Gorinchem is a fortified town in the Groene Hart region of South Holland. The town, while small, has a historic town center with a lot of character. Some foreign visitors have already discovered this gem, but it's still missing from the average guidebook and thus very authentic. It's best to hire a bicycle and explore the surrounding countryside. Windmills, rivers and dikes, all are present in an endless flat, green polder landscape.

The city is partly within the Alblasserwaard and the Tielerwaard. The eastern part of the city, the part in the Tielerwaard, was a part of Gelderland until 1986.

The city is believed to have been settled around 1000 AD. The first reference to the then town dates from 1224. The town was purchased in 1273, and at the end of the 13th century, the town was fortified to protect against the neighbouring counties and duchies of Holland and Guelders. This time also saw the construction of the first public services, such as the Heilige-Geestkapel, Gasthuis and the Kanselarijkapel. Halfway through the fourteenth century, the city's ramparts were enforced with stone walls, which has a 7 gates and 23 towers. The city then gained its city rights in 1382. A large fire destroyed almost the entire town only 6 years later. Gorinchem became a part of the County of Holland in 1417.

Gorinchem would expand over time, with a large boom happening during the Dutch Golden Age. The town was heavily damaged as a result of French troops withdrawing from the country during the Napoleonic era. In 1815, Gorinchem was set to become a part of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie. The town's defence works were updated at this point.

The Industrial Revolution gave Gorinchem another boost, with industry improving, and travelling times to the rest of the country being significantly reduced with the introduction of the Staatsspoorlijn railway between Breda and Rotterdam. The Industrial Revolution, however, also resulted in the city's defence works being no longer sufficient and virtually unusable.

The first expansions of the city since the seventeenth century happened in the twentieth century. The bloom of the previous century had attracted a lot more citizens, which could no longer be housed in the city centre alone.



Sights and Activities

  • Grote Kerk. The original medieval St. Martin's church was demolished in the 19th century, but the original bell tower survived and can be visited during summer.
  • Gorcums Museum (Oude Stadthuys). Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 11:00-17:00. The town's museum, with a display on the history of Gorinchem and the internationally known Martyrs of Gorcum.
  • Lingehaven. A picturesque historic harbour of the town on the river Linge. It is now a tourist harbour.



Getting There

By Public Transport

Gorinchem is serviced by a single train station, namely Station Gorinchem, which is serviced by Sneltrein and Stoptrein services by Arriva. Of these two, the Sneltrein is the quicker option, skipping several stations along the route. The stoptrein is guaranteed to stop at every station. The railway connects Gorinchem to Dordrecht in the west and Geldermalsen in the east. Either of these two stations is well-served by national trains. The train station of Gorinchem is also its main bus hub, with busses connecting to most of the city. The city centre, however, is a twelve minute walk away from the train station.

By Car

Gorinchem can be found along the A15/E31 and A27/E311 highways. The A15 starts on the Rotterdam Maasvlakte, not too far from Brielle, and terminates in between Arnhem and Nijmegen. The A27 connects Almere and Utrecht with Breda. Gorinchem is about halfway down either of these highways. The city is serviced by three highway exits, two of which are on the A15, namely exit 27 (Gorinchem) and exit 28 (Arkel). The A27 connects to the binnenstad via exit 24 (Avelingen).



Getting Around

By Public Transport

The region is easily explored by the various river ferries and 'water taxi' (Veerdienst Gorinchem).

  • Riveer, ☎ +31 6-22558233. The company provides a local ferry services between Gorinchem, Woudrichem and the village of Sleeuwijk. In summer there are additional services to the Loevestein Castle and the Fort Vuren. They also provide water taxi services in the area.




  • Galileo, Hoogstraat 25, ☎ +31 183 636-793. A good Italian restaurant that overlooks the canal that splits the fortified center in half. The pizzas are relatively large, so a good value for those on a budget. Meat and fish menus are a lot more expensive though. €13-27.
  • La Caponnière, Kanselpoortweg 1. Sa Su 13:00-19:00. Wine and tasting room located at the former captioner.




