Want to experience the ultimate picturesque Dutch village by the water? Then the former fishing village of Veere is an absolute must-see. The whole town center feels like one big sight, with its narrow cobblestone lanes, cute old houses, and charming marina. It is considered one of the most beautiful places in Zeeland and has a mystical charm. Although not huge and only counting around 1600 inhabitants, you can easily spend a whole day here enjoying the cozy atmosphere. Located on the Veerse Meer lake there are plenty of fun things to do in the surrounding areas including multiple hiking trails, making Veere the perfect getaway for a day trip.
Planning on going to the Netherlands soon? Make sure you don’t miss out on this charming village. We put together the perfect guide of must-sees & things to do in Veere.
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Things to do in Veere, the most charming village of Zeeland
Sights and things to do in Veere
Once one of the biggest trading cities of the Netherlands, now a beloved tourist spot on Veerse lake. The town played an important economic role as a flourishing port in the 16th century for the import of Scottish wool. This historical splendor can still be seen today in its architecture. When wandering around you will find yourself surrounded by traditional houses, remains of the old fortress wall, cozy restaurants & shops, and a surprising number of sights with high cultural value.
Admire the beautiful town hall of Veere
The town hall of Veere must be the most iconic landmark of the town, with its signature tower rising above the city skyline and visible from every spot. It was built in gothic style near the market, with tower clocks that date back to the 16th century. Since Veere played such a big role in trade, it brought quite some prosperity to the town. This resulted in the building of a glorious town hall. Even though it has been renovated several times, it always kept its original outer look. These days the town hall is open to the public and is also home to a museum.
Visit the museum in the Scottish Houses
Because of its wool trading ties with Scotland in the 1500s, you can still see the Scottish influence today in Veere. The facades of the characteristic Scottish Houses are a perfect example of the former relations. The museum is located on the quay around the corner from the town hall and is spread over two Scottish merchants’ houses: Het Lammeken and De Struijs. Together with the Town Hall, they are part of Museum Veere, where you can learn more about the town’s history and centuries-old relationship with Scotland.
Stroll around Veere Market Square
The center of Veere is the picturesque market, which is surrounded by beautiful historic buildings. Take your time to stroll around and even just sit for a while on one of the benches to breathe in the atmosphere. The square has a nice variety of small handicraft shops that display kitchenware, sheep wool, and local candy.
In Oma’s Snoepwinkel (Grandma’s Candy Shop) you can find all kinds of old Dutch candies, such as big sugary lollipops and licorice. Make sure to drop by to rediscover and try out childhood candy. It’s always a fun way to bring home some souvenirs from the trip. If you want to enjoy a small break, the town square has got you covered with amazingly delicious restaurants and cozy cafés.
A fun tip to mark your calendar is the annual historic weekly markets. These take place during the summer when you can discover all kinds of old household items and many local snacks. Imagine this combined with Veere’s authentic backdrop, you can really experience going back in time. Want to experience more of a Christmas feeling? Then you should plan a trip in December to enjoy the Dickens Christmas Market. Around 40 stalls are put up on the market square and the whole town is beautifully lit with Christmas lights. Combine that with mulled wine (Glühwein) and a delicious snack, and you will definitely get into the Christmas spirit.
Tour the big church and the Cisterne
The monumental big church (Grote Kerk) stands out from the rest of the surrounding buildings with its gigantic structure which is visible from all over town. The building was completed in 1521, around the same time as the town hall. The original Gothic cruciform basilica played many different roles over the years, from a house of worship to, a military hospital to an almshouse. Nowadays it’s a cultural center for exhibitions and plays. Going around the church you will find the graceful Cisterne (Stadsput). It was originally built in 1551 for Scottish merchants to wash their wool in. Until 1938 it was used as the main water source by local inhabitants, after that the city was connected to the water pipe supply.
Spend the night in The Campveerse Toren
The Campveerse Toren (Campvere Tower) takes a prominent spot along the yacht marina near the Veerse Meer lake. It was built in the 15th century as a defense tower to protect the harbor and was part of the many fortifications found around Veere. After that, the national monument was converted into an Inn and a lighthouse. These days you can spend the night in this romantic hotel and enjoy a beautiful view over the Veerse Meer. Only passing by? The 500-year-old inn also comes with a restaurant, the Auberge de Campveerse Toren, and remains one of the oldest taverns in the Netherlands.
