Dordrecht is one of the many beautiful cities in The Netherlands that you simply must explore. To discover this Dutch town, I would recommend you to spend at least one day in Dordrecht, The Netherlands. This way, you will find the best things to do in Dordrecht. The Dutch city of Dordrecht is filled with beautiful buildings, courtyards and streets to discover.
If you’ve been asking yourself the question ‘is Dordrecht worth visiting?’, then I can answer that very quickly. Dordrecht is stunning. Truly. There are many things to see and do in Dordrecht. Whether you’re interested in seeing landmarks in Dordrecht or hidden gems and unusual places, Dordrecht and tourism go well together.
The stunning city centre of Dordrecht is filled with places to see. But the surroundings of Dordrecht are also stuffed with places to visit. Whether you’re thinking of spending 24 hours in Dordrecht, or a weekend, there are plenty of activities and sights to see in Dordrecht city. This Dordrecht, The Netherlands, travel blog and guide will show you what you have to do and see in Dordrecht.
Your perfect one day Dordrecht itinerary to what to do and see in this city in Zuid- Holland
Dordrecht is one of my most favourite cities in The Netherlands. So, if you were wondering where to go in The Netherlands, then you have to take a look at Dordrecht in the province of Zuid- Holland. Dordrecht is one of those cities where there’s always something to do. Whether you’re looking for things to do and see in spring, summer, autumn or winter in Dordrecht, you won’t be bored in Dordrecht. There are endless attractions to see in both Dordrecht centre and the surroundings.
This one day in Dordrecht itinerary will show you the things you have to do and see when you’re visiting Dordrecht on a day trip.
History, things to know and facts about Dordrecht
Dordrecht, also nicknamed Dordt, is one of the oldest cities in the region Holland and is an island. It was first named in around 1120 as Thuredrech and got its city rights in 1220. During the Middle Ages Dordrecht rapidly evolved and became an important trade city. While nowadays it isn’t as important as it used to be, the entire city centre of Dordrecht remembers those flourishing times. As of today the city of Dordrecht in the Dutch province of Zuid- Holland has a population of around 100.000 inhabitants.
It was partly built on water because there simply wasn’t enough space on the land to create a town. That’s the reason why people from Dordrecht also are nicknamed ‘eilanders’, or islanders. The inhabitants of Dordrecht are also named ‘schapenkoppen’ or sheep heads for the simple reason of taxes. Even back then, people were trying to get out of taxes.
Two people from Dordrecht bought a sheep and dressed it up as a boy. The sheep was walking between the two men. The idea was that they didn’t have to pay money for the animal as the guards didn’t notice the sheep. As the two men entered through the city gates, one of the guard dogs started barking, which scared the sheep. The men were arrested, and the story continued to be told generation after generation. And this is why the people from Dordrecht are called the way they are.
Best hotels, B&B’s, hostels and other accommodation in Dordrecht
When you’re looking to spend the night in Dordrecht (which I definitely recommend you do) then you need a place to stay in Dordrecht. Here you will find accommodation in Dordrecht for every budget. From the best hotels to the best hostels in Dordrecht and cheapest accommodation.
Stayokay Hostel, check availability on Booking.com
Hotel Dordrecht, check availability on Booking.com
Villa Augustus, check availability on Booking.com
Where to eat breakfast in Dordrecht
If you’re looking for the best breakfast restaurants in Dordrecht, then these places will be great for you. I can never start my day in Dordrecht without going to one of these places below. Whether you’re only in need of the best coffee in Dordrecht or if you want to have a good breakfast, these breakfast cafes in Dordrecht are all great.
At Broodcafe Jaap you can find amazing sandwiches (and yes, vegan options), but beyond those sandwiches, they also have yoghurt, granola and fruits (and vegan yoghurt) as well as acai bowls and plenty of more. If you only need a coffee in the morning, then you need to visit Coffeelicious for the best coffee in Dordrecht.
no.38 City Bakery Cafe is great to visit if you want to eat pancakes, avocado toast or tasty sweets for breakfast. Plus, their coffee is pretty darn good as well. Visit Nobel’s Brood for the best bread in Dordrecht. This is both a bakery as well as a small cafe. Beyond bread, you can find many other tasty things here, and it’s the ideal location for both breakfast and lunch.
