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One Incredible Day In Buren, The Netherlands: Find Things To Do In A Small Fortified City In The Centre Of The Netherlands

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Are you looking for things to do in one day in Buren, The Netherlands? Then you don’t want to miss out on this itinerary!

Spending one day in Buren is a fantastic idea. This is one of the most beautiful small towns that you can visit in the province of Gelderland, The Netherlands. What I love about Buren is that it’s filled with things to see and attractions. Even though this fortified city in The Netherlands isn’t that big, Buren is a must-visit.

Travel to Buren as a day trip, or spend the weekend here, and I can guarantee that you will find that it’s one of the places you must visit in The Netherlands. It’s interesting because Buren isn’t one of the destinations in Gelderland that is usually on someone’s bucket list, but it should be.

If you’re searching for hidden gems to visit in The Netherlands, then Buren has to be a part of your trip to seeing unusual places in The Netherlands. Whether you’re looking for what to see in Buren or places to see in Gelderland, this Buren travel guide shows you everything from sightseeing to cool things to do in the Dutch countryside.

I hope you will enjoy visiting Buren and so many other things that you can do in Gelderland. Gelderland is truly a must-see province in The Netherlands and is filled with the best things to do.

What to do in one day in Buren, The Netherlands

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If you’re looking for the best small cities to visit in Gelderland, then Buren needs to be on your list. Whether you’re planning on visiting Buren for 24 hours, or are simply looking for things to do, this Buren city blog tells you everything you need to know.

From answering the question ‘Where is Buren, The Netherlands?’ to showing you the perfect Buren itinerary. And from interesting sights in Buren to learning that this beautiful town is not found in the Holland region. Honestly, I think that you will love to see everything that Buren has to offer.

History & facts about Buren

This beautiful city of Buren is found in the Dutch province of Gelderland in the region that we call ‘Neder-Betuwe’. The population of the town of Buren is around 2600 inhabitants, which isn’t a lot for a city. But, cities in The Netherlands are officially cities because they have obtained city rights in their history, which happened to a lot of places in the last 800 years. Buren acquired its city rights from Lord Allard, who was the Lord of Buren and Beusichem, in 1395.

In 1435, Duke Arnold van Egmont started a siege of Buren and occupied the city. Lord Willem van Buren was banished. The attack simply happened because Willem van Buren said the Duke was his enemy in 1418. The Duke was, obviously, very pleased with his capture of Buren. But that wouldn’t last long, as his son imprisoned the Duke in 1465. And then, he was brought the Buren to be detained for six years. What can I say, karma comes around?
Then in the third quarter of the 1500s, the city of Buren joined the Union of Dordrecht. This meant that Willem van Oranje was the official Stadtholder of Holland. As well as that Holland and Zeeland were combining their forces and were going to work together. These areas were free (except for Amsterdam and Middelburg) of Spanish troops, so the Dutch Calvinists could work their ways.

A few years after joining the union, Gilles van Berlaymont and his troops succeeded to capture the city in the siege of Buren. He was a general that served for the Spanish and went to Buren unexpected. After failed campaigns in the West- Friesland area (which is where I’m from GO WEST-FRIEZEN!), he went on his way to the city of Beverwijk. But not before he set many things and places on fire and started plundering. When negotiations failed in Breda between the Dutch and Spanish, Van Berlaymont went to Buren.

Berlaymont let his troops shoot with fifteen cannons for two days straight. The general of Buren van Dirck Vijgh, who ordered the soldiers from Buren not to shoot back. It turned out that the Spanish paid him. And as soon as the Spanish entered this fortified Dutch city, everyone and every animal was beaten to death by the Spanish. The garrison and the citizens had to flee to the castle of Buren. On the third day, Buren was officially taken by the Spanish.

