With over 17,000 inhabitants, Steenwijk is the largest town in the municipality of Steenwijkerland and, after Kampen, the largest town in the north of Overijssel. Partly because it is only 8 kilometers from the very famous town of Giethoorn, it is a popular city to stay. Steenwijk is a great place to serve as a base to discover the beautiful surroundings. But there is also a lot to experience in the city itself and just beyond.

Visit Steenwijk 

History of Steenwijk

Bit of history lesson

The history of Steenwijk goes back to the Middle Ages. The city developed around a castle and received city rights in the year 1270, meaning it has existed for more than 750 years. Over the centuries, the city has played an important role as a fortified city and trade center. During the Eighty Years' War (1568-1648), Steenwijk was strategically located, partly because of this it played an important role in military conflicts of that time.

Old architecture still intact

Steenwijk's long history is reflected in the architecture, fortifications and historic buildings in the city. the old fortress walls can still be seen here and there when you walk through the city. Many historical elements have been preserved in the old city center. That also makes a walk through Steenwijk very nice.

Take a city walk

If you are interested in the history of Steenwijk, consider booking a city walk with a guide. This is possible via the Steenwijk City Museum.

What to do in Steenwijk?

Steenwijk has several sights that people with an interest in history and culture will certainly appreciate. Some of the sights include:

  1. Grote or Sint-Clemenskerk: This

    Rams Woerthe castle
    Rams Woerthe castle

    Gothic church was built somewhere between the 14th and 16th centuries. There has been a wooden church on this site since the year 900, but a much larger stone church with a tower was later replaced. It is an important historical and architectural feature of Steenwijk. The interior of the church contains beautiful details. You can visit the church freely.

  2. Rams Woerthe Castle: Although not a medieval castle, this neo-Renaissance mansion from the late 19th century is a striking structure. Today it serves as a museum and is open to the public. It is surrounded by a beautiful park and park forest that is also worth a walk.
  3. Steenwijk Town Hall: The town hall, located on the market, is a beautiful historic building with a striking facade. It dates back to the 17th century.
  4. Fortifications: Steenwijk has well-preserved fortifications, including city walls and canals. Exploring these defenses provides insight into the city's military history.
  5. Old City Center: The old city center of Steenwijk offers atmospheric streets, historic buildings and squares.
  6. Woldpoort: The Woldpoort is one of the historic city gates that were part of the fortifications of Steenwijk. It is a recognizable element in the city.
  7. Museum Hildo Krop: This museum is dedicated to the work of sculptor Hildo Krop, who was born in Steenwijk. It displays a collection of his sculptures and other works of art.

Shopping in Steenwijk

A day of shopping in Steenwijk

Cool off in the fountain of Steenwijk
Cool off in the fountain of Steenwijk

Feel free to come and spend a day shopping in Steenwijk. In the pleasant shopping streets you will find unique specialty shops and nationally renowned retail chains. All this against the backdrop of beautiful facades and historic buildings.

Varied shopping offering

Stroll through the city center and discover a unique lifestyle, trendy shops, beautiful boutiques and many well-known shops.

Restaurants in Steenwijk

Enjoy delicious food and drinks in the city center. Enjoy an extensive dinner, a delicious lunch or a drink on the terrace.

Cool off in the fountain

The most eye-catching is the fountain on the market that provides fun and spectacle. On summer days the children cool off here en masse. You get them into the car soaking wet.

Market every Saturday

Every Saturday the market people are ready for you at the market in Steenwijk center. From 9am to 5pm the market is filled with stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, cheese, meat and more

Parking in Steenwijk

With the blue parking disc you can park for free anywhere in Steenwijk. A little hospitality is a nice bonus

N.S. Steenwijk station within walking distance

Steenwijk train station is within walking distance of the historic center of Steenwijk.

Cycling in Steenwijk

Cycling with Steenwijk as startingpoint

Cycling from Steenwijk to Dwarsgracht
Cycling from Steenwijk to Dwarsgracht

With kilometers of cycle paths you can enjoy cycling in the Weerribben-Wieden, through the greenery, along waters and over bridges. You can download a very nice cycling route in the area via visitweerribbenwieden nl. Steenwijk can be used as a starting point, but of course also as an intermediate point for your cycling route. If you don't have your own bicycle, you can always rent one at one of the bicycle rental points. Bicycle rental companies in this village can be found below:

  • Rijwielshop Steenwijk
  • Ten Veen 2-wheelers
Bicycle ban in the center

You are not supposed to cycle through the center of Steenwijk. This is a pedestrian area!

