Middelburg, the capital of Zeeland, is a truly monumental city, its streets literally lined with history. Which inevitably means that you’ll find plenty of photogenic spots here. A city centre full of listed buildings? Charming secret alleys? Beautiful natural surroundings bearing traces of the past? Middelburg has it all. Not to mention its fantastic location along the Zeeland waters. We would love to show you all the things Middelburg has to offer.

Like a local
Middelburg through the eyes of a local

Middelburg through the eyes of a local

City Hall of Middelburg, the late gothic styled building was completed in 1520

During the Dutch Era, Middelburg was the most important city in the Netherlands after Amsterdam. And you can see this glorious past reflected in each step you take here. Old warehouses, stately mansions, narrow alleys and historical squares still exude the atmosphere of days gone by. The many distinctive monuments are unmissable sights during your visit to Middelburg. The Market Square, for example, is home to perhaps the city's most photographed building: het Stadhuis (Town Hall). Or how about Middelburg Abbey, with its many towers, serene cloisters and a monastery garden, which is also a frequent backdrop for festivals and events? In short, Middelburg is a city full of sights.

The city has many squares, courtyards and charming alleys, including photogenic spots such as Reigerstraatje, the Kuiperspoort or the Vismarkt. Each location tells its own story and offers a glimpse into the past of this Zeeland city. So wander around these places, enjoy the rich history and discover a special side of Middelburg. A city walk is the perfect way to see the most beautiful and unexpected places.

Heron Street during the day with hanging umbrellas and the tower

There are plenty of things to do in Middelburg. It’s a buzzing city which often hosts cool events. From stand up paddle boarding (SUP) along Middelburg’s canals and art and culture routes to City of Dance and the Zeeland Nazomerfestival. There is always something interesting on the agenda in this Zeeland city that is worth visiting. No matter the season, Middelburg always has something special to offer.

Bolwerk Middelburg

The great thing about Middelburg is that in addition to the city centre and the many activities that take place there, you’re always within easy reach of the natural beauty of the countryside. It takes no time at all to leave the historical city centre and walk, relax and explore in the lush green surroundings, where children can play. You can find remnants of the city's history here too. From the Bolwerken (ramparts) around Middelburg's canals to Toorenvliedt park with its various World War II bunkers. Another special place to visit is the Ter Hooge estate with its impressive castle.

In the heart of a green province

In the heart of a green province

An atmospheric city surrounded by nature offers the best of both worlds. Middelburg is home to beautiful parks and landscapes, which makes it ideal for a sustainable visit. We already mentioned the Bolwerken (ramparts), Toorenvliedt park and the Ter Hooge estate, but there's more. If you look a bit further afield, you will find many unique nature reserves throughout Zeeland. These are extraordinary places that often reflect typical elements of Zeeland, such as the vicinity of water. Prime examples include nature reserve Waterdunen or Boswachterij Westerschouwen forest, where walking and cycling enthusiasts will be in their element.

Ter Hooge Castle Middelburg

Middelburg is conveniently located close to the largest national park in the Netherlands: Oosterschelde National Park. The unique combination of fresh and salt water and the constantly changing landscape offers a warm welcome for thousands of birds, aquatic animals and plants. That’s why Oosterschelde National Park is part of the Natura 2000 areas, a network of important protected natural areas throughout Europe. There is a lot to do in this national park – from impressive walking routes to bird watching and seal safaris.

Hungry after all that activity? There are plenty of options in and around Middelburg for a responsible bite to eat, many of which use local produce. That is not surprising in a culinary province like Zeeland. Local produce is everywhere and there are no fewer than seven (!) Michelin-starred restaurants. Responsible shopping is also not a problem. For example at Moois & Meer, where they sell sustainable clothing, top-quality apparel and great home products. Or stop by Stadstuinwinkel to score the most gorgeous plants. But it's in the typical second-hand shops that you will find particularly unique items.

Middelburg by the water

Hidden gems
Hidden places in Middelburg

Hidden places in Middelburg

Crypts under Abbey complex Middelburg

Middelburg is full of hidden places that you’ll only notice once they’ve been pointed out to you. And they all have their own story. Take the Fluisterpoort (Whisper Gate), for example. During the Dutch East India era, boys and girls were not allowed to talk to each other. They used the Fluisterpoort at the Abbey to get around that rule. Facing the wall, the acoustics of the archway allowed them to communicate through whispers. This historical phenomenon gives a rare glimpse into the social customs of the time.

While walking around the city, you can make some surprising discoveries if you look closely. You might see the narrowest house in town, which is only two metres wide at the front. A little house that shows that the Netherlands was already viewing urban architecture through a creative lens in 1850. Or maybe you’ll discover the oldest wooden façade in the Netherlands, a rare relic from the Middle Ages. These historic façades tell stories of a distant yet tangible past. It's unique architectural features such as these which make Middelburg a fascinating city for lovers of history and culture.

Fish market with artwork Middelburg

Spijkerbrug Middelburg with houses and boats

Walk past the stately buildings in Middelburg and you’ll notice historical house names on the door lintels. These names date from a time when house numbers did not exist and tell stories of past residents and their lives. House names like 'De Vergulde Schoe' (The Guilded Shoe) or 't Gouden Hengsel' (The Golden Handel) each have their own history. They were decorative and helped with directions before house numbers existed. So be sure to look up from time to time during your visit, to discover these names for yourself and wonder about the hidden history they reveal.

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