The commander of Buren, Diederik Vijgh, fled after the siege to the city of Zaltbommel. However, as the siege of Buren was so successful, Berlaymont divided his army into three groups who went to three cities: Woudrichem, Schoonhoven, and, you guessed it, Zaltbommel. The occupation of Buren by the Spanish didn’t take long, because, in the same year as the siege, the city was mostly destroyed due to a fire and returned to the Dutch after the pacification of Ghent. Luckily, most of it was rebuilt after, so you will still be enjoying plenty of 16th century buildings and fortifications. Until 1714, Buren wasn’t officially a part of the Seven United Provinces, but was an independent region and later became an Earldom. However, they were mostly dependent on the United Provinces.

Where to stay in Buren

If you’re looking to spend the night in the fortified city of Buren, then I would certainly recommend you to do so. I always say that walking through a town in the evening is so different than during the morning, or even afternoon. The atmosphere differs, and you get to experience one of The Netherlands most underrated places in an even better way.

Rijksmonumentale stadswoning in Oranjestad Buren: check rates & availability on Booking.com

Hotel De Prins: check rates & availability on Booking.com

Best restaurants in Buren

There are plenty of little restaurants where you can eat in Buren, but not all of them are opened every day of the week. So, make sure to check which ones are opened when you visit (there’s always at least one opened). I would recommend you to eat at Restaurant De Hofhouding and Gastrobar Maximaal (I would recommend you to reserve for this restaurant). At De Baron van Buren you can go for an excellent lunch and, they have tasty pizzas which are only served between 17:00 and 20:00. Plus, they also have great Italian ice cream. 

Things to do in Buren

Free walking tour in Buren

One of the best activities in Buren is to go on a walking tour. Discover the best landmarks, beautiful streets and buildings in Buren and wander through the endless picturesque streets.

This tour in Buren is around 3 kilometres.

We will start our walking tour in Buren at the old castle grounds Het Plantsoen. Now, don’t expect to see incredible castle ruins here, but you can get a bit of an understanding of how big the castle used to be. The castle of Buren was one of The Netherlands biggest castles until it was sold by the French state to get demolished in the 1800s. 

The oldest writings about the castle date back to 1298. That’s when Otto, Lord of Buren, and his son Allard had to give up the castle to the Earl of Gelre. They were allowed to stay in the castle. In the 15th century, the castle was expanded but was heavily damaged after the Spanish occupied the city of Buren. From 1630, the castle was restored on assignment by prince Frederik Hendrik. But after he died, no one lived in the castle anymore, and it started to decay. 

When the French occupied The Netherlands, they decided that the possessions of the Dutch Royal family didn’t belong to the family anymore. And then they sold the castle to be torn down in 1804. With that money, other houses were restored, or complete new buildings were made. These houses in Buren are often called ‘kasteelhuizen’, or castle houses. Even the city wall was restored with the use of stones out of the castle of Buren. The last thing that was torn down was the main gate of the castle. It was used for a long time as a prison as well as room rental. This was demolished in 1883.

After walking around in the castle park of Buren, you’re going to cross the road to enter the city of Buren. Walk to BuitenhuizenpoortBuitenpoortKornewalHet Stek and then to the Culemborgse Poort. This is the only remaining city gate in Buren, and it was built in the 14th century. Now walk to AchterbonenburgMolenwal and then to Molenwal 6

This is the only windmill in Buren and can be found on the ramparts of Buren. It is called ‘De Prins van Oranje’, or the Prince of Orange, and was built in 1716 to replace another windmill that was previously on that same location. In 1911, a fire broke out in this windmill, but luckily it was restored. In the middle of the 1900s, this windmill was bought by the municipality of Buren, as it started to decay. That’s when it was restored, and nowadays it works again. You can even visit this windmill in Buren on Saturday from 10:00- 16:00 and Sunday afternoon.

Then walk to Zoetendaal and Herenstraat 15. This building is a 16th-century farm and is nowadays simply a home. After that, you will walk to Kerkstraat and Markt 4. Here you can find the protestant church of Buren, which is located on the main square and in the centre of Buren. It was founded in 1367 as a chapel and became a parish church in 1395. At the time it was a catholic church. In the 15th century, the church was expanded, and nowadays it looks the same as in the 15th century. Alessandro Pasqualini and Pieter Post designed the tower. Willam van Oranje (Prince of Orange) married his first wife Anna van Buren in this church on the 8th of July 1551. Sometimes you can visit this church. If the doors are open, you can usually visit. 

