Once an important religious centre focused on the 10th-century Egmond Abbey, Bergen is a popular resort town in North Holland. It consists of two districts - the town of Bergen and its seaside village of Bergen aan Zee, which forms part of Zuid-Kennemerland National Park. For more than 100 years, Bergen has attracted artists and regularly hosts art fairs and festivals.
Things to do in Bergen
Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the Kranenburgh Museum, which explores Bergen as an artists’ village from the early 20th century. Learn about the peaceful atmosphere and natural beauty that attracted painters to the Bergen School, with names such as Adriaan Roland Holst, Charley Toorop and Simeon ten Holt playing an influential role. Arts and crafts markets are held in Bergen throughout the summer months and the Kunst10Daagse art, theatre and music festival takes place in October.
Occupying the oldest house in Bergen is the Museum Het Sterkenhuis, which illustrates how people lived around the turn of the 20th century. Wander through the period-furnished rooms of the old farmhouse where archaeological finds, traditional clothing and everyday objects are displayed, then admire the topographical prints of Bergen.
If you’re visiting in the summer months, relax on one of Bergen’s beautiful beaches or visit the highest and widest dunes in the Netherlands, the Schoorlse Duinen. Travelling with kids? You can get up close to around 300 different aquatic species at the Zee Aquarium, with highlights including the resident piranhas, a sperm whale skeleton and “Selma” the seal.
Getting around Bergen
Bergen is around 40 minutes’ drive from the centre of Amsterdam and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Buses are the main means of getting to Bergen and between the main town and Bergen aan Zee. The centre of Bergen is compact enough to explore on foot.