Zwolle is the capital of the Dutch province of Overijssel.
In medieval times, Zwolle was an important and wealthy city, a member of the Hanseatic League. Many of the buildings erected in those glory days still remain.
From Amsterdam, Zwolle can be reached by taking the A1 and then the A28. Under normal circumstances it takes about an hour to reach Zwolle from Amsterdam / Schiphol Airport.
Direct intercity services connect Zwolle to Amsterdam as well as Schiphol Airport. In both cases, the journey will take about 90 minutes.
This city center of Zwolle is fairly small and can be covered by foot. It's a 10 minute walk from the train station to the city center. Other parts of Zwolle can easily reached by bus.
Just north of Zwolle's railway station lies its compact medieval centre. Most of the walls once surrounding it have been demolished, but it is still clearly delineated by the defensive canal. Within walking distance of each other you can find many old picturesque old buildings, including:
- Peperbus (Pepperbox tower), 10 Ossenmarkt. This tower can been seen from far away when approaching Zwolle. The tower can be climbed for a great view over Zwolle and surroundings. edit
- Big or Saint Michael Church, 18 Grote Markt. edit
- Sassenpoort, 51 Sassenstraat. Beautiful large gate building edit
Other attractions include:
- City Museum Zwolle, 41 Melkmarkt, ☎ +31(0)38 - 4214650 ([email protected], fax: +31(0)38 - 4219248), . Focuses on culture of Zwolle and surrounding region edit
- Museum de Fundatie, 20 Blijmarkt, ☎ +31(0)572 - 388188 ([email protected]), . edit
- Windmill 'De Passiebloem', Vondelkade 175, . Traditional Dutch windmill. Open for visitors a few days a month. edit
- Waanders book store, Achter de Broeren 1-3, . This is a newly opened book store in a former church (Broerenkerk). Look at the stained glass windows, the original organ and the small art exhibition on the top floor. There's also a café/restaurant inside. Tip: drink a 'Broerenkoffie': coffee with a few small pieces of cake and a shot of liquor. There is a tourist information desk in the back of the shop, under the organ. edit
- Cycle around Zwolle, . Zwolle has a great network of bike paths. A very nice 45 km long route around Zwolle is the so called 'Rondje Zwolle'. Signs on the side of the road (or bike path) tell you where to go, so it's easy to find even without a map. It's easy to cycle back to the city center at any point in case 45 km is too far for you. Bikes and tandem bikes can be rented at the train station. edit
- Rent a canal bike, Potgietersingel, . Discover Zwolle from the water. edit
- Swimming at Wythmenerplas, Zalnéweg. When the weather is nice, many people from Zwolle find refreshment in and around the water of the lake. There are beaches, fields and places to have a barbecue (only allowed in dedicated spots). edit
- De Librije, ☎ +31(0)38 - 4212083 ([email protected]), . One of the Netherlands' most prestigious restaurants, awarded 3 Michelin stars in 2004, run by celebrity chef Jonnie Boer. For dinner it's normally booked out months ahead. €100+ edit
- De Buik van Parijs, Willemskade 6, ☎ +31(0)38 - 4233225, . French cuisine. Good price-quality. Menu for €20-€25. edit
- Pampus, Kamperstraat 40, . French cuisine. Tasty and well-sized dishes. Menu for €25-€30. edit
- Itoshii, Melkmarkt 38, . All you can eat sushi. Lunch €16,80, dinner costs €23,80 and includes a few more dishes. edit
- Las Rosas, Rodetorenplein 10-11, . Tapas bar. Also a great place to have a drink outside in sunny weather. edit
- Humphrey's, Melkmarkt 47, . Decent meals, 3 course menu for €24,95. edit
- De Plataan, Oude Vismarkt 13, . Cheap unpretentious restaurant with good pizza's for €6. edit
- Sofra, Gasthuisplein 22, . Small Turkish restaurant. edit
- Pannenkoekschip, Pletterstraat 6, . Pancake restaurant on an old ship. edit
- Belgische Keizer, Melkmarkt 58, . Belgian pub that serves a lot of Belgian special beers. On Tuesday night they offer all bottles of Belgian beers for €2,50. edit
- 't Beugeltje, Krabbestraat 63, . Small pub situated inside a tower that is part of the old city wall. When the weather is nice, you can sit outside on the side of the canal. edit
- Het Vliegende Paard, Voorststraat 17, . Student bar. Also serves simple but cheap meals. edit
Zwolle has a couple of hotels and many small bed & breakfasts. Unfortunately for backpackers, there's no hostel.
- Hotel Pillows, Stationsweg 9, . This hotel is located right next to the train station. Room prices from €129. edit
- Campanile Hotel, Schuttevaerkade 40, . Located very close to the city center. Rooms from €45. edit
- Van der Valk, Nieuwleusenerdijk 1, . Newly built hotel, just outside Zwolle next to the motorway. Rooms from €99. edit
Bed & breakfast
A list of B&B's can be found on .
- Camping De Agnietenberg, Haersterveerweg 27, . Located just outside the city, next to a small lake. From €16. edit
There is free public wifi in the city center. The library (Zeven Alleetjes 1A) located between the train station and the city center also offers working places with free wifi.
The smaller but equally picturesque city of Kampen lies about 10 km west of Zwolle. Further to the north lie the unique and very picturesque Giethoorn (sometimes called the "Green Venice") and the Weerribben National Park. The forests about 20 km to the east, around the town of Ommen, are a great area for cycling.