Now walk to GasthuisstraatNachtegaalstraatCommanderij and Weeshuiswal 9. This is the Royal orphanage in Buren and was founded and paid for by princess Maria van Nassau in 1613 (she was the daughter of William of Orange and Anna van Egmont). It was in use until 1952 for protestant children from the Earldom of Buren, Leerdam and Barony of Acquoy and Ijsselstein. After that, adoptive children were taken care of here until 1971. Then since 1972, the Marechaussee Museum was located here.

Then go to PeperstraatKornewal and Kniphoek 14. Here you can find a synagogue, which was used from 1804 until 1880. Buren had a Jewish community from 1646 until around 1900. That’s when the synagogue didn’t have enough people to go there for worship, as the number of ten members wasn’t reached as a few people ended up moving to the bigger cities. The synagogue is built against the former city wall of Buren. 

There is also a Jewish graveyard in Buren (which can be found at the beginning of the Aalsdijk), and this piece of land was given to a Jewish inhabitant of Buren by the Earl of Buren in 1672. In 1845, a second graveyard was created next to the castle park. The last funeral took place in 1895. Nowadays it’s used as an exhibition centre, amongst other purposes, which you can visit when the exhibitions are taking place.

After that, you’re walking to Kniphoek 4. This building dates back to the late Middle Ages and is built on and in the old city wall of Buren. Now head to Voorstraat and then walk towards Markt 1

Mayor Griet Wijnen bought this building on the 22nd of January 1554. At the time of buying, the town hall of Buren was an ordinary house. Until 1608, the city hall of Buren looked like a standard Dutch house for the wealthier people at that time. But after 1608, the mayor and deputy mayors gave an assignment to Adriaen Frederikszoon to reconstruct the building in something a bit more special. And he succeeded if you ask me.

In the middle of the 18th century, a lot of facades of buildings in Buren were removed, and the facade of the city hall of Buren was transformed between 1739-1740. This beautiful building in Buren has been used as a town hall from the 1600s until 1978. The building became too small in 1978, so the municipality office in Buren changed locations. When several municipalities started to join forces with Maurik and Lienden, the town hall was moved to Lienden, and nowadays the municipality building is found in Maurik.

Then at Markt 2, you can see the ‘stadswaag’, or the weighing building. At this building, people weighed things like cheese, etc. It’s an early 19th-century building. At last, you will walk to Rodeheldenstraat, and that will be the end of your Buren tour.

A little extra tip is to walk on the ramparts of Buren. A big part of this part of the fortifications in this town in the centre of The Netherlands are in perfect condition, and it’s pretty cool to walk on them to get a different perspective. You can find them all around the town of Buren.

Get your self-guided and free walking tour in Buren

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Best museums in Buren

Marechaussee Museum

In this museum in Buren, you get to discover everything you’d want to know about the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee. Explore the history, the current and the future of the Dutch gendarmerie. It all started in 1814, and now you get to explore how they work and what has changed more than 200 years later.

Museum Buren & Oranje

Buren is a city that is also known as ‘Oranje stad’, or orange city. That might sound weird unless you’re aware of the fact that the Dutch Royal Family is named van Oranje- Nassau. Van Oranje translates to ‘of orange’, which means that ‘Oranje Stad’ means the city of the Oranjes or Dutch royals.

Now, Buren is not owned by the Dutch Royal family; they simply have strong ties that go back around 500 years. In 1551, Prince William of Orange married Anna van Buren- Egmond in Buren. This was the first marriage in The Netherlands of the lineage of Van Oranje royals. King Willem-Alexander is Duke of Buren. And the Dutch Royal family sometimes uses the alias ‘Van Buren’ if they don’t want to be recognized. This happened for the last time during the Elfstedentocht of 1986 when Willem-Alexander competed with the name W.A. van Buren.

