The cafés on the river Vecht, the artisanal shops and the friendly locals welcome you as soon as you set foot in the historic Weesp centre. When it comes to their city, Weespers are full of passion, and it's a good sign that so many young Amsterdammers joined their ranks in recent years. “Weesp is seeing enormous socio-cultural change”, says Christian Pfeiffer (33) from the Heemschut heritage association. ''It used to be a somewhat reserved community, in which things did not always go well economically speaking. In recent years, we’ve seen a huge turnaround. Weesp is being rediscovered."

Wandelroute Weesp

While Weesp is experiencing a lot of new development, it has plenty of historical highlights and no fewer than 200 monuments.

Start at the intersection of Stationsweg and Herengracht and walk down Herengracht (a 7-minute walk from Station Weesp and about 40 minutes by bike from Amsterdam East).

1. Theater City of Wesopa

The Theater City of Wesopa has been one of the most important cultural carriers of the city for years. The theatre is run entirely by volunteers.

Turn left at the Zwaantjesbrug and immediately left to the Binnenveer.

2. Nelis’ IJssalon

Is it time for a break yet? You will find the tastiest ice cream in Weesp – named the best ice cream in the Netherlands in 2020 – in the Nelis’ IJssalon (Slijkstraat 41, open daily until 22:00). During the long summer days, you will find half of Weesp emerging with a cone or two.

The road continues in the Slijkstraat. Turn off at Nieuwstraat.

3. The Weesp synagogue

Weesp used to have a wealthy Jewish community that was hit hard by the Second World War. Many Jews were deported and few returned. The Synagogue is a tangible reminder of this. "After the war, the Synagogue was used as a garage for a long time, but at the initiative of the community it has been renovated and is now used as a synagogue again."

Continue walking along the Nieuwstraat. Turn left at Kerkstraat.

4. Grote- or St. Laurens church

This beautiful church – locally known as the Grote Kerk – was built around 1450 and is considered the oldest building in Weesp. "A carillon of Amsterdam’s Hemony bell founder brothers hangs in the church tower. This 17th-century chime still rings every fifteen minutes.”

Return to the Nieuwstraat.

5. Boon Gift Shop

Weesp is known for its artisan shops. The well-styled Boon Gift Shop window (Nieuwstraat 37, open from Tuesday to Saturday) is a feast for the eyes with unique vases, cushions and plants on show. Venture inside for plenty of original items that will make a great gift.

Follow the Nieuwstraat.

6. Townhall and the Municipal museum

“This town hall is a real 18th-century gem and one of the hundred most important monuments in the Netherlands.” The building is still used as a town hall and the first floor is educated to the Municipal Museum. “What’s special about it is that you can learn a lot about Weesp’s history , but they also display an enormous collection of Weesp porcelain, the first porcelain in the Netherlands.” It was only produced for a very short time in the 18th century, which makes it extremely valuable now.” Museum Weesp is open on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00.

Continue down Nieuwstraat and turn right at Het Kleine Plein. Then turn left at Nieuwstad and keep right. Turn left into Utrechtseweg.

7. De Vriendschap windmill

The old mill on the Vecht is still a working traditional flour mill. Here, grains are processed into flour, mixed and flaked in an eco-friendly way. About 5000 kilos of flour per month goes to the bakers in the area and Amsterdam restaurants. "You can visit the mill and see the miller's craft up close." Windmill de Vriendschap is open on Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.Go back to the Nieuwstad intersection and turn right. Turn right at Achter Het Vosje as this road continues in Hoogstraat. Turn right at Lange Vechtbrug.

Go back to the Nieuwstad intersection and turn right. Turn right at Achter Het Vosje as this road continues in Hoogstraat. Turn right at Lange Vechtbrug.

8. Fort Ossenmarkt

Weesp is surrounded by a ring of fortifications, built to protect Amsterdam in times of war. One such structure is the tower fortress on the Ossenmarkt, built in 1861. It has been well preserved and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you come to Weesp by bike, a visit to Fort Hinderdam is definitely worth it. It is beautifully situated on the Vecht and it looks very impressive.

Walk down the Ossenmarkt road to Fort Ossenmarkt.

9. The tea garden

In 1986, one of the oldest entrenchments in Weesp was converted into a flower garden fit for relaxation. Here you will find the café Bar Blauw, known for its focus on sustainable produce. The wild cider is a must-try! The Tea Garden is open Thursday to Saturday from 09:00 to 18:00.

Go back to the intersection of Lange Vechtbrug and Hoogstraat and turn right. Walk all the way to the end of this street and turn left at Herengracht.

10. Wispe Brewery

The Wispe brewery is located in an unusual location in the St. Laurentius church. This church is extra beloved by the Weespers because it was in danger of demolition until a private buyer purchased it just in the nick of time and completely renovated it at his own expense. Now it houses a beer brewery, Christian’s gin distillery, a yoga hall and a hotel room, all located in the church. 

Extra: Weesp’s history

Just like other fortified towns such as Naarden and Muiden, Weesp is part of both the Amsterdam Defense Line and the New Dutch Water Line. Amsterdam has been heavily investing in the military defense line in the past as the capital would be easily reachable should Weesp fall during times of war. The two monumental fortresses are a remnant of those times. Due to its link with Amsterdam, Weesp also benefited from Amsterdam’s growth at the end of the Middle Ages, which is reflected in Weesp’s many historic buildings.

Follow this route on your phone

Are you ready to try this route? Good news, the route can now also be followed via the Komoot app; with walking instructions, information about the highlights and a place to share your own photos with us.

    

Christian Pfeiffer

Christian Pfeiffer has lived in Weesp all his life. He works for the Heemschut heritage association, where he is committed to preserving monuments. In addition, he has been a miller since he was 12 years old, runs the Anker Weesp gin distillery with his wife, is a member of the municipal council on behalf of GroenLinks and writes history stories about Weesp on his blog iloveweesp.nl.

The map was created by illustrator Barbara van den Berg.