Thomas is a Zwolle resident


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Thomas Bartelds is a true Zwolle citizen. He likes to travel to far away destinations, but also enjoys coming home to his beautiful Hanseatic city Zwolle. With his creative eye, he photographs the most iconic spots of Zwolle and shares them on his Instagram channel @Thomas.Bartelds. This is his blog on #ikbeneenzwollenaar.

I was born and raised in Zwolle. In Assendorp, one of the most fine and green neighborhoods of Zwolle to be exact. With a small break in Groningen and Kuala Lumpur for my studies, I have been living in our beautiful Hanseatic city again since 2015. Zwolle is for me a place where I really feel at home. I can be myself there.

I can be found a lot in the inner city of Zwolle for my work. For Buro Ruis I organize the Bruisweeks, the introduction week for new students of the roc's and hbo's in Zwolle. I'm also a photographer, so you'll regularly see me walking through the city center with my camera. Especially when the sun just rises or sets, that gives the best pictures.

In recent years I have seen Zwolle develop into a city where everyone can feel at home and wants to live. The city has really changed in several respects. For example, the stores were still closed on Sundays when we came back to live here after our study in Groningen. And there was a limited supply of culture. A lot of great initiatives (Kattegat Festival, Gerrits Tuin, Het Gilde Zwolle,) and places have been added and they keep coming! Also in terms of catering there is enough choice in Zwolle. From Syrian to the best Italian in the Netherlands! (Check my tips at the bottom of the blog)

But Zwolle is still 'just' Zwolle. A conveniently arranged city where you can be anonymous, but also know everyone. I prefer to discover the city by bike. I regularly cycle around the block when I go home, to explore a different neighborhood. And often you can get to your destination faster by bike than by car!

I see Zwolle actually as a kind of hidden gem, you must have been there to see how wonderful it is to be and live here in the city. You would like to tell that to a lot of people. But ... secretly you want to keep this beautiful place for yourself.

TOP 3 for Zwolle according to Thomas↵. The Peperbus made by Thomas](

  • Zwolle at sunrise, go out early one day (preferably in the summer, because then it's extra early light) and explore the Zwolle city center at sunrise (or in the night). I do this myself a few times a year for photography, but the peace and quiet in the middle of the city is wonderful. You see the center in a whole different way.
  • Jantjes Lief has the best lunch in Zwolle, they have delicious sandwiches and flammkuchen for both hungry meat eating men and vegan healty women (or vice versa). Oh yeah, go for their famous grandpa's nut cake for dessert!
  • D'Andrea's](https:/ "") in my opinion the best restaurant in Zwolle at the moment, delicious Italian food with fantastic wines and great service. If you want to eat here you should book in time, because they have a long waiting list.

**Do you see yourself as a real Zwollenaar? Do you see the ECO system in the city? Are you proud of Zwolle and do you want to tell others more about your city by writing a blog too? Mail us at and maybe we will contact you!

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