A small town with a big reputation
Laren is a real hidden gem: a quiet town which offers visitors the chance to explore amazing history, Dutch tradition and stunning scenery. Part of the Het Gooi region (known for its spectacular green landscapes), after starting as a farming village it became a base for artists from around the world during the 19th and 20th centuries. In fact, Laren became so well known as a paradise for artists that soon painters from across the world took notice, and iconic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher also moved to Laren in his later years.
Laren: A home for international artists
The biggest reminder of Laren’s legacy as a home for international artists is the Singer Laren Museum. Originally a villa built by American painter William Henry Singer called De Wilde Zwanen (The Wild Swans), the building was transformed into the Singer Laren Museum and concert hall in 1956. Preserving the work of the Laren School of Art and Henry Singer’s art collection, it includes paintings by Bart van der Leck, Jan Sluijters, Leo Gestel, Gustave De Smet and Herman Kruyder. The museum has a café and an ever-changing line-up of exhibitions. Another popular museum in Laren is the Geological Museum Hofland, where visitors can learn about the earth’s history. Its interactive installations make it a perfect place to visit with children.
How to get there
It’s takes about 45 minutes to get to Laren from Amsterdam. Perhaps the easiest way is to take an Intercity train service from Amsterdam Centraal to Hilversum. From there you can take a short bus ride to Laren town centre. To make the most of your time exploring Amsterdam's surrounding areas, take advantage of the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket, which offers unlimited travel on buses, trams, trains and metros in the Amsterdam Area for 24 hours for just €18.50, two days for €26.00, or three for €33.50.