Zutphen

Travel Guide Europe Netherlands Gelderland Zutphen

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Introduction

Zutphen (population 46,000) is an historic city in the center-eastern part of the Netherlands. The city has existed since Roman times and received its city rights in 1190, making it one of the oldest medieval cities in the Netherlands. The city was voted as having the best city centre of The Netherlands in the category of small cities in 2006. (The winner in the category of major cities was Groningen.) It has an untouched historic city center that gives you the feeling of travelling hundreds of years back in time. It is not widely known to foreign tourists and waiting to be discovered. Zutphen is located in a river valley at the river IJssel, a sidebranch from the branch of the Rhine known as the Nederrijn. The small river Berkel (no shipping possible) as well as the major Twentekanaal (channel) flow into the IJssel near Zutphen. The city lies at the border of the hilly forested Veluwe region and the more flat and agricultural Achterhoek. The language spoken is Dutch; nearly everyone speaks English, and German is widely understood.

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Sights and Activities

Its Dutch tourist promotion slogan, "Torenstad", means "Tower-city", which refers to the large number of towers. The largest is the Walburgkerk (officially it's called "St. Walburgiskerk", but the locals say "Walburgkerk"), located at the square where the city originated. Guided tours are available, organized by the VVV located directly opposite the railway station. These tours will also allow you to visit the medieval library "Librije" - books have been kept here secure since the 1600s by chaining them to the desks.

  • 's Gravenhof, Kerkhof 3, ☎ +31 575 547 058. Containing both the Walburgiskerk, locally known as 'Walburgkerk', one of the biggest churches in the country, as well as the old city hall, the 's Gravenhof is the place where the city was founded and grew around, filled with both modern and classical buildings.
  • City museum, 's Gravenhof 4, ☎ +31 575 516 878.
  • Berkelpoort, Isendoornstraat 21. The Berkelpoort is one of the old gates of the city, spanning the Berkel river.
  • Broederenkerk. Fourteenth-century monasterium on the outskirts of the old walled city.

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Events and Festivals

Koningsdag (King's Day)

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. On this day the streets of almost every sizable town in the country come alive with activity.

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Getting There

By Train

The Zutphen train station isn't located far from the city centre. Train services here consist of an Intercity between Roosendaal and Zwolle via Nijmegen and Tilburg, and regular trains connecting to Wijchen, Apeldoorn, Winterswijk and Oldenzaal via Hengelo. The train station is well-serviced and is a small hub for the area.

By Car

From Amsterdam, follow the A1 highway for about 100 kilometers until Apeldoorn. Just after Apeldoorn, take the exit towards Voorst / Zutphen and follow main road N314 for about 18 kilometers until you reach Zutphen. Note that after about 10 kilometers you reach a round-a-bout where you have to turn right (and follow the N314), and when you enter Zutphen, you will first enter the small part of the city (de Hoven) that lies on the west bank of the river. The road ends at a major junction where you can only turn right or left; turn left onto the IJssel bridge to cross the river and reach the main part of the city.

From The Hague, follow the A12 highway for about 120 kilometers to Arnhem. When you get to the major Velperbroek interchange at the eastern side of Arnhem, take the exit for the A348 towards Zutphen. After taking the exit you get to a huge round-a-bout which you have to follow three-quarters around. Where the highway ends you turn left and after a few hundred meters right, following the N348 provincial road through the town of Dieren until you reach a large multi-lane round-a-bout just beyond the town of Brummen. There you can either continue straight with the N348, which will take you across the new IJssel river bridge and to the southern, newer part of Zutphen, or turn right onto the N345 and continue all the way to the old IJssel river bridge, which will take you to the old city centre.

By Bus

As for buses, the same train station is also the major bus hub, making switching between the two rather easy. Connections from here consist of Line 80 connecting to Vorden, Line 81 connecting to Deventer (though the train to Zwolle is the quicker option for getting to Deventer), Lines 82 and 682, which connect to several towns in Bronckhorst and ends in Doetinchem and Line 273, which is a substitute of the train link to Oldenzaal.

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Getting Around

Inside the city center, everything is within walking distance. The railway station is located 200 meters away from the edge of the old city center. Walking from one side of the city center to the other side takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

For the rest of the city, and for the surrounding area, the best way to get around is definitely by bicycle. You can rent bicycles at the railway station's bicycle depot, which is not very expensive and offers excellent bicycles. You can find it by turning left when you leave the station; the bicycle depot is located in a space under the railway station, next to the ING Bank. Most bicycle shops in town will also rent bicycles.

Parking a car in Zutphen is possible, but may be difficult on some days (such as Saturdays and market days). In the city center, expect to have to pay for your parking spot. Directly north of the railway station, close to the river IJssel, there is a free parking lot with 80 spots from which it is a 10 to 15-minute walk to the city center. This parking lot is accessible via the rear entrance of the train station.

The bus network in the city has been improved over the past few years. All areas of the city are now served by buses from the early morning until the late evening. On the buses, you can buy a 1 euro ticket which is valid for two journeys on the same day. The buses are operated by Syntus. Some lines, going the west across the river, are operated by Connexxion.

  • Line 80: Station - city center - Zuidwijken - Hospital - Leesten - Warnsveld vv.
  • Line 82: Station - Warnsveld - Leesten - Hospital - on towards Doetinchem vv.
  • Line 83: Station - Deventerwegkwartier (northern city) - Eefde - on towards Deventer vv.
  • Line 54: Station - Warnsveld - Almen - Laren vv.

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Eat

There are many restaurants in Zutphen in all price classes, ranging from fast-food restaurants (McDonalds) to expensive Italian restaurants. There are also Turkish, Italian, Egyptian, Chinese and Greek restaurants in the city. Many restaurants are located on the market square.

  • Restaurant "'t Schulten Hues" situated at 's Gravenhof 5-7 is awarded a Michelin star of excellence.
  • Close to the Wijnhuistoren (Whine house tower) lies the 'Volkshuis' (People's House), a small cafe ran by mentally handicapped people who work there in a specially guided environment. Their apple pies are world-famous, and the Queen highly recommended it as well.

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Drink

The city is full of small cafes and bars, some of them open until the early morning hours. The atmosphere is usually friendly and relaxed. Many cafes can be found in the Nieuwstad quarter, in the small streets of the old city center and on the market square.

There is a new cinema that opened in 2007, (and a McDonald's) on the De Mars industrial area, north-west of the city center. It can be reached on foot easily by crossing the major rail-road crossing opposite the large lake north of the city center and just below the Hanzehof theater, or from the northern (back) exit of the railway station.

Stadsbrouwerij Cambrinus, Houtmarkt 56 B, 7201 KM Zutphen, ☎ +31 575 546688, e-mail: info@stadsbrouwerij.

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Sleep

There are several hotels in Zutphen, mainly multiple star graded (*** and ****).

  • Hampshire Hotel - 's Gravenhof Zutphen, 's-Gravenhof 6 (right opposte the majestuous Walburgkerk and the old city hall), ☎ +31 575 596 868. The four-star hotel is situated in a beautiful building which was built during the 17th century. €88.
  • Huis 't Velde (just outside of Warnsveld, a few kilometers from Zutphen). A small 16th-century castle. It is owned and used by the National Police Training Institute and is used as the main conference center of Dutch police, and also houses the European Association of Police Academies. It offers luxurious rooms, primarily for high-ranking police officers visiting for seminars, but available for outside guests as well.
  • Inntel Hotels Resort Zutphen (Golden Tulip Hotel Inntel), De Stoven 37, ☎ +31 575 525 555. €73.
  • Die Schuyt, 's Gravenhof 20, ☎ +31 575 543 501, e-mail: info@dieschuyt.nl.

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Keep Connected

Internet

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.

Phone

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.

Post

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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This is version 2. Last edited at 9:00 on May 13, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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