Knees-up Bar Tour, Zwolle

Knees-up Bar Tour, Zwolle

The city of Zwolle is, as yet, an undiscovered kingdom of fantastic bars and cafés varying from traditional and cosy Dutch watering holes to glitzy and glamorous cocktail joints. Being a student town, Zwolle has much to offer the young traveller seeking to party with the locals. As there are relatively few tourists at anytime of year, you can be one of the first to get a true sense of what real life in this little known city is all about.

1. Café de Hete Brij

Café de Hete Brij
If you are a ‘local pub’ person, you will fall in love with the Hete Brij for it’s cosy aura. A small bar with an unassuming exterior, it would be easy to over look. This, however, would be a shame as The Hete Brij is an intimate and comfortable establishment where you can become acquainted with some interesting and colourful characters that have been frequenting the bar for years. This is the Zwolse bar most comparable to an English watering hole. The interior walls are covered from floor to ceiling with an array of framed photos and kooky art pieces from years of collecting. Very much a local pub, tourists and holidaymakers are also made welcome here. Note the typically Dutch, carpet-like covers that adorn the tables. If you are lucky, you may catch some live music from some superb local bands.
Where to find it:
9 Nieuwe Markt, Zwolle, 8011 PE, The Netherlands

Working Hours:
Mon: 04:00pm–01:00am
Tue,Wen,Thu: 04:00pm–02:00am
Fri-Sat: 02:00pm–03:00am
Sun: 02:00pm–01:00am

2. Sally O’Brien’s

Sally O’Brien’s
Zwolle’s ‘not particularly Irish’ Irish bar is none the less a good place to settle for the evening with friends. Do not expect to get cheap Guinness here though as ordering a pint of the black stuff will thrust up the price of a generally affordable round. Refurbished in early 2010, the bar serves good pub grub including a worthy hangover fry-up for the day after a heavy night before. During good weather, the bar extends itself onto the large and beautiful square in front of the building where you will be served by the friendly, often international staff. If you’re searching for a boozer that airs big sports competitions, you won’t need to look further than Sally O’Brien’s. Hosting special evenings throughout the week e.g. Guinness Mondays and Split the Week in Two Wednesdays, Sally’s also provides live music entertainment every Saturday.
Where to find it:
46 Bethlehemkerkplein, Zwolle, 8011 PH, The Netherlands

Working Hours:
Mon,Tue,Wed,Thu: 12:00pm-01:00am
Fri-Sat: 12:00pm-02:00am
Sun: 12:00pm-01.00am
12:00pm-21:00pm for food
12:00pm-23:00pm for snacks

3. In de Buurt

In de Buurt
Opening it’s door in early 2010, In de Buurt has quickly established itself with the laid back drinker who enjoys a chilled out atmosphere a mixture of Rock and Roll, Blues, Hip Hop and Funk music played by DJs’ on the weekends. This bar aims to attract the 25 plus punter who wants a relaxing drink without having to fight through drunken students to get a seat by the bar. The friendly owner says that everyone is welcome barring Stalin, Bin Laden and the entire Italian football team. In de Buurt offers a good range of beer and bar snacks.
Where to find it:
6 Luttekestraat, Zwolle, 8011 LR, The Netherlands

Working Hours:
Tue-Thu: 02:00pm-02:00am
Fri-Sat: 02:00pm-03:00am
Sun: 02:00pm-01:00am

4. De Belgische Keizer

De Belgische Keizer
De Belgische Keiser, or Belgian Emperor, is located at the end of a long stretch of shops, bars and restaurants on the Market Square. This is a great bar in which to while away a sunny Saturday afternoon, watching the bustle of the Market but it really transforms into a lively hangout on weekend evenings. The energetic pop music and young trendy atmosphere collaborate to make this one of Zwolle’s most popular student haunts. Famous for it’s enormous range of bottled beers, students and locals alike flock to De Belgische Keiser to sample something different each week.
Where to find it:
58 Melkmarkt, Zwolle, 8011 ME, The Netherland

Working Hours:
Mon,Tue,Wen,Thu,Sun: 10:00am–01:00am
Fri-Sat: 10:00am–02:00am

5. Cafe t’ Beugeltje

Cafe t’ Beugeltje
Originally one of the towers that made up part of Zwolle’s medieval defending walls and situated on the moat that surrounds the city, you will not find a more relaxing bar to spend a quiet evening than t’ Beugeltje. Having spent a period of time unused, allowed to reach dilapidated state, the tower was restored in the early 1980’s. Every detail, from the brickwork to the cosy, vaulted crannies on the split upper level add to the bars historical ambience. In keeping with the quiet, relaxed atmosphere, the music is kept relatively low becoming part of the background noise. t’ Beugeltje takes its name from the old fashioned cap that gives the Grolsh bottle that distinguished popping sound. Although Grolsh, still bottled in the authentic way, is the central drink here, they sell 18 different bottled beers plus the usual wines and spirits, which will cater to most punters tastes. Tuesday evening is ‘Games Night’ where the second floor plays host to board game fanatics or students looking for a casual evening’s pastime with friends.
Where to find it:
63 Krabbestraat, Zwolle, 8011 TX, The Netherlands

Working Hours:
Mon,Tue,Wed,Thu,Sun: 07:30pm–12:00am
Fri: 04:00pm–03:00am
Sat: 02:00pm–03:00am


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