municipality in Gelderland, the Netherlands

Doetinchem is a city of 45,000 people (2019) by the Oude IJssel river, in the Achterhoek, in the Dutch province of Gelderland.

The Oude IJsselbrug in Doetinchem



The first known mention of Doetinchem dates from 838 AD. Not long after the town became fortified and got a church that was part of the Episcopal principality of Utrecht. Most due to local dialect not being well-documented during this time, many variations of Doetinchem exist.

Doetinchem began to grow in the 12th century. A city wall was erected to defend against the many attempts of pillaging. Doetinchem got its city rights in 1236, which allowed for raising of the city walls by a metre. The then barriers by the wall became the four city gates. Several moats were dug around the town, all of which got its water from the Slingebeek, connecting to the Oude IJssel river directly south of the city. Doetinchem became a centre of trade with many sorts of markets being organised on the Markt, the current Simonsplein. Doetinchem at this time had become one of the five most notable cities in the County of Zutphen. A large fire in 1527 destroyed most documents of the city. The city wall was demolished not long after the Eighty Years' War or Dutch Independence War. Doetinchem didn't see a lot of wars, nor war-related damages until the Second World War.

The last month of the Second World War in Doetinchem saw its fair share of destruction.

Like most European cities occupied by Nazi-Germany during the Second World War, most of Doetinchem's Jewish population were deported or killed, and would never return. The Second War was otherwise light on the city until 1945. Some prisoners of war were executed by the Nazis in the city as a response to a raid on Putten, nine Dutch Jews, thought to be better than other Jews by the Dutch National Socialist Movement (NSB), had special protection granted to them in Villa Bouchina, a villa north of the city centre. The war only really hit the city on the 19th, 21st and 23rd of March 1945, when Allied planes bombed the city centre, which was set alight and pretty much wiped off the face of the earth. The first bombing by the British (March 19th) destroyed a small airfield southeast of the city and a German transmission post. The second British bombing, two days later, is assumed to have been an accident. Doetinchem would have been thought to have been Anholt or Isselburg across the border in Germany. The third bombing, executed by Americans, is thought to have targeted German fortifications, though proof of these, if they even had been erected in the first place, has been bombed out of existence. Barely two weeks after the last bombing, on April second, the city fell into Allied hands after severe battles between the Canadians and Germans.

During the rebuilding of Europe that followed after the war, Doetinchem grabbed its chance and grew larger than its 'rivals' Doesburg, Winterswijk and Zutphen, becoming the de facto capital of the Achterhoek. Modern day Doetinchem is still undergoing this urban sprawl to some extent. The city no longer aims to expand beyond its current borders, but instead wants to optimise its usage of the space it already takes up, which in turn leads to better usage of the river banks near the city centre, as well as other useful spots in the city.

Tourist office

The D-Tower by night. The sculpture its colour reflects how the citizens of Doetinchem feel.

Get in

The Oude IJssel during summer

By car


When travelling from Utrecht, Gouda and The Hague, use the A12 in the direction of Utrecht and Arnhem. Having reached Arnhem, you will have to stay on the A12 heading for the German border and the city of Osnabrück. After passing Zevenaar (exit 29), use the Oud-Dijk Interchange to turn onto the A18. Exits 3 and 4 on this highway service Doetinchem.

When travelling from Duisburg, Oberhausen and Essen, use Autobahn 3 in the direction of Wesel. Once you cross the German-Dutch border, use exit 30 (Beek) followed by a right turn onto the N812 in order to visit Doetinchem. Next, turn left onto the N335, after which you follow the signs directing you to Doetinchem via the A18. Again, Exits 3 and 4 of this highway service Doetinchem, but only exit 4 services the city centre.

By train


The best way to get to Doetinchem by train is to travel via Arnhem, with the only alternatives being travelling via Winterswijk, which takes around twenty minutes longer, but can be advised if you'd like to see the Achterhoek's countryside or have a bit of time to waste. Optionally, you could also take a bus when travelling from Zutphen, which may on occasion be five minutes quicker than the train. Doetinchem as a city has two stations, the main station, 1 Doetinchem  ARR  BRG  is the main bus hub of the city as well. 2 Doetinchem de Huet  ARR  BRG  services the mostly residential districts of De Huet and Dichteren. The municipality of Doetinchem has two more stations, 3 Wehl  ARR  BRG  and 4 Gaanderen  ARR . The stations that see service from Arriva and Breng have trains going either direction down the line every fifteen minutes, while stations seeing only service by Arriva have a service with only two trains either direction per hour. These stations can be reached by getting an Arriva train to Winterswijk or the Breng train to Doetinchem from Arnhem Centraal, or by taking the Arriva train to Winterswijk from Zutphen, followed by the Arriva train to Arnhem from Winterswijk. The latter is, however, as mentioned above, the slower option.

When taking a train from Germany, first travel to Düsseldorf or another train station serviced by the Abellio RE 19 train to Arnhem (Arnheim). Düsseldorf in particular sees several ICE trains stop per day. Once on this service, exit at the first Dutch train station, which will be Zevenaar. Here, wait for either the Breng train to Doetinchem or the Arriva train to Winterswijk.

By boat


Doetinchem is on the Oude IJssel river. When visiting Doetinchem by boat you can moor in Jachthaven(Marina) De Ank

Get around


Regional transport: Regional buses are serviced by Arriva.

