Hindeloopen Travel Guide

  • Hindeloopen
    by FlyingDutchmen
  • Hindeloopen
    by FlyingDutchmen
  • Hindeloopen panorama
    Hindeloopen panorama
    by King_Golo

Hindeloopen Things to Do

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    A walk through Hindeloopen

    by King_Golo Written Apr 1, 2016

    Hindeloopen is a small place of not even 900 inhabitants, so the best way to discover it is on foot. A good starting point is Hindeloopen's Grote Kerk (Great Church), dating back to 1632. It was built on the remains of an older church which was destroyed in the 80-year war between the Netherlands and Spain. Some 150m away along the Westerdijk you can find the harbour with a few snack bars and lots of boats. Walk back into the centre of Hindeloopen and marvel at some of the village's beautiful houses. The Sluishuis (Lock House) from 1619 is the most striking with its prominent clock tower. Many other houses might not be as historically relevant, but are cute nonetheless.

    Hindeloopen's Sluishuis
    Related to:
    • Architecture

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  • Bird Watching Station

    by Xefian Written Jan 29, 2006

    Between Hylpen and Stavoren is a small road . With sheep / dijk /and Isselmeer to one side. About half way between the two and hard to notice from a car is a bird watching station perched on the Meer. accessible by a gate and path through the reeds it makes a nice stop to enjoy the natural setting of this area . There are free of charge large binoculars mounted in the station, and we found the area deserted other than several sheep. As in so many locations in NL ,this area makes for a nice bicycle excusion.

    Wetlands and Isselmeer near Hindeloopen View of Hylpen from Birdwatching platform Lots of Sheep
    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Budget Travel
    • Cycling

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  • Quiet and Relaxing

    by Xefian Written Jul 3, 2005

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It won't take long to explore the town . But one may want to linger and enjoy the experience. Strolling the streets ,or watching the ships from the dijk ,this town is just so relaxing ,and if you've been in the big cities it makes a nice counterpoint to see a more traditional view of the Country. The town church has a perceptible lean to it . Many of the "Golden Age" homes are still in use .

    Leaning tower of Hylpen
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel

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Hindeloopen Shopping

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    ?: Shopping for bric-a-brac

    by King_Golo Written Apr 1, 2016

    Okay, this might not be the most helpful of tips as I neither remember the name of the shop, nor its whereabouts. But it's worth entering if you can find it. Located in a large hall is one of the most chaotic bric-a-brac shops I've seen in my life. You can find everything from teddy bears to furniture, from old off-tune guitars to knives and forks, from clothes to traffic signs. I love these shops, even though I normally resist the temptation to spend money for useless or worthless pseudo-antiques which would fill up my flat and get dusty on some shelf. The shop is also worth visiting if you are into very old Dutch oompah music or something similar. The family running it seemed very fond of that kind of music while I was reminded strongly of a similar experience in Tartu, Estonia.

    What to buy: If you have enough money, why not get that off-tune guitar along with an antique camera, a garden gnome, the town sign of a French village, some ice skates or figurines of some choir boys?

    What to pay: strongly depending on what you want to have

    Me amidst lots of useful/useless things Doesn't everybody need a windmill like that?

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  • Fa. IEKOON: Hylpen Wood Craft

    by Xefian Written Jul 4, 2005

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hindeloopen has a unique style of wood painting that can be found throughout Fryslan. It involves rather intricately painted wooden objects such as jewelry boxes,plates,etc, and is quite beautiful. The style is referred to as "Oude Hindelooper Schilderkunst"...The prices are fairly reasonable ...a 3" by 5" by 2" deep jewelry box selling for 12 Euro ....The telephone number and addresses come from the bottom of a piece we bought in June 05...These make nice gifts or souvineers from this gem of a town. The pic onone of our "things to do " pages was taken in front of the shop...

    Fa. Iekoon Shop
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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  • Hindeloopen Hotels

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Hindeloopen Local Customs

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    Elfstedentocht

    by King_Golo Updated Apr 1, 2016

    When I started learning Dutch in 2010, I soon came across the word "Elfstedentocht". Our teacher explained that the Elfstedentocht is THE winter event in Friesland - an ice-skating race along frozen canals and across small lakes, connecting all eleven towns (steden) in Friesland which had historically been granted town privilege. What makes the race interesting are the enormous distances (about 195km!) and the fact that ice-skaters will have to skate for almost seven hours nonstop. In the old days, with ice-skates being of lower quality (and supposingly also offering less comfort), the finishing times were almost double as long. Apart from the "real" race, there is also a hobby ice-skater's race which takes place on the same day. While only 300 participants do the real race, more than 15000 can do the other one.
    The first official Elfstedentocht took place on 2 January 1909. It took the winner, Minne Hoekstra, 13 hours and 50 minutes to complete it. As all the canals and lakes have to have an ice layer of at least 15cm, there were only 15 Elfstedentochten in the course of the last century: 1909, 1912, 1917, 1929, 1933, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1947, 1954, 1956, 1963, 1985, 1986 and 1997. There hasn't been any Elfstedentocht in this millennium - no surprise with warmer winters due to climate change. In 2012, everything seemed fine for an Elfstedentocht - but it was cancelled shortly before due to the thinness of the ice in some parts of the track. In 2009 the 100th anniversary of the tour was celebrated and Hindeloopen put up a few signs with poems about the tour. Two of them can be seen on the photo. They are written in the form of an "Elfchen" and translate (freely) as:

    Ice-skating
    Elfstedentocht ice-skating
    Ice-skating on racing-skates
    Ice-skating on an ice rink
    Elfstedentocht

    Elfstedentocht
    Doing the Elfstedentocht
    Elfstedentocht on ice-skates
    Elfstedentocht on the ice
    Ice

    In case you are not a fan of wintry temperatures, but would still like to see a similar race, you should mark Whit Monday in your calendar - the annual Fietselfstedentocht (a bicycle race between the same eleven towns) takes place then.

    Poems about Elfstedentocht

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