This museum opened from April until October from Monday until Saturday. After those months, you need to have an appointment to visit. 

Markets & events in Buren

If you happen to travel to Buren during summer (as that’s when most events happen), then you’re in for a treat. For the exact dates, I would recommend you to search with the name of the event, plus the year of your visit. This way, you will know exactly when to arrive. 

Chateau voor Buren is the wine festival of the Betuwe region. Not only will you taste (and buy, let’s be honest) the best regional Dutch wines, but you are also able to explore wines from small wine farmers from all across Europe. It takes place every last Sunday of August from 13:00- 18:00. 

Kunstmarkt Buren is an event that has been taking place for a few decades in Buren. In the garden of the Marechausseemuseum in Buren, you can explore around ninety artists during exhibitions and will discover different styles and techniques. It takes place in September on one Sunday from 11:00-17:00.

BetuwsBuren is an event that always takes place on one Sunday in June from 13:00-17:00. During this event, you can discover, try and buy an array of region products from the Betuwe. Think of jams, juices, wines, baking mixtures, Dutch craft beers, delicacies, and so much more. 

The best shops in Buren

Shopping in Buren is simply great. It’s funny because it has quite a few antique shops, which is the same for the small city of Elburg. It sort of reminds me of Elburg in some kind of way. Anyway, 

Koffie & Kunst is a great shop for art, but also has great gifts, coffee and Dutch apple pie. Het Koolwitje is another fun gift shop that you cannot miss on your visit to Buren. Then you HAVE to visit World of Chocolate if you’re a fan of chocolate, seriously. You can thank me later (by sending me some of their chocolates, thank you very much!). 

Visit Galerie Moen to buy antique Christmas decorations and plenty of other things. De Rode Held needs to be visited if you’re interested in seeing and old Dutch candy shop. Trust me, you won’t leave without buying at least something, even if you’re not a candy fan as they also sell a few other items. And last, but certainly not least, visit De Kaarsenmakerij. This is the only place in The Netherlands where make their candles by hand, so they make a pretty darn unique Dutch souvenir.

Things to do in the surroundings of Buren

Walk in the surroundings of Buren

The Tichelgat nature reserve is managed by Staatsbosbeheer and can be found just outside of Buren. This town in Gelderland, The Netherlands, even has a big natural swimming pool, called ‘De Put’. You can also go for long walks in this nature reserve and admire many rare flowers and animals. Or walk along De Korne and De Linge rivers. There are endless options for walking routes near and around Buren. I can also recommend you to walk to Wilco Ambachtelijk Ijs, for some incredible ice cream just outside of Buren. You could also head to (Estate) Landgoed Soelen and explore the beautiful surroundings.

Go cycling or canoeing in the area of Buren

Renting bikes is a bit tricky in Buren. Because in the town itself, you cannot rent any bikes. However, if you’re visiting Buren by public transport, then I would recommend taking the bus to the city of Tiel. From there, you can go to Aan De Linge, which is found at Lingeweg 18b, 4006 MA Tiel. Here you can rent both electric and city bikes. From there you can either cycle back to Buren, or already start discovering the region. I would recommend you to follow a part of the old Dutch ‘De Linge’ river, as it’s filled with stunning places.

The Dutch word for bike rental is ‘fietsverhuur’ so that you know at which header you need to look at their website. You do need to reserve bikes in advance, and you can do that by sending them an email.

Also, if you’re not a fan of cycling, but like to canoe instead, then you can rent these at Aan de Linge as well. You can canoe on one of the most beautiful little rivers in The Netherlands: De Linge. You can thank me later.

You can also rent bicycles in the town of Geldermalsen, which is a little bit closer to Buren than the city of Tiel. At Bike Repair Geldermalsen (website in Dutch) you can rent bikes, do remember always to bring an id (without one you cannot rent a bike) and that often a deposit is asked. 

