Are you planning on travelling to the province of Gelderland? Then you cannot skip the town of Borculo! This is one of the destinations to visit in Gelderland, and its region is truly stunning. This travel blog about Borculo will show you exactly why you need to spend one day in this town and its surroundings. There are so many things to see, beautiful buildings to explore and attractions to visit in Borculo.
By the end of this Borculo city guide, you will know exactly what to do and what sights to see. Plus, you will discover why spending one day in Borculo is easy-peasy lemon squeezy.
What to do in one day in Borculo, The Netherlands
In this travel guide for the town of Borculo, you will discover anything from the answer to ‘Is Borculo, The Netherlands, worth visiting?’ to ‘where is Borculo, The Netherlands’ and whether tourism in Borculo is found in this town. It includes plenty of places to visit and activities to do in and near Borculo. If you’re thinking of spending 24 hours in Borculo and its surroundings, you will not be bored.
The city centre of Borculo isn’t the biggest, but because there are so many things to do in Borculo and its neighbouring regions, it’s a perfect place to spend some time. Even if you’re thinking of spending a weekend in Borculo, I can guarantee you will love it here. Hopefully, this Borculo itinerary will show you why this is a perfect day trip.
Just a little tip before we start, Borculo is not located in the Holland region, but the province of Gelderland. So if you were thinking of visiting Gelderland, but didn’t know the things to do and see, then Borculo is one of the small towns in Gelderland you’d want to visit. Explore Borculo and its beautiful streets.
History & facts about Borculo
The town of Borculo is located in the province of Gelderland, in an area which we call the Achterhoek. This is one of the most beautiful and calm regions in The Netherlands. The city of Borculo has a population of close to 8000 people. And one of the oldest, little Dutch rivers (De Berkel) flows through this town.
People are not sure where the name Borculo comes from. There used to be a castle, called Kasteel Borculo, and this was the residence of the Lords of Borculo. The Lords of Borculo were first named in the 12th century. Near this castle, the settlement of Borculo eventually was formed. Whether it’s named after the Lords of the castle, or not, is not known.
The area that the Lords of Borculo managed at first only included the castle and a small region that surrounded one of the biggest moated castles in The Netherlands. During the Middle Ages, they eventually gained more power and expanded their rights and regions. Borculo, as a town, was first named in 1337. In that year, the Lord and Lady of Borculo founded a chapel in this settlement and Borculo eventually gained city rights in 1375. The original documents were burned during a city fire in Borculo, but the city rights and its date were confirmed again after the fire in 1590.
In 1777, Borculo was bought by Prince William V of Orange-Nassau. For the Royalty peeps under us, the current Royal Family in The Netherlands is still named Oranje-Nassau. This is the reason that the present King, Willem- Alexander, still had Lord of Borculo, or Heer van Borculo, as one of his titles.
The town of Borculo was a municipality since 1795. This was formed by the former city, its castle and a smaller village. It was expanded with several other places on the 1st of January 1818. In 2005, the municipality of Borculo was combed together with three other neighbouring municipalities to form Berkelland.
One of the disasters that took place in Borculo was a whirlwind on the 10th of August 1925. This whirlwind in Borculo had a diameter of around one or two kilometres, which heavily damaged the entire city. Old, historic buildings collapsed like it was nothing. It’s also named the ‘Stormramp van Borculo’, or the storm disaster of Borculo. You can even discover some of the history and facts in one of the museums that you can find in Borculo.
Where to stay in Borculo
The town of Borculo isn’t filled with places to stay. However, there are a few accommodation spots. The best hotel, or B&B, in Borculo, can be found below.
Meenestee, Borculo: check rates & availability on Booking.com
Best restaurants in Borculo
While Borculo is still a small town, there are actually more restaurants and cafes than I previously had imagined. Some of my favourite places to eat in Borculo are Bistro De Olliemölle, Proeflokaal01 and Grand Cafe De Gracht.
Things to do in Borculo
Free walking tour in Borculo
This walking tour in Borculo is around two kilometres long. We will start at Marktstraat and will then walk to Lange Wal, Muraltplein and Burgermeester Bloemersstraat 22. There you will see a small villa, with a little shed, from the beginning of the 1900s. Then walk to Het Eiland and Korte Wal 18. This building is a 19th-century farm.
After that, you will continue your Borculo tour to Korte Wal, Veemarkt and Weverstraat 4. Jewish people have been living in Borculo since at least the 17th century. In 1840, a synagogue was founded in the Weverstraat, which was replaced by the current building in 1877. The complex exists out of a bathing house, a school and a synagogue. By the end of the German occupation, it was set on fire. Luckily the holy objects were already safe. Several Jews were in hiding, but 100 of the 160 Jews didn’t survive the war.