SPEND A NIGHT | Book a room at the Campveerse Toren in Veere
Wander through the narrow lanes
When visiting Veere, we mainly recommend “getting lost” walking through the narrower alleys of the town. Since the center is quite compact, you will hardly get lost. But believe us you will stumble upon some beautiful courtyards along the way, pretty little houses with old facades as well as various boutiques and shops. Here, you can find all kinds of special trinkets, furniture shops, and regional handmade products and clothing boutiques.
Cruise along the cozy marina
The best ambiance of the city can be found at the harbor, located at the quay. The charming promenade along the waterside is filled with historic buildings with characteristic facades such as the Scottish houses. Find yourself a seat at one of the several terraces and enjoy the view over the harbor which is filled with a range of yachts. To get the best view of the beautiful harbor and its interesting buildings, you should cross the bridge to the other side. From there you will be treated to a nice overview of the city, with its iconic town hall tower sticking out.
Hike the old city walls
Besides the gorgeous city center, you can enjoy a nice hike around Veere, soaking up the green surroundings. All around are ancient city walls which serve as a beautiful walking path these days. From here you have a panoramic view of the city and the lake. Along the way, you will pass several wooden gates and benches that provide explanations about Veere’s history.
Following the walking paths further away from the city, it will take you past the Stenen Beer (Stone bear) and the Koe (Cow), the two famous windmills of Veere. They definitely end up giving you some photogenic views, located on the edge of the city and surrounded by a meadow full of sheep.
Take a boat trip on the Veerse Meer
Want to experience Veere from the water? Various boat trips leave from the marina onto the Veerse Meer. A tour boat departs every hour between 11:00 and 17:00, starting from May 1st until September 30. The boat will take you to the most beautiful places around the Veerse Meer during a one-hour trip.
TIP | Book a boat tour on the Veerse Meer to explore the beautiful surroundings
Looking for some more active watersports? There is so much more to enjoy: sailing, surfing, canoe rental on the lake, and even a cable ski run for water skiing. Feel more like relaxing? Veere has a small city beach, Bastion beach, located right behind the old city wall.
Best Places to Eat & Drink in Veere
The lively center of Veere offers several delicious restaurants and nice cafés to choose from. Suster Anna is the perfect place for lunch or to enjoy some afternoon thee with pie. When the weather is nice you can sit in the front to soak up the ambiance of the town square, or seek some peace and quiet on the back terrace. We highly recommend this place! Another charming bistro with a garden terrace is De Peperboom, where they serve all kinds of fish dishes. Zeeland is the perfect spot to try out some of the best fish thanks to its location near the North Sea.
One of the most popular restaurants in Veere must be De Werf, located right on the picturesque harbor. Reserve a table on their splendid terrace, which offers a breathtaking view while enjoying some delicious platters.
TIP | When in Veere, try out the local specialty Zeeuwse Bolus, it’s a sweet pastry of Jewish origin, typical from Zeeland. You can compare it to a cinnamon roll because of its spiral shape and cinnamon flavor. Pass by the bakery on Rijkendijk to get your hands on one of these. (only open on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.)
Where to stay in Veere?
Veere really lived up to our expectations and even went beyond that. It’s the perfect place if you want to experience an authentic Dutch village by the water. You can easily see it in a day or half, however, who wouldn’t want to spend the night in a historic town? Waking up to the sound of birds chirping, while the rest of the village is still asleep. Experiencing an early morning with a slight fog laying over the meadows around the windmills. There are several kinds of accommodations in Veere itself, from hotels to bed and breakfasts and guesthouses. A special way to spend the night would be in a 500-year-old inn, Hotel Auberge de Campveerse Toren, located by the Veerse Meer.
SPEND A NIGHT | Check all hotels for Veere and spend the night in an authentic Dutch village
Another possibility is to stay overnight in surrounding cities in Zeeland. There are many nice other places on the peninsula Walcheren like Domburg, Middelburg en Vlissingen where you can rent a cottage.
How to get to Veere?
By car: The town is easily accessible by car. At about 500 meters south of the village is free parking at the Veerseweg car park, opposite the Sandenburg Care Centre. There are also several parking lots in the center of the town near the Veerse Meer, however, these are paying.
Public Transport: The nearest train station is in Middelburg, from there you can take the bus to Veere. It’s even possible to rent a bike from there. If you are coming from Kamperland then you can even take the bike on a boat. Between the 1st of May and 30 September, a boat leaves almost every hour for Veere between 10:00 and 17:00. Check for times and more information on the following website.
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