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9 Best Things to Do in Weesp, Netherlands

9 Best Things to Do in Weesp, Netherlands

Welcome to our travel guide showcasing the best things to do in Weesp, a charming town outside Amsterdam! Filled with picturesque canals, historic sites, and a lively art scene, Weesp offers a unique experience for travelers seeking off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Weesp is the perfect day trip escape from Amsterdam to immerse yourself in a quintessentially Dutch experience that combines historic charm and excellent cafe culture.

My wife and I accidentally spent the afternoon here. We left home shortly after noon, and time flew by as we toured the city until well after dinnertime. It was equal parts exciting, refreshing, and relaxing all in one. I’m already planning an overnight stay or a more extended day trip.

Weesp Netherlands - Scenic view of the charming town and canal
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Just a 20-minute train ride from Amsterdam South Station, you’ll find yourself in the charming and historical town of Weesp.

This delightful haven, steeped in rich history, is remarkably serene compared to its energetic neighbor, Amsterdam. Weesp’s quaint canals and peaceful streets echo Amsterdam’s signature style but offer a far more tranquil atmosphere, making it an ideal escape.

TL;DR

  • Most significant landmark: Muiderslot Castle
  • Free activity: Exploring Weesp’s canal fronts
  • Activity for kids: Nelis Ice Saloon
  • Activity for adults: SpaWeesp
  • Place to eat: Weespermop
  • Nightlife: Wispe Brouwerij
  • Place to stay: Boutique Hotel Weesp

Things to Do in Weesp, Netherlands

1. Discovering Historical Highlights at Weesp Museum

Town hall (Stadhuis)  and Weesp Museumagainst a clear blue sky.
Nigel Wiggins / Shutterstock.com

Address: Nieuwstraat 41, 1381 BB Weesp, Netherlands

Founded in the 14th century, Weesp was a significant trading hub owing to its strategic location on a major river connecting Utrecht and the Rhine. It’s not hard to imagine the bustling activity that once took place along these same canals and cobblestone streets as ships laden with goods sailed to and from distant lands.

One of the most engaging things in Weesp is to take a leisurely walk through the town, soaking up its rich history. Pay particular attention to the restored buildings and structures, many of which date back centuries and offer a glimpse into the town’s colorful past.

Learn about the town’s history by visiting the Weesp Museum and the historic church of Sint-Laurenskerk. The museum showcases exhibits that detail Weesp’s fascinating past, while the church offers a glimpse into the town’s religious heritage.

This is also a lovely part of Weesp, where you can find a place to stay. Boutique Hotel Weesp is a charming property, flawlessly blending Dutch traditionalism and modernism, and it’s just a few doors down from the museum.

See Related: Day Trips from Amsterdam, Netherlands

2. Enjoy the Unique Charm of a Church-Turned-Brewery and Other Craft Breweries

Wispe Brewery - Craft Beers and Best Brewpubs in Town
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Weesp’s historical influence extends even to its culinary scene. In the 17th century, Weesp was renowned for its breweries.

Today, you can still visit one of these breweries housed in a repurposed church at Wispe Brouwerij. This unconventional setting offers an intriguing blend of history and modern brewing techniques, serving up a range of delicious beers as unique as the venue.

You can further immerse yourself in the rich history of Weesp by visiting the iconic De Vecht Brewery and the stunning Muiderslot Castle (I’ll get onto that later). At De Vecht Brewery, enjoy a guided tour and learn about the brewing process while sampling some of their finest craft beers.

3. Try Award-Winning Ice Cream at Nelis Ice Saloon

Front of Nelis Ice Saloon
Nelis / Facebook

Address: Slijkstraat 41, 1381 AZ Weesp, Netherlands

During my visit to Weesp, I stopped by Nelis’ IJssalon, an incredible ice cream shop at Slijkstraat 41. This charming establishment is known for its delicious ice cream and was named the best in the Netherlands in 2020. It’s open daily until 22:00, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy a delicious treat.

When I first entered Nelis’ IJssalon, I was immediately struck by the warm and inviting atmosphere. The friendly staff was happy to offer me samples of their various flavors. T

hey boast a wide variety of options, so whether you’re in the mood for something simple like classic vanilla or something more exotic like mango sorbet, I’m confident you’ll find your perfect scoop.

Along with their exquisite ice cream, Nelis’ IJssalon also offers scrumptious toppings like fresh fruit and nuts, allowing you to customize your cone or cup completely. And if you’re a vegetarian, you’ll be delighted to know they have vegetarian-friendly options.

