Hoorn

Travel Guide Europe Netherlands North Holland Hoorn

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Introduction

Hoorn is a city in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. It is located on the IJsselmeer, 35 kilometres north of Amsterdam, and acquired city rights in 1357. Hoorn had a population of about 72,000.

In late medieval times, Hoorn became rich through sea trade and fishing, making possible the construction of many of the picturesque buildings that can be seen today. Its maritime past is also reflected in the fact that Cape Horn is named after it.

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Sights and Activities

Hoorn's compact medieval centre is home to too many beautiful late medieval buildings to mention. Within walking distance of each other you can find:

Main Tower, 2 Hoofd. Beautiful tower with clock, from the 1530s.
East Church, 60 Grote Oost.
East Gate, 41 Kleine Oost. In rich manierist style, from the 1570s.
Former City Hall, 23 Nieuwstraat. From 1613.
Westfries Museum, Roode Steen 1, ☎ +31 229 280022. M-F 11AM-5PM, Sa-Su 1PM-5PM. €5.
Museum of the Twentieth Century (Museum van de Twintigste Eeuw), Bierkade 4, ☎ +31 229 214 001. Tu-F 10AM-5PM, Sa-SU noon-5PM, M closed. €4,50.

  • Take the steam tram to Medemblik, 8 Van Dedemstraat, ☎ +31 229-214862, e-mail: info@museumstoomtram.nl.

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Getting There

By Train

Direct train services connect Hoorn with both Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport. In both cases the journey will take about 45 minutes.

By Car

From Amsterdam or Schiphol Airport, Hoorn can be reached by taking the A10, the A8 and then the A7.

By Boat

Most of the year, river boats visit the city's harbour. The harbour is at the city center, which makes the museums and old city accessible by foot.

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Keep Connected

Internet

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.

Phone

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.

Post

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.

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This is version 2. Last edited at 13:32 on May 3, 19 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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