Welcome to Tilburg!
Living with the Dutch 4
Traditions and Customs 4
Religion and Places of Worship 5
Typical Dutch Festivities 5
Financial Matters 6
Exchange Office 6
Prepaid Chip Card/Chipknip 6
Credit Cards Use 6
By Air 7
By Bus, Tram, or Metro 7
By Train and Train-Taxi 7
Car Rental 7
A True Cycling Country 8
Medical Assistance 9
General Practitioners 9
Hospitals in Tilburg 10
Public Health Department 10
Confidential Advisers 11
What to do in case of an Emergency 11
Postal and Telephone Services 12
International Calls 12
Yellow Pages 13
Shops and Shopping 14
Department Stores 14
Second-hand Furniture Shops 15
Culture and Leisure 16
Culture and Leisure 16
Tourist Destinations 16
The Tilburg Area 16
Cities near Tilburg 16
Theme Parks 16
Public Library 16
Theatres, Cinemas and Concerts 17
Pubs and Cafs 17
Pubs with affordable Meals 17
Summer Festivals 18
Cultural Events Calendar 18
Hotels in Tilburg 19
General Contact Information 20
Tilburg University Staff 20
Map of the Netherlands 22
Map of Tilburg 23
Map of Tilburg Universitys Campus 23
All information provided in this brochure is for information
purposes only and does not constitute a legal contract
between Tilburg University and any person or entity unless
otherwise specified. Although every reasonable effort is
made to present current and accurate information,
Tilburg University makes no guarantees of any kind.
Whether you are planning to stay for weeks, years or even
for a lifetime, this vibrant city offers you everything you need.
With one research university, two universities of applied
sciences, and a student population of almost 30,000, there is
a dynamic vibe to the city. With over 200,000 inhabitants and
thousands of visitors staying here for long or short periods,
our city has grown accustomed to the needs of both our
national and international guests. This brochure will tell you
about many of the benefits of life in Tilburg, but I am sure
that you will discover many more!
Do you want to get to know the city and its people? Explore
the city by bicycle to learn about our city with a village
atmosphere. Talk to us - Tilburgers are welcoming to guests
and we love talking about our city and telling you about
ourselves. We enjoy living in Tilburg, enjoy our work or
studies, our daily lives, sports and hobbies, all within easy
reach. Where can you find us? A good place to start would
be at one of the many events held in the town throughout
the year, when the centre of Tilburg becomes a meeting
place for everybody.
Occasionally, you may want to escape from the hustle and
bustle of everyday life and Tilburg has parks, gardens and
forests in abundance both in and around the city where you
can do just this. A fifteen-minute bicycle ride will take you
into the green countryside that surrounds the city, with its
unique natural beauty. Or you can simply enjoy a drink and
a bite to eat at one of the many pubs and pavement cafs.
The desire to experiment is typical of Tilburg - we like to try
new things, to face new challenges and discover creative
solutions. I am pleased to welcome you to Tilburg and
would like to thank you all in advance for joining us in
the search for both questions and answers concerning
the challenges which we face today.
Welcome to Tilburg. I am sure that you will feel at home right
from the start.
Peter Noordanus LLM
Mayor of Tilburg
Traditions and CustomsThe first time you take a train, you may notice that Dutch
people can be rather aloof towards strangers. The seats will
fill up in a fashion that postpones proximity as long as
possible, and people will seldom speak to each other unless
they are acquainted. Although you may regard this behaviour
as unfriendly, it also reflects a respect for the privacy of
others, perhaps combined with a certain reserve. The latter
interpretation is probably more accurate, and it can certainly
make living among the Dutch more enjoyable. The Dutch
respect for privacy is evident in many ways. For example,
famous people can usually go about their business freely in
public without being disturbed. In contrast to their generally
reserved character, the Dutch have a direct manner of
communicating that may startle those who are not used to it.
The Dutch tend to come straight to the point when they have
something to say. In fact, the Dutch consider this directness
to be a positive personality trait. Dutch people meeting each
other for the first time do not usually wait to be introduced.
They offer their hand for a handshake, make eye contact, say
their names and listen for the name of the other person.
On social occasions, people who already know each other
also shake hands if they have not seen each another for a
while. Good friends or relatives will also exchange three kisses
on the cheeks.
The Dutch tend to be less competitive than many other West-
erners. They place great value on teamwork and consensus,
and those who try too hard to excel will be criticized for not
being team players and excluded from the group. Young
people often go to discos, clubs, pubs or cafs to be with
friends and meet new people. This usually takes place during
the weekend, although Tuesday and Thursday are the nights
for going out in many student cities. Food does not play as
large a role in hospitality in the Netherlands as it does in many
other cultures. When visiting Dutch people, you will always be
offered something to drink, but do not expect a meal unless the
invitation specifically mentions this. What matters in the
Netherlands is not so much the food, but the company. When
you welcome Dutch guests into your home in the Netherlands,
you normally start by serving coffee and cake or cookies before
soft drinks and/or alcoholic drinks and snacks are served.
Living with the Dutch
Like all people, the Dutch have their own traditions and customs. Because other publications deal with these issues
extensively, we will only mention things that international guests might find unusual during their first few days and weeks
in the Netherlands.
You may have the impression that the Dutch are serious,
mild-mannered people who tend to mind their own business.
In fact, the Dutch have a very special way of having a good
time. It is expressed by the Dutch word gezelligheid, which
describes an atmosphere of warm, relaxed congeniality.
If you live in a Dutch student house, you will probably see
evidence of the independent, separate lives that people lead.
Resources are not generally pooled in such households;
everyone keeps track of his or her own spending and
consumption. Cooking is sometimes done individually, but
the residents of many student houses cook and have dinner
together. Food placed in a communal refrigerator is
considered personal property; if necessary, it is marked as
such. This deeply rooted independence is something that
most newcomers must learn to live with.
More information on living in the Netherlands can be
found at: www.nuffic.nl/international-students
Religion and Places of WorshipThe Netherlands has a Christian tradition. About two-thirds
of people are either from a Roman Catholic or a Protestant
background. Some 800,000 Muslims also live in the
Netherlands and many ethnic groups practice Hinduism,
Buddhism, and other religions. Each religion has its own
place of worship. For more information, please visit:
In the middle of the Tilburg University campus, you can find
the Zwijsen building (also called the Stiltecentrum). It is the
universitys centre for reflection, meditation and prayer, which
gives reflection a central role at the university. This location
(see photo on the right) offers you a place to pray, search for
inspiration, meditate individually or in a group, or just to
spend some time in the building quietly and relax.
Typical Dutch FestivitiesQueens Day On 30 April we celebrate the birthday of the
(Dutch: former Queen, Wilhelmina. Everyone wears
Koninginnedag) orange, in honour of the name of the Dutch
royal family, the House of Orange. This festival
is celebrated all across the Netherlands.
St Nicholas 5 December is an exciting day for Dutch
(Dutch: children, who wonder what will Sinterklaas
Sinterklaas) bring them? This celebration is on the name
day of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of
children. Gifts are given on the evening
of St Nicholas Day, which is called
pakjesavond (presents evening).