Best things to do in Apeldoorn

The city of Apeldoorn is known for Paleis Het Loo and its beautiful city parks. There are many shops in the old historic centre of the city, the majority of which are large chains. Although a number of stores are located in monumental buildings, the modernisation often means that there is not much of the history left. With a walk through the narrow streets, you can still see many authentic facades and of course the Grote Kerk from 1892 where some members of the Royal family were married. One very striking thing about Apeldoorn is the amount of greenery in the city. The city has no fewer than nine parks. Oranjepark, Verzetstrijderspark, Prinsenpark and Wilhelminapark are all national monuments.

The city has a few fun attractions for children. Travellers who are visiting Apeldoorn with young children should definitely go to the Kinderparadijs Malkenschoten amusement park. It is very beautiful and exciting, equipped with numerous playgrounds and attractions for children of different ages. On the territory of the park is a small nature reserve, where different species of animals and birds live. Here the children can feed cute sheep, observe the ostriches and even learn how to take care of the calves. It is advised to visit the park during the warmer months. It is possible to spend a day among the monkeys in the Apenheul or to enjoy all the fun in the Koningin Julianatoren amusement park. People who are looking for a bit of culture or nature should definitely not miss the Hoge Veluwe National Park.

For those who love aqua attractions and are planning to visit the city during the warmer months, it is worth spending a day in the Boschbad open-air water park. It is located in a beautiful park surrounded by the scattering trees; the park is equipped with various swimming pools and recreational areas that are available to visitors. There are colourful fountains and slides, which are very popular with children, but also a spacious terrace for sunbathing. The water park has a great cafe, so you can enjoy a relaxing holiday all day long.

Things to do in Apeldoorn

There is so much to see in Apeldoorn and a visit in the summer months is always worth it. This beautiful city has beautiful parks, picturesque old buildings and monuments. For tourists who are primarily interested in the sights of Apeldoorn, there are the palace ‘Het Loo’ and the Appenheul. Other prominent ones are listed below. It is advised to rent a bike and cycle around the city as that is the best way to see the sights.

Here are a few interesting places to visit and things to do.

1. Palace Het Loo

The former hunting residence of the Royal family is now open to the public. The palace museum is located in the main building with the service wings to the left and right, including the kitchen. The stables and coach houses can be found on the western side. The museum of the Chancellery of the Dutch Order can be found in the East wing. A number of costumes are exhibited here. All carefully decorated rooms give you a glimpse into the life of the Dutch royal family. The beautiful royal garden is huge. It is therefore right to call it a palace park.

Palace Het Loo - Apeldoorn

2. Take an Apeldoorn canal cruise

Discovering the Apeldoorn via the canals is, of course, one of the most wonderful things any tourist can do. A relaxed trip with a tour boat is quite an experience. A large number of canal cruise companies offer tourists an opportunity to discover all the beautiful attractions in Apeldoorn from the comfort of a luxurious saloon boat. And it doesn’t matter if you want a tasty lunch or a romantic moonlight cruise, there are tailor-made programs for every group.

3. Berg & Bos Nature Park

This more than 250-hectare forest can be found next to Paleis Het Loo. Many special plants and trees can be found within this nature reserve. The park is used for many purposes such as festivals, dog walking, relaxing with friends and family during the summer months and also jogging. The park is accessible free of charge. However, festivals and other organised activities are paid. From the lookout tower, you have a spectacular view of this wooded historic area. A butterfly garden can also be found further down the park.

4. Apenheul

The Apenheul zoo was opened in 1971 and quickly became popular with visitors. This park was founded in 1971 by the now-deceased photographer Wim Mager. His hobby that got out of hand, having monkeys as pets, resulted in the development of two parks. The main inhabitants of the parks are more than 30 species of monkeys. An exciting fact is that the monkeys can move freely through the park and are very friendly and not afraid of people. Spend a day with the monkeys and don’t forget to bring the kids because kids love the Apenheul. A similar park can be found in France, “La Vallée des Singes”. A lot of information about monkeys can be found in the visitor centre. In addition to the monkeys, there are also peccaries, turtles, nose bears, capybaras and anteaters.

