First mentioned in the 8th century as “Appoldro”, Apeldoorn is a bustling regional centre and industrial hub home to paper mills, distribution companies and universities. It’s on the doorstep of a royal country palace and a free-roaming zoo inhabited by primates from across the globe.
Things to do in Apeldoorn
In the heart of Apeldoorn is the CODA Museum, which houses inspiring exhibitions focused on contemporary art, costume and jewellery design. It also presents themed displays about the history of Apeldoorn and boasts an extensive library. A short walk away is the elaborate Grote Kerk with its soaring spire, which has watched over Apeldoorn since 1898.
On the western outskirts of Apeldoorn is the Apenheul Primate Park, which was the first zoo in the world with free-roaming forest monkeys when it opened in 1971. Today, it is home to more than 35 different species of primates, including gorillas, orangutans and lion-tailed macaques. You can get up close to playful Madagascan lemurs, visit the world’s largest insect hotel or climb like a monkey in one of the park’s playgrounds.
Apeldoorn is also home to one of The Netherland’s most stunning palaces, Paleis Het Loo, which was built by the House of Orange-Nassau in the 1680s. This Dutch Baroque landmark once served as a summer residence before being opened to the public in 1984 as a state museum. Wander through its opulent rooms decorated with original furnishings and paintings, then explore the stunning garden that has been nicknamed the “Versailles of Holland”.
Getting around Apeldoorn
Apeldoorn is around one hour’s drive from Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport, which has flights to destinations across the globe. Regular trains connect to the Apeldoorn railway station and buses travel throughout the city. The centre of Apeldoorn can easily be explored on foot.