Deventer is one of the oldest Dutch cities on the river IJssel with about 80,000 inhabitants. In the Middle Ages, Deventer was part of the Hanseatic League. An alliance of about 200 cities across Europe. Well-known annual events are the Deventer book market and the Dickens festival. This is the Deventer Travel Guide with the most essential Deventer Travel Tips to read and watch!
Travel to Deventer
There are several parking garages in the center. Parking for a day costs about 10 euros.
Lebuïnuskerk and Tower
One of the highlights in Deventer is the Lebuïnuskerk (church). In the Middle Ages it was the main church of the city and one of the main churches within the diocese of Utrecht. The Lebuïnuskerk served as a cathedral during the short existence of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Deventer. You can visit the church for free.
You can also climb the top of the church tower. That is immediately a good exercise for your legs, because you go up 220 steps. When you are at the top you have a beautiful view over Deventer and the river IJssel. A ticket costs a few euros.
One of the most beautiful parts to visit is the Bergkwartier. It emerged as a thriving district in the 12th century.
The district deteriorated somewhat and after the Second World War there were even plans to demolish the district, but fortunately it did not come about. A foundation was set up and the district was renovated with money from the government, among others.
In the middle of the Bergkwartier is the “Berg Church” and you can visit it for free.
Always check the opening hours in advance because the church is for example closed on Mondays.
You will find the oldest stone house of The Netherlands in Deventer “De Proosdij“. Research has shown that the oldest the core of the building dates from around the year 1130.
New Town Hall
Not to be missed is the new town hall. More than 2,000 locals were invited to come and take their fingerprints digitally. An artist then used them in the design and this is the result.
Book a walking tour
The very best way to explore Deventer is this guided tour along the highlights of the “Grote Kerkhof” and the “Bergkwartier”. The guide takes you to impressive monuments in the oldest part of the city and beautiful merchant houses and cozy authentic streets in the medieval part. Book your tickets in advance.
Museum De Waag
Located in the oldest weighing building that was built as such in the Netherlands. It is truly an icon in Deventer and you will find it on the town square de Brink. Museum De Waag is really the stage for the art collection from Deventer.
Speelgoedmuseum (Toy museum)
Another museum is immediately a beautiful one if you suffer from screaming children. The Toy Museum in Deventer with the largest collection of toys in the Netherlands.
Town Square De Brink
You can really enjoy Deventer on the town square De Brink. A huge square with many bars, restaurants and terraces.
De Brink is still in use as a trading place in the city. A Good Friday market still takes place every year, and since 2020 weekly markets are held on Friday mornings and Saturdays.
You cannot leave Deventer until you have eaten the famous “Deventer koek”. The world-famous gingerbread has been baked in this historic Hanseatic city for over 400 years. On the town square De Brink you will find “Deventer Koekwinkel“. Here you can taste the “Deventer Koek”, but also drink a cup of coffee. This is possible inside, but also outside on the terrace.
Street Art in Deventer
In Deventer you will find some beautiful murals. You can buy a booklet from streetartstreets.nl with an overview for 2,50 euros. You can buy these at the VVV at Brink 89. Or you can book a walking tour with “Wandel Inge“. She shows you through the city along the most beautiful murals.
Best place to stay at
During my visit I booked a room in “In het huis van Deventer“. A lovely place right in the center center. The hotel consists of 8 city lofts that they all have their own character and design.
And breakfast… this is a great way to wake up in the morning!
A wonderful and unique place to have a delicious lunch is on the Bird Island in the “Rijsterborgherpark”. This restaurants is called “Mees Deventer”.
I had a salad with asparagus and salmon.
My advice is to make a reservation if you want to sit outside as it can be full otherwise.
Beer tasting (Davo Bieren)
A number of friends started brewing beer in miniature, as a kind of hobby around 2010 until a friend Brewer offered to make another 1000 liters of beer. That was really sold within no time and the men found this property in Deventer where they are brewing their own beer. In the meantime, they have expanded to Zwolle and Arnhem.
Every Saturday there is beer tasting. During a tasting in the tasting room you not only taste our beers, but you also get a look at our brewery. You can book your tickets in advance.