Cycling from Steenwijk to Giethoorn

There are several cycling routes from Steenwijk to Giethoorn. Given the region's cycling-friendly environment and beautiful nature, it is also a popular way to travel between the two places. Consider, for example, the LF Zuiderzee Route: This long-distance cycling route passes various places in the region, including Steenwijk, Dwarsgracht and Giethoorn.

From Steenwijk into the Weerribben

If you want to cycle through the National Park from Steenwijk, there is a beautiful 49 kilometer junction cycle path that goes through Weerribben-Wieden. A nice starting point is the parking lot at the station in Steenwijk. This route has 19 junctions.

 Restaurants in Steenwijk

Dining out on the Woldpromenade

There are a few nice restaurants on Steenwijk's Woldpromenade. In front of these restaurants it is best to park (free) in the Paardenmarkt car park. From here it is a few minutes' walk to the restaurants.

Restaurant Casanova

Diagonally opposite Argentino Tango at Woldpromenade 49 is restaurant Casanova. Typical Italian dishes are on the menu here. The cook is a real Italian. In Sicily, he has been in the kitchen from an early age. Learned everything from his grandmother. The restaurant can accommodate more than 40 guests. At Restaurant Casanova you can also pick up your food or have it delivered.

KOA Thai

Chef Bebe brought Thai cuisine to Steenwijk a few years ago. Together with curry and wok chefs Lada and Noet, she introduces her customers to Thai cuisine. Most customers come to pick up their food, but eating inside is also possible at Woldpromenade 57. We only hear positive sounds from the village.

Restaurant Argentino Tango

Perhaps the name already suggests it. Argentino Tango is a traditional Argentinian restaurant at Woldpromenade 50 in Steenwijk. This is in the center of Steenwijk. Delicious South American dishes are prepared here with passion. Inside, the restaurant has room for more than 50 people. When the weather is nice, there are also 12 seats on the terrace. Free parking is available around the corner at the Ah.

Dining out at de Markt (center)

Aan de Markt van Steenwijk zitten een paar leuke restaurantjes. Voor deze restaurants kun je het beste (gratis) parkeren op de parkeerplaats Paardenmarkt. Van hieruit is het een paar minuutjes lopen naar de restaurants.

Grandcafé De Heren van de Rechter

In een monumentaal gebouw met uitzicht over de markt treffen wij grand café De Heren van de Rechter. in dit voormalige gerechtsgebouw aan de Markt 72 voelt u zich meteen thuis. Bij mooi weer op het terras zit je de hele dag in het zonnetje. Je kunt hier terecht voor lunch en diner. het is ook mogelijk om alleen een drankje te doen. Vanaf het terras heb je mooi zicht op de fontijn.

Steakhouse uit Tennessee

Ruim 15 jaar is steakhouse Tennessee nu gevestigd op Markt 76. Je kunt hier terecht voor de lunch en het diner. Eenmaal binnen waan je in het wilde westen binnenloopt. Het voelt een beetje over de top Amerikaans aan. Toch is het niet alleen vlees hier, op de menukaart staan tegenwoordig ook een aantal vega gerechten.

Brasserie Zus en Zo
Midden in het centrum aan de Markt 20 vindt u Zus en Zo, een hippe brasserie, restaurant en grand café in een. Vanuit dit monumentale pand kijk je zo uit over de markt en heb je mooi zicht op het winkelende publiek. Ze zijn het bijna het hele jaar geopend voor jong en oud. Binnen kunnen ruim 70 gasten terecht en op het overdekte gevelterras met terraskachels kunnen 40 gasten plaatsnemen. Tip: vraag naar de bierkaart, hier staan 20 soorten bier op.

 Stay overnight in Steenwijk

Spend the night in Steenwijk

Do not expect large numbers of hotels or large-scale campsites in Steenwijk. In addition to a number of available hotels, B&B options, lodgings and a stray holiday home, spending the night is on the back burner. Partly due to the reception of 200 Ukrainians, the number of available hotel rooms is lower than usual. Here you will find Giethoorn camping and Giethoorn hotel as alternatives. Both nearby and you can also spend the night here.

Hotel de Smederij van Steenwijk
This hotel with five charming hotel rooms is often compared to a museum. Anko and Inge wish you a warm welcome to this boutique hotel in the heart of pleasant Steenwijk. There are five charming hotel rooms on the first and second floors of our 18th century building. ​ All rooms have air conditioning, free WiFi and coffee and tea. If desired, a hearty breakfast can be served in the cozy bistro. Breakfast is served from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Check-in is between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM and check-out is at 11:00 AM. There is no elevator in the hotel, so the hotel is not wheelchair friendly.