The Jewish community in Borculo, The Netherlands, had to sell the synagogue after the Second World War due to costs. It had served as a storage space and a smokehouse for meat. Then in the 1970s, people wanted to preserve the synagogue. The municipality and the former owner restored the outside of the building in the 1990s. In 2008, the interior was completely renovated. Nowadays, there is a small exhibition found inside the synagogue in Borculo (it’s entirely in Dutch). You can find ‘Stolpersteine’ in the streets of Borculo. These stones are located in front of houses where Jewish people have been captured and sent to camps.
Then you’re going to visit Muraltplein 51. This is the Joriskerk. This building was built as a parish church in the 16th century and changed into a protestant church after the reformation. It was heavily damaged by the cyclone that hit Borculo in 1925, and you can see a monument next to the church. It has a lot of stained glass, which is stunning to look at. During the disaster, a big part of the church (and the town of Borculo) was destroyed, luckily it has been renovated so we can look at this beautiful piece of architecture today.
Now walk to Weemhof, Gasthuisstraat, Lange Wal, Hofstraat, Poortstraat, Voorstad and Korte Wal 11. This building dates back to the second quarter of the 16th century and was a fire hose house. Then continue to Het Eiland 5. This is currently a house and used to belong to the same owner as the watermill. It is a former house that belonged to the nobility, it was renewed in 1925.
Then, the final landmark of our free walking tour in Borculo is Het Eiland 1. This has to be the most picturesque place in Borculo. This watermill in Borculo exists out of two parts: A mill to grind and peel on one side and an oil mill on the other side. The oil mill was later reconstructed into a grinding mill. In both buildings of the mills, you can currently find a restaurant in Borculo. The biggest mill dates back to the 18th century but had several forerunners. It belonged to the nobles of Borculo. When the municipality of Borculo became an owner of both of the mills, they ordered it to restore the mills in their entirety from 1966 until 1970. Restaurant owners bought it at the end of 2007.
The biggest mill was working as a grinding mill until 1875. Then it was reconstructed into a chicory factory, but this factory burned down in 1880. Luckily, it was rebuilt the year after that. The smaller mill, or the oil mill, was changed into a grinding mill in 1920.
Museums in Borculo
If you’re interested to know more about the history of this beautiful planet that we live on, then the crystal museum in Borculo is a great place to visit. From learning about fossils to minerals. And from gemstones to crystals. This museum will guide you through everything you want to know about the worlds most precious materials. It’s located in the former town hall of Borculo.
This firefighters museum in Borculo has the biggest collection of all the firefighter museums in The Netherlands. If you’re a fan of firefighters, or you simply want to learn how they are working in The Netherlands, then this is a fun location to visit. Don’t forget to visit the ‘Stormramp van Borculo’ part of this museum either.
Boerderijmuseum De Lebbenbrugge
Small, regional museums are my jam. They have something unique and give you a perfect inside look at how a specific Dutch region lived and worked in the early days. This farm museum in The Netherlands is located in an old Saxon farm, which was one day the hunting house of the Lords of Borculo, then an inn, a tollbooth and a postal office. It partly dates back to the 14th century, and another part dates back to the 1550s. It will show you the way Dutch people in this region used to live, and that is something that I find incredibly interesting. And if you’re interested in learning about Dutch culture, then this regional museum in The Netherlands is perfect for you. It’s located a little bit outside Borculo.
Go on a boat tour from Borculo
From the beginning of April until the end of October you can go on a canal tour in Borculo. From the Zompeloze, which is found at the Graaf Wichmanstraat 48 a, you will go on a boat tour through the Elbrink neighbourhood, will sail on the old and new Berkel river, to the stunning Berkeldal and estate Beekvliet. From there you will return to Borculo again. This tour takes around one hour and is one of the must do’s in Borculo. They will sail from 11:00- 12:00 and 15:00-16:00, you need to buy tickets at the VVV of Borculo (tourist information).
Markets in Borculo
The weekly market in Borculo is every Wednesday morning from 08:00- 12:300 at Veemarkt. You can get the freshest local products and tasty souvenirs here.
Enjoy a visit to Hambroekplas
On the outskirts of the town of Borculo you can find several smaller lakes in an area called ‘Het Hambroek’, the Hambroekplas is a perfect location to go for a swim during the warmer spring, summer and autumn days in The Netherlands. Especially, since it gets a lot warmer in the centre, south and east of The Netherlands than in the coastal and northern provinces. So take a towel and go for a dip. Obviously, if you can’t swim, don’t try to go swimming anywhere in The Netherlands. Water can easily take your life away, as it’s more dangerous than people think.
