Things to do in Enschede

When you think up images of the Netherlands, your mind might assemble pictures of windmills, wooden shoes, busting canals and bright-colored tulips. However, Enschede is a modern Dutch city, with plenty of attractions, things to see and places to eat. When you rent in Enschede, you will rarely find yourself struggling for something to do in your spare time. Let’s take a look at a few things to help get you started!

Top 5 things to see in Enschede

In Enschede, just taking a walk around the city center can be inspiring. You can even visit a lot of the historical buildings, as well as spend rainy afternoons at the museum or take one of several unique tours.

  1. Rijksmuseum Twente

This museum tells the story of Enschede through different exhibitions and paintings from all across the Netherlands. Better yet, it is even free for students!

  1. Grolsch Brewery Tour

If you love beer or just have a passing interest in its history, you can learn about all of this and more at the Grolsch Brewery. You can take the 2.5-hour tour as a guide takes you through the brewery and introduces you to all things Grolsch. And of course, no beer tour would be complete without a tasting!

  1. Museum Twentse Welle

The Museum Twentse Welle provides a great look into the history of both Twente and Enschede. Nestled close to the site of the great fireworks disaster, it offers both permanent and traveling exhibitions, giving a brief glimpse into life in the area.

  1. Volkspark Enschede

Near both the major highway and the city center, this nice park is a great place for a walk or a bit of relaxation after finals are over. Also be sure to take in the animals and the statues along the way.

  1. Jacobuskerk

This is a lovely church with stunning architecture, and you should visit it at least once! While the church is not extremely old, it has a wonderful international vibe, with everything written in both Dutch and English.

Top 5 events in Enschede

  1. Kingsnight and Day

On Kingsday, the Dutch people celebrate the monarchy in a big way. Everyone dresses in orange, and partiers take to the streets. Also, be sure to visit the "vrijmarkt," which is Dutch for a flea market, where everyone cleans out their closets and sells their wares on the corners.

You can also expect live music, children’s games, drinks and local foods. There is also a lot going on the evening before Kingsday, where the bars and nightclubs are open until early morning.

  1. Freshtival

Held over Pentecost weekend at Enschede’s Het Rutbeek recreational park, Freshtival is one of the Netherlands’ largest dance festivals. Once just a one-day event, this popular festival has grown into a full weekend of dancing, music and camping. Diversity is the theme here, with festival highlights ranging from well-known performers to local artists.

  1. Art In the Park

Held in the lovely park, Kunst in het Volkspark is a huge outdoor art fair that began over 20 years ago. Today, more than 35,000 visitors attend each year to buy and sell art, as well as take in musical and theatrical performances.


This multi-media art festival is a must-see, as you watch over 150 international artists transform Enschede before your very eyes. This festival is spread across the city, with its main locations at Oude Markt and Grote Kerk, as well as Twentse Welle, Mac Berlijn and Atak at the new Muziekkwartier.

  1. Creative Sundays

This free event encourages both amateur and professional artists to get together in the city on a Sunday, showcasing their works of art. There will also be programs filled to the brim with music, art, theater and more. You can also expect several workshops, where attendees are encouraged to jump in and participate. Plus, each year has a new theme, so you never know exactly what to expect!

Top 5 places to eat and drink in Enschede

Enschede is a compact city, so it is easy to start exploring the dozens of delicious places to eat and drink. The summer is especially fun in Enschede, where restaurants open their terraces, and patrons sit and enjoy a cold beer or a glass of wine.

Below are a few of the best places to eat in Enschede, whether it be a budget-friendly meal or a place to splurge a little for a celebration.

  1. De Oude Markt

De Oude Markt is one of the most popular café terraces in all of the eastern Netherlands. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it is surrounded by other restaurants, cinemas, shops, theatres and cafés.

Along the main square, you will also see some events and small fairs that take place throughout the year, especially in the summer. The square will fill up with people, as the bars and nightclubs stay open late and welcome in the temporary warm weather.

  1. Stoet

Close to the library and the city center, it’s extremely convenient to stop into Stoet for a nice lunch or simply coffee, pie or pastries. The interior is fun and cozy, with a corner for kids and a power supply for your laptops, making it a great place to study with some of your new classmates.

  1. Sam Sam

This is one of the go-to spots for the locals of Enschede, making it an instant winner among the student population as well. This locale offers a little bit of everything, whether it be a late breakfast, a place to study and have a cup or two of coffee, take in a drink on the terrace, or have a delicious lunch or dinner before or after taking in a movie at the cinemas. Sam Sam is also well-known for its authentic high tea, with a tasty array of pastries.

  1. Big Belly's Tavern

Near the Oude Markt, this well-known tavern offers a laid-back vibe, complete with a kitchen serving up Irish food and pints of Guinness. This tavern also creates a mix of Irish dishes and Dutch specialties, inspiring a unique menu. You can have traditional Irish Stew and Fish ‘n Chips, along with a "Stamppot," which is the Dutch version of mashed potatoes with vegetables, or a stew with meat. Be sure to end it all with Irish Bread and Butter pudding.

  1. Eetcafé CP

Eetcafé CP has a large set menu, as well as a daily menu with specials that change every two weeks or so. There’s also a lunch menu and even a snack menu, making it an ideal place to stop into for a quick bite in between classes. Another thing that makes this spot so popular is the terrace, which is even heated during the winter months.

Share this with someone

So that others can also benefit from this guide

If you're feeling prepared enoughFind a room in Enschede