My hotel Steenwijk

New hotel located 1.3 km from the center and 800 meters from Steenwijk station. With plenty of parking spaces and a direct location on the A32, this is a hotel that we would like to mention. This hotel is run by Robert Jan van Setten and Bart Smit. This hotel is fully equipped.

Where to park in Steenwijk?

Free parking in Steenwijk

The parking facilities in Steenwijk are excellent. There are many parking options in and around the center. Some parking spaces are completely free. In other parking lots you must use the blue disc to park for 2 hours for free. Below we explain some parking spaces.

Albert Heijn Steenwijk center

The AH in the center has a parking lot in front of the door. You can park here for 2 hours for free with a blue card. For this parking lot, navigate to the Paardenmarkt parking lot.

Parking at the Jumbo

The Jumbo in the center has a large parking lot in front of the door. You can park here for 2 hours for free with a blue card. For this parking lot, navigate to Parking lot Steenwijkerdiep.

Parking on public roads

If these parking spaces are full, you can also park on the Tukseweg or the Kornputsingel. Using the blue card you can park here for free on the sides of the main road. From these parking spaces you can reach the center of Steenwijk in a 4-minute walk.

Buy a blue card

You can buy a blue card at the Primera in Steenwijk Centrum.

What to do around Steenwijk?

Besides a visit to Giethoorn, there are many more worthwhile excursions in the Steenwijk area. We have made a small selection for you:

  • Taman Indonesia Animal Park: in this small-scale animal park you can see all kinds of special animals from Indonesia. The park is managed by a very enthusiastic woman. Open every day from April to October. Limited opening in November, February and March. Closed in December and January. Check the website for opening hours and rates.
  • A day of shopping in Zwolle or Meppel. During the summer holidays, every Thursday is Meppel Day in Meppel.
  • Discover the Weerribben-Wieden National Park. Take a picnic with you along the way and enjoy the beautiful nature. You can explore by walking, cycling, by boat or with a canoe or SUP, for example. Feel free to take a whole day for this.
  • You can view beautiful sand sculptures in the Sand Stories Museum in Elburg. It is about a 45-minute drive from Steenwijk, but absolutely worth it! Check the website for opening hours.
  • Visit Museum Belvédère in Heerenveen if you like modern art. You can easily get lost for a day in this beautiful museum. Got hungry? You can eat the tastiest sandwiches in the museum café.
  • The gondola rides from Dwarsgracht, Belt-schutsloot and Giethoorn are really worth it. Beautifully decorated and illuminated gondolas, made by the local population, sail through these villages during the gondola ride.

Sailing in Giethoorn

Bootverhuur in Giethoorn

Rent a boat

The best way to experience Giethoorn is by boat. Everything about the boat rental options.

Rondvaart Giethoorn

Canal cruise

Discover Giethoorn in a tour boat. Take a seat and let the skippers tell you everything about our village.

Bootje huren in Ossenzijl

Private boat tour

Hire a local to show you the best places in Giethoorn. No traffic jams. Discover our village with your own guide.

Discover the area by boat

Rent a boat in Giethoorn

If you don't have your own boat, you can rent one in Giethoorn. From Giethoorn you can easily explore the Weerribben nature reserve by boat. You can also rent a sloop in Giethoorn and sail from Giethoorn to Dwarsgracht, Belt-schutsloot or via Jonen to Blokzijl. From Giethoorn it is about half an hour by boat to Steenwijk.

Reservations (06-33399923)

  • Luxury electrically powered sloop (6-8 persons)
  • Whisper boat (4-6 persons)

From Steenwijk to Giethoorn

By car to Giethoorn

Route from Steenwijk to Giethoorn
Route from Steenwijk to Giethoorn

From Steenwijk you can also easily go to Giethoorn by car. You can park your car in several places in Giethoorn. Navigate to Kerkweg 35 in Giethoorn for free parking.

With bus 70 to Giethoorn

From Steenwijk train station you can take bus 70 to Giethoorn. This bus 70 runs twice an hour to Giethoorn. Please note that this bus line runs from 09:00 to 18:00.

Cycling from Steenwijk to Giethoorn

From the center of Steenwijk it is approximately 8 kilometers by bike to Giethoorn. Bicycle rental is possible at Steenwijk station. You can rent an (electric) bicycle for a day or longer. The cycle tour from Steenwijk to Giethoorn is on paved roads. The roads are flat, so it is also easy to do with a normal bicycle.

Steenwijk to Giethoorn by taxi

You can also choose to take a taxi from the station. As soon as you leave the platform you will see a taxi stand on your right. You can recognize taxis by their blue license plates. There are almost always taxis ready. If this is not the case, you can book a taxi to Giethoorn by contacting Giethoorn taxi.

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