Overijssel is one of the twelve provinces of the Netherlands.
De Weerribben National Park — one of Europe's important swamps home to herons and otters
Talking to the Dutch
Dutch people may seem a bit quiet and reserved at first, but try a few words of Dutch and most of them will open up instantly. Unfortunately, you won't have a lot of opportunity to try out your Dutch. Most Dutch people speak one or more foreign languages and as soon as they hear an accent, they'll reply in pretty decent English, German or even French. We're an internationally minded country and most of us are quite happy to show off our skills in another language. Sorry, it's a habit...
In every culture, there are a couple of do's and don'ts.
In the Netherlands it's considered polite to:
In the Netherlands it's considered impolite to:
The A1 highway runs directly from Amsterdam to Deventer, Almelo and Hengelo. Zwolle can be reached by taking the A1 and then the A28. Enschede can be reached by taking the A1 and then the A 35. Most destinations are within a 2 hour drive from Amsterdam.
From Schiphol Airport as well as from Amsterdam's Central Station, there are direct intercity services to Deventer, Almelo, Hengelo, Enschede and Zwolle. The farthest of these destinations take about two hours to reach.
Most cities in Twente can be reached by bus or a local train service. Or, do as the Dutch do and plan a cycling tour. Bicycles can be rented at most large train stations and are a great way to get around both on the countryside and in the city.
Overijssel is a great place for the following activities:
Traditional Dutch cuisine is hearty, rich and simple. Enjoy traditional dishes like stamppots (mashups from potatoes and different varieties of vegetables, served with sausage or meatballs) and pannekoeken (a large and thinner version of pancake, great with its own special syrup). There are restaurants that specialise in pannenkoeken exclusively, they're called pannenkoekenhuizen. A great place to visit with children or to visit as a halfway point on walking or cycling trips.
Overijssel has local breweries and wine is also produced in small quantities. Try local beers and wines, you can find them at many cafés.
The Dutch legal age for drinking is 16 for light alcoholic beverages (beer/wine) and 18 for stronger beverages (spirits).
Overijssel is one of the safest areas of the Netherlands. However, it's important to pay attention to basic safety. Pickpockets may be active in cities, especially on market days.
Pay special attention to traffic safety. Don't ignore red lights, be careful when riding a bicycle. For car drivers: pay special attention to the orange zones on the road, these are bicycle lanes. There are a lot of bicycles on the roads in the Netherlands. Cyclists are also well-protected by law, and they may sometimes take risks.
Overijssel is a great place for many outdoor activities. Enjoy the countryside, go horseriding or cycling.