7x colourful Deventer

7x colourful Deventer: beautiful sights in Deventer, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

When I visited Deventer for the first time, two years ago, I was completely blown away by this somewhat smaller city in the east of The Netherlands. The city has a beautiful historical city centre, lots of independent shops and eateries and a sprawling nightlife to boot. Many visits have followed since then, and Deventer simply doesn’t disappoint. If you’re interested in visiting, I highly recommend you don’t skip these 7 colourful sights in Deventer. 

7x colourful sights in Deventer, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

7x colourful sights in Deventer, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

7x colourful sights in Deventer, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

The old town

The old town of Deventer is something to feast your eyes on. Historical gabled houses, old signboards and hidden courtyards are everywhere you look. Deventer flourished from the 11th until the 15th century, when it was part of the powerful Hanseatic Lague and Amsterdam was nothing more than an insignificant village. In fact, Deventer was one of the richest cities in The Netherlands back then. And you can still see those traces all over town. It’s hard to believe that only 2500 of 11000 houses survived the bombings of World War II.

Along the river

The reason Deventer was such a powerful city in the Middle Ages is its location along the IJssel river and if you cross the river, it’s easy to enjoy the lovely Deventer skyline with the tower of the Grote of Lebuïnuskerk proudly being the centre of attention.

7x colourful sights in Deventer, The Netherlands: IJssel River | Your Dutch Guide

7x colourful sights in Deventer, The Netherlands: De Noorman | Your Dutch Guide

7x colourful sights in Deventer, The Netherlands: De Noorman (photo by: De Noorman) | Your Dutch Guide

De Noorman

Honestly, I could recommend a dozen places to have coffee, cake or lunch. Deventer is filled with excellent cafés. But I think De Noorman deserves a special mention, as it’s one of the only places in The Netherlands to order a proper Swedish ‘fika’. De Noorman is completely Scandinavian inspired and does coffee, juices, cakes and Swedish open-faced sandwiches very, very well.


I always thought that Bergkwartier was pretty much the same as the historical city centre of Deventer, but even though the quarter rubs up against the centre, Bergkwartier is a quarter all to itself with a unique atmosphere, antique shops and some excellent restaurants. It’s also the area to spot the most surviving Hanseatic architecture.

7x colourful sights in Deventer, The Netherlands: Bergkwartier | Your Dutch Guide

7x colourful sights in Deventer, The Netherlands: Bergkwartier | Your Dutch Guide

7x colourful sights in Deventer, The Netherlands: Hoge Ramen (photo by Hoge Ramen) | Your Dutch Guide

7x colourful sights in Deventer, The Netherlands: Hoge Ramen (photo by Hoge Ramen) | Your Dutch Guide

Hoge Ramen

Deventer is a surprisingly good city to go shopping. In large cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Utrecht the city centre mostly holds large chain shops and you will have to visit the neighbourhoods around the city centres to find more independent boutiques. But not in Deventer, where lots and lots of independent shops can be found, especially in and around Grote Overstraat, Kleine Overstraat and Spijkerboogstraat. Hoge Ramen is a Deventer institute: a large concept store holding women’s and kid’s clothes, cute toys and accessories. It’s the perfect place to go souvenir shopping.

Holy Cow!

There must be something in the water in Grote Overstraat, across from Hoge Ramen sits attractive and colourful Holy Cow!. This shop is a complete delight with colourful clothing, vintage and retro stationary and accessories.

7x colourful sights in Deventer, The Netherlands: Holy Cow! | Your Dutch Guide

7x colourful sights in Deventer, The Netherlands: Holy Cow! | Your Dutch Guide

7x colourful sights in Deventer, The Netherlands: Dock H2O (photo by Dock H2O) | Your Dutch Guide

Food Dock and Dock H2O

If you think that Deventer is all about historical eateries and cute outdoor seating in the old town, think again. Amsterdam and Rotterdam are not the only cities in The Netherlands to offer trendy food concepts and food markets. Food Dock is the first food market in the East of The Netherlands and the place to get good burgers, sushi or frozen yoghurt. A stone’s throw away is Dock H2O, which can be enjoyed at any time of day. Especially when the weather is nice it’s an excellent place to take a seat outside and enjoy the view over the old cities. In the evening H2O often hosts concerts and gigs.

7x colourful sights in Deventer, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

Plan your trip to Deventer

  • Deventer is an easy day trip from Amsterdam. It takes a little over an hour to get from Amsterdam to Deventer by train. You need an ‘OV Chip Card‘, which you can charge as you go, to travel on public transport in The Netherlands.
  • However, I think you should spend the night in Deventer to fully take in the city and maybe see some of the region as well. Hotel Gilde is a beautiful historical hotel, set in a rectory dating back to 1751.
  • If you’d like to discover more of Deventer and surroundings, read my article Road trip in The Netherlands, along Hansa Towns.
  • Plan your trip to Deventer using my city guide Deventer.

