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Hilversum is a garden city with lots of green and beautiful villas from the beginning of the last century. There are also several architecturally interesting buildings, like the town hall and the gothic St Vitus church. Hilversum is known above all as a broadcasting city: all the national broadcasting companies are located there. Although the radio and television companies are located across Hilversum, programmes are broadcast primarily from the large Mediapark in the north of the city. Technically, Hilversum is a village, it was never awarded city rights.
Remarkably, since 1960, the city's population has gone down from 100,000 to its current 80,000. This was due in part to a lack of room to expand.
Hilversum is located centrally in the Gooi region in the south-east of the province of Noord-Holland, 30 kilometres to the south-east of Amsterdam and 20 kilometres to the north of Utrecht the city is surrounded by forest and moors. In the surrounding area, there are plenty of opportunities for those who love aquatic sports on the Loosdrechtse and Ankeveense plassen.
From the 18th century onwards, Hilversum developed into a centre for textile industry: weaving and tapestry making. All that has disappeared. The broadcasting companies provide most jobs in Hilversum and they are the driving force behind its economy. The fact that the national broadcasting companies are located in Hilversum is purely coincidental. In 1918, the Netherlands Signalling Machine Company settled in Hilversum to carry out its initial experimental radio broadcasts under the name Hilversum Wireless Company (Hilversumse Draadloze Omroep or HDO). When the broadcasting companies were founded, they also settled in Hilversum.
The national airport Schiphol is easy to reach via the A1 and A9 (about 45 kilometres).
Hilversum airport is located to the east of the city, and it is used above all for recreation: small aircraft, paragliding, parachuting.
In Hilversum, there are various city buses that all depart from the square in front of the Central Station. The city buses also often reach surrounding places like Bussum. Regional buses also depart from the Central Station to Amsterdam, Utrecht, Amersfoort and Almere.
Hilversum has three train stations: Central, Noord and Sportpark. For visitors to the Media centre, Noord is an important station. It is located immediately opposite the media park. Some years ago, the city's Central Station lost its intercity status, which means that regional trains only leave for Amsterdam, Amersfoort and Utrecht.
Hilversum is located on the junction of the A1 motorway (Amsterdam-German border) and A27 (Almere-Utrecht). During morning and evening rush hour, these motorways are extremely busy. To the west of the city the N201 leads to the A2 motorway (Amsterdam-Maastricht).
Traffic in the city itself has been problematic for years. The city council has taken numerous measures to ease the traffic flow, but to no apparent avail. Many streets are one-way streets, which in combination with the sometimes curvy nature of the roads makes finding your way around the centre difficult. In addition, the broadcasting companies attract a lot of traffic, which means the roads are often busy.
It is not easy to find a place to park in the centre of Hilversum. In addition, you are not allowed to park - and pay - for more than an hour. In the centre there are five indoor car parks, which are often full. On the edge of the city (along the Circular Road) there are a few parking areas. The location of parking facilities is indicated on road signs.
Hilversum has a mediocre supply of hotels, which are often fully booked. As a media town, Hilversum attracts many visitors. We therefore recommend booking your hotel room in advance. There are two 4 star hotels. In the surrounding area, there are also several hotels and motels.
For more information about Hilversum, we recommend Google, and the following sources: