Hilversum is a medium-sized city in the Gooi area of North-Holland, the Netherlands.
Once called the Garden of Amsterdam, most travelers still come over to cycle and hike through the surrounding forests and heath. The city is also known for its modern architecture, with Dudok's Town Hall Hilversum being the most significant design.
Unlike most of the Netherlands, Hilversum is actually in a hilly area with the soil mostly consisting of sand. The city is between the major cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht, and most travelers visit it for a relaxing day off from the urban madness.
The forests, lakes and heathlands surrounding the city can best be discovered by bicycle or on foot. Most of the lands are property of the Goois Natuurreservaat Foundation (GNR), a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the nature reserves. Another goal is to connect nature reserves that have been separated by motorways and other human-made structures. For this end, the wildlife crossing Zanderij Crailo was completed in 2006, and it currently is the largest wildlife crossing in the world. It connects the Spanderswoud and the Bussumerheide heath, and is part of a larger program to connect nature reserves from the Utrecht Hill Ridge to Naarden.
The city itself is also green and breezy with trees pretty much everywhere. A total of 660 different types of trees to be exact, the largest variety of species in the Netherlands. Typical for the city is the way forests and city building naturally blend into each other.
Hilversum has been called a 'villa village' (villadorp), for it's many villas with large surrounding gardens. The botanical garden Pinetum Blijdenstein is the most remarkable one, with an enormous collection of rare and endangered trees and plants, some of which are exotic. It is also home to one of the most complete collections of conifers.
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Based on a work at Wikitravel.org & Traveldudes.org.