There’s one thing you must do when you visit the Dutch province of Gelderland, and that is to visit Bronkhorst. This idyllic city in The Netherlands is a real dream for everyone who adores cobblestones, old farmhouses and a lot of nature. Spending one day in Bronkhorst and its surroundings is the least you should do. Whether you’re thinking of travelling to Bronkhorst as a day trip from Nijmegen, or are simply visiting all the prettiest small towns in the Gelderland region, this Bronkhorst city guide will show you everything you need to know.
From exploring the best destinations to visit in Gelderland to incredible activities in the Dutch countryside of Bronkhorst. And from endless landmarks in Bronkhorst to places to visit in its surroundings. Whether you’re looking to explore beautiful streets in Bronkhorst or things to do in Gelderland, this article shows it all. You can thank me later.
What to do in one day in Bronkhorst, The Netherlands
The village of Bronkhorst is very artistic, so if you’re interested in seeing art, crafts and other cool creative things, then you will love to visit Bronkhorst. But besides that, if you’re looking to visit one of the most beautiful villages in The Netherlands and you’re not into art, then you will still like to travel to Bronkhorst. It’s lovely, as you will see from all my photos, and the atmosphere is welcoming. I notice that it’s mainly visited by people who are 50 + and are visiting Bronkhorst by bike. However, it’s such a lovely place that it’s only a matter of time before the young crowds start to discover it.
With this Bronkhorst itinerary, you will discover the best attractions to visit and explore. Plus, you get an answer to your question ‘Where is Bronkhorst, The Netherlands?’. This Bronkhorst city blog shows you all the must-sees in one of The Netherlands most beautiful cities, and it’s filled with unusual and hidden destinations to visit in the Gelderland province. Spending one day in Bronkhorst and its surroundings is an absolute blast. Enjoy this Bronkhorst, The Netherlands, travel guide.
History & facts about Bronkhorst
The city of Bronkhorst is found in the municipality of Bronckhorst. It’s located at the edge of the Ijssel river in the province of Gelderland. The current population of the town of Bronkhorst is around 100 people.
It’s one of the oldest cities in the province of Gelderland. And while it’s small, it’s officially a city. Although, you obviously cannot compare the village of Bronkhorst to the cities of Arnhem or Nijmegen, for instance. Bronkhorst obtained city rights in 1482.
The city of Bronkhorst was found as a farmer settlement near the former castle of Bronkhorst. This was the castle of the Heren van Bronckhorst, or the Lords of Bronckhorst, who were prominent noblemen in the Middle Ages. The only thing that remains of the castle is the hill, on which the castle was found and a few ruins. In 1653, a big city fire destroyed almost the entire town. A lof of city farms, plus the church, were restored and rebuilt.
And although Bronkhorst is always promoted as the smallest city in The Netherlands, several other places have city rights for a longer time and even fewer inhabitants than Bronkhorst. However, one thing is for sure, and that is that Bronkhorst is one of the smallest, official cities in The Netherlands. Also cool to know is that a big part of the village of Bronkhorst is a protected cityscape.
Where to stay in Bronkhorst
There is one great hotel in the city centre of Bronkhorst, and it’s not only beautiful, but it’s a fantastic place to stay. The location is perfect, the people are friendly, and it simply couldn’t be better. Plus, you can rent regular Dutch bikes and e-bikes at this hotel in The Netherlands as well.
Herberg De Gouden Leeuw: check rates & availability on Booking.com
If this accommodation in Bronkhorst has been sold out, then I would recommend you to stay in the town of Brummen. This is just a short ferry ride and a 10-minute walk from Bronkhorst, and there are more places to stay in Brummen than in Bronkhorst.
Het Tuinatelier B&B: check rates & availability on Booking.com
Hotel Het Oude Postkantoor: check rates & availability on Booking.com
The Rose Cottage: check rates & availability on Booking.com
Best restaurants in Bronkhorst
Het Kunstgemaal Café is a great place to go for breakfast and lunch in Bronkhorst. This location can only be visited by bike or foot and also has a cool exhibition space.
At Herberg de Gouden Leeuw and Het Wapen van Bronkhorst, you cannot only go for food, but you can also taste the incredible Bronckhorster bieren (Bronkhorster craft beer).
Things to do in Bronkhorst
Free walking tour in Bronkhorst
This walking tour in Bronkhorst (and a little of its surroundings) is only a few kilometres long. We are going to start our Bronkhorst village tour at Onderstraat. From there you walk to Het Hof, Maneveld, Hövenpad and then to Onderstraat 6. This is where you will find a 17th-century farmhouse with a beautiful facade.
After that, you will walk to Molenstraat, and the only windmill near Bronkhorst called: Bronkhorster Molen. This is where we are headed outside the small town of Bronkhorst. The current Bronkhorster Molen was built in 1844. However, the previous windmill burned down in the middle of the night of 17th/18th May 1844. That windmill was found here for centuries.
The farmers and inhabitants of Bronkhorst were forced to grind their grains in this windmill. The reason for that was that the Lord of Bronkhorst (those darn nobles again) had the right on the use of wind until 1795. Luckily, nowadays we can all use the wind, but it’s pretty weird to think about how people were forced to do these things. It can be visited every Saturday for free. From March- September from 10:00- 16:00 and from October until February from 10:00- 15:30.
From the Bronkhorster Molen, you must take the next road to the right (before the water), then before Het Kunstgemaal cafe you will walk to a little path to the right: you will arrive on the road. Walk into the first small road to the right (into the tiny forest again) and then to the left. This will lead you to the top of the castle hill of Bronkhorst. Now, it’s not that high, but still, here you can see what the castle looked like in the past. Walk around this hill, go down again, and head to the left. Head to the left again at the end of this path, and then you’ve arrived back into the village of Bronkhorst.
Head to Kasteelweg 2. Here you will see a beautiful farmhouse which dates back to the 19th century. After that, you will walk to Boterstraat 7 where you can admire another stunning traditional Dutch farm, in the style of this region, which dates back to the 17th century. Now go to Boterstraat 1. There you will also see a 17th-century farm.
The next stop of this Bronkhorst walking tour will be Bovenstraat 2. This Dutch farmhouse in Bronkhorst dates back to the beginning of the 17th century. Now, we are headed to the church in Bronkhorst at Kapelstraat 2.
The Hervormde Kerk (reformed church) is also known at the Kapel van Bronkhorst, or chapel of Bronkhorst. This protestant church in Bronkhorst was built in the 14th century and first named in 1344. It was founded twice more times after 1344: In 1345 and 1360. After that, the chapel was slowly started to decay. After the reformation, which left the church in the hands of the protestants, the chapel became heavily damaged by a city fire in 1633. Luckily, the time and money were there to restore the church, so we can still enjoy this beautiful sight in Bronkhorst today.
When the chapel was restored, it lost the function of being a prayer hall as it wasn’t used a lot. The church, which was built in the gothic style, was changed into a school in 1843. This highlight in Bronkhorst was last restored to its original glory in 1962, and a drawing of Jan de Beijer from 1742 was used for that. Inside the church, there is a cabinet organ which was made by Albertus Antoni Hinsz in 1730. Sometimes exhibitions are held in the church, and they can be, of course, visited.
From there you’ll continue walking to Uilenhoek and Bovenstraat 12. This is one of the oldest buildings in Bronkhorst. It dates back to the 16th century and is called the ‘t Hoge Huys’ (high house) or ‘Huis Ophemert’ (house Ophemert). After the city fire in 1633, the house was built on remains of the old city wall of Bronkhorst. The home is located a bit higher than the other houses in the city of Bronkhorst, and it’s the welcome building from the Lords of Bronckhorst. It is said that the three barns are built on the filled-in ditch of the Castle of Bronkhorst, these buildings date back to 1896.
Then you’re turning around and will head back to the centre of Bronkhorst to Kapelstraat, which is also where you will finish your Bronkhorst tour.
Markets & events in Bronkhorst
Every year in December you will be able to head a few hundred years back in time in Bronkhorst. One of the smallest cities in The Netherlands goes Dickens style! There will be fire pits on the streets, choirs singing Christmas songs, hot chocolate, Dutch oliebollen, glühwein and so much more. You can even find a small Dutch Christmas market in Bronkhorst behind the church and the shops in the village will be opened both days. It costs a few euros to enter Bronkhorst during the event those two days. It takes place in either the 3rd of 4th weekend of December.
Best art galleries in Bronkhorst
The first one of Glas & Keramiekatelier Kiki (you’re not allowed to take photos inside), where you can find stunning glass and ceramics work. And at the art gallery inside Kunstgemaal, you can also find beautiful pieces of work.
Do some shopping in Bronkhorst
One of the things that I love to explore, no matter where I go is local shops. And luckily, Bronkhorst is filled with authentic and incredible shops with items that you won’t find anywhere else. So, whether you’re looking for cool Dutch gifts, souvenirs or only something for yourself, I can assure you that you will find something special in these shops.
Visit places in Bronkhorst like Chocolaterie Magdalena for the best self-made chocolate (plus they have great ice-cream) of this region and Kaarsenmakerij Bronkhorst for candles that were made here and plenty of other delicate items.
Things to do in the surroundings of Bronkhorst
Cycle in the surroundings of Bronkhorst
As the region around Bronkhorst is such a beautiful and varied area in The Netherlands, there are tons (and I mean tons) of incredible cycle routes to discover.
You’ve got the Achtkastelenroute is another beautiful cycling route in the centre of The Netherlands, and it will bring you towards eight (acht means eight) castles (kastelen means castles). Now, most of them cannot be visited inside as they are privately owned, good for them, I guess. However, you can visit Kasteel Vorden and even enjoy some fantastic food in their restaurant.
This cycling route will guide you through century-old forests, estates and one of The Netherlands most breathtaking areas. It is also the oldest, signposted cycling route in The Netherlands. The castles and estates that you will see are Hackfort, Den Bramel, De Wildenborch, De Wiersse, Het Onstein, De Kieftkamp, Vorden and Suideras. Simply choose wherever you want to start and go on a journey.
The next bike route in the centre of The Netherlands will guide you from the small town of Steenderen, which is very close to Bronkhorst, across the dyke in the direction of the city of Doesburg. From there you will ride along the Ijssel river in the course of Laag- Keppel, Hummelo and back to Steenderen.
At the only hotel in Bronkhorst, Herberg de Gouden Leeuw, you can rent regular bikes as well as E-bikes.
Walk in the area of Bronkhorst
Several long-distance hiking paths in The Netherlands cross the village of Bronkhorst, think of the Trekvogelpad and the Graafschapspad.
Then you also have the ‘Molen tot Molen’ walking route, which starts and ends in the town of Bronkhorst. It’s around 9 kilometres long and will lead you to the incredible countryside in Gelderland.
The Oltmansroute is around 5 kilometres long and starts south-west of Steenderen at the picnic location at J.F. Oltmansstraat. This route will show you through the towns and the surroundings of Steenderen and Bronkhorst.
Take the ferry from Bronkhorst to Brummen
If you want to cross the Ijssel river, then you can take the Bronkhorsterveer. This ferry is found at around 1 kilometre from Bronkhorst and sails generally around these times:
- From May until September
- Monday- Friday 07:30- 19:00
- Saturday, Sunday, special holidays 09:30- 19:00
- From October until April
- Monday- Friday 07:30- 17:30
- Saturday, Sunday, special holidays 10:00- 17:00
When there is a bit of ice on the river, a wind force of more than seven or high water, the ferry won’t run. The boat can be used by pedestrians, car owners, cyclists and motorbikes.
Visit Ars Longatuin
This beautiful garden, with a tea garden, can be visited in the town of Drempt. You can walk through this relaxing and peaceful garden, drink some tea, dream away to better times and admire artworks. It’s opened from mid-April until mid-September when the weather is good, every first Sunday of the month from 12:00- 17:00.
Explore an organic farm and get a drink at their teahouse
Often you can visit a beautiful organic farm shop and a teahouse in the small town of Loenen. At Boerderij De Groote Modderkolk you are also able to see one of The Netherlands oldest and rarest breed of cattle. The best part is that this Dutch farm is found in the middle of the Veluwe region so that you can walk through its endless forests and at the same time, Bronkhorst is only a bike ride away.
Discover one of The Netherlands unique National Parks
The Veluwezoom is one of The Netherlands most stunning National Parks and a lot less famous than its twin: Hoge Veluwe National Park. The Veluwezoom is free to visit, which is not the case with De Hoge Veluwe. But it’s not only that, the Veluwezoom park is so much quieter and better to visit than its more famous cousin. Enjoy having the paths to yourself, explore the forests, the moorlands, spotting some cool animals and more. The Veluwezoom is one of the National Parks in The Netherlands that doesn’t get enough credit, but it’s a stunning region to visit.
Admire the gardens in estate de Wiersse
If you’re looking to get away from the bustling village of Bronkhorst, then visiting Estate De Wiersse is a fantastic idea. The gardens of this estate are mesmerising. Admire the rosegarden, their vegetable garden, the bridges, statues, fountains and beautiful lines. Or go on an exciting history tour. This estate in Gelderland has been in the hands of the same family since 1678 and is kept in the best possible shape you can think of.
See more than 1000 conifers in Vorden
On estate De Belten you can find a lot of different species of conifers on an area of almost 2 hectares. While it might not sound that spectacular, this is such a calming and beautiful space that I would certainly recommend you to visit. Listen to the birds, sit down and admire the trees and simply breathe. It’s free to visit, but a contribution is appreciated (you can do that at the entrance gate).
Visit a vineyard in Gelderland
The Achterhoek region is the largest wine region in The Netherlands, and just outside the town of Vorden, you can find Wijngaard Kranenburg. During the entire year, they are opened on Saturday from 14:00- 17:00. You can buy some fantastic Dutch wine, and at 15:30, you can go on a wine tour and tasting in this winery (it’s around 12,50 euros). From the middle of May until the middle of September, they are also opened every Thursday from 14:00- 17:00. Explore a Dutch vineyard and taste some of the best wines of The Netherlands.
Explore the small town of Delden
The town of Delden is more than worth visiting. Not only because one of the most beautiful estates in The Netherlands, Estate Twickel, can be found just outside this town, but the small centre of Delden is so beautiful. Discover city gates and old fortifications in a city that dates back to at least 1036.
Bring a visit to the city of Zutphen
The city of Zutphen has to be one of my favourite Dutch cities I’ve ever visited. Although there are so many great cities to travel to in The Netherlands, Zutphen holds a special place in my heart. Whether it’s the fact that it brings you back to centuries ago, but with the cosy and welcoming feeling, or that you can find one of the only remaining chained libraries in the world here, Zutphen is a must-visit. Enjoy some of The Netherlands best coffee and wander through the endless picturesque streets.
Visit Bronckhorster Brewingcompany
The Bronckhorster Brewingcompany is the perfect place to go for an excellent Dutch craft beer and a bite. Not only can you find this beer brewery at only three kilometres from the village of Bronkhorst in the village of Rha. Drinking some great beer is always a great idea, especially if you’re exploring the surroundings of Bronkhorst and you’re getting kind of a dry throat.
Eat typical Dutch pancakes in Vorden
If you’re thinking of visiting the small town of Vorden, then visiting a traditional Dutch pancake restaurant is a must. At Pannenkoekenrestaurant De Vordense Pan, you can find some of the best pancakes you will try in The Netherlands. Also, when you’re in the town of Vorden anyway, there are plenty of terraces to go for a relaxing drink, which is something you’d want if you’ve been busy all day.
Visit Vorden castle
Vorden castle is one of the only Dutch castles in The Netherlands that people live in, and that can be visited. Most privately-owned castles can’t be visited, but the castle of Vorden is an exception. Discover the history of the castle, explore the castle and eat or drink something at their restaurant. I can guarantee that it will feel like you’ve entered a fairytale. Every year the festival Mañana Mañana is being organised at the grounds of Castle Vorden in June, you don’t want to miss that! You can find more information about visiting the castle of Vorden here.
Find incredible art in Hummelo
Every year in the second weekend in July you can find a unique festival in the town of Hummelo. Vive la France in Hummelo is an event that lasts two days and when you can explore many different artworks, markets, local products, and so much more. It’s one of those events where you are not sure if you can take everything that you bought home with you in your bags.
Get a spectacular view of the region in Zelhem
Zelhem is a small town in Gelderland and is a perfect place to sit down for a drink or bite in one of the many great restaurants. But the real magic can be found just outside the town of Zelhem. From the Langenberg (it’s called a mountain in Dutch, but you know how we are with naming those…), you will have the most stunning view of the surrounding area. This used to be a garbage dumping place but has been turned into a pretty excellent viewing spot. If you’re in the area, definitely stop at the Langenberg.
Explore the Hanseatic city of Doesburg
The town of Doesburg is one of those magical and romantic places to visit in The Netherlands. But don’t worry, if you’re not looking for a lovey-dovey vacation in Gelderland, then Doesburg is also more than worth visiting. Wander through its endless picturesque streets, explore the local shops and sit down at one of the many great cafes and restaurants that you can find in Doesburg. Besides that, Doesburg is located on the edge of the Ijssel river, and there are cool museums in this town as well. There’s truly something for everyone to explore in Doesburg. So, I would absolutely recommend you to visit Doesburg, even if it is for one day.
How to get to Bronkhorst
I would always recommend you to use 9292.nl/en to plan your current trips by public transportation in The Netherlands. This is only used to give you a quick idea on the arrival time and how you roughly can travel to Bronkhorst.
From Nijmegen: The quickest way to get from Nijmegen central train station to Bronkhorst as a day trip is to take a train to Zutphen. From Zutphen, you’d have to take a bus to the village of Steenderen. From Steenderen you need to walk approximately 20 minutes to Bronkhorst. There is no bus stop in Bronkhorst, nor any other forms of public transportation, so this is the quickest way. To get to Bronkhorst from Nijmegen takes you around 1,5 hours.
From Utrecht: To get from Utrecht to Bronkhorst, I would recommend you to take the train to Arnhem Centraal from Utrecht Centraal train station. Once arrived at Arnhem, you’d have to transfer to a train that takes you to Zutphen. With transferring to this train, you will change train companies: This means that you have to check out from NS and in again at the other company with your OV-chip card at one of the poles at the platform of the train station. From Zutphen, you must take the bus that passes the town of Steenderen. From Steenderen you need to walk to Bronkhorst. In total, it takes you a little more than 2 hours to get to Bronkhorst from the city of Utrecht.
From Amsterdam: From Amsterdam Centraal train station you’d need to take an intercity train to the city of Arnhem. From Arnhem, you have to change trains and hop into a train that will take you to the town of Zutphen. With transferring to this train, you will change train companies: This means that you have to check out from NS and in again at the other company with your OV-chip card at one of the poles at the platform of the train station. From here you need to take a bus that takes you to Steenderen. From there you need to walk to Bronkhorst. It takes you around 2,5-3 hours to get to Bronkhorst from Amsterdam.
From Den Bosch: To get from Den Bosch to Bronkhorst you, either need to take a train to Zutphen. From Zutphen, you need to transfer to a bus that takes you to the town of Steenderen. Then you need to walk to Bronkhorst. It takes you around 2 hours to get to Bronkhorst from Den Bosch.
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Other Gelderland travel blogs and guides you’ll love
I hope that you’ve discovered the must do’s in this Bronkhorst travel blog. Now you know exactly what to see in Bronkhorst and can find hidden gems in this underrated region in The Netherlands. Whether you want to travel to Bronkhorst for a weekend, or only for 24 hours, Bronkhorst is worth visiting. In fact, it’s one of the places to visit in Gelderland.
My favourite thing about the entire Bronkhorst region is that there are so many things to do and see. After reading this article about one of the cities to visit in Gelderland, you know exactly what to do in Bronkhorst. So, spending one day in Bronkhorst is going to be absolutely magical. I hope you will discover some of these special places to see in The Netherlands and that you will enjoy it as much as I do.
Do remember that Bronkhorst is found in the province of Gelderland and not in the Holland region. So, if you were looking for things to do in the centre of The Netherlands, or where to go, then Bronkhorst cannot miss on your travels to The Netherlands.
Especially in the summer months (which is high season in The Netherlands), you can find some tourism in Bronkhorst. But those are mainly cyclists who do a little stop in Bronkhorst. I hope you enjoy all the beautiful buildings when you’re sightseeing in Bronkhorst and that you will love one of the unusual places to visit in The Netherlands. Share this post!!
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