Breda, 20km west of Tilburg, is one of the prettier towns of Noord-Brabant, a pleasant, easy-going place to while away a night or two. A magnificent Gothic cathedral looms above the three-storey buildings that front its stone-paved main square, which is crammed with stallholders and shoppers on market days. There’s a range of well-priced accommodation here too, plus inexpensive restaurants and lively bars, though ultimately it’s less appealing than Den Bosch as a base for exploring central Noord-Brabant.

Breda also has an excellent carnival, which is celebrated with vim and gusto, and a top-notch, four-day annual jazz festival (w bredajazzfestival.nl), when some twenty stages are scattered around the centre; it usually starts on Ascension Day.

 

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