Self-guided and free walking tour in Dordrecht
Dordrecht is the oldest city in the provinces Zuid- Holland and Noord- Holland, or the Holland region. This is easily seen when you walk through the city centre of Dordrecht. One of the best ways to explore Dordrecht is by walking through the century-old town. Sightseeing in Dordrecht is genuinely fantastic. Explore the courtyards in Dordrecht on this free walking tour, the old harbour in Dordrecht, see cool activities, and discover the Grote Kerk or main church in Dordrecht and climb the tower. On this free walking tour in Dordrecht, you will find the most beautiful streets in the city and also get to know some interesting facts about Dordrecht.
Go for a great lunch at the best lunch cafes in Dordrecht
Khotinsky is a lovely cafe in the centre of Dordrecht that is especially great as a lunch spot. And Den Witten Haen is also a perfect lunch restaurant in Dordrecht. Zusjes is a great vegetarian lunch cafe with vegan options in Dordrecht. A perfect vegan lunch restaurant in Dordrecht is Daantje Food & Drinks.
Ruby’s has the best Surinam food in Dordrecht, and what makes it even better is that it’s pretty cheap food that you can find here. At Banketbakkerij Van der Sterre you will find delicious food, plus this bakery is a must-visit for everyone with a sweet tooth.
If you’re not that hungry or simply want a quick bite, then I would recommend you to get poffertjes, or small Dutch pancakes, at Visser’s Poffertjes. And at Broodjeszaak Cairo you can find the best falafel in Dordrecht, which can be eaten during lunch, or dinner of course. So those two are the best options for cheap food in Dordrecht. Finn’s Eten en Drinken is also a nice restaurant within the historic city centre of Dordrecht where they have vegan options if you ask them for it.
On the outskirts of Dordrecht, near the National Park De Biesbosch, you can find Huiskamercafe Fluitekruid where you can eat amazing Dutch apple pie, small snacks and some other tasty lunch food. If you have a bike and are planning on cycling in the surroundings of Dordrecht, then I would recommend you to visit this place for sure.
Visit the best museums in Dordrecht
Dordrecht is one of those cities that doesn’t have a massive amount of museums. However, the ones that are here are some of the best museums in The Netherlands. Whether you want to go back in time or want to see beautiful art, Dordrecht is the city for you. And these museums are a must-see in Dordrecht.
This museum is located in a 17th-century building and is one of the most beautiful houses in Dordrecht. This museum in Dordrecht is like a time machine as here you will discover precisely how wealthy civilians lived in Dordrecht between 1780 and 1815. The interior is truly spectacular, and my favourite room shows you a beautiful landscape view of the three rivers that come together in Dordrecht.
Huis van Gijn
Another historic building in Dordrecht that you can visit is Huis, or House, van Gijn. It was built on assignment from a very rich regent named Johan van Neurenberg. Here the interiors date back to the 17th, 18th and 19th century, but that’s not all. There’s a big collection of old Dutch toys, art and a great cafe. In this cafe, they serve some of the best coffee in The Netherlands, and it can also be visited without visiting the museum, but I would recommend you to visit both. The museum shop is also more than worth a visit; you will find household items with the quality of the past times.
Every art lover that is visiting The Netherlands needs to visit the Dordrechts Museum. Admire the beautiful works and paintings of artists such as Monet, Boudin, Daubigny, Sisley and plenty of others. This museum will have you more mesmerised with every step you take inside. And trust me, it’s a place you need to see in Dordrecht.
Do some great shopping in Dordrecht
Shopping in Dordrecht is incredibly fun. While you do have the big, commercial shops such as H&M and Primark in Dordrecht, that’s not the reason why Dordrecht is a great shopping city in The Netherlands. The reason why it is excellent is that this city is filled with ateliers, curios and vintage shops as well as cool concept stores and local shops.
