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 DutchEdit
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. The Netherlands is an internationally minded country and most of its inhabitants are quite happy to show off their skills in another language.
In every culture, there are a couple of do's and don'ts.
In the Netherlands it's considered polite to:
- Shake hands with someone you meet, even if he/she is of the opposite sex.
- Look eachother in the eye when talking, looking away is often mistaken for being shy or even lying.
- Offer to split the bill (yes, where did the expression "Going Dutch" come from?).
In the Netherlands it's considered impolite to:
- Shout or whistle after a woman or make comments about a womans appearance in public. Most Dutch women will not be pleased while in other countries this may be considered a compliment.
- Talk loudly or play loud music when in public. This causes a lot of annoyance especially in public transport.
- Talk about incomes, wealth and expensive items. This may be mistaken for showing off.
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.
- The town of Giethoorn, sometimes called the "Venice of the North"
- National Park "De Weerribben" in the extreme northwest of the province
- The unspoilt mediaeval village of Ootmarsum
- The picturesque mediaeval centre of the city of Deventer
- The hills of Salland, northeast of Deventer
- The forests of Twente
- The unique landscape of the Lutterzand
- Architecture and art in Enschede
Overijssel is a great place for the following activities:
- Visit a cheese farm
- Go horseriding
- Taking a guided tour in nature, there are rare species of plants and animals to be found in nature parks
- Visit Enschede, the largest city in the east. It's a student town and a great place to shop, dine and do cultural activities. Enjoy art, architecture and music here.
- Outdoor activities like canooing, cycling and walking
- Visit museums and historical sites. Overijssel was one of the last parts of the Netherlands to convert to Christianity, this created a unique culture with a lot of room for tradition.
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.