak. The food is good, the atmosphere nice and the prices are fair. If you want to get to know the Afghans kitchen, this is definitely the place to do so.
At the Carpacciobar you can eat, as you may have guessed by the name, carpaccio. They have a wide range of different carpaccio meals for you to enjoy. Besides dinner, this place also serves lunches and brunches. It is affordable, although you do pay for the quality.
Although this is not a traditional restaurant, it does deserve a place on this list due to the fame it has gained among the inhabitants of Tilburg. Intermezzo is an ice cream parlor with a lot of different flavors to choose from. The prices are quite alright, but you can make it as expensive as you wish. Even on less sunny days, you might see people standing in line waiting to get their ice cream from Intermezzo.
There are so many fun things to do in Tilburg, you might even want to spend the night here. Luckily, Tilburg offers a range of different places you can stay. Some of them are in the middle of the city center, which means you are close to all of the action. Others are a little bit further and provide calmer surroundings.
Auberge du Bonheur is a hotel restaurant on the edge of the city. The hotel has several four-star rooms and studios for you to stay in. This hotel is perfect for a little more rest and is close to the Oude Warande forest, which means you can start your days with a nice walk.
This hotel is located on the edge of the city as well, close to the Leijpark. It is also a great place to stay if you want to visit the Efteling since this amusement park is only 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) away. The hotel is quite luxurious, as it has a free parking space, fitness area, wellness, and an inside pool.
If you want a cheap place to stay that still looks nice and is unique, you should check out Door de poort. It is an apartment that has everything it needs to have to make your stay worthwhile. It has a garden for some fresh air and two bathrooms. You can stay here with up to five people.
This hotel is exactly what you would expect of a hotel. It has clean rooms, the option to book breakfast, and a nice location. It is pretty simple, which is perfect if you want a nice quality place to stay without spending half your budget on a room. There is free parking and the hotel is really close to the highway, which means it’s easily accessible as well.
Mercure Hotel Tilburg is a top-notch hotel in the middle of the city. The hotel offers luxurious rooms, an indoor swimming pool, and a fancy restaurant. If you want to visit a concert in Tilburg, the location of this hotel is perfect as it is really close to Poppodium 013. It has a bar and a sauna as well, along with a nice view of the Heuvelplein.
Would you like to discover more Dutch cities? Then definitely check out the following articles.
Hopefully, this Tilburg travel guide has been able to give you a good idea of the city Tilburg, and answered the question "is Tilburg worth visiting?".
Whether you want to visit museums, have a real Tilburgs alcoholic beverage, or are more interested in the cinema and theaters, Tilburg is a city that has a lot to offer. There are lots of activities with a wide variety of prices and topics, this is also the case for hotels and restaurants.
When you visit Tilburg, you can make it as cheap or expensive as you like and pick activities tailored to your own likes and tastes. So if you are visiting the Netherlands, make sure you don’t skip over the beautiful city of Tilburg.