Visit ice cream farm ‘t Dommerholt
Whether it’s a beautiful, or rainy, summer day, a visit to this ice cream farm in The Netherlands is always a good idea. Whichever flavour you might be interested in, they cater to your needs as there are so many flavours. The area where this farm is located is also perfect, and is found on the outskirts of Borculo, so you will be relaxing while eating delicious ice cream. If that doesn’t sound like a dream, then I don’t know what does.
Things to do in the surroundings of Borculo
Visit Museum More in Gorssel & Castle Ruurlo
Museum MORE is one of the most interesting museums in The Netherlands. It’s found in two locations: In the town of Gorssel and a stunning castle in Ruurlo.
At the museum MORE in Gorssel, you can discover constantly changing exhibitions that will show every part of the realism art style. From exploring its history to looking at the incredible craftwork. This art museum in The Netherlands is more than worth a visit.
On the museum location of Castle Ruurlo, which is a 14th-century castle, you can explore one of the most beautiful Dutch castles in the East of The Netherlands, as well as explore the life and work of artist Carel Willink. Don’t forget to enjoy the stunning castle gardens, which are created in the English style, and to go for a bite or drink in the orangery.
When you’re near Castle Ruurlo, you can also visit the biggest maze in the world. This is not a part of the museum, but worth a visit, and you’re in the neighbourhood anyway.
Cycle in the surroundings of Borculo
One of the things that I always recommend anyone to do, when they visit a new Dutch town, is to explore its surroundings. And luckily for you, the area of Borculo is even more beautiful than you would probably imagine. Experience the difference in the Dutch landscape in the east of The Netherlands and admire towns such as Haarlo, Neede, Haaksbergen, Ruurlo, Lochem, Vorden and more! At the local tourist office in Borculo (VVV) you can find many exact routes, but of course, you can also create your cycling route. You can rent bikes in Borculo here.
Walk in the region of Borculo
If you’re not a fan of cycling, you simply prefer to walk, or don’t have the budget to rent bikes, then walking in the surroundings of Borculo is also a fun idea. One of the best routes is to Haarlo and back (in a circle), or Rondje Haarlo, during that walking route you will see farms, small forest paths, creeks and plenty of more. You could also walk towards estate, or Landgoed, Beekvliet. But honestly, there are endless walking routes to discover near Borculo.
Explore the city of Zutphen
One of my favourite cities in the province of Gelderland is Zutphen. Its history goes back to centuries ago, and they even have one of the few chained libraries in the world here. Plus, have you looked at the photo below? It’s a beautiful fortified Dutch town in the centre of The Netherlands, with so much to offer. From incredible museums to the most stunning, picturesque streets and buildings. Visiting Zutphen is always a good idea.
Witness one of the biggest King’s Day markets in the region
Every Tuesday morning from 08:00- 12:00, there is a market in the town of Eibergen on the Brink square. And while that market is pretty fun itself, especially since it has many regional products, that’s not the reason why you must visit the town of Eibergen. During King’s Day in The Netherlands, there is a massive market with more than 250 stalls in Eibergen. This makes it the biggest market in this entire region. Trust me; you don’t want to miss this.
Get inspired by the Huis Verwolde
The Verwolde House is the former house of a Dutch noble family, located in the province of Gelderland. This family lived in this manor house for over 200 years. You will see the rooms in perfect condition for their era and will learn about its residents and their staff with a cool presentation. Don’t forget to explore their beautiful garden either; it brings you back to what the life of a wealthy family would’ve been like.
Visiting the Verwolde House in Gelderland is a perfect idea for anyone interested in discovering stunning manor houses and Dutch history.
Enjoy a cactus park in The Netherlands
Whether you’re someone who likes cactuses because those are the only plants that you don’t kill, or if you like their stingy look, this is the perfect location for you. It’s a cactus park. And it’s 6000m2 big. So yes, it’s filled with your favourite plants, plus they also have exciting and changing exhibitions in the park. Honestly, I think anyone would enjoy Cactusoase in the town of Winterswijk.
Discover the town of Lochem
Not too far away from Borculo, you can find the small city of Lochem, which is a perfect day trip destination. It’s small, the historical centre is a bit bigger than Borculo, but it’s so worth a visit. It’s one of those authentic Dutch towns the are so typical for the province of Gelderland. Whether you want to enjoy some great food in one of the many great restaurants or want to explore Lochem itself, you won’t regret visiting Lochem.
Visit one of The Netherlands most unusual markets
There are tons of great markets to visit in The Netherlands, and this is one of the best. Every year in the town of Neede you can find a jam market. In this town in The Netherlands, they will house the only jam market in the country. You can buy here jams (duh), marmalade and jelly. Taste the (local and international) jams at any of the 130 stalls, get amazing recipes, enjoy the free music and the street theatre. Visiting one of the most unique markets in The Netherlands is always a good idea. So visit the Nationale Jammarkt in Neede on the last Wednesday of the summer vacation in The Netherlands from 11:00- 17:00. As Neede is found in the province of Gelderland, this is in the middle of The Netherlands. Now, the summer vacations in The Netherlands change per region. In the middle of the country, you can find the summer holiday dates at ‘Zomervakantie’ and ‘Regio Midden’.
See wild flamingos in Zwilbroekerveen
This is one of the nature2000 areas that is located on the border of The Netherlands and Germany. In Dutch, it’s called Zwilbroekerveen, and in German Zwillbrocker Venn. Though the most significant part of this natural area is found in Germany, quite a bit can be found in The Netherlands. It’s 157 ha big and exists mainly out of forests, swamps and even some islands. And you can even find breeding flamingos here! This is the most northern breeding area that the flamingos go to, so it’s a pretty unusual sight.
Near the town of Diepenheim, you can find a century-old watermill, which can be visited. It’s opened on Wednesday and Sunday throughout the entire year from 13:30- 16:00. From the 1st of April until the 1st of November it is also opened on Thursday and Friday from 13:30- 16:00.
This building is so cool to see, plus in one of the farmhouses in this small village, you can find restaurant Den Haller. And enjoying the calm and beautiful area with a drink or bite is always a good idea if you ask me.
Travel to the city of Enschede
The town of Enschede is one that isn’t often on anyone’s list, but it should be. When I first thought about visiting the city, I wasn’t quite sure what it had to offer. But Enschede has a lot of things to do. From sitting at one of the cosy cafes in Enschede to discovering museums and the beautiful surroundings of this city. Spending one day in Enschede is easy. You can thank me later for this tip.
Ride on an old steam train in the east of The Netherlands
In the town of Haaksbergen, you can go back into time on a historic steam train to the village of Boekelo. Not only will you see the beautiful surroundings of the Achterhoek region, but you will also learn a ton about the way people used to travel. It starts from Museum Buurtspoorweg, where you can learn things such as the history of the steam train as well as admire a few stunning old steam trains.
Enjoy a visit to the town of Winterswijk
Winterswijk is one of those small towns that simply has a cosy centre. But that’s not all the town has to offer, because Piet Mondriaan used to live in Winterswijk and you can even explore his old house ‘Villa Mondriaan’. This museum is dedicated to the young years of Piet Mondriaan, as he lived from the time he was eight until twenty in Winterswijk. Don’t forget to visit the yearly flower parade in Winterswijk either; it’s a real eye-catcher.
Enjoy a visit to Stelkampsveld nature reserve
This is an area that is part of the top ten of nature reserves with the rarest plants in The Netherlands and is a natura2000 reserve. It’s currently being reshaped to be better for the biodiversity in The Netherlands. Many pine trees are being removed, and heather, rare plants (like stunning orchids!), swamps and small bushes will replace this. This way, rare insects can breed and will, hopefully, make a comeback. You can walk or bike in this area, and it’s recommended.
Visit a windmill near Borculo
Around three kilometres from Borculo you can visit an old windmill in the town of Geesteren. You can visit this windmill and learn about its history. It’s simply one of the things you need to do when you visit The Netherlands. And in this region, there aren’t as many windmills as in the Holland region, so I would certainly recommend you to visit this one.
How to get to Borculo
Always plan your trip with the latest updates and prices via 9292.nl/en, this is so that you can have a look at how far away a particular place is.
From Enschede: You can take a direct bus from the city of Enschede to the town of Borculo. To get to Borculo from Enschede will take you around one hour.
From Nijmegen: To get from Nijmegen to Borculo, you need to transfer at least two times. There are several routes to get to Borculo from Nijmegen, but it should take you anywhere from 1,5 hour to 2 hours.
From Groningen: If you want to bring a visit to Borculo from the city of Groningen, then you’d have to transfer trains at least once and then change to a bus. As Borculo isn’t that close to Groningen, it can take you around 2,5 hours to get from Groningen to Borculo.
From Utrecht: To get from Utrecht Centraal Station to Borculo you can take tons of trains and buses. In general, it will take you around 2 hours, or a little less, to get to Borculo from the city of Utrecht.
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Other Gelderland travel blogs and guides you’ll love
I hope that this city blog for spending one day in Borculo has been helpful. Now, when you travel to Borculo, you know exactly what there is to see and the ins and outs of this town. Sightseeing in Borculo is short, but pleasant and is filled with plenty of must-sees. There are so many unusual and unique places in The Netherlands to visit, and I hope that you’re discovering more and more hidden gems in my beautiful country.
There are so many places to visit in the province of Gelderland, and Borculo is one of them. This article has shown you all the places to see and where to go in Borculo and its stunning surroundings. You will love exploring them. Share this post!!