Katwijk (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈkɑtʋɛik] ) is a coastal municipality and town in the province of South Holland, which is situated in the mid-western part of the Netherlands.

View over Katwijk aan Zee
View over Katwijk aan Zee
Flag of Katwijk
Coat of arms of Katwijk
Highlighted position of Katwijk in a municipal map of South Holland
Location in South Holland
Coordinates: 52°12′N 4°25′E / 52.200°N 4.417°E / 52.200; 4.417
ProvinceSouth Holland
 • BodyMunicipal council
 • MayorCornelis Visser (CDA)
 • Total31.15 km2 (12.03 sq mi)
 • Land24.75 km2 (9.56 sq mi)
 • Water6.40 km2 (2.47 sq mi)
Elevation5 m (16 ft)
 (1 August 2020)[4]
 • Total65,929
 • Density2,666/km2 (6,900/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code071
Dutch Topographic map of Katwijk (urban area), March 2014
Coastal boulevard in Katwijk

The Oude Rijn ("Old Rhine") river flows through the town and into the North Sea.

Katwijk is located on the North Sea, northwest of Leiden and 16 km north of The Hague. It shares its borders with the municipalities of Noordwijk, Teylingen, Oegstgeest, Leiden, and Wassenaar.

In August 2020, Katwijk had a population of 65,929 and covers an area of 31.15 km2 (12.03 sq mi), of which 6.40 km2 (2.47 sq mi) is water.

Katwijk is by far the largest town in the Duin- en Bollenstreek ("Dune and Bulb Region").



The town consists of a number of districts, including namesakes Katwijk aan den Rijn and Katwijk aan Zee. On 1 January 2005 the various districts had the following populations:

Lying on the coast, Katwijk aan Zee is (and has always been) the larger town. Katwijk aan den Rijn lies just slightly inland. Rijnsburg is situated east of Katwijk aan den Rijn whereas Valkenburg finds itself to the south. Katwijk-Noord is situated north of Katwijk aan Zee.

Although consisting of historically separate towns (except Katwijk-Noord) that still today maintain separate identities, the towns have more or less grown together and merged into a single conurbation. The creation of the municipality of Katwijk is a recognition of that fact. The town hall of the current municipality of Katwijk is located in Katwijk aan den Rijn, near the boundary of Katwijk aan Zee. All these districts lie along the Oude Rijn.


Katwijk in 1865.
This engraving by William van der Gouwen shows a twenty-meter (70 feet) long whale, which on the third of February, 1598 was stranded on the Dutch coast between Scheveningen and Katwijk.

The name "Katwijk" probably has its origins in the name of a Germanic tribe called the Chatten (Chatti). The Dutch word "wijk" means "area", so the name probably meant something like "the Chatti area".

In Roman times, Katwijk was a place of strategic importance. It was located at the Roman Empire's northern border, at the mouth of the Rhine river, which in Roman times was larger in this area than it is today. There was a good deal of traffic along the Rhine. Katwijk was also a jumping-off point for the voyage to Britain.

Built during the reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54), the town's name was Lugdunum Batavorum. The town's name was later associated with the name of the city of Leiden, but this is now thought to be incorrect.

In 1231, the first reference to Catwijck appeared in records.

The history of the modern municipality of Katwijk is essentially the history of its constituent parts, which for each village extends back to Roman times. However, Katwijk aan Zee, Katwijk aan den Rijn and Valkenburg were part of the same heerlijkheid called "Beide de Katwijken en 't Zand" (or something similar). They have been administratively joined for centuries despite their differing characters. Katwijk aan Zee was a fishing town and Katwijk aan den Rijn had an agricultural character.

During World War II, Katwijk aan Zee was heavily damaged. On 1 May 1942 beach access was no longer permitted and large scale evacuation took place. From October 1943 houses were demolished as part of the construction of the Atlantic Wall.[5]

On 1 January 2006, Rijnsburg and Valkenburg were also merged into the municipality, it's called nowadays Katwijk.

Public transportation

NZH Blue tram at the Rijnstraat on a celebrational heritage service, over 60 years after the abolishment of the interlocal tramway in and around Katwijk.

Katwijk is a larger town in the Netherlands without a railway station, and the largest without any railway connection. The nearest railway stations are Voorhout and Leiden. Katwijk is connected by bus with Noordwijk, Leiden, The Hague and Lisse. The public transport by bus is served by Arriva. As of 9 December 2012 new buslines came to Katwijk. In December 2023 Q-Buzz is going to take over the buslines in Katwijk.

Between 2019 and 2023 a lot changed in Katwijk and Leiden. A quick bus line from Katwijk to Leiden, a Q-Liner, numbers 430 and 431, drive from Leiden to Katwijk aan Zee (Boulevard-South) and the other (430) goes to the space agency ESTEC, and returns to Leiden after a short stop. It took years to make the Ir. Tjalmaweg (a part of the N206), a double two-sided road. See here:

Bus transportation

  • Bus 430/432 - Travels from Noordwijk ESTEC (very close to Katwijk, outside built-up areas in Noordwijk) via the Biltlaan and Zeeweg and N206 to Leiden Centraal. During the day, this bus departs every 15 minutes in every direction.
  • Bus 431 - Travels from Katwijk Boulevard-South via Vuurbaak, Boulevard, Tramstraat and Zeeweg to the N206 to Leiden, where it ends at the railway station. During the day, this bus departs every 15 minutes (every 10 minutes during morning rush hour).
  • Bus 35 - Local bus service, running from Duinvallei to Unmanned Valley (centre for asylum seekers)
  • Bus 38 - Travels from Katwijk Raadhuis via Kon. Julianalaan and Zanderij through Valkenburg to Leiden Centraal, once an hour.
  • Bus 90 - Travels from Lisse, Noordwijkerhout, Noordwijk, Katwijk, Rijnsburg, Oegstgeest to Leiden Centraal, twice an hour. Buses on this route have been converted to allow bicycles to be brought onto the bus. Bus 90 took over the route from bus 37 (Katwijk to Leiden and back)

Additionally, Rijnsburg and the far northeastern part of Katwijk-Noord are served by bus 20 and 21, running between Noordwijk and Leiden. Peak hour buses connect industrial zones with surrounding municipalities.

Notable people

Esther Ouwehand, 2010
Jaap van Duijn, 2011



Tourist attractions


Katwijk is a seaside resort with a wide sandy beach. Its attractiveness is mainly due to its laid-back atmosphere. The boulevard along the shore is not spoiled by large hotels or apartment blocks and has not given in to an excessive commercialisation. Although most buildings lining the boulevard are tourist apartments and pensions, most are just three floors high (and none more than five) and offer a distinctive 'feel' of the 1950s. Besides the beach, there are a few museums in Katwijk, like the old fisherman's museum Katwijks Museum and the Spinoza-museum. A few kilometers inland is the Valkenburg Lake Steam Train, a narrow-gauge railway museum where a scenic steam locomotive driven train ride can be taken around Lake Valkenburg. Katwijk has many hotels and three camping places, mostly situated in the dunes.

Twin towns



  1. ^ "Samenstelling" [Composition] (in Dutch). Gemeente Katwijk. Archived from the original on 29 April 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten 2020" [Key figures for neighbourhoods 2020]. StatLine (in Dutch). CBS. 24 July 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Postcodetool for 2224EW". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 1 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2022.
  5. ^ Katwijk 1940 – 1945 van dag tot dag
  6. ^ Iana Overview - Ubisoft Website
  • Official website
  • History of Katwijk