  • Pavlov, Langendijk 23, ☎ +31 183 630 392. Cosy bar with interesting choice in beers, small terrace and lunch.
  • De Keizer, Keizerstraat 14, ☎ +31 0183 634 661. Beer pub with large range of Belgian and Dutch beers.




  • Le Bon Apart, Eind 16, ☎ +31 0183 666 211. Hotel in the historical town centre.
  • Pakhuis Handelslust, Robberstraat 2, ☎ +31 0183 689910. B&B in the historical town centre.
  • Klein Loevestein, Pompstraat 48, ☎ +31 0 616 504 767. B&B in the historical town centre.

View our map of accommodation in Gorinchem



Keep Connected


Internet cafés are not as widespread as you would expect, but you can easily find one in the popular cities. Most hostels, hotels and camp sites have several computers, so you can keep connected with folk at home. Here is a list of internet cafés that could come in handy for travellers. Otherwise, most libraries have lots of computers and prices are around the €2-3 per hour range, although sometimes it can be even more expensive.

Wireless internet access using wifi is becoming more popular and is usually available at most hotels and increasingly at train stations. Also in trains (at least in most first class wagons, but also more and more in second class) and some buses you can use wifi. Finally, places like McDonald's and Starbucks have free wifi, and smaller individual business like cafés and restaurants are on the rise too offering these services. More often than not, these service tend to be free of charge, though there might be a limited time you can use the internet.


See also: International Telephone Calls

The country code for the Netherlands is 31. The outbound international prefix is 00. The general emergency number is 112, like many other countries.
0800 numbers are toll-free and for 09xx numbers are charged at premium rates. Mobile phones have numbers in the 06 range, and calls to cell phones are also priced at higher rates.

From internet cafés, it is also usually possible to make long distance international calls. Like in other countries, telephone booths have almost disappeared, though some are still found around public transport stations, where you can use a few coins to make calls. It is only recommended for local calls.

The cellular phone network in the Netherlands is GSM 900/1800. The main providers of cell phone networks are KPN (Dutch only), T-mobile and Vodafone, who cover the whole country. Other operators, like Hollandsnieuwe, Simyo or Tele2, use one of these 3 networks basically.

It is best to buy a SIM card when in the Netherlands for use in your cellphone, as this usually works out cheaper than using the one from home. If you are planning to study or work in the country and stay for several months, buying a cellphone is the best option. A simple one, sometimes with €10 worth on it, can be bought from around €25. The simplest smartphones are around €75.


The rate for sending a postcard or letter up to 20 grams within the Netherlands is €0.64 (2014). Since 2010 there are stamps available for domestic post which no longer include the value in €. Instead, there are stamps available with either a '1' or a '2' as a substitute for value. The '1' can be used for letters and postcards up to 20 grams, while 20-50 grams require you to use the '2'-valued stamps (or two '1'-valued stamps of course).

Sending items to other EU countries and the rest of the world (there is one price since 2014) will cost €1.05. Stamps are sold at post offices, supermarkets and smaller shops/kiosks; often the place where you buy your postcards can also supply you with stamps.

Sending parcels abroad is more costly. A standard-sized parcel between up to 2 kilograms will cost you €9 for destinations within the EU and €18 (both without Track & Trace) to the rest of the world. Prices with Track & Trace start at €13 and €24.30 respectively. Parcel service is available from major post offices only; standard-size boxes are on sale there as well. For sending parcels, it might be just as competitive and fast to use a company like TNT, UPS or DHL.

If you need to receive mail while moving around, you can have it sent poste restante (to be called for) to a post office of your choice, where it will be kept for a month. If you come to claim it, bring a valid ID, and make sure to have told the sender that the name on the envelope must be an exact match with that in your passport. For addresses of post offices, as well as more information, consult the TNT website.


Accommodation in Gorinchem

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This is version 1. Last edited at 10:21 on Apr 19, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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