When one thinks of visiting the Netherlands, Middelburg is probably not in the list of places that comes to mind. This charming little town is the capital of Zeeland – Netherlands’ best kept secret and one of our favorite hidden gems in the country. This guide will go through all the best things to do in Middelburg Netherlands for travelers.
We discuss the main highlights of Middelburg that will surely make you want to include it in your Netherlands itinerary.
With its Gothic architecture, colourful houses crossing through harbour canals, and narrow alleyways – there is an undeniable and underrated beauty to this city.
Through this travel guide, you will discover the best things to do in Middelburg Netherlands, should you ever find yourself ending up in the capital of Zeeland.
Visit the Townhall of Middelburg (Oude Stadhuis)
The Town Hall of Middelburg is situated in the central market square (markt) and one of the best things to do in Middelburg Netherlands.
This beautiful structure will surely catch your attention as you enter the square with its intricate architecture featuring Gothic and Neoclassic design. This style is almost reminiscent of the architecture that can be found in Flanders, Belgium.
It is free to enter the Town Hall, but you can opt to go on a guided tour. Tickets can be purchased at the Tourist Center and cost about 5 euros.
After a visit to the Town Hall, the square is a great place to relax and grab some local delicacies while taking in the view of the hall.
Walk through the alleys of Kuiperspoort
Middelburg has many beautiful streets to simply get lost in and appreciate the charm. If you want to just relax and take in the beauty of the town, then this is one of the best things to do Middelburg Netherlands.
Our favorite street would be Kuiperspoort. This stunning alleyway features historic buildings and warehouses dating back all the way to the 1500’s but that have been beautifully preserved since. Stepping into this street feels like a trip back into time.
Learn the history of the Former Fish Market (Vismarkt)
In the 16th and 17 centuries, Middelburg was an important harbour and trading city for the VOC (Dutch East India Company). The Vismarkt stands as a historical reminder of that. This site was a place where people would trade products and their daily catch of fish.
Today, the space is used as part of the weekly open market in Middelburg, symbolic of the old days of trade.
It is one of the best things to do in Middelburg Netherlands if you want to get a good picture of how life here used to look like.
Marvel at the beauty of the Middelburg Old Harbour (De Haven)
The Old Harbour is our favorite sight in all of Middelburg. You really can’t miss this place with its colourful buildings and various bridges (like Spijkerbrug) that provide beautiful viewpoints.
For us, this is one of the best things to do in Middelburg Netherlands as it provides you a sense of feeling like you’re in a place like Copenhagen, but without all the tourist crowds.
You can simply take a seat in one of the harbour side benches and appreciate the peace and beauty of the surroundings.
Take in the height of Lange Jan
Lange Jan is the most historic of all the sights in Middelburg and you will certainly not miss seeing it as the tower reaches up to 90 meters high.
It’s one of the best things to do in Middelburg Netherlands because it promises the most gorgeous panoramic views of the town and the neighbouring areas when climbing its 207 steps.
Go Shopping at Middelburg Netherlands
It may not sound believable for such a small city but going shopping at Middelburg Netherlands is a great experience!
The town boasts various boutique shops and concept stores, featuring cute notebooks, pens, planners, posters and things that you would see on Pinterest that look absolutely adorable.
Our favorite store that we recommend checking out for shopping at Middelburg Netherlands is InMiddels.
Hike and camp in the neighbouring natural sites
Being within the Zeeland Province, Middelburg is at the heart of many beautiful natural sites, hiking trails and beautiful beaches.
If you’re up for a more adventurous experience rather than staying in a hotel in the city center, then camping at the nearby Het Veerse Gat is a must do. This is a nature camping spot with amazing facilities and affordable rates. The rates are 6 euros per person plus a 5.50 euro tent fee good for 2 people.
Eat the Best Fish and Chips
Gastronomy in Middelburg is top-notch especially when it comes to seafood. For us, they have the best fish and chips that we have ever tried.
