Uithoorn — a serene haven where nature, wildlife and history comes together
Located to the south of the Dutch capital is a little town called Uithoorn, home to an extensive nature reserve and a haven for wildlife. With simple and beautiful cafes and shops, the area boasts serene landscapes, ideal for walks and picnics. Uithoorn is best known for its historic fort along with its unusual city flag.
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Uithoorn city flag and coat of arms
Uithoorn’s city flag and its coat of arms, both of which feature a figure emerging from a golden horn. The town’s name literally means ‘from the horn.’
The name De Uithoorn originated from the Middle Ages and it referred to the area or location of the lower courts of St John. The village formed around the courthouse.
Defence Line of Amsterdam
Fast-forward to 1880s, a series of fortifications were built encircling Amsterdam as part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam, also known as Stelling van Amsterdam in Dutch.
The Defence Line of Amsterdam is a 135 km (84 miles) of fortifications consisting of 42 forts. These were built between 1880 and 1920, primarily as a defensive waterline, where it can be easily flooded in times of war. With the invention of air and land defences (tank) the fortifications were obsolete from the time it was built. The Defence Line of Amsterdam is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, (1996) where the public can visit.
Development of Uithoorn
In addition to the Defence Line, a railway was built in 1915. Uithoorn developed very quickly after the Second World War with new neighbourhoods, lakes, ports and shopping centres.
What to expect on a visit to Uithoorn:
Uithoorn is an easy day-trip from Amsterdam and can typically take most of a morning and lunch, perhaps in one of the quaint eateries or a picnic in its beautiful parks. As a guide, here are three highlights of Uithoorn for you to explore:
1 | An abundance of nature and wildlife
Uithoorn is host to 60-hectare nature reserve that surrounds a lake called the Zijdelmeer. The beautiful landscape is made up of grasslands, hay islands and swampy forest. The area offers fantastic spots for walks, and home to a diverse wildlife. There are great spots for picnics as well.
2 | Garden of Bram de Groote
When visiting Uithoorn, look out for the Garden of Bram de Groote. The entry point is along the Boterdijk. This beautiful garden is maintained by a group of volunteers and entry is free. However, note that it is only open to the public during the warmer months of April to September, on the first Sunday of the month.
3 | Fort on the Drecht
Make time to visit Fort on the Drecht, an incredible piece of history. This Fort was built in 1911 as part of a wider defence network built (Defence Line of Amsterdam – mentioned above) around the town from 1880 to 1920. Fort on the Drecht has now been fully restored and is host to a multitude of galleries, studios and exhibitions. It also houses an array of shops and eateries. This marvellous historic place also sometimes, has various cultural activities, glass blowing and wine tasting.
Address: Grevelingen 50, 1423 DN Uithoorn
How to get to Uithoorn, Netherlands
Uithoorn is conveniently located within a short distance of Amsterdam city. Take bus #170 from Amsterdam Centraal station towards Amstelveen. This bus stops at Uithoorn main bus station, whereupon you disembark and explore the great outdoors and the charming historic fort.
If you plan to explore the surrounding areas of Amsterdam, it is worth looking into purchasing the Amsterdam City and Regional Public Transport Travel Pass for the days you intend to explore the outskirts. The Amsterdam City and Regional Public Transport Travel Pass offer unlimited travel on buses, trams, trains and metros in Amsterdam and surrounds – just hop-on and hop-off without a worry or taking your wallet out for each ride.
Practical information when visiting Uithoorn from Amsterdam
Travelling to Amsterdam by Air
If you are planning a trip to Amsterdam by air, then you may want to look up EasyJet, Jet2 and On the Beach for best on budget air travel. For long-haul travel with comfort, Opodo offers a great selection and is one of the best – look them up by clicking the link below.
2 | Travelling to Amsterdam by Rail
Eurail is a global provider of train tickets and partners with European rail networks to bring you the best in train travels. You can select the best to suit your itinerary by clicking the link below. Book well in advance to secure best value tickets.
You could also try Trainline for best offers on UK and European rail fares.
3 | Upon arrival in Amsterdam
If you are travelling by air, you would arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS). There are several ways to reach Amsterdam central either by private transfer or public transport. Amsterdam boasts a comprehensive train network and you could reach Amsterdam Centraal in 15 minutes or if you take the bus/shuttle, you will reach Amsterdam city in 35-40 minutes.
Travelling by train means that you shall be arriving at Amsterdam Centraal Station and from here it is easy to hop onto a taxi or tram to get to your accommodation.
4 | Places to stay in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has a multitude of places for unique experiences and beautiful places to stay for timeless memories. Take a look at this carefully selected hotels and book a stay ahead of time to lock-in the low price.
5 | Things to do in Amsterdam
Whether you are visiting Amsterdam for a weekend or for longer stay, there a great many things to do in Amsterdam, both the popular touristy activities and off-the-beaten-path. Take a look at what you could do in 48 hours and the Unmissable 28 best things to do in Amsterdam.
6 | Planning a road trip around Netherlands?
Planning a road trip around Netherlands and you need a set of wheels? Well, best value does not come any better than Travel Supermarket! Travel Supermarket is a price comparison site that finds the best and cheapest value for the length of your itinerary in real time. Ensure you book and lock-in the best value by clicking the link below:
7 | Visa & Entry requirements
If you are a non-European Union resident, you may need a Visa to visit Netherlands. Check requirements with iVisa.
8 | Travel Insurance
Never leave home without travel insurance! World Nomads is highly recommended as you can buy and claim on the go. Their cover is comprehensive and you could select one that best suits your itinerary.
Uithoorn is a hidden gem – a beautiful landscape and picturesque spots where you can experience the serenity of nature, wildlife and a little history of an unspoilt town.
Sincerely hope that this guide has been valuable in your search for Uithoorn and travel to Amsterdam generally. If so, use the links embedded in this article to book your travels, place to stay or activities you intend to do. TTS earns a commission from qualified bookings/purchases at no cost to you and, as always your support is highly appreciated to keep this blog going. Do get in touch if you have any questions about our trusted partners.
Have a splendid time exploring Uithoorn while discovering Amsterdam and surrounds.