Vlaardingen, Netherlands

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Vlaardingen, Netherlands

Region: South Holland

Geographic Coordinates: 51.900000, 4.350000
Temperature Range: -40.0°C to 40.0°C (-40°F to 104°F)
Climate: Seasonal climate patterns in Vlaardingen, Netherlands?
Population: 73924
Language: Dutch

Vlaardingen, A charming city located in the western part of the Netherlands, Is a hidden gem that offers visitors a unique blend of history, Culture, And natural beauty. Situated on the banks of the Nieuwe Maas River and just a stone’s throw away from Rotterdam, Vlaardingen has managed to retain its small-town charm while being in close proximity to larger urban centers. One of Vlaardingen’s most notable features is its rich historical heritage. The city traces its roots back to Roman times and was an important trading center during medieval times.

Today, Remnants of this fascinating past can be explored through various historical sites and museums. The Museum Vlaardingen showcases artifacts from different eras, Including ancient Roman relics and exhibits on local fishing traditions. Speaking of fishing traditions, Vlaardingen has long been associated with its maritime heritage. In fact, It was once known as one of the largest herring fishing ports in Europe. To commemorate this legacy, Each year in June or July, The city hosts De Vlaggetjesdag, A festive event celebrating the arrival of new herring catches.

Visitors can witness traditional fish auctions and enjoy delicious seafood delicacies prepared by local vendors. Nature enthusiasts will find plenty to explore in Vlaardingen as well. The city boasts several beautiful parks and green spaces where one can escape from bustling urban life. The Broekpolder nature reserve is particularly popular among locals for its diverse wildlife habitats and scenic walking trails that wind through marshes, Meadows, Forests, And lakes. Architecture lovers will appreciate Vlaardingen’s mix of historic buildings alongside modern structures.

Strolling through the old town center reveals picturesque streets lined with beautifully preserved 17th-century houses adorned with intricate facades that reflect Dutch architectural styles from centuries ago. For those seeking retail therapy or culinary delights during their visit to Vlaardingen, The Hoogstraat, The city’s main shopping street, Offers a variety of charming boutiques, Cafes, And restaurants. Here visitors can indulge in delicious Dutch cuisine or sample international flavors while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. Vlaardingen’s central location also makes it an ideal base for exploring nearby attractions.

Just a short train or bike ride away is Rotterdam, Known for its futuristic architecture and vibrant cultural scene. Additionally, The famous windmills of Kinderdijk are within easy reach and offer an iconic glimpse into the Netherlands’ historical past. Vlaardingen captures the essence of traditional Dutch life while offering visitors a range of experiences to suit their interests. Whether you’re captivated by history, Natural beauty, Or simply seeking a tranquil escape from bustling cities nearby, Vlaardingen promises to be a delightful destination that will leave you with lasting memories.

Important Landmarks

  1. The Grote Kerk: Also known as the Great Church, this medieval church is one of Vlaardingen’s most iconic landmarks. It dates back to the 15th century and features beautiful Gothic architecture.
  2. Museum Vlaardingen: This museum showcases the history and culture of Vlaardingen through various exhibits and artifacts. It provides insights into the city’s maritime heritage, including its fishing industry.
  3. The Visbanken: These historic fish stalls were once used for selling fish caught in Vlaardingen’s waters. Today, they serve as a reminder of the city’s fishing tradition and are often photographed by tourists.
  4. Windmill Aeolus: Located on Windmill Island, this traditional Dutch windmill is still operational today. Visitors can learn about its history and see how it grinds grain into flour using wind power.
  5. Broekpolder: This nature reserve offers opportunities for outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, and birdwatching. It has diverse landscapes with forests, meadows, lakes, and marshes.
  6. The Oude Haven (Old Harbor): Situated near the center of Vlaardingen, this picturesque harbor area is lined with historic buildings that now house restaurants and cafes.

While these are some of the notable landmarks in Vlaardingen itself, visitors can also explore nearby cities like Rotterdam or Delft for more famous tourist attractions in the South Holland region.

