Earth : Europe : Benelux : Netherlands : Southern Netherlands : North Brabant : 's-Hertogenbosch
The population of Den Bosch is approximately 140,000 and with that it is reaching its limits. This because almost all the ground available for building has been used. This does not mean that the whole area is one big city as there are several (big) parks. Likewise, the southern edge of city is totally green as this is a protected natural reserve.
Den Bosch can be seen in 9 regions (note: these regions are build up of several neighborhoods):
Most visitor attractions are found in the center, except for the footballstadium and the Sportiom.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the largest airport in The Netherlands, and is serviced by almost every airline in the world. It is located near Amsterdam and there is a direct train link from the airport to the station of Den Bosch. It is approximately 1.5 hours from Schiphol to Den Bosch by train.
Rotterdam Airport and Eindhoven Airport are smaller, regional airports located near their respective cities. Transavia, Wizz and Ryanair service these airports from various destinations within Europe. Getting from the airport to Den Bosch is possible by public transport, although it necessary to change modes of transport several times. From these airports a car is best option.
Den Bosch has a good location within the railway system of the "Nederlandse Spoorwegen" (Dutch Railroads) and almost every city has a direct connection or with a single stopover. Trains depart from Den Bosch main station in city center, which is located at the 'Stationsweg', towards Utrecht-Amsterdam-Haarlem and Utrecht-Schiphol in the north, in the direction of Nijmegen-Arnhem-Zwolle in the east, towards Eindhoven-Maastricht and Tilburg-Breda-Roosendaal in the south.
Although Den Bosch is along major highways, it is not easy to reach Den Bosch because of traffic jams.
The major highway that passes Den Bosch is the A2, generally seen from Amsterdam to Maastricht. This is one of the busiest highways of The Netherlands, and the part along Den Bosch, known as "knooppunt Hintham" and "knooppunt Empel" (intersection Hintham and Rosmalen), is in the top 5 of busiest traffic points in The Netherlands.
The other, less busy, highway passing Den Bosch is the A59, comming from Roosendaal (and the A16) towards Nijmegen. This highway is less busy than the A2, although traffic jams might occur when there is a jam on the A2 as the A59 merges into the A2 for a short part.
Nevertheless, if staying outside the peak hours, which are roughly from 7AM-9AM and from 4:30PM-7:30PM, Den Bosch is easily accessible by car.
The regional buses, operated by Veolia, link Den Bosch with Tilburg and Eindhoven. As these are the regional buses, they do not go directly between these city but stop at several small villages. Therefore, the fastest and advisable way is using the train. Busses are the best way to get around the city and suburbs of Den Bosch. Drivers are extremely helpful.
If you want to travel quickly between cities in the region you can also travel by taxi. Prices will vary, but if you use a taxi with more people than this is still a cheap way of transportation in and around Den Bosch. There are several taxi services available:
Everything within the city center is reachable by foot. Everywhere in the city, so also in the suburbs, are sidewalks. In the city center, most areas are pedestrian only, and traffic within the city is restricted.
If you want to go to the suburbs (where there is no reason to, as all interesting places are within the city center), Arriva operates a network of buses throughout the city and towns in the vicinity. All buses arrive and depart from the central station, although for some lines it is along the line. You can either pay cash at the driver and get a one way or a day pass (€5,50, one adult including 2 children, July 2013) or use your smart travel card, the OV-Chipkaart . The OV-Chipkaart costs 7.5 Euros (March 2014) for the card and at least 4 Euros on it to travel around the city and 20 Euros to travel on the train.
The city council is trying to get the city centre car free, so it is bringing up all kind of measures to deter people from taking the car into the city. Cars can still be parked in the city center, but on Saturdays and Thursday evening these garages are packed. Parking is also available just outside the city center and from there buses are available every 15 minutes for only €1.
The best means of transportation is, just as in the rest of The Netherlands, by bicycle.
's-Hertogenbosch is a medieval city and among the oldest cities in the Netherlands. When the Netherlands was still young, it was a fortified city that served for the protection of The Netherlands. Especially on the south side of the city, a lot of these fortifications have been saved and restored over time. Start at Bastion Vught and walk northwards via the Parklaan, Spinhuiswal, Zuidwal and Bastion Oranje and Hekellaan until you reach the bridge over the Zuid Willemsvaart. This way you will see the best part of the old fortifications. In 2004, the city was awarded European Fortress of the year.
The Sint Jans Cathedral is one of the most prominent landmarks of Den Bosch. Building on the cathedral as we know it right now started in 1380 and is built in Gothic style. Because the exterior of the building is deteriorating fast due to toxic rain they started in 1998 with the restoration of the exterior. The restoration was finished in 2011. A new addition was made to the cathedral ornaments, an angel with trousers and a cell phone.
The Moriaan is the oldest brick building in The Netherlands, built in the 13th century. It is located on the market square and currently houses the Tourist Center (VVV), and in the basement rockcafe Plein79.
Another place on the market square that is worth a visit is the Town Hall. It is located on the south side of the square next to the Hudson's Bay department store. It was built in the 17th century and reflects Dutch classicism.
In the north of the city center, outside the boundaries of the northern fortifications is the Citadel. This fortress was added to the city later and is not directly included in the fortifications but sort of pasted on. It held the garrison to protect the city or, if necessary, to counter an uprising in the city. It is now part of the national archive.
Opposite the Citadel is the Kruithuis, or powder arsenal. It is an hexagonal building and one of the last in its kind. It is currently used as a museum for art.
As the city center is protected there are still a lot of medieval buildings to be found. Wander around and see the traditional building style.
Hidden below the old city is a canal network called the Binnendieze that once spanned 22 kilometres. It started out as a regular river, the Dommel, running through the city in medieval times but due to lack of space in the city, people started building their houses and roads over the river. In later times it functioned as a sewer and fell into disrepair. In recent decades, the remaining sixth of the old waterway system has been renovated, and it is possible to take several guided subterranean boat trips through it.
Although not particularly beautiful, in the outskirts of the city and between it and nearby towns, there are new housing developments known as The Castles, these are entire communities or mini-neighbourhoods shaped like a castle, normally with canals or lakes next to them. This is also a particularly interesting thing to see, and is quite unique both in the Netherlands and the whole world.
There is a beautiful market on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the center of the city (in the Markt sqare). You can find fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables, fish, textiles, and various other things. There is throughout a very laid back atmosphere. You can also enjoy a beer or a meal at one of the many restaurants with open air terraces in the market.
There are many shoe and clothing shops that fit all budgets.
Nightlife in Den Bosch is as you might expect from a city alike: not as extravagant as Amsterdam or Rotterdam, but nice, with a friendly crowd attending and a nice atmosphere. The places most worth visiting:
Den Bosch uses the area code 073. This means that all calls from outside the Den Bosch area have to be preceded by 073.
Den Bosch is in general a safe city. Even the neighborhoods considered dangerous by the locals are still quite safe during daylight and night (Hambaken, Graafsewijk and Kruiskamp). If a traveler uses his common sense he will be alright, also during night. The only time the crowd can get a bit rough is during Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Watch out to the several drunk people that might easily start brawls (especially during carnival time). Nevertheless, there is a lot of police around, and you will be safe if you just take care and mind your own business.
Den Bosch is a fantastic place for shopping, especially at weekends as there is a big market in the square. There are shops for young and old people, and they are all close by to each other, which is useful.