Things to do in Weesp
Just 15 minutes by train from Amsterdam, the charming municipality of Weesp is an ideal destination for history buffs, boating enthusiasts or anyone seeking some authentic Dutch charm. This 700-year-old fortified town has a quaint centre offering canals, windmills, stately architecture, and several cosy terraces along the water. From quaint museums to unusual breweries and boat cruises, here’s our round-up of the top things to do in Weesp.
Peruse the fine porcelain at Museum Weesp
Museum Weesp is housed on the top floor of the monumental town hall (from 1776), one of the 100 most important monuments in the Netherlands. The collections will take you on a journey from the earliest Iron Age settlement to the stories of its present inhabitants. Admire early Dutch porcelain, learn how chocolate is made and discover why Weesper jenever was a favourite of the Dutch East India Company. And for anyone interested in the beautiful period rooms of this neoclassical building, a one-hour audio tour is included in the entrance fee.
Sample local tipples in a former church
You can’t truly get to know a city without trying the local tipple.Wispe Brouwerijis a unique brewery housed in a historic church, now converted into a stunning grand café. Between the copper kettles, the high ceilings and airy interiors make for a beautiful setting to enjoy home-brewed seasonal beers, Dutch snack platters and juicy burgers. Guided tours and tastings will take you through the entire brewing process, and you can also have a peek to see how Anker Weesp's jenever and liqueurs are distilled.
Pick up freshly baked goods from a historic flour mill
Molen De Vriendschap is a traditional windmill where ecological grains are still ground into flour using good old-fashioned wind power. When the wind is strong enough, the mill operates a few days a week thanks to a passionate team of volunteers. Whilst the interior is generally closed to the public, budding bakers and anyone who loves pastries, sourdough bread and gingerbread are welcome to shop for delicious items in the mill shop every Saturday from 10:00 to 16:00.
Go behind-the-scenes at heritage monuments
During Open Monument Day (in September), thousands of historical buildings and sites across the Netherlands are open to the public free of charge, with many locations also organising exhibitions, musical performances and guided tours. The municipality of Weesp often participates with openings at Fort Ossenmarkt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is generally not open to the public and at Molen De Vriendschap flour mill.
Kick back with a film at a retro cinema
Thanks to its striking Amsterdam School architecture (similar to Art Deco), the City of Wesopa is hard to miss. This cinema theatre is primarily run by volunteers, who keep the historic character and function of the building alive. You’ll find the agenda loaded up with language-no-problem music nights, films and plays for young and old.
Relax in the green oasis of Theetuin Weesp
Built in 1974 within one of the four bastions of the old fortified city,Theetuin Weesp was the first tearoom in the Netherlands. Choose from their attractive selection of coffees, cakes and pastries before finding a spot in the romantic garden where the various plants attract gardening enthusiasts and buzzing insects alike. Recover from all that splendour in Bar Blauw- a green oasis of peace and relaxation. Organised in both the outdoor and indoor spaces, you’ll often find workshops, events, lectures and monthly pop-up dinners.
Cool off with a scoop from Nelis
Time to cool off? Don’t miss the chance to slurp one of the best ice creams in Weesp (even voted the best ice cream in the Netherlands in 2020) at Nelis' IJssalon. On late summer evenings, you’ll find half of the town queuing up for a scoop, or two, or three. The surrounding canals and historic waterways make for a charming route to take a relaxing promenade, cone in hand.
Spend the night in a historic bell tower
For an unforgettable night’s sleep, you’ll find a spectacular apartment called The Clock Tower in the tower of the Sint-Laurentiuskerk. This luxury hotel suite features many original features (dating back to 1876) of the original belfry - not including the three 800-kilo bronze bells, which would have been quite the wake-up call. After climbing the 155 steps to this exclusive outpost, guests can enjoy spectacular views over Weesp from the free-standing bath.
Cycle along the Defence Line
Weesp is a fantastic starting point for exploring the Stelling van Amsterdam (the Defence Line of Amsterdam), a 135-kilometre ring of fortifications around the city that once protected it from invaders and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1996. Special bike routes (in English) take you past the most beautiful highlights, among them Fort Island Pampus, Fort aan de Ossenmarkt, Fort Uitermeer and Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot. Adventurous cyclists should check out De Fietsboot (the Bike Boat) which sails along the River Vecht and lets you hop on and off and continue by bike or foot as you please.
Watch the passing boats or get out on the water
During summertime, admire the busy boat traffic in the heart of Weesp from one of the many café terraces, and you’ll find several landing stages, even in the city centre. Don’t forget to watch the bridge keeper who has to operate the three main bridges by hopping between them on his bicycle! If you fancy getting out on the water, there are plenty of boat rental options in Weesp and the surrounding area. The River Vecht and nearby Loosdrectseplassen leisure lakes are popular with sailing and watersports enthusiasts and make for a lovely day out on the water.