Not only will you find items here that you won’t find anywhere else, but it’s also good for the environment to buy local and second-hand items. You will find great places to buy some Dutch and local souvenirs in Dordrecht, as well as my favourite shops in Dordrecht for, well, shopping.
The best shopping streets for art, antique, boutique and curiosa stores in Dordrecht are found at the following streets: Voorstraat Noord, Groenmarkt, Spuiweg, Grotekerksbuurt, Wijnstraat, Steegoversloot and Vleeshouwersstraatje. My favourite shops in Dordrecht can be found below.
Fun fact about this area in Dordrecht: The Voorstraat is the longest shopping street in The Netherlands.
Bluebirds in the Backyard
This warehouse in Dordrecht is filled with everything your shopping dreams have wished for. Several businesses sell vintage and handmade products under the same roof as well as a breakfast and lunch restaurant. Plus they often have live music performances.
Wijnstraat 153, 3311 BV Dordrecht
If you want to support a great shop, then I would recommend you to visit Wereldwijven. Here you will find women sowing together that come from all parts of the world. Everything they make (from pillows to scarves) is handmade by one of the many wonderful women that work here. Be mesmerised by the details and buy yourself an incredible souvenir in Dordrecht. You won’t be disappointed.
Voorstraat 178, 3311 ES Dordrecht
Buy traditional cookies at Bakkerij van Luijk
Every Friday from 08:00- 16:00 you can find one of the three weekly markets in Dordrecht at Statenplein. Make sure to get the ‘boterkoekjes’ or butter cookies at the stall of Bakkerij van Luijk, because those will make your cookie dreams come true.
Get local Dutch craft beer
Dordrecht has craft beer, and you must buy one of the beers to take it home called ‘Schapenkoppen bier’. Or buy a few beers and sit on the edge of the canals in Dordrecht for a drink during summer. Many cafes in Dordrecht sell this Dutch craft beer in Dordrecht, so if you don’t want to buy some craft beer as a Dutch souvenir, then you can try it at places such as Cafe De Tijd. You can buy this beer from Dordrecht at Slijterij De Dijk.
Buy the local ‘jenever’
Rutte Distillery is the best place in Dordrecht to visit when you want to buy local gins, genevers and liqueurs. Distilleerderij Rutte has been making these products using traditional methods and the best ingredients since 1872.
Discover the local cookies in Dordrecht
Dordrecht has more local food for you to try. They have cookies that are called ‘Schapenkopkoekjes’ or sheep head cookies, named after the nickname for the people of Dordrecht. You can buy them in several places throughout the town of Dordrecht, but the VVV tourist information office in Dordrecht is the most central location.
Scone lovers unite, Christa’s Cookies is where it’s at! You can find incredible cakes, cookies, brownies and, yes, scones in this shop in Dordrecht. It’s a must-visit for everyone that likes cakes and cookies.
‘s Heer Boeijenstraat 2, 3311 BN Dordrecht
Everyone who is interested in buying and reading great comics needs to visit Stripwinkel Sjors in Dordrecht. It’s found in the city centre of Dordrecht, and it is a great shop for getting creative inspiration.
Scheffersplein, Tolbrug 1, 3311 EJ Dordrecht
While it’s named Popup Bookshop that doesn’t mean that this shop is leaving Dordrecht anytime soon. The name refers to the fact that this bookstore in Dordrecht specializes in selling all sorts of moveable and popup books.
Kuipershaven 41, 3311 AL Dordrecht
Buy the best chocolate in Dordrecht
When you’re interested in buying some tasty Dutch chocolate, then there are several options in Dordrecht. The first one is Olala Chocola; here you need to purchase anything you can get your hands on. Sorry not sorry, the chocolate is simply too good. The next place I would recommend you to visit is nJoy Chocolate where you absolutely must buy a Dordtse bonbon or chocolate. You cannot leave Dordrecht without these chocolates, and they make a damn good souvenir, although I won’t be surprised if you won’t be able to take them home.
