Discover history, culture and beautiful Dutch landscapes in Drenthe Province. Base yourself in the lively city of Assen or escape to small towns and villages in the countryside. National parks and nature reserves offer opportunities to hike, cycle and spot local wildlife. Uncover the country’s ancient past at archaeological sites and visit one of the best art museums in The Netherlands.
Things to do in Drenthe
The city of Assen is a great base for exploring the Drenthe Province. It’s built around a picturesque harbour and will charm you with its sunny squares and historic architecture. Cafes and bistros spill onto the sidewalks and create a lively atmosphere.
From Realism to Post-Impressionism, you’ll be impressed by the permanent collection on show at the Drents Museum. Expect to see works by Dutch masters like van Gogh, Matthijs Roling and Jan Sluijters. The collection is housed in a handsome red-brick mansion built in the 19th century.
Discover more than 10,000 hectares of ancient forests and farmland in the Drentsche Aa National Landscape. Cycling trails criss-cross the reserve and take you through fields strewn with wildflowers and purple heather. Stop to explore ancient archaeological sites, burial mounds and “dolmen” megalithic rock tombs.
Dwingelderveld National Park protects a patchwork of moorlands, marsh flats and fens. Well-marked trails and boardwalks make the park easy to explore on foot or by bicycle. There’s a chance to spot rare birds, butterflies and plants. Summer activities like guided nature walks and sheep herding demonstrations offer more information about the park.
Visit the UNESCO-listed Colonies of Benevolence and learn about one of the world’s most ambitious social reform projects. The colonies were founded in the 19th century and designed to eliminate poverty in several European cities. Explore the villages on foot and learn more about the initiative at the Museum De Proefkolonie. Pencil in lunch at the craft brewery housed in a former flour mill.
Getting around Drenthe
Drenthe Province is easy to get around by car, train and bus. All cities and towns are pedestrian-friendly and easy to explore on foot or bicycle. Trains run between Assen and Amsterdam in two hours and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is a 1.5-hour drive away.