Primary Industries

  1. Maritime Industry: Vlaardingen has a strong maritime tradition and is home to several shipbuilding companies, ship repair yards, and maritime service providers.
  2. Food Processing: The city has a significant presence in the food processing industry, with various companies engaged in the production of meat products, seafood processing, bakery goods, and dairy products.
  3. Chemical Industry: Vlaardingen houses chemical companies involved in the production of specialty chemicals, petrochemicals, plastics manufacturing, and chemical research.
  4. Logistics and Warehousing: Due to its strategic location near Rotterdam’s port area, Vlaardingen serves as a hub for logistics activities such as warehousing facilities and transportation services.
  5. Renewable Energy: There are renewable energy companies operating in Vlaardingen that focus on wind energy generation through the development of wind turbines.
  6. Retail Sector: The city has a vibrant retail sector with numerous shops ranging from small local businesses to large supermarkets that cater to the needs of residents.
  7. Service Sector: Various service-oriented businesses thrive in Vlaardingen including financial institutions like banks, insurance agencies as well as healthcare providers such as hospitals and clinics.
  8. Technology Sector: Some technology-based companies operate within Vlaardingen specializing in software development, IT services or manufacturing electronic equipment.

These are just some examples of the major industries and businesses present in Vlaardingen; however it should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list as there may be other sectors contributing to the local economy as well.

Noteable History

  1. Battle of Vlaardingen (1018): This battle took place between Count Dirk III of Holland and Emperor Henry II’s forces. Count Dirk III successfully defended Vlaardingen against the imperial army, securing his independence and laying the foundation for the County of Holland.
  2. Floris V (1254-1296): Floris V was one of the most prominent Counts of Holland. He played a crucial role in expanding his territories and strengthening his authority over local nobles during his reign from 1256 until he was assassinated in 1296.
  3. Fishing industry: Throughout its history, Vlaardingen has been known for its fishing industry. It became an important center for herring fishing during the medieval period and remained so until recent times when industrialization caused a decline in traditional fishing practices.
  4. The Capture of Brielle (1572): During the Eighty Years’ War between Spain and Dutch rebels seeking independence, Brielle, which is near Vlaardingen, was captured by rebel forces led by William van der Marck (also known as Lumey). This event marked an important turning point in Dutch resistance against Spanish rule.
  5. Maarten Tromp (1598-1653): Born in Rotterdam but associated with Vlaardingen due to his naval career, Maarten Tromp was one of the most renowned admirals during the Dutch Golden Age. He achieved numerous victories against English fleets while serving as Admiral-General of The United Provinces.
  6. Industrialization: In the late 19th century, industrialization transformed Vlaardingen into an important center for shipbuilding and other manufacturing industries such as beer brewing.
  7. World War II: Like much of Europe, Vlaardingen was affected by World War II. The city suffered significant damage during the German occupation, and several resistance movements operated in the area.

These are just a few examples of notable events and people associated with Vlaardingen. The city has a rich history that encompasses various periods, from medieval battles to industrialization and modern developments.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Museum Vlaardingen: This museum showcases the rich history and culture of Vlaardingen, including exhibits on fishing, shipbuilding, and local art.
  2. Visbanken: These historic fish stalls are a symbol of Vlaardingen’s fishing heritage and offer a unique glimpse into the city’s past.
  3. Grote Kerk: The Grote Kerk is a beautiful medieval church located in the heart of Vlaardingen. Visitors can admire its impressive architecture and explore its interior.
  4. Stadsgehoorzaal: This cultural center hosts various performances including theater shows, concerts, and film screenings. Check their schedule for upcoming events during your visit.
  5. Broekpolder: A large nature reserve just outside Vlaardingen that offers walking trails, cycling paths, and bird-watching opportunities amidst beautiful landscapes.
  6. Windmill Aeolus: Visit this traditional windmill to learn about its historical significance in Dutch society and witness how it operates firsthand.
  7. Oude Haven: Take a stroll along the Oude Haven (Old Harbor) to see picturesque views of boats moored along charming canals lined with cafes and restaurants.
  8. Holy Quarter: Explore this lively neighborhood known for its diverse range of shops, markets, eateries, and vibrant street art.
  9. Hofje van Gratie en Vertrouwen (Courtyard of Grace & Trust): This hidden gem is an idyllic courtyard surrounded by quaint houses built in the 18th century—a peaceful spot to relax or take photographs.
  10. Vlietland Recreation Area: Located nearby in Leidschendam-Voorburg but easily accessible from Vlaardingen by car or public transport; it offers outdoor activities such as swimming, sailing, canoeing/kayaking amidst scenic lakeshores.

