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City Guide: Enschede, The Netherlands

The Best Things to Do In Enschede:

Enschede, the Netherlands is, in fact, the capital city of the region Twente. Home of FC Twente, in all honesty, THE favorite football club of every proud Tukker (Dutch word for a person of the area). Enschede, also known as Eanske in the Twentse dialect, is a college town. With more than 160,000 residents and growing, locals consider it a city.  The University of Twente, to tell the truth, is world renowned for its technical department is an international school.  The university makes Enschede a global hotspot in Holland. As a matter of fact this city close to the German border, this is a Dutch city you must see!


1.The Market on Van Heekplein

Markt Van Heekplein

All year round you can find one of Twente’s largest outdoor markets on the Van Heekplein. Twice a week, in particular on Tuesday and Saturdays the market is open. While the Tuesday market is smaller in size, the Saturday Market is packed full. For one thing, Tuesday offers mostly fresh bread and a farmers market while Saturday selection is much broader. Around lunch time the market is flooded with office workers out for a walk and a new kibbling (batter dipped deep fried white fish). The Saturday market is at least three times the size. It offers everything from a farmers market to blue jeans.

2. De Oude Markt ( The Old Market)


Enschede is a college town, and college towns have a bustling nightlife. To tell the truth, Enschede is no exception to this rule. The Oude Markt is a busy car free market square surrounding an old church. There are dozens of cafes to hang out at as well as a few movie theaters and music venues.  Dutch summers tend to be soft and sunny making them especially perfect weather for sitting outside on a sunny afternoon and enjoying the company of your friend while having a beer. Several times a year there are live music shows or festivals to visit on the Oude Markt. For example, you could catch a movie, eat some sushi or just hang out with friends. That is what the Oude Markt is for!


3. Rijksmuseum Twenthe

Art at the Rijksmuseum Twenthe

The Rijksmuseum Twenthe in Enschede was founded by the textile baron Jan Berend van Heek. Together with his private art collection and the building Mr. van Heek donated everything to the Dutch government, thus becoming a national museum. Boasting classic works as well as modern works of art.

4. Twentsewelle

Mammoth Twentsewelle

The Twentsewelle focusses on life in Twente. The history of the textile industry and farmlands. The museum is also home to a beautiful natural history collection, including a breathtaking mammoth skeleton. A very interactive museum, and a big hit with parents and children. Ideal for a rainy day out in Enschede.


Gogbot Art Festival

Every year in September GOGBOT returns. Looking to have your mind blown? Go to Enschede in September, in particular to the GOGBOT festival. With everything from live music to bizarre interactive art installations, on the other hand, GOGBOT has something for everyone. Furthermore, the themes are as strange in range as the art itself, from sex and technology to spaceship earth. GOGBOT is the future, and the future is now. What is more interesting is that artists travel from around the world to take part in this festival albeit a free one. For more information see

6. Atak

Alternative Music Podium

At concert hall is THE podium to play at in Twente. Above all the organizations boasts a wide array of rock and alternative musicians and artists. Not to mention the clubs wide variety of genres.  Mostly indoors yet with the occasional outdoor event. Atak also participates in local festivals throughout the year. If you are looking for a concert in all honesty Atak is the place to be!


7. Het Roombeek


In May of 2000, a terrible accident occurred; notably, a fireworks warehouse caught fire. Shortly after the fire started explosions become to rock the city. The explosion destroyed the entire neighborhood of Het Roombeek, killing 23 people including four firefighters. In fact, almost 1000 more people were injured that day. The explosion destroyed 100 acres of homes and also more than 400 homes, and 15 streets were completely incinerated. In spite of this, what replaced the old Roombeek is now a beautiful modern example of Dutch resilience. More importantly take a walk through the streets and visit the memorial and admire the Dutch resilience.

8. Enschede Marathon

Runners at Enschede Marathon

The Enschede Marathon is the oldest marathon in Western Europe. The first edition was held in August of 1946. There are several options to choose from such as a 1km kids run and notably a full out 42km marathon. This is a race for every type of runner, from beginner to marathon winner. In 2015 there were no less than 9,900 runners at the start line! The race is a happening through the whole city. Run past drum circles and water tables. There are even live DJ’s and bands on the side of the road. The organization does a fantastic job! If you are a runner, this race should be on your bucket list!

9. Het Volkspark

Volkspark Enschede

Het Volkspark is notably the oldest peoples garden in all of Holland. The majority of the park was designed by Dirk Wattez in 1872. The park contains several whimsical water elements, and there is also a war monument. There is a small petting zoo as well as playgrounds are available for children. Not to mention the several sports fields on the grounds. There is a restaurant on the grounds for hosting parties. During the many yearly festivals at the park, it is also open for coffee. Moreover, the Kunst in Het Volkspark art festival is a wonderful way to get acquainted with local and regional artists. The Volksparks is also the starting point of the Enschede Marathon each year.

10. Rutbeek

Het Rutbeek in Enschede the Netherlands

When you are tired of city life and when you need a break from the hustle and bustle of shops, bicycles and city markets, take a day off.  Get out of the city. Head on out to the Rutbeek. It is a natural lake and nature preserve. The lake has a few beaches and is perfect for swimming. Just 9km outside the city center. The lake is reachable by bicycle. Pack a picnic lunch or have pataat (Dutch french fries served with mayonnaise)at one of the small cafes on the lake. You can go water skiing or rent a paddle boat if you prefer. It is also possible to go fishing at Rutbeek. You can also catch some beautiful carp here.


Put this city on your to do list! Additionally, it is one of the most diverse and beautiful cities in Western Holland.  In all honesty day trip is not out of the question, such as visiting the nearby town of Gronau in Germany. There is something for everyone here. Culture, food, sport and nature. Either way, Enschede has it all!

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