These paths have been tread more by geese and ducks than by humans. Until those fowl learn how to write I will consider this an Off-the-beaten-path location. The Valkenberg is a large park between the train and bus station (the same thing) and the old part of Breda surrounding the Grote Markt.
Mr. Bijhouwer took on the task in 1950 of modernizing and renovating Valkenberg park for the 1952 celebrations in Breda. Alongside the castle moat was placed a putt putt golf coarse. I didn't see this and that's a shame, it must have been taken out.
The Galderse Meren are located in Galder. Not far from the center of Breda. There are two lakes, a big lake with an official nude beach and a smaller lake with the possibility to have nude recreation all around the lake. The smaller lake is mostly visited by gay men and the bigger lake by families.To all of you, if you go to a nudebeach don't wear swimwear because there are still much more textile beaches than nudebeaches.
Willem Merkx used to be the mayor of Breda between 1967 and 1983. The garden that was named after him is hiding behing many houses, right in the city center. From the middle of the Grote Markt turn to the Veemarktstraat then turn left to Annastraat where you'll find the nice garden. In case you get tired of the busy and sometimes noisy city you know were escape to. Wiilem Merkx Garden is actually what the Dutch call "hofje" - a little garden in a back of a house. They can be found in many cities in the Netherlands. So far, this is the only one I have found in Breda.
As usual, while visiting please be quiet, people live there.
If you follow the road to the Bouvigne castel, coming from the Ginneken area, as you pass the Heeren van Oranje restaurant the road sign will take you to the left and you'll find yourself infront of a big lake, well more like a pond. Immediately you'll hear the croaking frogs. Probably hundreds of them. You can tell by the noise they make. Why do they croak? Probably late Spring is their mating season and the male frogs are singing.
Surprisingly, I found this noise relaxing, as you'll be standing in the middle of the forest, by the nice lake with ducks and swans, listening to the singing frogs
The forest is huge (well for the Netherlands it is) and somehow you'd have to know where you are and where you go. Those signs are placed all over the park and give you directions so you won't get lost. The Dutch ANWB (similar to the American AAA) place those signs pretty much in every forest, park, and on walking and bicycle routs. So although it is still possible to get lost in this forest the signs of the ANWB will help you to avoid it.
Walking in the Mastbos you'll find many signs that explain what kind of wild life you may spot there. The text is in Dutch, but the signs have pictures of the animals so you can find out easily what animal may cross your path. Most likely you will not see any, especially is walking on the paved roads. But if you get deeper into the woods and arrive early in the morning you have the chance to see some of them
Mastbos is a forest located between Breda, Effen, and Ulvenhout. It has many routes for walking, biking, and even horse riding. Some of these routes are 35 kilometres long (the round walk). If you plan to see it all I suggest you to rent a bike.
Benches places all around the forest so you can relax if tired of walking. It is also a perfect place for picnicks. Many routes are dogs friendly so you can definitely bring your pats with you. The cafes in the Mastbos allow dogs as well.
If you decide to walk in the forest, getting there is easy. Take the bus 130 and it will bring you to the woods.
Breda has strong ties with Poland, even though this may not be well known in Poland itself. In 1944 the Polish armoured division liberated the city and many Polish soldiers after the war settled in Breda (where many of them had met a girl, a catholic one of course!) as they could not return to their country, thanks to misters Churchill and Roosevelt who thought it a nice gesture to give the country to their good friend Joseph Stalin, who was always looking for exciting new places to commit his massacres. How ironic, to think that Great Britain claimed to have entered the war because Poland's freedom was in danger and then gave it away to another thug at the end of that war. The Polish veterans are still angry about this betrayal, and who can blame them?
Polish names are not unusual in Breda, where several generations have been brought up since. A small museum has been dedicated to this part of Breda's history, the General Mazcek museum. In addition a graveyard, one or two chapels and a tank (a German one, presented to the city by the Poles after the war) remind of Breda's Polish history.
Not everybody's happy with the tank, apparently it's not "politically correct", and it has been the subject of vandalism by fanatics for decades now. A museum's probably a better place for it but Polish veterans don't agree. At the moment it's at a different location where it's being restored so you can't see it.
The old town of Breda is largely surrounded by water. Boat rides can be made on part of it, starting from the Spanjaardsgat. Although I like the idea I didn't find the tour itself very interesting. There just isn't much to see, unless you really like grass and trees and stories about buildings that used to be there but were demolished. A trip on the other side of the town would be much more interesting in my opinion but that would require boarding outside the centre. Perhaps this might change. Parts of the old waterways that were filled in in the 1960's are being reopened soon, which eventually would result in a complete ring of water around the centre again. If only they will be able to dig deep enough....
Following the LF9, you'll pass in front of this nice building. This is the former court house.
You can read the following motto on the front: "Suum cuique tribuere". That means "everybody is given what she/he is entitled to",... this is now a jailhouse!
Every year, usually in August, the Air Balloon Fiesta takes place in the outskirts of Breda. It last three days and during this event you can see the air balloons and kites, parachute drop show, and even win a ride on one of the air balloons. Of course you can always purchase such a ride, but be ready to pay 147 Euro for about 1,5 hours of this once-a-life experience. You’ll also have the opportunity to walk inside a balloon while it is being filled with the air. Great fun especially for kids! I always see these things “flying” above my house up in the sky, but I could never imagine that they are so big. Some of the hot air balloons are the size of a three-story building.
Rietdijk, the place that hosts the festival, is easily reached by bus or car. From Breda’s train station take a bus number 6 to Heksewiel. If you’re driving there follow the same directions, parking is available for only 2 Euro.
So far, the entrance is free, but the municipality of the city is already thinking about charging admission fees.
So often my son walks along the gates of the Royale Military Academie and everytime we have to stop because he want to have a look at the fighter jet that is standing on the property of the KMA, and today it was his BIG day, he was allowed to touch the fighter jet, of course he wanted a picture of that!
At 1826 King Willem de first decide to change the castle into a Military Academie.
Unfortunatly during the rebuilding 1826 - 1828 a lot of the original renaissance castle are destroyed.
Two of the four towers, a wooden bridge, the original stairs and because of the second floor the roof tiles and the dormers are gone.
About a thousand cadets are educated here, among them 25% are women.
This is the best kept secret of Breda. Cafe Sam Sam offers free internet service. All you have to do is to order a drink and you're free to check your VT mail. Usually you'll be limited to use the Internet for only 10 minutes, but if there's no line of course you can stay longer. I wouldn't recommend you to go there to have beers with friends, 'cause usually the place is packed with students.
On sunday morning we found this protestant church hidden behind some houses. When closed it looks like a normal shopfront but when the door is open you can see the church behind it. Funny, eh?
In Düsseldorf we have a church that is built behind the houses as well. After 30 years war there was religious freedom so protestants could build their churches even in very catholic places like Düsseldorf. But the rulers still forced them to hide their churches. I guess it's about the same what happened here in Breda!
Dr. Batenburglaan 74, Breda, Noord-Brabant, 4837 BR, The Netherlands
Good for: Couples
Although listed on VT as Tulip Inn Keyser, the hotel's name is actually Golden Tulip Keiser Breda. I...more
Teteringsedijk 196, Breda, Noord-Brabant, 4817 ML, The Netherlands
Good for: Business