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  • Reply
    December 12, 2017 at 9:30 am

    What another fabulous town you’ve introduced me to! I love that water front and the historical importance the town had! #CityTripping

  • Reply
    December 12, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Deventer looks like a fabulous place to visit, I love small cities with independent shops and cafés. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Reply
      December 14, 2017 at 8:50 am

      It’s one of my favourite small cities in The Netherlands and I can’t recommend a visit enough!

  • Reply
    December 12, 2017 at 11:37 am

    I like the look of this!! Have never hear of the place. Looks very Dutch 🙂

  • Reply
    December 13, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    How gorgeous this looks – I can’t help wondering how I’ve never come across this city before! It’s amazing how things change and it’s gone from being such a centre of importance, but I rather love the way that means so much has been preserved and how the little independent shops have flourished. This is definitely going on my list.

  • Reply
    December 13, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    I love discovering new places through #citytripping. This certainly looks worth s visit. Great to find places with a good array of independent shops and I really like the colourful umbrellas!

  • Reply
    December 13, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Looks so pretty there, what a lovely spot! Those colourful umbrellas are popping up in lots of places these days, aren’t they?!

  • Reply
    December 13, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    And now I’m off to Google Fika cake. Not that I’d ever dream of saying no to cake, but I like to know what I’m ordering before I get it. Deventer is gorgeous, it’s totally up my pretend-hipster alley.

    • Reply
      December 14, 2017 at 8:52 am

      Oh, but Katherine, fika isn’t a cake! Fika is actually Swedish for a ritual that is all about taking your time for proper tea, coffee, buns and pastries. So it doesn’t matter what cake you order, as long as there’s cake! Isn’t that just divine?

  • Reply
    December 13, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    What gorgeous colors and great recommendations 🙂 Love those umbrellas!

  • Reply
    December 13, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    This looks like a wonderful place to visit, I love the umbrellas, and I’m a shopper at heart, so I’m definitely adding this to my list for our next visit!

  • Reply
    December 14, 2017 at 6:03 am

    You captured so many beautiful places! I like the architecture of the city but I also like the colorful and creative spaces. It is nice to see how small business owners inject life to certain places.

    • Reply
      December 17, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      I think a lot of smaller cities aren’t that interesting anymore for the big and famous chain stores, so the small independent ones step in. I don’t mind that development at all.

  • Reply
    Vanessa Brune
    December 14, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Deventer looks like an amazing place! I love every town that has cute shops and great cafes, though 🙂

  • Reply
    December 15, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    I absolutely love the look of Deventer, Esther! I’m usually a fan of smaller cities in any case but the combination of historic, arty and foodie attractions really appeals.

  • Reply
    December 15, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Deventer is so colorful! I especially love those cheerful umbrellas. What a wonderful, appealing place for a visit.

  • Reply
    December 16, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    I love the colors and the food looks delicious too. Definitely looks like a great place for a day trip.

  • Reply
    December 17, 2017 at 2:05 am

    Your blog is such an inexhaustible source of information about the Netherlands. Deventer loos really charming and the idea of those colorful umbrellas hanging up in the air is wonderful. Hope to make it you your country someday.

  • Reply
    Jaime Scilingo
    December 17, 2017 at 3:20 am

    I’m all about the smaller or second cities. I’ve never even heard of Deventer but I am adding it to my list.

    • Reply
      December 17, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      Oh you should, it’s a lovely city. The Netherlands are filled with places like this.

  • Reply
    December 17, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Holy Cow is just the type of place I love. I hope to get to Deventer one day and I hope Holy Cow is still there waiting for me when I do!

  • Reply
    Nicole Rugless
    December 17, 2017 at 7:32 am

    It looks great, I haven’t heard of Deventer before and will save this for a future trip to the Netherlands.

  • Reply
    Deborah Regen
    December 17, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Perfectly charming! I would love everything there – from the vintage stores, cafes, to historical neighborhoods. Now I know something about Deventer in the Netherlands and wish to go there.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2017 at 12:22 am

    How charming! Looks like a great place for a wander – and eating and shopping.

  • Reply
    Obligatory Traveler
    December 20, 2017 at 1:47 am

    What a beautiful river. Seems like a great, un-touristy place to visit.

  • Reply
    December 23, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    This is the first time I am hearing about Deventer and it seems so stunning, Esther. How many days would you recommend staying there to see all the highlights?

    • Reply
      December 27, 2017 at 8:50 am

      I think one full day would be enough for the highlights, plus a night if you’d like to experience some fine dining or nightlife too.

  • Reply
    December 27, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Wow! What gorgeous colours and great recommendations. This looks like an outstanding place to visit. 🙂 You captured so many beautiful pictures. I just love the colourful and creative spaces. Keep writing and stay blessed. 🙂

  • Reply
    Erin Gustafson
    January 3, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Cute, colorful, vintage shops and delightful cafes? Deventer sounds divine. This is what I love about Faraway Files – learning about places I never knew I’d want to see! Like that it is doable from Amsterdam. Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year!

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