Lively downtown

Zwolle offers a unique combination of historical grandeur of the rich Hanseatic past and the innovative vibrant atmosphere of a modern mini-metropolis. Within the old city walls you will discover a large cultural and culinary offer. Countless festivals, the culinary top of the Netherlands, high-profile exhibitions, the finest bookstore in the country. All with the medieval decor as a backdrop.

In the historic center with its old canals you will find many places of great significance. The Hanseatic warehouses and stately facades show the origins of the current prosperity. Here you can still experience the atmosphere from the time of Thorbecke and discover why Zwolle was, and is, a source of inspiration for great thinkers.

In the historic setting Zwolle has many terraces, restaurants and cafes. Tickle your taste buds with the famous Haute Cuisine of the Librije or let yourself be surprised by the many other chefs from our city. Stroll around our centuries-old squares and discover small intimate bars, modern pop-up restaurants, organic lunchrooms and super-healthy juice bars.

Always up to date on what to do in Zwolle? Receive the Zwolle Events Calendar in your mailbox.

Strolling through the heart of the city center, you'll naturally come across two of Zwolle's most striking apparitions. Zwolle is the proud home of Museum de Fundatie and bookstore Van der Velde in de Broeren. Immerse yourself in high-profile exhibitions and the wonderful world of books. From the striking window in the Fundatie one glance is enough: the inner city of Zwolle lies at your feet.

Zwolle facts

  • Zwolle has the A-status in the top 10 of vibrant cities in a strong region (research by Planbureau for the living environment)
  • 3 stars Restaurant de Librije 3 times in a row elected as the best Restaurant of the Netherlands.
  • Zwolle celebrates every year the biggest Liberation Festival of the Netherlands.
  • Most visitors to Zwolle come for the contemporary shopping.
  • Museum de Fundatie attracts 300,000 visitors every year.
  • Zwolle has a lively hip hop scene with Typhoon, Rico and Sticks as ambassadors.
  • The Sassenstraat is in the top 10 of nicest shopping streets of the Netherlands