Olala Chocola: Voorstraat 182, 3311 ES Dordrecht
nJoy Chocolate: Voorstraat 320, 3311 CW Dordrecht
Pandorus & Pandora
There are many cool shops to visit for curiosa items, but the local favourites are always Pandorus and Pandora. These shops are found in Dordrecht city centre and cannot miss on your Dordrecht itinerary.
Pandorus: Boomstraat 17, 3311 TC Dordrecht
Pandora: Wijnstraat 82, 3311 BW Dordrecht
Brokking is a bakery in the town of Dordrecht and is incredibly famous, within the city, for its ‘hazelnotentaartjes’ or small hazelnut pies. The one cannot live without them, and the next prefers not to have anything to do with them. I personally love them, and it’s a must-try when you’re in Dordrecht.
Krispijnseweg 49, 3314 KA Dordrecht
This is the best shop in Dordrecht to visit for unique perfumes. At Vicino Sei they sell Italian perfumes that were made by small Italian perfume makers. There are scents for everyone. So if you want to remind yourself every single day you spray perfume of your one day in Dordrecht, then I would recommend you to bring a bottle home. Also, did I already mention that they also sell soaps, sprays and scented candles?
Vlak 6, 3311 AT Dordrecht
Discover the best restaurants for dinner in Dordrecht
Dordrecht is filled with lovely dining places. Whether you’re interested in vegan restaurants or a good piece of fish, here you will find the best restaurants in Dordrecht.
At restaurant Villa Augustus in Dordrecht, you can find something for everyone; some dishes are vegan, gluten-free or vegetarian by itself, but others can be asked to change into your preferred dietary wishes. The food comes from their garden and local farms and is to die for.
The best Thai food in Dordrecht can be found at Nakorn Thai, and it is excellent food. De Stroper is the best fish restaurant in Dordrecht and DeliCees is a great restaurant for a combination of Dutch and Mediterranean food. Finn’s Eten & Drinken is a great restaurant for organic food.
On the outskirts of Dordrecht, near the National Park De Biesbosch, you can find Kop van ‘t Land where you can eat incredible vegetarian food. If you have a bike and are planning on cycling in the surroundings of Dordrecht, then I would recommend you to visit this place for sure.
Go for drinks in the best bars and pubs in Dordrecht
You cannot leave Dordrecht without visiting a bar or a typical brown Dutch cafe. I would recommend you to head to Café Merz for a drink. But I also would say that Bierlokaal De Tijd is a must-visit place in Dordrecht if you’re a beer enthusiast. So, one of the things you need to do in Dordrecht in the evening is to go for some drinks.
Things to do in Dordrecht at night
At film house The Movies in Dordrecht you can find an incredible range of films. From art-house movies to popular and mainstream films. There’s something for everyone to enjoy. So if you’re looking to spend a relaxing evening in Dordrecht then going to the cinema is a great idea.
The nightlife in Dordrecht is very good for a relatively small city. Sometimes there are performances at Cafe Merz. The building of Bibelot is the concert venue of Dordrecht. And at Dolhuis you can find a concert venue, a club and a cafe.
Other cool and fun things to do in Dordrecht
If you’ve already visited Dordrecht once, but want to know what you can do in Dordrecht when you travel here for a second time, then this part of the article will be perfect for you. But even if you’ve never travelled to Dordrecht before, don’t be afraid to change up this one day in Dordrecht itinerary. It’s your choice. And I’m simply providing you with amazing, unusual and weird things to do in Dordrecht so you can enjoy your trip.
Get to know Biesbosch National Park
Nearby Dordrecht you can find an extraordinary nature reserve in Europe. The Biesbosch marshland nature reserve is a unique river delta in The Netherlands that is influenced by tides and is located between the provinces of Zuid- Holland and Noord- Brabant. In the Biesbosch there are islands, creeks, forests of willows and plenty of other beautiful things to see.
What I also like about the Biesbosch is that there are so many things to do here. Visit one of the three visitor’s centres of the National Park De Biesbosch and rent a canoe, rowing boat or bike to explore this Dutch national park. You can also go for walks through flood forests in the Biesbosch and even go on a Biesbosch tour or cruise from one of the visitor’s centres.
