Begijnhof is located in the heart of Amsterdam and is included in the best treasures of the city. It is one of the oldest hofjes in Amsterdam, Netherlands that includes prehistoric buildings, and many other private dwellings. It is also renowned for the two churches namely the English reformed church and the Catholic Houten Huys. One can learn from its name that this place was initially a beguinage.
The medieval inner courtyard of the Begijnhof is where the beguine women used to live. They were more independent than the nuns and had more freedom to do things. One of the famously known beguine ladies, Cornelia Arens also used to live here. The last known beguine lady passed away in 1971. In the present era, there are no more beguines alive and their essence is alive in the remains of this city. Begijnhof also houses Houten Huys which is one of only two remaining timber houses in Amsterdam. One can reach Begijnhof easily via Spuiplein.
How to Reach Begijnhof
The distance between the Amsterdam airport and Begijnhof is 18 kilometers. There are a number of ways to reach Begijnhof from Amsterdam airport. Choose your preferred mode of transportation from the below-mentioned ways.
By subway: This ride can take up to 52 minutes to reach Begijnhof from the Amsterdam airport.
By taxi: This is the fastest option available but a bit pricey. One can reach in a short time of 15 minutes with a taxi ride. The cheapest option available that consumes less time is by sharing your ride. You would reach your destination in 45 minutes through this mode.
By bus: A direct bus is also available from the Amsterdam airport that departs from Schiphol, Airport B17 and is operative every 15 minutes. The ride takes around 32 minutes to reach the destination.
Best Time to Visit Begijnhof
The best time to visit Begijnhof is from April to May and September to November. These months of the year are best to explore the true colors of the area.
The winter months ( November to February) or the fall season attracts a fewer crowd in the mildly cold weather here. The weather conditions can deteriorate on some days but won’t consume much time on your vacation.
The spring season ( Mid March to early May)is also a good choice to stick to your plans for vacations here. The blooming tulips enhance the beauty of the place and are the peak tourist season at this place. The days are sunny and bright and nightlife is also at its full charm during this time.
While visiting the chapels in Begijnhof, the apt time is between 1 PM to 3 PM on Thursday to Sunday. It is the quietest during this time and its early morning hours.
What Not to Miss at Begijnhof
For more locations that can be explored close to the historic location of Begijnhof, note down the following mentioned destinations for further exploration.
1. Amsterdam Museum: This museum was formerly renowned as the Amsterdams Historisch Museum until 2011. This place showcases the history of Amsterdam city. It is seated in the old city orphanage midst the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and Kalverstraat. This place is just a stone throw away distance from the begijnhof. The opening hours of the museum are from 10 AM to 5 PM.
2. Madame Tussauds: This one is a famous location that houses the wax statues of famous personalities from around the world. Carry your camera as this might be your only chance to get clicked with the big personalities like Barack Obama and Michael Jackson. This place is full of people you want to meet waiting to be clicked with you that you won’t be able to meet in real life.
3. Ripley’s Believe It or Not: This place is not just astonishing by its name but also has awestruck objects inside it. This place is built after an adventurer, cartoonist, reporter, but above all a collector, Robert Ripley. He used to collect all the bizarre objects he could find anywhere he went. This place showcases all these objects that have been a major attraction in various countries like America, Canada, Australia, Thailand, and others.
Things to Do near Begijnhof
After your utmost exploration of Begijnhof, make use of your time to indulge into the below mentioned extravagant locations located in the proximity of this location. These options will surely make the most out of your vacations.
1. Rijksmuseum: This spectacular dutch national museum is abode to over 8000 art and historical artifacts. Art pieces of famous painters like Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Frans Hals can be seen here. It has been over 200 years since this museum has been welcoming its visitors. This place has been a national heritage site since the year 1970. The museum premises also include a lush garden where the visitors can soak in the fresh air and be a part of the temporary exhibitions organized here.
2. Canal Cruise: Take a tour of Amsterdam's famous canal cruises that are world-famous. These sail through the heart of the city and offer pristine views of the city. Take a sightseeing tour on the boat as you float around the city. Dine-in with your partner for a romantic candlelight dinner for an unforgettable night on the cruise.
3. Bloemenmarkt: This place is the only floating market in the world. This market caters to every flower requirement of the customers. One can find tulips of almost every color that are central to Dutch culture. Apart from a variety of flowers, these shops also sell gardening essentials, plant seeds and Christmas trees and decorations.
Other Essential Information About Begijnhof
Location: The location of Begijnhof is 1012 AB Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Opening Hours: The visitors are welcome from 9 AM to 5 PM daily.
Tickets: The entry is free for all at Begijnhof although the donations are always welcome at this place.
Photography: Photography and any kind of filming are prohibited at this place. Many people don’t even like getting photos of their private residences being clicked.
Distance from Amsterdam Airport: The distance between Begijnhof and Amsterdam airport is 18 kilometers which can take up to 22 minutes to cover it. The time period may vary depending on different modes of transportations adopted by travelers.
Architecture of Begijnhof
The ancient surviving houses of the begijnhof that date back to the 14 century are an epitome of the classic architecture of the ancient times. A fascinating collection of wall plaques with biblical themes throws light on the architecture theme of the past era. The English church in the southern fringe of the square also possesses the original medieval tower. A clandestine church, Begijnhof Chapel that opened its door for the people in 1680 also showcases the architecture of the catholic past that prevailed here.
History of Begijnhof
The city is said to be founded in 14 century to offer abode to the beguines. These were the women that have a life much similar to that of a nun but had more freedom. The catholic faith got banned in the 16th century. It was then that the Begijnhof was the only Catholic institution that continued to exist as the houses were the private property of the beguine women living there.
Although the chapel was taken away from them. After some time though, hidden churches were also built behind many residences. These hidden churches exist in the present era and can be visited too. There are no more existing beguines now but the houses of the courtyard are still residences.
Places to Eat near Begijnhof
With several dining options offering distinct cuisines at their place, Begijnhof never leaves behind to treat its visitors with lip smacking food. Check out the best restaurants nestled here to feast on a fulfilling meal on your tour to begijnhof.
1. Restaurant Tomaz: A cozy dining place that serves traditional Dutch food is a perfect place to dine in. The staff is also very welcoming and the ingredients used are mostly organic and fresh. The place is open from 12 PM to 11 PM.
2. Vaaso: this romantic dinner place offers scrumptious food and does justice with the price it charges. The authentic Italian food and soothing aura are perfect for an exceptional dining experience on your tours.
3. Gartine: the meals at this place won’t burn a hole in your pocket. They offer the best brunches in the city at prices so good that one can’t imagine. Some of their recommended dishes by the visitors here are their French toast, eggs benedict and many others.
Places to Stay near Begijnhof
The historic center of Amsterdam is abode to many beautiful hotels that are worth spending the night in. select from the below mentioned great hotels that are fit for every category of the guest.
1. W Amsterdam: This extravagant hotel offers world-class accommodation to its guests. With a variety of guest rooms and suites, this hotel brags its heated rooftop pool, AWAY Spa, FIT gym, rooftop lounge bar, and many other facilities. This hotel is located just a kilometre away from the central station and many other public conveniences.
2. Hotel Estherea: Nestled in a tranquil aura this hotel is a perfect blend of state of the art amenities and classy interiors.it is located only three hundred meters away from dam square. One can feast on the complimentary tea, coffee or hot chocolate in the lounge enjoying canal view. Many famed tourist destinations, shopping areas, cafes, and restaurants are located in the vicinity of the hotel.