Sports Teams

  1. CION Vlaardingen: CION is a football club founded in 1909 and has a long-standing history in Vlaardingen. The club has competed in various regional leagues over the years.
  2. Victoria ’04: Victoria ’04 is another football club based in Vlaardingen, established in 1904. It has had success at the amateur level and currently competes in lower divisions.
  3. Virto/Quintus: Virto/Quintus is a handball club founded in 1955 and located in Kwintsheul, near Vlaardingen. Although not directly based within Vlaardingen itself, it attracts players from the area.
  4. ZVVS Water Polo Club: ZVVS is a water polo club that was established back in 1937 and represents Vlaardingse Zwem Vereniging Schiedam (VZVS). The club has had success at regional levels.
  5. Tennisvereniging Holy: Tennisvereniging Holy is one of the tennis clubs located within Vlaardingen, offering facilities for both recreational players and competitive tournaments.

Cultural Events

  1. Vlaardingen Festival: This annual festival takes place in August and features various music performances, dance shows, theater acts, and art exhibitions.
  2. Streekweek: Held in September, Streekweek celebrates the local culture and heritage of Vlaardingen with activities like guided tours, workshops on traditional crafts, and culinary experiences.
  3. Dutch Heritage Days: Taking place every year in September across the country, this event allows visitors to explore historical buildings and landmarks that are usually closed to the public. Several locations in Vlaardingen participate by opening their doors for guided tours.
  4. Holy Land Festival: Organized by a local church community during summer months (usually July), this festival showcases different aspects of biblical times through reenactments, live music performances, food stalls serving Middle Eastern cuisine, and interactive workshops.
  5. Christmas Market: In December each year, a festive Christmas market is set up in the city center of Vlaardingen offering holiday-themed stalls selling crafts, gifts, food specialties like oliebollen (Dutch doughnuts), glühwein (mulled wine), and various entertainment activities for families.

Note that event dates may vary from year to year; therefore it is recommended to check specific dates closer to your intended visit.


  1. Haring (Herring): Vlaardingen is known for its fresh herring, which can be enjoyed at various seafood stalls or fishmongers throughout the city.
  2. Poffertjeskraam Onder de Molen: This cozy café serves traditional Dutch poffertjes (mini pancakes) with various toppings like powdered sugar, butter, and syrup.
  3. Restaurant ‘t Packhuys: Located in an old warehouse near the harbor, this restaurant offers a mix of international and local cuisine with dishes such as Dutch stews (e.g., pea soup), fresh seafood, and meat specialties.
  4. Grand Café De Hoogstraat: Situated in the heart of Vlaardingen’s historic center, this café offers a range of Dutch classics like bitterballen (deep-fried meatballs), croquettes, and sandwiches.
  5. Brasserie ‘t Hof van Vlaardingen: This charming brasserie focuses on seasonal ingredients to create delicious dishes such as grilled meats, fish specialties, and vegetarian options.
  6. Eetcafé De Windwijzer: A popular spot for locals to enjoy quality pub food including burgers, spare ribs, salads, and other comfort food options.
  7. Pizzeria Trattoria Da Lina: If you’re craving Italian cuisine while in Vlaardingen, this family-run pizzeria offers authentic wood-fired pizzas made with fresh ingredients.
  8. Snackbar Verhage Fastfood & IJssalon: A local fast-food joint where you can grab typical Dutch snacks like fries with mayonnaise or kroketten (croquettes).

These are just a few examples of popular local cuisine and restaurants available in Vlaardingen; there are many more delightful options to explore in the city.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Oranjepark: A beautiful park with walking paths, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
  2. Broekpolder: A large nature reserve with hiking and cycling trails, a golf course, and a lake for water sports.
  3. Holy Park: A peaceful park with ponds, gardens, and sports facilities like tennis courts.
  4. Westwijkpark: A green space with walking paths and a small lake for fishing.
  5. Zuidbuurtseweg Recreation Area: Offers opportunities for hiking, cycling, horse riding, and birdwatching.
  6. Skatepark Vlaardingen: An outdoor skatepark for skateboarders and BMX riders.
  7. Watersportvereniging Vlaardingen (Vlaardingen Watersports Association): Provides sailing lessons and opportunities to rent boats on the nearby river.

These are just a few examples of the parks and recreational activities available in Vlaardingen.


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