5. Dutch Police Museum

Certainly two hundred years of police history is clearly shown here. Their tasks, the structure of the organization and how it has changed over the years and also the influence of the Second World War and the historical differences between border guard, municipal police and field guard are all on display. If you have always wanted to know how the Royal Marechaussee came to be, after visiting this museum, all your questions will be answered and you would have gained more insight into the history of the Dutch Police Force.

Apeldoorn, in the province of Gelderland, is surrounded by beautiful nature. Despite its population of 160,000, the city still retains the charm of a small village with its town hall, market square and friendly locals. Picturesque parks and gardens, old churches and windmills provide a rural feel. One of the best ways to discover the city is by cycling. If you go sightseeing make sure not to miss out on the following sights:

1. Julianatoren

This is especially fun for children between the ages of 1 – 10. The Julianatoren is a small-scale amusement park built around the Queen Juliana Tower and is great for a family day out. It is fairly uncluttered and has a pleasant atmosphere. The amusement park offers children a chance to play in one of the 60 daring attractions? Jump on your horse and ride like a cowboy on the Paardenbaan, go on safari through the Safaribaan or go see the shows of Jul & Julia. From the lookout tower, you have a good view of the Apeldoorn forests and the park. There are also a few eateries scattered throughout the park. It is also possible to have a picnic in the park.

2. CODA (Cultuur Onder Dak Apeldoorn) Museum

CODA is the cultural centre of Apeldoorn. You will find a library, archive and an exhibition museum here. The temporary exhibitions and library agenda ensure that there is always something new to experience or learn. There is also much to be found about the history of Apeldoorn, its literature and surroundings. In the CODA Café visitors can relax while enjoying a cup of coffee. Among contemporary museums, the CODA museum deserves special attention and is open for all lovers of modern art. The museum’s permanent exhibition includes paintings by famous modern artists, and the museum regularly organizes exciting cultural events. There are photography exhibitions, artists presenting avant-garde artworks and sometimes there are art exhibitions for children in the museum. This place will appeal to those who like to participate in unusual cultural events.

3. De Hoge Veluwe National Park

Discover the versatile region of the Veluwe: beautiful national parks such as De Hoge Veluwe and Veluwezoom, culture in various museums and atmospheric cities. You should definitely not miss the Kröller Müller Museum and there is also plenty to do for children in one of the amusement parks or zoos.

There are many wild animals around here. Animals such as deers, roe deers, wild boars, foxes, badgers, mouflon and Corsican sheep. They can’t leave the park, because the area is protected with grilles and fences. If you come very early in the morning or stay in the park until late and are very quiet, there is a chance of seeing a wild animal. There are even special places where you can sit and observe these animals. These places are called ‘wildlife observation posts’.

Walking and cycling in the Veluwe
The Veluwe national parks, the Hoge Veluwe and Veluwezoom offer a versatile nature area where you can walk and cycle. Forests, heaths and sand drifts, interspersed with fens and lakes: there is plenty to see and experience. Did you know that the park has a cycle path of more than 40 kilometres?

Cities and villages around the Veluwe
The Veluwe also offers plenty of cultures. Beautiful old towns, beautiful castles and estates and there are a number of impressive museums that you do not want to miss. Some of them are listed on this page.

This park can rightly call itself the largest nature reserve in the Netherlands. It even belongs to the largest lowland nature area of Northwestern Europe. The interaction between nature and culture is remarkable. Visitors can find the Kröller-Müller Museum for modern and contemporary art in the park. There you can find many works of Vincent van Gogh. There is also a sculpture park outside. Another special attraction is the Jachthuis Sint-Hubertus which is located in the north of the park on a beautiful lake. It is partly open to the public.

– Order your tickets via make sure to use our exclusive Tiqets discount codeTHINGSAMS05‘ and get 5% discount –

4. Jazz in the Woods

This festival has been celebrated in Apeldoorn since the 1970s. Although the name suggests that it takes place in the woods, the festival originated in the city centre and not in the woods. The festival was moved for a while from the city centre to the Orpheus Schouwburg. Nowadays the festival can be found again in the city centre on Caterplein. Jazz in the woods features different types of performances with various outdoor venues and a number of catering establishments. Due to a large number of visitors, it can be named one of Apeldoorn’s most important cultural events.

5. Omnisport Centre

Omnisport Centre is a velodrome and a multi-purpose sports hall centrally located in Apeldoorn. You would probably think it’s a sports hall specially built for sporting events. The velodrome is built in such a way that it can also be used for all kinds of entertainment or business meetings. In addition to its function as a sports centre, Omnisport is used for events such as fairs, music shows, etc. All European and world track cycling and athletics championships held in the Netherlands are hosted in the velodrome. Omnisport Center is also frequently used for concerts and fairs. We recommend checking the site for the most up-to-date agenda.

6. Schouwburg Orpheus

Orpheus is a theatre in Apeldoorn. It is the largest theatre in the city, and home to the Podium Gigant. Schouwburg Orpheus is one of the five largest theatres in the Netherlands and therefore a well-known theatre. Many national tours (from musical to cabaret) can be found in the theatre and both tourists and locals can enjoy them for two days or more before they move on. In addition to the theatre and concert hall, Schouwburg Orpheus is also known as a unique location for congresses and events. The acoustics in this building, in particular, have made the theatre an excellent location for various entertainment events, especially in the music world. All modern entertainment gadgets are present and partly because of that Apeldoorn has a theatre to be proud of.

7. Boschbad Open-Air Water Park

For those who love aqua treatments who are planning to visit the city during the warmer months, it is worth spending a day in a Boschbad open-air water park. It is located in a beautiful park surrounded by the scattering trees; the park is equipped with various swimming pools and recreational areas that are available to visitors. There are colourful fountains and slides, which are very popular with children, but also a spacious terrace for sunbathing. The water park has a great cafe, so you can enjoy a relaxing holiday all day long. The water park has a large recreational pool with a water playground and two cool slides, a competition pool with two diving boards and much more. Discover the largest and nicest outdoor swimming pool in the Netherlands. The Boschbad has three pools, a recreational pool, competition pool and a water playground. The swimming offer is therefore suitable for young and old. Sunbathe, swim, exercise, play or play mini-golf? You are guaranteed to have fun in the Boschbad.

8. Kröller-Müller Museum

A visit to the Kröller-Müller Museum is an unforgettable experience. A journey of discovery that already starts at the entrance of De Hoge Veluwe National Park. Driving up the entrance to the museum in Otterlo, visitors enter the former estate of the German Helene Müller and the Dutch industrialist Anton Kröller. The park covers 5,500 hectares of forest, heathland, grassy plains and sand drifts and is the home of deers, mouflons and wild boars. You can explore the park on foot or by bicycle. The Kröller-Müller Museum is one of the most beautiful museums in the Netherlands.

In the Kröller-Müller Museum, you will find the second-largest Van Gogh collection in the world: almost 90 paintings and more than 180 drawings. In the Van Gogh Gallery, works by Vincent van Gogh can be seen in varying positions. You will also see masterpieces by modern masters such as Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondriaan, etc. There are also more than 160 sculptures by exceptional artists, from Aristide Maillol and Jean Dubuffet to Marta Pan and Pierre Huyghe.

