Explore the fortified city!
Are you ready for a visit to the fortified city of Willemstad? Follow the footsteps of significant monarchs and conquerors, and imagine yourself on a fierce battleground as friend or enemy between the water and forts. Discover the Dutch history in the visitor center of the Mauritshuis, wander the ancient streets, and relish culinary meals on one of the many terraces of the picturesque marina.
Fortified city Willemstad
The defenses of Willemstad
Cannonballs in the walls, cannons on the quays. City walls, star-shaped dikes, forts, bunkers, and gunpowder storages. The famous history of Willemstad has left its marks. Going on an adventure by visiting the defenses of Willemstad and her historical fortifications, you will experience the history of both city and land in an area where water and wind still dominate.
Start your quest in the Mauritshuis’ Canon chamber. Press the red button that brings the room to life. Learn about the defensive battles, from the Spaniards to the conquest of the Germans. In this extraordinary room, young and old will relive the entire military history of this historical place with her fortifications and forts. After spending some time in the Canon chamber, continue your visit to the attic. Presented by the local history society, this is where you can find an exhibit of items showing how people worked and lived in the past.
Let a tour guide show you the cozy streets of the historical fortress during one of the many walking city tours. During the walk of your choice, the guide will explain the origin of the bastions, the city walls, the street pattern, and the many attractions and monuments. Is a visit to the domed church included in your tour? Do not forget to enjoy the view from the church tower!
Water adventure for children
Looking for an adventurous day out with children? Boarding in Willemstad, you can take the Expedition Haringvliet to the island ‘Tiengemeten’ or continue this boat trip to cities like Hellevoetsluis, Middelharnis and Stellendam. Can you spot the water lock ‘Volkeraksluizen’? These inland waterway locks are the biggest in Europe! From the watch-tower near the complex, you can watch the biggest ships pass the locks. An amazing spectacle.
Relaxing near the water
End your day with a lovely dinner on the waterfront of the picturesque marina in Willemstad. Sounds nice, right? Treat yourself to a culinary surprise on one of the many terraces with a view over the boats in the marina. Enjoy the pleasant atmosphere the fortified city has to offer.
Plan your day out
Are you planning on visiting the cultural and historical Willemstad fortress? Download the attraction map here or pick one up at one of the VVV information points. With this handy leaflet in your pocket, you will have an overview of all the information and local attractions.