Deventer, Overijssel, is situated on the banks of the river IJssel. The historic center is located on the eastbank, but newer parts have also been built on the other side of the river. Deventer, one of the Hanseatic cities, is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands.
The Waag (in English Weighing-house) is located on the Brink square, it was built in 1550. Nowadays the Deventer City Museum is housed inside the Waag. The Museum's collections include industrial and trading history, paintings, silver objects and prehistoric findings. Legend has it that the kettle was used for a public execution in the late Middle Ages. A man who had counterfeited coins was cooked to death in it. Behind the Waag, there is a Toy Museum (in dutch: Speelgoedmuseum, which is housed in one of the old houses of the city.
The Lebuïnuskerk (St. Lebuin's Church) was built in Gothic style, with remarkable ceiling paintings and a beautiful organ. In summer the tower can be climbed for a beautiful view over the town.
The Brink (market square) is the center of the town and also the center of Deventer nightlife. The houses, shops, and cafes date back from 1575 until 1900. Markets takes place on the square every Friday and Saturday. He you will also find the Bussink "Koekhuisje", where you can buy the famous Deventer Koek (honey-cake), and the aforementioned Waag building.
The Bergkerk (Mountain Church), which was built in the 12th century, on top of a small hill (old river dune) is now used ofr musical perfomances and expositions. One of the events that takes place there anually is a performance of the Matthäus Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach. It is performed on the Thursday and Friday before Easter. Not only the church dates back to the 12th century, the surrounding houses do as well.
On the first sunday of August, there is a huge bookmarket in the center of Deventer, simply called the Deventer Boekenmarkt. There are hundreds of marketstalls covering a distance of 6 kilometres, making it the largest bookmarket in Europe. The market starts at 9.30 in the morning and lasts until 17.30.
In the weekend before Christmas, the world of Charles Dickens is brought to life in the center of Deventer. The area near to the Bergkerk is were the actual festival takes place, but there is much more to do than only the festival. The entrance is only possible at the Keizerstraat, and is for free. The Festival starts at 11.00am and lasts until 17.00. Due to the many visitors (around 150,000 in two days) there is a waiting line, which is entertained with perfomances.
In 2013, the Dutch throne was passed on to King Willem-Alexander and what used to be Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) will from 2014 become Koningsdag (King's Day). The date will be changed to the 27th of April, which is the king's birthday. In 2014 however it will be on the 26th of April because the 27th falls on a Sunday. On this day the streets of almost every sizable town in the country come alive with activity.
Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport, (external link: Schiphol), near Amsterdam is the largest airport in the Netherlands. From the airport you can reach Deventer by train in just under one and a half hour, depending on your time of departure at Schiphol, you can get to Deventer directly, or you need to make a stopover at Amersfoort.
Like most Dutch cities, Deventer is connected pretty well by train. Amsterdam can be reached in an hour and twenty minutes, and Zwolle in just 24 minutes. More information on timetables and tickets for travelling by train in the Netherlands can be found of the website of the NS.
Deventer lies on the A1 motorway, that runs from Amsterdam until it meets the German A2 autobahn, halfway to Hannover. On the way it connects Utrecht, Apeldoorn to the west of Deventer, and Enschede and Osnabrück to the west of the city. If you need to go to the north or south of the Netherlands, you can head to Apeldoorn, and switch there to the A50, that goes to Arnhem in the south, and Zwolle in the north.
Internet cafés are not as widespread as you would expect, but you can easily find one in the popular cities. Most hostels, hotels and camp sites have several computers, so you can keep connected with folk at home. Here is a list of internet cafés that could come in handy for travellers. Otherwise, most libraries have lots of computers and prices are around the €2-3 per hour range, although sometimes it can be even more expensive.
Wireless internet access using wifi is becoming more popular and is usually available at most hotels and increasingly at train stations. Also in trains (at least in most first class wagons, but also more and more in second class) and some buses you can use wifi. Finally, places like McDonald's and Starbucks have free wifi, and smaller individual business like cafés and restaurants are on the rise too offering these services. More often than not, these service tend to be free of charge, though there might be a limited time you can use the internet.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The country code for the Netherlands is 31. The outbound international prefix is 00. The general emergency number is 112, like many other countries.
0800 numbers are toll-free and for 09xx numbers are charged at premium rates. Mobile phones have numbers in the 06 range, and calls to cell phones are also priced at higher rates.
From internet cafés, it is also usually possible to make long distance international calls. Like in other countries, telephone booths have almost disappeared, though some are still found around public transport stations, where you can use a few coins to make calls. It is only recommended for local calls.
The cellular phone network in the Netherlands is GSM 900/1800. The main providers of cell phone networks are KPN (Dutch only), T-mobile and Vodafone, who cover the whole country. Other operators, like Hollandsnieuwe, Simyo or Tele2, use one of these 3 networks basically.
It is best to buy a SIM card when in the Netherlands for use in your cellphone, as this usually works out cheaper than using the one from home. If you are planning to study or work in the country and stay for several months, buying a cellphone is the best option. A simple one, sometimes with €10 worth on it, can be bought from around €25. The simplest smartphones are around €75.
The rate for sending a postcard or letter up to 20 grams within the Netherlands is €0.64 (2014). Since 2010 there are stamps available for domestic post which no longer include the value in €. Instead, there are stamps available with either a '1' or a '2' as a substitute for value. The '1' can be used for letters and postcards up to 20 grams, while 20-50 grams require you to use the '2'-valued stamps (or two '1'-valued stamps of course).
Sending items to other EU countries and the rest of the world (there is one price since 2014) will cost €1.05. Stamps are sold at post offices, supermarkets and smaller shops/kiosks; often the place where you buy your postcards can also supply you with stamps.
Sending parcels abroad is more costly. A standard-sized parcel between up to 2 kilograms will cost you €9 for destinations within the EU and €18 (both without Track & Trace) to the rest of the world. Prices with Track & Trace start at €13 and €24.30 respectively. Parcel service is available from major post offices only; standard-size boxes are on sale there as well. For sending parcels, it might be just as competitive and fast to use a company like TNT, UPS or DHL.
If you need to receive mail while moving around, you can have it sent poste restante (to be called for) to a post office of your choice, where it will be kept for a month. If you come to claim it, bring a valid ID, and make sure to have told the sender that the name on the envelope must be an exact match with that in your passport. For addresses of post offices, as well as more information, consult the TNT website.
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