On May 13, 2000, a fireworks storage in Enschede exploded, destroying an entire neighborhood and killing 23 people, including 4 firemen. This catastrophe is known in the Netherlands as the Vuurwerkramp , Dutch for fireworks disaster. Since this event, the city has undergone a major reconstruction process. Enschede was designated the greenest town in the Netherlands in 2003.
After the fall of the textile industry, Enschede strives to become a center of business, innovation and technology through the Business & Science park, located just next to the University of Twente.
From elsewhere in the Netherlands, Enschede is easily accessible by train from all major Dutch cities, and can be reached from smaller cities with at most one or two transfers. The journey time from Amsterdam is approximately two hours. An excellent (train only) travel planner is available at Nationale Spoorwegen . If you need to use a connecting bus or ferry from within the Netherlands, use 9292OV .
From Germany, direct trains (ending in Enschede) are available from Gronau, Dortmund, and Münster. To reach Enschede from Berlin, a stopover is available in Hengelo (a small city about 10 minutes by train from Enschede). Further guidance is available at Die Bahn .
There is a large parking garage underneath the marketsquare in the center of the city, the H.J. van Heekplein , which provides approximately 2000 parking spaces for visitors arriving by car.
Alternatively, there is a cheaper park and ride solution available at the recently (2008) expanded P+R Zuiderval . Frequent busses travel from here direct to the city center (approximately 5 minutes by bus). This is especially useful if you are arriving in Enschede via the highway, as the lot is just off the highway exit.
Enschede is a city best explored by bicycle, on foot or by public transportation. Parking spaces can be difficult to find an traffic can be crowded especially during rush hour. The city center is also closed to motorized vehicles.
Roombeek, (10 min. walk north from Enschede Centraal station), . Roombeek is the neighborhood between Deuningerstraat and Oldenzaalstraat, north of Lasondersingel, which corresponds to the neighborhood rebuilt after the fireworks disaster. It is now the finest neighborhood of Enschede, with all houses and buildings projected by renowed architects, plenty of green areas and exclusive lanes for buses and bicycles, and containing the Twentse Welle museum and the Rijksmuseum.edit
Grote Kerk, Oude Markt. Enschede's "central church" is also the oldest building of the city, dating from the Middle Ages (1200), although it has undergone several expansions and reforms across the time. It is now mainly used for weddings and concerts. The sundial in the right side of the church (looking at the entrance) was crafted in 1836.edit
Stadshaard Enschede, Deurningerstraat, Roombeek. Enschede's heating and power station, which was (perhaps unfairly) elected the "ugliest building of Netherlands" by a poll of a Dutch newspaper. It looks somewhat like a church covered with Delft-blue tiles. It is richly illustrated as a whole and artist Hugo Kaagman has placed images on the tiles that are associated with the production of electricity and well-known icons from Enschede's history, such as Jan Cremer and the Grolsch swing-top bottle.edit
Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Lasondersingel 129-131., (email@example.com, fax: +31 (0)53 4359002, phone: +31 (0)53 438675), . Tu-Su 11AM-5PM. Large collection of 18th century art along with contemporary art.€4/2,50/Free (Adults/seniors & students/children 18 and under). edit
Museum Twentse Welle, Het Rozendaal 11. phone: +31 (0)53 4807680. A new museum set in the heart of the modern quarter Roombeek, which was destroyed in the Fireworks Disaster of 2000, Twentse Welle tells the story of mankind in Twente, the region in which Enschede is situated. While there are a number of exhibits that are visually appealing to speakers of any language, the museum, unlike many in the Netherlands, has information about its exhibits only in Dutch and German.
Synagogue Enschede, Prinsestraat 14, ☎ 053 4324507, . wed, sun, 11-17. Reputedly the most beautiful synagogue of the Netherlands. Tours available on sunday at 14:00 (in Dutch). English tours are sporadically available.edit
Volkspark, (10 min. walk from Enschede Centraal station), . The Volkspark is a beautiful park close to the city center. It was constructed in 1872 to serve as recreational area for the workers in the textile industry. It also hosts several cultural activities alongside the year, such as the spring and autumn Kermis.edit
University of Twente has a number of buildings with interesting architecture, such as the Drienerlo tower, the Cubicus and the student dormitory at the crossing between Campuslaan and Matenweg.
Elderinkshuis, De Klomp 35. The oldest building in the city (other than the Grote Kerk), built in 1783. It doesn't look extraordinary but it has the feat of surviving the city's many disasters. edit
Take a guided tour through the nature parks surrounding Enschede or purchase a map with walking/cycling routes
Grolsch Veste, (next to Enschede Drienerlo station), . The stadium of the football team FC Twente, one of the greatest prides of Enschede and of the entire Twente region.edit
Go Planet Parc, (next to Grolsch Veste and Enschede Drienerlo station), . Go Planet Parc is the name of the entertainment park next to the Grolsch Veste football stadium, approximately midway between Enschede and Hengelo. It contains various facilities, including a cinema with 10 rooms, a 400-meter long ice skating track, a bowling, a diving school, a concert hall, a kart track, a couple of restaurants and others.edit
Het Rutbeek, Blikkersmaatweg 15, ☎ +31 50861050, . during the day. A lake and recreational area in the south of Enschede. Contains beaches (including a nudist one), forests and recreational facilities. it is also possible to practice diving here.free. edit
Wilminktheater (Twente Schouwburg), Wenninkgaarde 40-42, Oude Markt, ☎ +31534858585, . mon-sat, 12-17 (ticket counter). Enschede's main theatre and concert hall. Performances are usually in Dutch.edit
International Institute for Geo-Information and Earth Observation (known as ITC) is the most known educational/training center in Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing. Also located is the University of Twente. Other educational institutes include Saxion Hoge School and many schools for children. More information at (http://cms3.enschede.nl/)
Enschede wishes to profile itself as the place to be in the eastern Netherlands when it concerns shopping. The large square, the Van Heekplein, has therefore been severely modernised in recent years and been made the 'shopping-centre' of the city. Large stores such as V&D and De Bijenkorf are situated at it, as well as many clothingstores such as H&M, WE and C&A. Many other shops can be found throughout the city centre. On Tuesdays and Saturdays there is a large market at the Van Heekplein, which attracts quite a lot of Germans, as well as the locals of course.
Every thursday shops are opened until 9PM instead of 6PM. In addition, shops are allowed to open every first and last Sunday of the month.
Dragonheart Medieval Lifestyle, Stroinksweg 90, ☎ +31 53 4782005 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . An exotic medieval-themed shop where you can find all kinds of medieval clothes, jewelery, accessories, furniture, and even weapons and armor.edit
Lots of bars and restaurants are located at the 'Oude Markt' (Old Market). The first weekend of September this square is the stage of the 'Proefeet', an event on which restaurants sell small samples of their best food in order to win a grand prize.
As Enschede has a university and is the largest town in the eastern Netherlands it has a fair amount of bars and cafes. The Old Market (Dutch: Oude Markt) is the location of many bars and bistros which have large terasses, making it the perfect location for a drink on a warm summer night. The oldest pub in Enschede is Het Bolwerk, in the Bolwerkstraat, where one can drink a wide variety of beers and spirits, with the shocking exception of the Enschede-brewed Grolsch.
While the hipper crowds turn to places like Aspen Valley and Central Park, the alternative scene spends their saturday night in Atak, where one can see a wide variety of customers from hippies to gothics to hard-core-metal-lovers.