The food was something that surprised us when visiting the city. We didn’t expect it to be anything special and we can’t recommend enough that you try the local restaurants.
Zeeland delicatessen is truly one of the highlights among the best things to do in Middelburg Netherlands.
Sit back and relax at the many cool cafes
As with restaurants, Middelburg is also home to many cool cafes. This cafes are a great place to relax, sip a coffee and take a break from walking around the town.
We would even say they are quite the instagrammable places, reminscent of the quirky and hip cafes in cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Some of the key cafes to check out are Expresszo, HoneyPie and ROST.
When it comes to concept cafe stores, Netherlands just knows how to do it right.
Appreciate the historic architecture of the Old Abbey (Liebfrauen)
The Old Abbey of Middelburg is a historic gem that dates back to as early as the 1100’s. The complex goes through beautiful alleyways, government buildings and historic Churches. Walking through its wide-open streets is one of the best things to do in Middelburg Netherlands.
If you want to visit a museum, it is also home to the Zeeuws Museum, which is dedicated to the historic heritage of the province of Zeeland.
Map of the Best Things to do in Middelburg Netherlands
So there we have it. If you’re searching for the best things to do in Middelburg Netherlands, then this google maps itinerary has got you covered.
It is truly a great place to visit in Netherlands and one of the more offbeat cities to discover. If you know of any other things to do in Middelburg that were not covered on this list, let us know in the comments below!
11 thoughts on “10 Best Things to Do in Middelburg Netherlands + Free Map”
I been meaning to visit Middelburg on my last several trips to netherlands but never been able to fit it in (I also have a friend there but we keep meeting up in other cities like Amsterdam or Utrcecht!). I love to take a stroll along the canalside at sunset in the summer, it just looks so peaceful and the buildings, there is something about Dutch facades. I see it in every town and never get bored of it.
I just recently visited the Netherlands for the first time and although I didn’t have the chance to stop in Middleburg I really did fall in love with this place! I would love to see the Old Harbor, and the quaint cafes and restaurants I’m sure were amazing. So cool that you got to camp as well.
We really do need to plan a trip to the Netherlands when travel opens up. Middelburg looks like a great stop on that trip. It would be great to start with a tour of that beautiful Town Hall. It would be great to rent a bike and enjoy that long stretch of waterfront views. Especially if we time if for sunset reflections. As seafood fans we know we would not go hungry!
I have never heard of Middelburg before. It looks very peaceful and cute town. It’s been a while since I have been in Europe, and I miss those European style buildings and the vibe. I would love to roam around and see all these places, and the fish and chips look delicious too. It’s very interesting to read about something else than Amsterdam.
I have been to Netherlands only once and mainly stayed in Amsterdam. I wish I had known about Middelburg so I could have visited it for a couple of days. The country is so beautiful and it has so many things to do that it does require multiple trips. When I am there next time I will remember Middelburg and I will surely travel to the place.
My friend from NL was in Zeeland this weekend! Haha… We hope to cross the border and head there as well as soon as the lockdown comes to an end. Town Hall definitely reminds me of Leuven’s Town Hall. Kuiperspoort looks so adorable, very very historic indeed. Being an Indian and history buff, Vismarkt and its VOC connection is something I’d love to visit.
I have not been to the Netherlands yet and before reading this post I had not known about Middelburg. The place looks absolutely beautiful. It seems to have a little of everything – architecture, history, nature and food. The Old Harbour looks stunning in photographs. I will definitely keep in mind about Middelburg whenever I plan to visit Netherlands.
This is definitely a gem in Netherlands -which incidentally is my favorite European country. I love the quiet streets that seem to have so much to share. The history definitely is intriguing and the cafes very inviting. The harbour picture with the reflection of the town is just stunning. Well done with this post!
Thanks for your kind words, Ami! We initially picked Middelburg and Zeeland altogether since it was close to Belgium (my home) but were really surprised at how authentic it was. We’d definitely recommend it over bigger cities in the Netherlands
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