Find things to do in the historic town of Wijk bij Duurstede

Wijk bij Duurstede is mainly famous for its castle ruins. However, this city is also known as it was found on the remains of famous Dorestad. Dorestad was one of the most important cities in North-Western Europe in the early Middle Ages. The many remains of Dorestad can be found in the fantastic museum in Wijk bij Duurstede. But that isn’t all that it has to offer because there are beautiful surroundings to explore, windmills to see and idyllic Dutch streets to wander through.

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Go on a picnic in an vineyard in the Betuwe region

At Betuws Wijndomein you can go on a picnic in the vineyard, with local products, such as freshly made bread, fruits from orchards, wines and so much more. It’s pretty cool if you ask me. Enjoy the beautiful vineyards and the great local flavours. 

Discover the city of Zaltbommel

Just south of the Waal river you will find the fortified city of Zaltbommel. Although it’s mainly famous for its gorgeous Dutch city castle, which is also a museum, there’s more to discover in Zaltbommel than just that. Walkthrough its endless cobblestoned streets, sit down at one of the charming cafes and learn the history about a city that is almost 1200 years old. Plus, the nature reserves that can be found near Zaltbommel are one of the things you need to see when you visit this cute city in The Netherlands.

Enjoy a visit to a regional museum

Streekmuseum Baron van Brakell (website in Dutch) will bring you right back to the 19th century. Discover an old bakery, shoemaker, clog maker and even a former printing company. But that’s not all, because you can also head into the old cafe and order a nice drink. In this small Dutch museum in Gelderland, you will discover the way people lived and worked in the Betuwe region. Discover information about the Romans in the Betuwe to carriages that were used to go to church or funerals.

Bring a visit to the fortified city of Culemborg

Culemborg is one of the hidden gems that can be found in the province of Gelderland. Somehow, even Dutch people, don’t think of visiting Culemborg and it’s a darn shame. However, I’m hopefully changing that now, because the town of Culemborg is a must-visit. Explore one of the museums, wander through the endless picturesque streets and enjoy a nice drink at the main square in Culemborg. I cannot recommend you enough to visit Culemborg, even if it’s just for one day.

Witness blossoms or get fresh fruits in the Betuwe region

The entire Betuwe region, in which Buren is found, is a spectacular place to visit in The Netherlands in spring. While The Netherlands is incredibly famous for its stunning tulip fields, there is something else that is just as amazing to see.

The Betuwe region in The Netherlands is very famous for its fruits, such as apples, pears and cherries. It is also nicknamed the ‘fruittuin’, or fruit garden, of The Netherlands. During spring, you will see stunning blossoms all over the Betuwe in The Netherlands. 

But don’t worry, because if you don’t visit in spring and you’re travelling to the Betuwe somewhere from June until September, then you can actually get to taste the products. From the middle/ end of June, you can find little stalls along the road where they sell the tastiest cherries and other local products. From September, you can find apples and pears everywhere.

If you’re interested in cycling a beautiful Betuwe route, then I would recommend the following route. Start cycling from Buren to Natuurlijk Gruun. At Natuurlijk Gruun, you can not only buy incredible regional products from the Betuwe region, plus products directly from their orchard and you can also enjoy a drink at their cafe and can discover the area even more. After you’re done with relaxing, you can cycle back to Buren. I would recommend you to cycle a different route back to get a change of the Dutch scenery; there are plenty of options.

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Enjoy the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park

This is one of The Netherlands most beautiful National Parks and is found in the Utrecht region. These stunning Dutch nature reserves are filled with ever-changing landscapes, from heather fields to long lanes with deciduous trees. There are incredible natural areas to discover in this National Park in Utrecht.

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Get local drinks in Varik

The Netherlands first artisanal distillery of eau de vie is found in the small Dutch village of Varik, at Stokerij Lubberhuizen, which is located in Gelderland. They have plenty of flavours available, such as blackcurrants and other more rare Dutch fruits from the Betuwe region. Besides eau de vie, they also producer jenever, Waalbitter (a very regional drink) and more. You can visit the distillery on a tour, but you’d have to come with a group of at least eight people. At the Stokerij Lubberheizen their website at ‘Open Dagen’ you can find out when they are opened for visitors without reservation. 