From the 1st of April until the end of October there’s a small ferry (runs every half an hour) from the visitor’s centre to the Griendmuseumpad which leads you to the flood forests.
It’s an absolute must to visit the freshwater tidal wetlands of the Biesbosch when you’re in Dordrecht. Don’t forget to visit the Biesbosch Museumeiland either.
Find the remains of Huis tee Merwede
Huis ter Merwede, or Castle Ter Merwe, is a former medieval castle that is located east of the city of Dordrecht. The castle was built between 1307 and 1335 and is one of the oldest castle ruins in The Netherlands (since 1418). The only thing that remains is a 14th-century tower with two-metre thick walls.
Explore amazing galleries in Dordrecht
Art is everywhere in Dordrecht and with that comes galleries. Art galleries in Dordrecht are a great place to get some inspiration, and maybe you see beautiful work that you want to take home with you. Besides that, visiting these places is some free things you can do in Dordrecht. My favourite art galleries in Dordrecht are Art Gallery Maurice Vrolijk, CO MO Contemporary Modern Art, Pictura Dordrecht and Galerij Wijnstraat.
Rent a bike and cycle in the surroundings of Dordrecht
The surroundings of Dordrecht are beautiful to cycle in. Whether you want to cycle to the Kinderdijk windmills near Dordrecht or the national park Biesbosch, there is something stunning to discover on every corner of the Dutch countryside near Dordrecht. You can rent a bike in Dordrecht here.
Admire the most popular film location in Dordrecht
The Pottenkade is one of the most beautiful streets in Dordrecht and is often used as a film location for many films, such as Zwartboek and Who Am I.
Eat the best ice cream in Dordrecht
The oldest ice cream shop in Dordrecht is Ijssalon Venezia. And there’s a reason why it’s the oldest in Dordrecht because they simply serve some of the best ice cream in the region.
Visit other amazing museums in Dordrecht
- For being such a small Dutch city, Dordrecht has some fantastic museums. Beyond the ones that I’ve already mentioned in another part of this one day in Dordrecht itinerary, you will find other museums to visit in Dordrecht here.
Watch three rivers come together in Dordrecht
The best view in Dordrecht can be found at ‘Het Groothoofd’. Here you will see three rivers coming together called Oude Maas, Noord and the Beneden Merwede. This is also the busiest crossroad shipping route in Europe, and it is a spectacular view to see.
Enjoy the best parks in Dordrecht
While Dordrecht is not the greenest city in The Netherlands, it does have quite a few parks to explore (and of course the National Park De Biesbosch nearby). My favourite parks to relax in Dordrecht are Park Merwestein, Wantijpark, Weizigtpark and Dubbelsteynpark.
Discover the best events in Dordrecht
Dordrecht is a bustling city in the province of Zuid- Holland, which means that many events are happening as well. When you travel to Dordrecht in spring or summer, one of the things you have to do is to visit one of these fun events.
- Wantijpop: Free music festival in Wantijpark in Dordrecht
- Lepeltje Lepeltje: A free cultural and food festival during Ascension Weekend in Weizigtpark
- Schuim Bierfestival: The most fun beer festival in Dordrecht and its surroundings
- Dordt in Stoom: The largest steam power event in Europe
- Pasar Malam: Discover Indonesia with music, food and cultural activities for free
- Voorstraat Noord Festival: A free festival in Dordrecht in the largest shopping street
- Big Rivers Festival: One of the largest free music festivals in The Netherlands
Have a look at the only windmill in Dordrecht
Windmill Kyck over Den Dyck is the only windmill that has remained in Dordrecht. The first mill on this location was built in 1612 and was grinding malt for the breweries in the city. In 1713, that smaller windmill was replaced by the current windmill. Overtime the windmill was damaged and stopped working, but after restoration from 1999 -2001 the mill has been working again. Every Saturday you can visit this windmill and its shop from 10:00 – 16:00.
