Bergen is a famous village in North-Holland with a beautiful sand dune area. It’s the most interesting beach destination in the Netherlands. 

By Petra Andre, 09 August 2017

Bergen is a town in The Netherlands, in the province of North Holland.  Its North Sea beaches make it a popular destination for tourists. In 2001, the municipality was formed from a merger of the former municipalities of Egmond, Schoorl and the smaller community of Bergen.

Bergen at sea
Image 1: Bergen at sea / Source:

Since about 1900, Bergen has been the home of many painters, writers and architects. Some of the work of this “Bergense School” is on exhibit at Museum Kranenburgh. House Kranenburgh, which is owned by the municipality of Bergen, has been a museum since 1993. The museum has a permanent collection of painters of the Bergense School and this group has strong connections with the Art group Cobra. In 2013, the house was extended with a large museum large auditorium and sculpture garden.

There are regular art fairs in Bergen, as well as an annual music festival (the Holland Music Sessions in August) and arts festival (the Kunsttiendaagse in October). Painters, owners of shops, galleries and restaurants gather to create this festival. Initially, they were looking for an idea to extend the high season in Bergen at Sea. However, the festival became so popular that it is now on the annual calendar.

Saskia Noort, a well-known author of modern thrillers, put Bergen on the map. This is where she grew up and she uses specific landmarks and the typical rich and bohemian people who live there in her stories. Saskia Noort (1967) is an author and columnist.   In 2003 she became famous for writing thrillers. She is the bestselling author in her kind in the Netherlands. She sold over 2,7 million books. Most titles were translated in many languages.

Although the village is small, it has been the home of many painters, writers and architect. The neighbourhood of Park Meerwijk, constructed in 1915, is made up entirely of villas in Amsterdam School style.

This typical famous Dutch architecture style is still very popular today and easy recognisable if you take a walk through the village.  There are lots of restaurants in the town, such as a nice fish and seafood restaurant, Bergen Binnen.  There are also a lot of restaurants on the beach such as Strandpaviljoen Noord.

Schoorlse Duinen
Image 2: Schoorlse Duinen / Source: Zoover
Hotel Merlet Schoorl
Image 3: Hotel Merlet / Source:

North of the town are the Schoorlse Duinen, a nature area with the highest and widest dunes in The Netherlands, which reach about 59m (195 ft) above sea level, and are more than 5 km (3.1 mi) wide in some places.

In Schoorl you will find a unique family hotel, with a Michelin star. Hotel Merlet, situated behind the dunes.


Other points of interest include the aquarium in the seaside village of Bergen aan Zee, the Auto Union Museum with a collection of classic cars, and the historical museums Het Sterkenhuis and Museum van Egmond in Egmond aan Zee. There is a European school in Bergen, where they teach in French and English. It was established for the children of the staff of EU institutions though additional students will be accepted if there is space. In spring, if you are taking the car to drive to Bergen, you will see large flower fields.

I really feel like going there right now… are you joining me ?

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