After our trip to Oudewater, we’re taking you to Woerden for the second edition of the Explore Utrecht tour. This surprising settlement city is the capital of the Green Hart. We’re visiting the cheese warehouse and climbing the Petruskerk tower, but of course also going for culinary enjoyment in Woerden.
Woerden is known as a cheese city, but of course it has much more to offer than just dairy, like beautiful streets, canals, and lots of green to enjoy. A few fun facts about Woerden:
- As a settlement city, Woerden was the headquarters of the Old Dutch Waterline (Oud Hollandse Waterlinie), which functioned as the head of defense in the Netherlands;
- There are about 12 cheese warehouses in Woerden, where around 12 million kilos of cheese are stored. Woerden exports a lot of cheese internationally.
- You can still experience the atmosphere of a real farmer’s market in Woerden. You can see the traditional bargaining used to determine the price of products on the market.
Woerden is centrally located and is easy to reach with your own means or by public transit. It’s about a 15-minute drive by car from the neighboring cities, or a very quick train ride from Utrecht to the Woerden station. You’re in the city within a 10-minute walk.
As long as you’re in Woerden, you’ve got to check out the cheese warehouse (Kaaspakhuis) for a cozy cheese experience and fun cheese facts. The cheese warehouse is located in the center beside the Woerden VVV (Tourist Information Center). At the warehouse you’ll learn a lot about cheese: the production process, ripening, and exportation of cheese. But also check out the storage, and then take a virtual tour of the cheese factory.
Want to learn to make your own cheese? You can do that at the cheese warehouse too. During our visit, a group was busy learning to make their own cheese. I got to experience this years ago in elementary school and would like to do it again. It’s really cool to have a slice of your own cheese on your bread.
You can also go for a cheese tasting after a visit to the cheese warehouse. The cheese master is happy to talk about cheese, so you can feel free to ask questions while enjoying wine and a board of various cheeses.
Want to visit the cheese warehouse and all other province highlights? Then check out the Visit Utrecht Region website and save them all.
The Petruskerk Tower
After tea and something tasty at OOK, a cozy home goods and gift store with a lunch room, it was time to go to work and climb the Petruskerk tower. We entered the tower through a small door, passing a narrow hallway and then climbing the stone and wooden stairs. During the tour, the guide stops to tell you more after the history of the tower, church, and city. When we were finally at the top, we could go outside to view Woerden. We could even see the Dom tower. How cool is that!
You can do some good shopping in the center of Woerden. I was very pleasantly surprised by the selection of stores. A few tips! You can buy the nicest kitchen stuff and lots more at home goods and gift store OOK. For exclusive fashion, some of my favorite brands were hanging at fashion store KOKO on the Kerkplein. I did not leave the store empty-handed.
We finished off our Woerden adventure at Bistronoom. The restaurant and bar won the Gouden Pollepel (“the Golden Ladle,” an award) from the AD Utrechtse Nieuwsblad in 2017. And for good reason. This relatively new restaurant has creative dishes on the menu. Unusual flavor combinations that are surprisingly delicious and go well with the carefully selected wines.
We also got to enjoy a wine tasting, given by the restaurant’s sommelier. At the beginning of every season, Bistronoom organizes a presentation and tasting of the wines selected by sommelier Danny. That way, guests get a little taste of what they can expect in the coming season. And of course, delicious bread and cheese are served with the tasting.
A day in Woerden is not enough to really get to know the city, so I’ll definitely we going back to continue this discovery trip. Just a few more tips if you’re going to Woerden. Go shopping at You by Sandra, and get delicious products at Branderij Joos (distillery), Saudade wine store, Alexanderhoeve cheese store, and Italian delicatessen La Fermata. Restaurants recommended by Woerdeners: De Drukdalf and Bijmette. For inspiration you can have a look on Beleef Woerden.