Noordendijk 144, 3311 RR Dordrecht
Visit the Unesco World Heritage Site the windmills of Kinderdijk
When you’re in Dordrecht anyway, seeing a Unesco World Heritage Site isn’t such a bad idea. While the mills of the Kinderdijk near Dordrecht are one of the busiest tourists areas in The Netherlands, it’s such a beautiful region that you cannot miss it. The nineteen windmills of the Kinderdijk are a beautiful sight to see in this part of the Holland region. There’s a waterbus that runs from Dordrecht straight to the Kinderdijk windmills from the 1st of May until the 30th of September from the Merwedekade in Dordrecht.
Walk the art route in Dordrecht
If you’re interested in walking a special route that brings you past dozens of antique, art, galleries and curiosa shops, then you will like this art walk. Every first Sunday of every month, these shops will open up their doors while they usually stay closed on Sundays. So make the best out of your Sunday trip to Dordrecht by exploring this walking route.
Enjoy the Christmas market in Dordrecht
The biggest Christmas market in The Netherlands can be found in the city of Dordrecht. So if you’re planning on visiting Dordrecht around the middle of December, then visiting the Dordrecht Christmas market is one of the things you have to do in Dordrecht in December. And, the best part is that visiting this market is one of the free things you can do in Dordrecht.
Enjoy a tour through a 150-year-old distillery in Dordrecht
Rutte Distillery is an excellent place in Dordrecht to visit when you want to learn how gins, genevers and liqueurs have been made. Distilleerderij Rutte has been making these products using traditional methods and the best ingredients since 1872. And every Friday and Saturday you can go on a distillery tour in Dordrecht where you will learn everything you need to know, plus there’s a tasting at the end of this Dordrecht tour. It starts on both days on 15:00 and 16:00 and costs 5 euros. There’s no reservation needed.
Visit and relax at the ‘kleine rug’ in Dordrecht
The ‘Kleine Rug’ is a beautiful accommodation on the edge of the Biesbosch National Park. This former farm is only accessible by boat and was renovated in 2001. As you’re almost in the Biesbosch National Park with this accommodation, you are in for a relaxing adventure. You can rent canoes at the house and enjoy a peaceful start and finish of your day or weekend in Dordrecht. Visiting and staying on this small peninsula is a must-do in Dordrecht.
Canal tour in Dordrecht
One of the things you must do when you’re in Dordrecht for one day is to explore this city from its canals. Sail under beautiful, old bridges, look at the buildings from a different perspective and enjoy the best insider information about the oldest city in the Holland region. Don’t forget to ask about the city hall in Dordrecht, because while it’s completely rebuilt from the front, the back is still original. And you wouldn’t see those impressive parts in Dordrecht if you stay with both feet on the cobblestones.
I would recommend you to either go with Imbarcazione Barone if you prefer your private boat and if you don’t mind other people in your boat the Dordtevaar is your best (and cheapest) option. Exploring the city from the water is simply one of the best things to do in Dordrecht.
How to get to Dordrecht
From Amsterdam: To get from Amsterdam to Dordrecht by train is very easy. You can take a direct intercity train to Dordrecht from Amsterdam Centraal Station that departs twice an hour. This will take you around 1,5 hour.
From Rotterdam: To get to Dordrecht from Rotterdam by train you can take any of the seven trains that depart every hour. There are both sprinter and intercity trains that you can choose from Rotterdam Centraal Station to Dordrecht train station. This takes you anywhere between 15 minutes and 25 minutes, which makes Dordrecht a perfect day trip from Rotterdam.
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Day trips from Dordrecht
I hope you enjoyed this one day in Dordrecht, The Netherlands, and that you’ve found many fun and cheap things to do in Dordrecht. This Dordrecht city guide and blog has hopefully answered any of your questions, such as ‘where is Dordrecht, The Netherlands’.
Dordrecht is a great day trip as it’s located nearby bigger cities such as The Hague and Rotterdam. But even if you’re not planning on staying in those cities, Dordrecht is more than worth it to stay the night. I hope these Dordrecht attractions will be added to your itinerary and that you’ve gained inspiration on what to do and see in Dordrecht. Share this post!!