Efteling, Tilburg & Waalwijk
Whether you're looking for thrilling roller coasters, enchanting rides or spectacular shows, theme park Efteling is the place for creating wonderful memories. Discover Efteling, the Netherlands' largest amusement park, uniquely situated in the middle of the countryside! And if you don't want the fairy tale to be over at the end of the day, stay in the Efteling Hotel or in the charming holiday parks Efteling Loonsche Land or Efteling Bosrijk. Or sleep in the beautiful Guesthouse Hotel with unique roof garden and lovely family rooms, which is also within walking distance of the theme park.
Efteling is only allowing a limited number of guests at the same time and only with an online reservation. They are also working towards standards for every ride, so that the number of people remains appropriate.
The nearest city is Tilburg, originally a town with a large textile industry, now a bustling city where there is always something happening, but which also has tranquil areas for people who would like some peace and quiet. The many parks are such areas, for example Stadsbos 013 with its mountain bike trail, mini campsite and geocaches hidden everywhere. The waterfront of the trendy Piushaven is also a lovely place to unwind on one of the many pavement cafes. But if you are always on the lookout for cool new stuff, trendy coffee houses and popular lunch cafes, then be sure to explore the maze of streets in the Dwaalgebied area or the industrial-chique Spoorzone with its new, extensive Spoorpark. Visit the impressive LocHal, nominated for 'Best Library in the World'. Or escape from reality in Meta Maze Doloris, where you will literally walk through works of art in a surrealistic maze, after which you can enjoy the rooftop bar with a view over the city.
Just outside the city centre you will find Moerenburg, a rather lovely big park on the southeastern outskirts of Tilburg. It forms the westernmost part of Het Groene Woud, a stretch of protected countryside between the cities of Tilburg, Eindhoven and 's-Hertogenbosch. Very photogenic and beautiful in every season.
Huis ter Heide is also a delightful piece of countryside. It is not far from Tilburg and is owned by Natuurmonumenten, the Dutch Society for preservation of natural monuments. A beautiful and versatile area with woods, heathland and meres. A great place for cycling and horseback riding, but the best way to explore this area is on foot. With marked walking routes, lookout towers and an unusual wooden walkway it is an amblers’ paradise. Visitors are guaranteed to see some Scottish Highlanders, and bird lovers will have plenty to spot.
Not far from Efteling and Tilburg is the town of Waalwijk, mainly known for its shoe industry. The town is bursting with pleasant pavement cafes and several historic buildings are more than worth visiting such as the Sint Jan de Doper church, the old town hall designed by the architect Kropholler and the Dye Sprancke windmill. An unusual feature of Waalwijk is the defunct Langstraat railway line, which partly runs through the town. This was once an industrial railway line from the village of Lage Zwaluwe to the city of 's-Hertogenbosch. It carries the nickname “Halvezolenlijn” from the Dutch word halvezool which means both “half a sole”, referring to the shoe industry for which the line was used, but also “halfwit” referring, jokingly, to the people living along the line. Leather and related articles were transported to and from the Langstraat. The Halvezolen route (51 km) follows the original railway line as much as possible. It takes you past old signal houses, railway bridges, benches and information signs. A lovely route for cycling!
Tip: As the route is quite long, it makes sense to spend two days on the Halve Zolenlijn. One day can then partly be spent on a walk over the Moerputten bridge near 's-Hertogenbosch. A very photogenic spot!
Tip: the Nieuwe SchoenenMuseum (new shoe museum) will open its doors in 2021 in the side wing of the former town hall on the Raadhuisplein in the centre of Waalwijk.