Apeldoorn is a city with a royal touch, famous for its palace and beautiful gardens. It lies on the edge of National Park the Veluwe, and is an excellent base to explore this regions lush natural surroundings.


Apenheul male Bonobo
Apeldoorn evening skyline

With a population nearing 160,000, Apeldoorn is the 12th largest city of the Netherlands and plays a significant role in the regional economy and infrastructure. Billed as a post-World War II groeistad (a city designated by the government to grow significantly), much of the city is comprised of modern residential areas and business districts. Previous to the war, Apeldoorn was only a large village; thus much of its history, sights and attractions are concentrated in the north west quarter of the city, the original core. This area is home to the famous 17th century palace Het Loo, beautiful parks with stately villa neighbourhoods, the ape zoo Apenheul and the eastern flank of the forestry area known as the Veluwe. The city centre offers a relatively generic range of shopping opportunities, but has plenty of good places to eat. The northern end of the city centre has some picturesque art nouveau architecture and the nightlife and entertainment venues of Apeldoorn.

Apeldoorn is known for its spacious, green, family atmosphere and is at its best during the summer months.

Get in

By plane

Schiphol Airport (IATA: AMS) near Amsterdam is the nearest and largest airport. From there, directly under the arrivals area, regular trains can be boarded that take just over an hour to reach Apeldoorn. By car, the journey takes fractionally longer and will involve navigating the ring roads around Amsterdam before hitting the A1.

Eindhoven Airport (IATA: EIN) caters to low-cost airlines, and though the train journey to Apeldoorn from Eindhoven is roughly doubled (see below), the journey by car (if hiring) via the A50 motorway is straightforward and under 1.5 hours.

By car

The A1 (running from east to west) and the A50 (running north to south) meet at Apeldoorn, making the city particularly well connected by road. Smaller provincial roads lead to all nearby destinations.

By train

Direct intercity services connect Apeldoorn to both Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport. In both cases the journey will take roughly one hour.

Apeldoorn is situated on the main line between Berlin and Amsterdam. Twice hourly international trains in both directions can be boarded and used for national and cross border travel purposes. For international tickets, book online at the NS international website.

From Eindhoven, you should head to Utrecht, changing there for either a direct train to Apeldoorn, or depending on the schedule you may find it quicker to head to Amersfoort from Utrecht, changing again for more frequent services to Apeldoorn. This journey is likely to take around 2 hours.

Alight at Apeldoorn for the regional Apeldoorn-Zutphen route that stops at various smaller settlements in the picturesque countryside, terminating at the historic town of Zutphen. During the summer, a steam locomotive is operated from Apeldoorn central station, running to Dieren some 20 km to the south.

Get around

The local bus service is an efficient way to get around. All local buses meet at the railway station where you can switch buses at :16 and :46. During day time additional services run at :01 and :31 on most lines. Regional buses also run from the station out of town; however, they can be used for local transport also. Just remember that connection times will be slightly worse at the bus station for the regional lines. During tourist season an extra bus service (line 16) departs from the station towards major tourist attractions, all located in the western part of Apeldoorn.

You can rent a bicycle at the railway station.


Palace Het Loo is known for its gardens.


Rent yourself a bike and discover the forests just outside town (approx. 20 minutes by bike from the city center). See: Apeldoorn Cycle Route - Het Loo Palace and the Royal Forest.


The city's main shopping area is formed by the "Hoofdstraat" and adjacent streets. Being a regional shopping destination, Apeldoorn boasts a wide range of typical brand name shops and places to eat. The Oranjerie, a modern mall, takes centre stage in Apeldoorn's retail proffer. The city is also home to a range of more unique shops (antique, bric-a-brac, art, organic), mainly located on the Asselsestraat and a few of the smaller offshoots from the high street. As of 2015, some gross retail stores opened as part of the Omnisport complex (located towards the eastern fringe of the city). These include electronics giant MediaMarkt and various sports related stores.


Apeldoorn offers a wide range of good places to eat out, catering for all budgets. The main concentration is found in the city centre, but some of the priciest places are dotted around the outskirts of town. Here is a tiny selection:

This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under €10
Mid-range €10-30
Splurge Over €30


Apeldoorn also has 3 McDonald's, 3 Subways, 2 New York Pizza takeaways, a KFC, Domino's, Burger King and scores of Dutch "snackbars" (specializing in fries), if fast food is required.




The main nightlife in Apeldoorn is focussed in the Caterplein square. Many bars and restaurants, as well as the new (2012) cinema complex, can be found here. A slightly quieter area can be found a few blocks away at the Leienplein. Also en route between the two squares are plenty of places to eat and drink. Here is a small selection of some of the most well known watering holes:


Apeldoorn and the surrounding area plays host to the highest concentration of campsites and bungalow/greenparks in the country. The city itself boast quite a wide range of relatively expensive hotels and B&Bs. Check the plentiful local AirBnB listings or couch-surfing community for budget and backpacking opportunities.

Go next

The city lies on the eastern fringe of the Veluwe, the country's largest and most unspoilt area of natural beauty. It has forests that are home to deer, wild boar and other wild animals, as well as large desert-like sandy areas. Seasonal wild is prepared at various local restaurants, some of which have earned Michelin stars. The Kröller-Müller Museum, with its impressive collection of Vincent van Gogh paintings, is located in the Hoge Veluwe National Park.

The picturesque old cities of Deventer and Zutphen are just 15 km from Apeldoorn and are easily reachable by road or public transport.

Routes through Apeldoorn

Amsterdam Barneveld  W  E  Deventer Enschede
Zwolle  N  S  Arnhem Eindhoven

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, April 02, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.