Zwolle- My home for three years

I am happy to take part in the blogparade of John and Marc from their beautiful blog 1THING TO DO- the German travel bloggers motivate and encourage with their beautiful pictures and texts people to visit East Germany and all the other countries further east as well as promoting slow travel.

The blogparade’s topic is to discover your home- especially people who love travelling often don’t see the beauty and diversity which is right in front of the their doorstep.

Small city girl forever

Some of you might know: Since almsot three years I live and study in the Netherlands, not in a major city like Amsterdam or Maastricht but in small little Zwolle. It’s in the North of the country in the Overijssel province in between of Groningen and Utrecht.

Most of the people I tell about my home there, never heard of it only a few people who are into sailing know the town as it’s in the Ijsselmeer area.  Living in a small town as a student for me is a hate-love relationship. I love the short distances, I can cycle to uni and do all my groceries and going out by foot or again, with my bike. But OF COURSE sometimes I wish I would live in big city- getting lost in big alleys, dancing nights away in numerous bars and clubs, always having the oppertunity to visit events or checking out  the newest hippest café.

Zwolle is a small town, it’s not exciting but it’s cute. It gives me the chance to fully focus on my study and it’s close to the country side which means I can follow my other passion which is horse risding much easier than I ever could in a big city.  Also if you are an international student in a small city you are kind of “forced” to deal wit the local culture and people, there is less of an “international-students-bubble”. I partied in villages in a horse arena, where some guys wore the famous wodden shoes. I buy once a week at the local market practising my Dutch and I’ve been able to visit and enjoy supper with the family of my beloved Dutch friend (Anne I loooove you :))

What to do in Zwolle

  1. Enjoy a walk in the city center

The town looks like a star from above, there are “grachten” (water canals) everywhere, together with the old architecture it’s like a stroll through history. You can easily see the city center in one afternoon.

Back in the days it was a very prosperous and wealthy “hanze” town. Which meant that people here did lots of trading on water and land with other towns. They “Zwollenars”- people who come from Zwolle are called “Blauwfingers” which means “Bluefingers”. They got this name because apparently their fingers were always blue from counting all their money. Indulge in history and architecture with the help of this map. TIP: Every Friday from morning until 12.00 and Saturdays until 17.00 the local market takes place. Here you can buy fresh vegetables, fruits, meat, fish and even bags, handcrafts and pottery.

  1. Visit the library in a church!

Probably one of the more uncommon places where you would expect a library. The former church is not used for any services anymore. Nowadays it’s full of books and a nice café. So go out- grab a book (they do have English books and magazines) and enjoy a coffee with it. If you are still hungry, and could’nt get enough of the church atmosphere, walk a few minutes and enjoy some Sushi at “Blue Sakura” a Japanese restaurant which is also in a former church.

  1.  Do a cycle tour to Agnietenberg

Grab your bike and cycle to this amazing restaurant! The tour will take you around 30 to 45 min from central Zwolle. The location is in the middle of a nice forest and is also dog friendly. What I did once, I took my dog along, did a long stroll through the forest and then treated myself with apple pie and hot chocolate. Their cakes are amazing! If you feel like camping: Next to this restaurant is a big camping place between the forest and the waterside. TIP: In the center of Zwolle is free Wifi available- let Google give you the route to the place, then turn off your internet and google will still guide you with the GPS signal only.

  1. BevrijdingsdagFestivaloverijssel in Zwolle

At the 5th May the Dutch celebrate that the Germans left their country after invading in the conext of the 2nd WW! This day is of course celebrated all over the country often with lots of music, bands and parties. The biggest celebration is in Zwolle! Every year the city organizes a festival with lots of local and national artists. And the best: it’s FOR FREE!

Where to eat in Zwolle

My favourite restaurants and cafés you should not miss when you are visiting Zwolle:

Gelateria Salute- The BEST ice cream this side of Italy. I promise you will love this Gelato!

Mayur Kitchen– Fine Indian food in a cozy atmosphere, if you have any intolerances or food preferences the owner will happily take care of them.

Buik van Parijs– You can indulge in fabulous down-to-earth French cuisine here.

Itoshii- Grab all your girlfriends and enjoy yummy Sushi at this Japanese restaurant- on Thursdays it’s Ladys night and you get the “all you can eat” option for around 19 Euros.

De Plataan– You are on a budget but still want some nice food? The Pizza and Pasta restaurant will spoil you with good Italian food- every dish is 6 Euros only.

Espressobar Mailing: If you love coffee or your coffee crazy friend needs their “dosis” take them here. Have a slice of their carrot cake- an absolute must!

Swolsche Friethuys: The BEST fries in town! No wonder they won several awards.

I hope I could give you a tiny insight into this small cute town which still is my home until Summer! Did you also move for your study?

Let me know if you ever had been here and if you liked it. To all the others: Yes it’s definitely worth a visit if you are planning to head to the Netherlands!

“Wherever you go-go will all your heart” ❤


21 thoughts on “Zwolle- My home for three years

  1. I’m moving to the Netherlands in July/August for work and have been looking at Zwolle or Deventer to live. In the UK, I live in the centre of a very large city so I think it’s going to be quite a change – and your post about Zwolle makes it sound smaller than even I’d imagined! Is there any good nightlife? Are there activities/fairs etc that make the town busy during the year?


