Social life & Sport & Culture
Do you want to get to know the Dutch culture? Visit multiple musea, go shopping in the city centre, or join the local sports club.
Hilversum is known as the Media City, but it has much more to offer. You can enjoy one of Hilversum’s great museums, see a movie or go shopping in the city. If you like playing sport in your free time, Hilversum offers you plenty of opportunity.
For museum lovers, the museum of Sound and Vision at the Media Park is a great place to visit. This museums’ collection is focused on the history of Dutch media and is not only informative but also great fun for both adults and children. Other museums include the Museum of Hilversum and the Dudok Architecture Centre. The famous Singer Laren museum is also located in the area, housing an internationally acclaimed collection of fine art.
Getting a museum card (Museumkaart) is highly recommended, as it gives you access to hundreds of museums throughout the Netherlands for a single, exceptionally reasonable annual membership of about €60 for adults and €30 for children. For more information, go to www.museumkaart.nl (information in Dutch)
Do you fancy a day shopping in Hilversum? In addition to the Gijsbrecht van Amstelstraat and the city centre, Hilversum has many indoor shopping centres with many different types of shop. From clothing boutiques and shoe shops to more specialised stores. Conveniently under one roof in different areas of the city. Shops in and around the centre are open on Sundays. In the centre the shops are open every Sunday, but on the Gijsbrecht van Amstelstraat they are only open on certain Sundays, please check out their website for more information degijsbrecht.nl.(information in Dutch)
Please note: In the Netherlands most shops, including some of the major supermarkets, are closed on Monday mornings and some of the smaller stores are closed for the whole day.
There are two cinemas in Hilversum, the VUE cinema and the Hilversum Filmtheater. These cinemas offer a wide variety of films, both Dutch and International. Films are nearly always shown in their original language with Dutch subtitles, with the exception of children’s films.
Hilversum accommodates a large variety of different types of sports clubs. For an overview of the available options check all the sports here.
The Netherlands has several regular holidays and some specific culture days.
- 1 January, New Year’s Day: The first day of the year is a holiday, generally it is a free day and the shops are closed.
- 27 April, King’s Day: This day is a National Holiday celebrating the birthday of King Willem Alexander and is widely celebrated. There are many free markets, performances and a general party atmosphere all over the Netherlands.
- 4 May: Remembrance Day: At 8pm on the 4th of May in various locations across the Netherlands all the war dead, from the beginning of the 2nd World War until now, are remembered with 2 minute silence.
- 5 May: Liberation Day: The end of the German occupation during the 2nd World War is celebrated on this day. All over the Netherlands various festivals and events are held to celebrate freedom.
- 11 November: Saint Maarten: This is to commemorate the day the Holy St Maarten died. Children visit houses in their neighbourhood, holding hand-made lanterns and singing St.Maarten songs and rewarded with candy or fruit.
- 5 December: ‘Sinterklaas’. The birthday of St.Nicholas is enthusiastically celebrated by both children and adults in the Netherlands. He travels here from Spain on his ‘Presents Boat’ accompanied by his white horse ‘Americo’ and a team of ‘Pieten’. He arrives in the Netherlands in mid-November and from then until his birthday children can put their shoe in front of the fireplace in the hope of a small gift. The evening of 5 December is then the main gift giving occasion. It is called ‘Sinterklaasavond” (Santa Klaus evening) or ‘pakjesavond’ (presents evening). St.Nicholas drops a large sack of presents on the front doorstep before heading back home to Spain on the 6th December.
- 25 and 26 December: ‘Kerstmis’ Christmas: A Christian Festival. Referred to as the First and Second days of Christmas. They are National Holidays, usually celebrated within the family and the shops are all closed.
- 31 December: ‘Oud Jaar’ Old Year’s Evening. The last day of the year is celebrated and from 6pm until midnight fireworks are let off in huge numbers!
Other Christian Festivals are Easter (Pasen), Pentacost (Pinksteren) and Ascension Day (Hemelvaart) but these National Holidays do not fall on the same date every year, they are generally also free days.
At livehilversum (information in Dutch) you can find information about all the latest events in the Hilversum.
Inamsterdam expat services
The municipality of Hilversum is a member of the Inamsterdam, a one-stop shop service for international newcomers in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (MRA). For any questions regarding procedures and services you can contact Inamsterdam.
The following groups on Facebook
- Hilversum and 't Gooi Mamas and Womens Group
- hilversum expats/ internationals