While many Wittenborg students will visit their families in their home countries or travel around Europe during the summer break, many others will also stay in Apeldoorn. For the latter, it is a great opportunity to get to know the green and royal town, as well as the surrounding area. This summer, we will publish a series of articles about things to see and experience in and around Apeldoorn. In this article, we cover the cities located in the Stedendriehoek. For the previous article, in which we covered swimming opportunities, see here.
The Stedendriehoek, which can be translated as the 'Cities Triangle', is comprised of three cities that are in close proximity to each other: Apeldoorn, Deventer and Zutphen. In this article, we will focus on Deventer an Zutphen.
The Hanseatic city of Deventer, which has a population of around 100,000, is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, mentioned in historical texts as far back as 877 AD. In Deventer's case, age isn't just a number, however, which immediately becomes clear when walking through its glorious, historic city centre that largely survived the war-torn first half of the 20th century and has been a draw for tourists from around the world ever since. Do not mistake Deventer's city centre for an open-air museum, though, as it is a lively place full of wonderful little stores (some of which even attract NBA players) and restaurants. Speaking of restaurants, Deventer is home to Kitchen Queen, an Indonesian restaurant owned and operated by Wittenborg student Christian Yomed and his sister.
After spending some time in the many boutique record, book and clothing stores as well as historic churches and museum, and having a bite to eat, consider taking a walk and having a drink on the lively promenade along the river Ijssel, which hugs the city and is the reason it is also known for its stunning skyline.
For more information about what to see and do in Deventer, see here.
Interestingly, Deventer is also a historically diverse city, known especially for its large Turkish community, which can be observed by way of the many stores and restaurants (including Ayf, by many considered to be the best Turkish fast food place in the Netherlands, now with a branch in Apeldoorn Zuid) as well as a Turkish consulate catering to the said community.
Much like Deventer, Zutphen is also a Hanseatic city nestled alongside the Ijssel. Although smaller than Deventer, it nevertheless features a lively, and architecturally stunning historic city centre that is also known for its cosy stores and cafés. There are many things to do, see and enjoy in Zutphen, but as it is one of my favourite places, allow me to suggest a route for you.
From the train station, make your way to the Walburgis Kerk, a uniquely preserved historic church, and spend the next 15 minutes taking a trip back in time. If you are up for more culture after that, consider going to the Henriette Polak museum, a small but internationally renowned modern art museum (which shares a building with a museum about local history, also worth a visit), right across from the church. If you don't feel like looking at art, make your way over there regardless, as the terrace of the museum café is one of prettiest places to drink coffee in all of Zutphen. If the terrace is full, head down the road towards the proper city centre and you will quickly reach the Driekant, which also has a cute little terrace and nice coffee. Somewhat across from the Driekant, you will find the bakery Van Rooyens, where you can buy their famous Veluwse Appeltaart, a local specialty, to take home with you.
After that, make your way through all the little streets that make up the city centre and check out some of the shops. Keep your eyes out for the many picturesque, green inner courtyards, such as the Oude Bornhof, which can be access via the grand Zaadmarkt street (where you will find a market on Saturdays).
After you are done with (window) shopping, it's time for lunch. If it is Saturday, consider going to the market, where you will find Falafel MaMa, which might just sell you the best falafel you have ever had. If you are like me, after lunch it is time for something sweet and another coffee. For this, I recommend Bloem op de Taart, a confectioner that sells great cake as well as coffee. Alternatively, you can get some of the famous ice cream of Banketbakkerij Jolink. You will recognise it by the long queues. If after that you're looking for yet more coffee and terraces, try the Pelikan, known for its great coffee for over 200 years.
For more things to do and see in Zutphen, see here.
As you can see, it would be amiss if your time in Apeldoorn would come to end without you having visited Deventer and Zutphen. Therefore, do not miss your chance and explore these two beautiful towns this summer!
by Marius Zürcher