Visit the city of Tiel

The town of Tiel is one of the many places in The Netherlands that was part of the Hanseatic League. Explore the beautiful streets, go for a drink at one of the many great cafes in Tiel and discover its incredible surroundings. Tiel is filled with things to do, so I would certainly recommend you to visit.

Explore the glass city of Leerdam

I think that most of you aren’t familiar with the name of the town of Leerdam unless I’m talking about their famous cheese ‘Leerdammer’. But Leerdam has a lot to offer, beyond its great cheese. It’s very renowned within The Netherlands as ‘glasstad’, or glass city. There is a cool glass museum in Leerdam that you can visit, and you can walk through one of the picturesque fortified towns in The Netherlands.

Visit Estate Mariënwaerdt

One of the best places to visit in Gelderland has to be the Mariënwaerdt estate (website is in Dutch). This estate in Gelderland is centuries old and exists out of 900 hectares. You can walk through the stunning forests in the direction of a century-old monastery in The Netherlands. It has been in the same family since 1734. 

There’s an organic farmer’s shop with local products, such as cheese made from their cows and freshly made jams from their kitchen garden and fruit trees. You can also find one of the best lunch restaurants in the Utrecht region in the city of Utrecht, which serves the products from this Dutch estate: LandgoedKeuken Utrecht, Korte Jansstraat 5, 3512 GM Utrecht. 

Every year in August, an Estate fair takes place here for a couple of days. There are endless activities to do and things to explore during the Landgoedfair of Mariënwaerdt. There are food trucks (with a lot of locally sourced products), lovely stalls with clothes, but also with handmade products. An entry ticket is needed. 

Bring a visit to the castle and village of Amerongen

Amerongen is home to one of the most beautiful Dutch castles that you can visit in The Netherlands, and it’s found in the province of Utrecht, so you’ll be leaving Gelderland for this day trip from Buren. Castle Amerongen is a must-visit when you travel to Amerongen, but that’s not all, because Amerongen has plenty of things to do and see for such a small village in the Utrecht region. Discover the little Dutch village and its beautiful forests nearby. I can guarantee you that you will fall in love with the place and its surroundings.

How to get to Buren

I would always recommend you to use 9292.nl/en to plan your current trips by public transportation in The Netherlands. This is only used to give you a quick idea on the arrival time and how you roughly can travel to Buren.

From Utrecht: From Utrecht Centraal train station, you’d need to get into the sprinter train towards the city of Tiel. Get out at the train station of Culemborg. From here, you will take a bus in the direction of Tiel. Get out at Plantsoen, Buren. To get to Buren, as a day trip from Utrecht, takes you around one hour.

From Nijmegen: To get to Buren, as a day trip from Nijmegen, you must take a train from Nijmegen train station to Elst. From Elst, you need to transfer to another train, and another train company to train station Tiel (if you use an ov chip card: check out from NS and check in with the other company at the poles on the platform!). From Tiel, you need to take a bus in the direction of Culemborg. Get out at Plantsoen, Buren. To get from Nijmegen to Buren takes you around one hour. 

From Den Bosch: There are several ways to go on a day trip from Den Bosch to Buren. First, take the train to the station of Geldermalsen. From there you can either take a train to Culemborg, or Tiel. And from those train stations, you’d need to transfer to the bus which stops at Plantsoen, Buren. To get to Buren from Den Bosch takes you around 1,5 hours.

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By now I hope that you’ve discovered the answer to your question ‘Is Buren, The Netherlands, worth visiting?’, because heck yes it is. Even spending just one day in Buren will so be worth it. During the summer season, you might found some more tourism in Buren than during other seasons, as the summer months are high season in The Netherlands. This travel blog about Buren has shown you where to go and what to do in Buren, but also incredible things to do in the countryside of Gelderland.

I genuinely hope that this Buren city guide has inspired you to add this town to your places-to-visit list in Gelderland. From free things to do in the centre of The Netherlands, to unusual places to visit. Buren and its surroundings are filled with must do’s, and I hope you get the chance to explore them. Share this post!!

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