    • Hey 🙂 Thank you for your comment! Well in your case I would definitely move to Zwolle instead of Deventer. Deventer is even smaller 😀

      Well concerning nightlife: there are a lot of cozy nice bars, so a night out drinking/supper and chilling with your friends is really nice in Zwolle. If you want to go dancing we have a few small places (3-4) here, but yes more small-town typical. Throughout the year there are many open air festivals (end of april, beginning and mid June) there are many bands and a nice vibe. Sometimes we have smaller events like a foodtruck festival.
      If you have the possibility to live in a bigger city then I would recommend Utrecht or Amsterdam.

      Will you move here then temporarily or will it be your forever home?
      So where in the UK are you from? 🙂


      • It’ll be a permanent move. My job is based in the East and I don’t want a long commute so Utrecht and Amsterdam wouldn’t be suitable. I currently live in Birmingham.


  2. Pingback: Favourite spots in the Netherlands- Lieblingsorte in den Niederlanden | Fräulein Reiselust

  3. Pingback: Reiseblogger #vorderHaustür: Liegt das Gute wirklich so nah? – 1 THING TO DO

  4. Wow! Ich finde es immer faszinierend von kleinen neuen Städten und Möglichkeiten zu hören. Mich selbst verbindet das zu einer kleinen Stadt in Norwegen in der ich mein Auslandsjahr verbracht habe…Und ganz ehrlich: Ich bin dankbar dafür, in einer Kleinstadt wirklich der Kultur näher gekommen zu sein! Viel Spaß weiterhin dort 🙂


    • Hallo Verena,
      lieben Dank für deinen Kommentar 🙂
      Oh wie schön! Norwegen will ich auch unbedingt bald mal besuchen, wie heißt die Stadt in der du gelebt hast?
      Betreibst du deinen Blog noch? Irgendwie wird der mir angezeigt “nothing found”, so schade wollte grade deinen Blog erkunden.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Liebe Jasmin,
    Du machst Lust auf die Niederlande, denn ich habe es bis auf eine kurze Winterreise nach Rotterdam noch nie in das Land der Tulpen geschafft.
    Doch ich werde es schaffen 🙂

    Liebe Grüße


  6. Wir sind nächste Woche wieder ein paar Tage in den Niederlanden unterwegs. Zwolle steht diesmal zwar noch nicht auf unserem Reiseplan, aber es kommt auf jeden Fall auf unsere To-Do-Liste. Wir schauen uns ab und zu zwar auch gerne mal große Städte an, unsere Liebe gehört jedoch den kleinen Orten auf dem Land. Und dass Holland davon ja einige mit großem Charme zu bieten hat, haben wir bereits auf unseren vergangenen Reisen durchs Land erfahren. Es gibt noch einiges zu entdecken in unserem Nachbarland.


    • Euch würde es glaube ich hier sehr gefallen! Eine schöne Altstadt und viele leckere Restaurants und sogar einen schönen Bauernladen bei dem man lokale hochwertige Produkte kaufen kann 🙂


  7. Ich war noch nicht mal in den Niederlanden. Es steht aber jetzt auf dem Plan. Vielleicht lässt sich Zwolle ja einbauen. Es sieht auf jeden Fall super aus.


  8. Ich war noch nie in Zwolle. Ehrlich gesagt, habe ich meinen Niederlande Tripp letztes Jahr wegen richtig schlechten Wetters sogar unterbrochen und bin mal eben nach Prag. Aber wenn ich die Lücke eines Tages schließe, dann werde ich Zwolle wohl ergänzen. Denn Märkte, Grachten und guter Kuchen – damit gewinnt man auch mein Herz:)

    Liebe Grüße
    Nicole vom Reiseblog PASSENGER X


  9. Oh wow, that looks like an absolutely amazing place! I would really love to travel to the Netherlands one day, especially to see the rural areas. Thx for that inspiring article 🙂


  10. Oh das sieht aber toll aus da! Ich war jetzt schon 3x in den Niederlanden, einmal zum segeln auf dem Isjelmeer da war ich 14, dann vor zwei Jahren in Maastricht eine Freundin besuchen (dort gibt es auch einen Buchladen in einer Kirche so genial!) und dieses Ostern in Amsterdam. Gegen ein 4 ode 5 oder 6 mal hätte ich nichts einzuwenden da dein vorgestellter Ort wirklich toll aussieht! Wie lange studierst du noch dort? Ich würde sehr gerne mal wieder auf einem Pferd sitzen und ne runde reiten, ggf. kann ich dich ja besuchen kommen 😀 (wäre da da der Zeit und Geldmangel nicht aber who knows…) nur mal so als Spinnerei 😉

    Alles Liebe ❤


    • Liebe Jasmin:)
      Danke für deinen lieben Kommentar!
      Wie schön dass dir die Niederlande so gut gefallen! Wie ist Maastricht so? Dort war ich leider bisher noch nicht.

      Jaaaa super gern! Wohne noch bis Juni/Juli hier,bist herzlich willkommen hier! Hab eine gemütliche Schlafcouch, und Stallaction lässt sich einrichten:P


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: