Hoorn is located in the Province of North Holland, close to the shore of the Markermeer and accessible when you embark on a cruise along the Dutch-Belgian Waterways. A popular port of call on a number of voyages in the region, Hoorn enjoys a rich maritime heritage, thanks to its long history as shipping port which was founded in 716. A succession of prosperous Dutch shippers continued to build on the town’s growing reputation as a trade hub until the 18th century and Napoleonic occupation, when it lost its influence in the world of maritime trade. After the completion of the Great Enclosing Dyke in 1932, it was a seaport no longer and instead became an overspill for the continually expanding Amsterdam and continued to grow in popularity as a tourist destination.
Hoorn has a lot of heritage to explore on a journey through its cobbled streets. Don’t miss the chance to experience the famous cheese market, where whole wheels of cheese are laid out in rows across the ground and sellers in traditional Dutch dress ply their wares in the town’s historic main square, which dates back to Holland’s Golden Age. Put this all together and you have what for many visitors is the quintessential Dutch experience.
Aside from the historical flavour of one of the country’s most celebrated exports, there is a good choice of museums in Hoorn. Depending on your interest, you can visit the Stoomtram HoornMedembik train museum, where there’s the chance to check out all manner of vintage rolling stock and take a ride in a 1920’s carriage yourself, or the Museum of the 20th Century, which offers a real trip down memory lane. If you’re in the main square to visit the aforementioned cheese market, this is also where you’ll find the Westfriesmuseum, which offers a satisfying look into the town’s rich maritime past.
Like the Netherlands’ more well-known capital, Hoorn also has a number of picturesque canals, so booking a water taxi tour is a good way to explore them for yourself and take in some of the city’s sights in a relatively short space of time.
As you may already have surmised, Hoorn is a cheese-lovers dream so if you're looking to sample some authentic tastes, the market is the perfect place to do it.