This was easily one of the highlights of my visit to Weesp. On warm summer evenings, you’ll often find locals and tourists alike happily indulging in Nelis’ IJssalon’s heavenly ice cream.

See Related: Best Cafés in Amsterdam

4. Wander Weesp’s Canals and Bridges

Historic Weesp Netherlands
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

One of the main Weesp tourist attractions is the town’s network of beautiful canals and bridges. As you explore the streets of Weesp, you’ll be captivated by the serene atmosphere created by the combination of gently flowing water and historic architecture.

A cruise on the beautiful river ‘De Vecht’ aboard a unique vessel called “De Vuurlinie” was a real treat. I enjoyed learning about the town’s history, as the boat is built and run by volunteers who deeply love the city. They have created this experience with the support of many locals and businesses.

While on the Vuurlinie boat tour, I could see the town of Weesp and admire its magnificent surroundings. The boat is designed to resemble the characteristic wooden houses that once lined the Utrechtseweg, giving it a truly authentic feel. This made my river cruise experience all the more special and memorable.

Beyond this, another of the best things to do in Weesp is to explore the scenic countryside. Rent a bike and cycle through the picturesque landscape, passing by windmills, gardens, and canals. Alternatively, embark on a boat ride along the Vecht River and soak in the stunning views from a different perspective.

See Related: Things to Do in Zandvoort, Netherlands

5. See a Traditional Dutch Windmill

Weesp Windmills - Netherlands | Image
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

On my steadily lengthening tour of Weesp, I couldn’t help but notice the iconic windmills. The windmills showcase Dutch history and provide a perfect backdrop for a memorable selfie.

A 3-hour E-Bike Rental in Weesp allowed me to explore some of the windmills and scenery at leisure. Renting a bike made it easy to cover more ground and ensured I didn’t miss out on great photo opportunities.

We joined the Amsterdam Landscape Windmill Private Bike Tour, which gave me a deeper look at windmills and their history. The knowledgeable tour guide shared intriguing stories and facts about the windmills, enriching my appreciation for Weesp’s heritage.

During the biking tour, I was blown away by the beautiful landscape enveloping the windmills. The lush green fields, charming bridges, and quaint houses create an idyllic atmosphere that one can easily see why the town is nicknamed ‘Small Amsterdam.’

To make my windmill selfie moment even better, I tried a local Weespermop cookie from one of the bakeries in town. This almond paste cookie, which shares its name with the nickname for Weesp residents, added a sweet touch to my windmill experience. These are so good – actually, scroll down for more on these.

See Related: Visiting Kinderdijk Windmills: What You NEED to Know 

6. Tasting Traditional Dutch Snacks at the Local Markets

A plate with fresh baked Poffertjes with banana. Poffertjes are a traditional Dutch batter treat
tetyanaustenko / Adobe Stock

The local markets are a must-visit regarding things to see in Weesp. Sample delicious traditional Dutch snacks like “poffertjes,” sweet mini pancakes, and “stroopwafels,” wafer-thin waffles filled with caramel. You’ll also find locally made cheeses and jams to take home as tasty souvenirs.

As a local, I highly recommend visiting the Tuesday market in Weesp. This lively food market is a gem to explore, immersing visitors in the town’s culture while enjoying some of its local delicacies.

Every Tuesday, the heart of Weesp comes alive with vendors offering fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and delicious baked goods. No visit to this peaceful town would be complete without a taste of the hustle and bustle of its weekly market.

This market is an excellent chance to source locally grown products, offering high-quality seasonal ingredients that are perfect for anyone looking to try Dutch cooking.

See Related: Best Markets in Amsterdam to Visit

7. Explore the Nearby Muiderslot Castle

 Scenic view of the historic Muiderslot castle in Muiden, Netherlands
Metragnome Images/Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock

Address: Herengracht 1, 1398 AA Muiden, Netherlands

While you’re in the area, be sure to head to Muiderslot Castle, a beautifully preserved medieval fortress, and explore its history through guided tours and interactive exhibits.

When I was exploring the charming town of Weesp, folks kept telling me about the Muiderslot Castle nearby. Naturally, I had to see for myself.

Located just a short distance from Weesp, Muiderslot Castle is an impressive fortress with a history, dating all the way back to 1285 as one of the oldest and best-preserved castles in the Netherlands – heck, maybe the world.

As I toured the castle, I marveled at its architectural beauty and learned many interesting stories about its 700-year lifespan. The castle itself is well-maintained, allowing me to roam the grounds freely and admire the various rooms and period furnishings inside.