– Order your tickets via make sure to use our exclusive Tiqets discount codeTHINGSAMS05‘ and get 5% discount –

How to get to there

Apeldoorn is a city outside of Amsterdam and in the centre of the Netherlands. Apeldoorn is on the Veluwe. The Veluwe is a large nature reserve in Gelderland. There is also a park; De Hoge Veluwe National Park. Renting a bike and cycling around the city would be the best way to discover it. Amsterdam isn’t very far away. It’s a 1-hour journey both by car and by train. There are trains leaving Amsterdam Central Station every 20 minutes.

Trains to Apeldoorn

From Amsterdam Central station

From Amsterdam Central Station, there’s a regular connection with Apeldoorn. The trains depart every 20 minutes and may take between 1 hour and 1 hour 15 minutes. Tickets cost approximately € 16,40 for a one-way trip from Amsterdam Central Station.

From Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

There are trains leaving every 20 minutes from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The train takes 1 hour 20 minutes from the airport to Apeldoorn. It costs € 17,80- for a one-way ticket.

From Rotterdam Central Station

There are trains leaving every 20 minutes from Rotterdam Central Station to Apeldoorn. The train ride lasts 1 hour 25 minutes and costs € 20,60- for a one-way ticket.

Going to Apeldoorn by Car

Apeldoorn can be reached from Amsterdam via the A1 motorway and takes approximately an hour if there are no traffic jams. Apeldoorn is located at the intersection of the A1 (east-west) and A50 (north-south) motorways and is centrally located in the Netherlands. This makes it easily accessible from anywhere by car.

Parking In Apeldoorn And How To Get Around

It is, of course, possible to travel from anywhere to Apeldoorn by car, but be aware that most parking needs to be paid for and can be quite expensive. There are some streets around the centre where you don’t need to park but check carefully that you don’t need a permit to park there or you’ll receive a hefty fine.

Getting Around

Finding your way in Apeldoorn is actually quite easy. The city isn’t that big and you can easily walk from one place to the other. Of course, it is always a welcomed idea to “Go Dutch” and cycle around the city. Tourists can rent a bicycle at the Apeldoorn train station.
The local bus service is also another efficient way to get around. All local buses meet at the central station and depart every 30 minutes. During the summer months when tourists start pouring in, there is an extra service (line 16) which departs from the station towards major tourist attractions and is located in the western part of Apeldoorn.

Parking in Apeldoorn

If you’re visiting Apeldoorn by car, you can park on the street but you must understand that it isn’t for free. The days and times you have to pay for and the maximum parking time is usually not the same. Parking tickets can be paid for at parking machines or via call parking.

Parking Garages
There are five covered or indoor parking garages within walking distance of the Apeldoorn city centre:

  1. Brinklaan (municipality)
  2. Koningshaven-Center (municipality)
  3. Marktplein (Municipality)
  4. Orpheus (municipality)
  5. Museum Center (Q-Park)
  6. Orangerie (Q-Park)

Parking Lots
There are six parking lots. All parking areas are within walking distance of the Apeldoorn city centre.

  1. Rosariumstraat
  2. Market Centrum
  3. Kanaalstraat
  4. Prins Willem Alexanderlaan
  5. Laan van de Mensenrechten
  6. Handelstraat

Parking in permit areas
In a number of neighbourhoods in Apeldoorn, you may only park with a parking permit at certain places and times. As a visitor without a permit, you need a scratch card here. The scratch card can only be purchased by the residents of the parking permit area you’re visiting. Make sure to ask your hosts if you’re visiting someone in Apeldoorn.

Parking for the disabled
You can park for free on the street and in the parking lots without barriers with a valid European disabled parking card or with a valid Apeldoorn disabled parking card. There is no maximum parking time for disabled car users.

Apeldoorn Hotels

Apeldoorn and the surrounding area hosts the highest concentration of campsites and bungalow/green parks in the Netherlands. The city is also home to a wide selection of hotels and B&B’s. Use the booking widget below for the best selection of hotels in Apeldoorn. If you’re looking for a hotel in Amsterdam than you need to expect way higher rates per night.

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