What also struck me as noteworthy was the stunning garden surrounding Muiderslot Castle. Walking through the maze of flowers, manicured hedges, and fountains at my own pace, I felt tranquility that made my visit even more pleasurable.

For those planning a trip to Weesp, it’s worth setting aside 2-3 hours to fully enjoy everything Muiderslot Castle has to offer. From the fascinating history to the idyllic surroundings, this visit will add a touch of grandeur to your Weesp experience and leave you with lasting memories. And if you feel like staying nearby, consider this airy studio apartment nearby.

See Related: Things to Do in Leiden, Netherlands

8. SpaWeesp

Indoor pool at SpaWeesp
SpaWeesp / Facebook

Address: Basisweg 1, 1383 NC Weesp, Netherlands

During my visit to Weesp, I discovered SpaWeesp, a popular wellness center in the peaceful town. Upon entering SpaWeesp, I was presented with a selection of spa facilities, such as saunas, steam rooms, and whirlpools.

Each facility offered a unique relaxation method, allowing me to tailor my visit according to my preferences. Additionally, I noticed the spa’s dedication to maintaining a high standard of hygiene throughout every aspect of its operation.

What I particularly enjoyed were the treatments available at SpaWeesp. They offered a range of beauty treatments, massages, and body wraps, catering to various preferences. I opted for a soothing massage that left me feeling revitalized and ready to continue exploring Weesp.

Something worth mentioning is the setting surrounding SpaWeesp, nestled along the river Vecht, which provided a serene backdrop for my relaxation. I appreciated how this allowed me to escape the bustling city lifestyle and truly unwind in a peaceful town like Weesp.

See Related: Unwind In Style: The Best Meditation Retreats in the U.S.

9. Take in the Weespermop Experience

Stacked Traditional dutch cookies called "Weesper moppen" on a white background
Peter Zijlstra / Shutterstock

As I strolled through the charming streets of Weesp, my taste buds were craving something local. That’s when I discovered the famous “Weespermop” – an almond paste cookie synonymous with the town. Though it’s unclear whether the cookie actually originated in Weesp, the fact remains that it’s officially called Weespermop today.

I couldn’t resist tasting a Weespermop at one of the local bakeries. As I took my first bite, I was amazed by its delicate yet decadent texture, with the almond paste bringing a sweet and smooth sensation to the palate. I quickly realized that this delectable treat is a must-try for anyone visiting the town.

My Weespermop search took me to several bakeries, each with its unique twist on the traditional recipe. Some added a hint of citrus, while others played with different nuts or spices to give their cookies a distinctive flavor. Despite these variations, the cookies retained their authentic Weespermop essence, making each bite a delightful surprise.

While indulging in these tasty cookies, I couldn’t help but admire the warmth and hospitality of the Weesp locals, who were eager to share their stories and experiences about the Weespermop. It became clear to me that the cookie has captured not only the taste buds of visitors but also the hearts and pride of the people who call Weesp their home.

See Related: Different Types of Traditional Dutch Food

FAQs

What are the top tourist attractions in Weesp?

In Weesp, there are several quality attractions to visit. The town is well-known for its historical buildings and the Van Houten chocolate company.

There is also a variety of tours and sightseeing experiences, such as traditional biking and private tours that provide great insight into the area’s attractions. I would also recommend trying the local “Weespermop” cookie at one of the bakeries, an almond paste treat that has earned quite a reputation in the region.

What outdoor activities can be enjoyed in Weesp?

Weesp offers numerous outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. For those who like to explore on two wheels, bike tours and e-bike rentals are available.

Some bike tours even focus on the region’s picturesque windmills. The town also has a beautiful landscape that encourages walking, jogging, and picnicking outdoors.

What cultural and historical sites can be visited in Weesp?

As one of the Netherlands’ 14 fortified towns, Weesp boasts many cultural and historical landmarks. The Van Houten Chocolate Company is significant in Weesp’s history, and visitors can learn more about its impact on the town while exploring the area. Besides that, numerous historical buildings and sites showcase Weesp’s heritage, such as museums and churches.

How can one travel between Weesp and Amsterdam?

To travel between Weesp and Amsterdam, visitors can take advantage of the Amsterdam and Region Travel Ticket (ARTT), which offers easy transit options for up to three days. The ARTT encompasses Weesp and covers a vast region in and around Amsterdam. The train is another convenient mode of transportation between Weesp and Amsterdam, with frequent services ensuring a smooth connection between the two locations.

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