The Walmolen
The Slangenburg Castle
  • 1 Stadsmuseum, Burgemeester van Nispenstraat 2 (Follow signs directing to the Catharinagarage), +31 314 335 557. Has permanent and changing exhibitions, along with a large scale model of Doetinchem in 1945.  
  • 2 Stadscentrum Doetinchem (City centre), Simonsplein. The city centre still has a lot of buildings that survived the three bombings of March 1945. The buildings are sprouted throughout the entire city centre.
  • 3 Openbaar Vervoer en Speelgoedmuseum (Public Transit and Toymuseum), Stationsstraat 50, +31 314 395 106. Has permanent and changing exhibitions and material about public transport in Doetinchem, especially the Geldersche Tramwegen (GTW). It includes a collection of old toys.  
  • 4 Stadion de Vijverberg, Lijsterbeslaan 101-A, +31 314 368 450. Football stadium of not only de Graafschap (Jupiler League (Dutch Secondary League)).    
  • 5 De Walmolen, IJsselkade 30 (Located where the Gaswal, IJsselkade and C. Missetstraat meet. Paid parking is available across the Gaswal, right by the riverbanks.), +31 6 20226026, .  
  • 6 Kasteel de Kelder (Havezate Hagen), Kelderlaan 11 (Located directly behind the Slingeland Ziekenhuis (Slingeland Hospital)), +31 314 343 285. Tu-Sa 10:00 - 15:00. Hagen, better known as Castle De Kelder, is a former manor with estate located on the river dunes north of the Oude IJssel river, in between the city Doetinchem and the Kruisberg Forest.  
  • 7 Saint Catharinachurch (Catherinakerk), Simonsplein 25 (In the centre of the Simonsplein). Main church of Doetinchem. It was damaged severely after the 1945 bombings, and rebuilt completely in the following years.  
  • 8 Kasteel de Slangenburg, Kasteellaan 6 (about 3 km outside of the city.), +31 315 298 200.    
  • 9 Sint Willibrords Abdij (Saint Willibrord Abbey), Abdijlaan 1, +31 315 298 268. Explore the life in a Benedictan monastery. The chapel is open all day for everyone. Attending prayers is possible.    

Cinemas and theatres

  • 10 Schouwburg Amphion (Amphion Theatre), Hofstraat 159 (Langs de Europaweg (N316) en Keppelseweg (N317)), +31 314 376 000.  
  • 11 De Gruitpoort, Hofstraat 2 (Alongside the Europaweg (N316) and Keppelseweg (N317)), +31 314 340 943. Centrum for art, culture and artistic expression.
  • 12 Vue Doetinchem, Hofstraat 155 (alongside the Europaweg (N316) and Keppelseweg (N317)), +31 314 361 903. Cinema just outside of the city centre. Showings in Dutch and English with Dutch subtitles (marked: OT).
  • Once a year a street theatre event called Buitengewoon is held. It offers a wide variety of big and small street theatre groups which perform in the city centre for several days.
  • Huntenkunst is an event that is more focused at artworks. It is held once every two years around the Houtkamphal. The committee of the event wants to ensure quality of all submissions. Each year about 150 artists from the Netherlands and abroad take part.
  • Stadsfeest Doetinchem
  • Watch football (ie soccer) at De Graafschap. They were relegated in 2019 so they now play in Eerste Divisie, the second tier of Dutch football. Their home stadium "de Vijverberg", capacity 12,600, is 1 km southeast of city centre.
  • 1 Stadsbrouwerij Doetinchem (City Brewery Doetinchem), Grutstraat 31, NL-7001 BW, . Every second Sunday of the month, 15:00-17:30. Visit the brewery and see how the 'Waltersbier' is brewed. For groups of 12-15 people an expanded tour is available from Wednesday to Sunday. This, of course, can be expanded upon with some snacks, diner of a simple taste of the beer in the Grand Café.

The Doetinchem city centre offers a wide variety of shops, most of which can be found in the Hamburgerstraat and Boliestraat. The lifestock market of Doetinchem is one of the largest in the Netherlands.



At the square in front of the city hall, a market is organised every Tuesday morning. The market mostly offers textile, dairy produce (esp. cheese), vegetables, fruits and fish. The also are several stands selling ecological products. There is another market organised every Saturday, but this one is smaller of scale.







Bed and Breakfasts

  • Pont 8 (1 apartment), Bruggenweg 8. Rated 9.2/10 by users. €85.
  • Logies en ontbijt de Berkenhof (2 apartments), Terborgseweg 148, +31 314 345 834. Rated 8.6/10 by users. €37.50.
  • Huis de Brink (1 house, 2 studios), Wielstraat 6, +31 314 325 635. Rated 8.3/10 by users €55.
  • Doetinchem Slangenburg (1 appartement), Molenweg 5, +31 644 053 083. Rated 9.0/10 by users €70.
  • B&B Wiltinksbrug (2 rooms), Wiltinksbrug 14, +31 314 333 215. Rated 9.6/10 by users. €75.
  • Wiersse68 (1 room), Wiersse 68. Rated 8.9/10 by users. €60.
  • De Wandhorst (2 rooms, 3 apartments), Binnenweg 18, Gaanderen. Rated 8.8/10 by users. 4.7 km from Doetinchem €65.
  • Gelsing (2 rooms), Catharinastraat 18, Wehl, +31 657 329 995. €28.
  • Rue Montagne (3 rooms), Bergstraat 12, Zelhem. Rated 8.6/10 by users. €50.



Go next


If you have enjoyed Doetinchem, then you might also like other cities and towns in the Achterhoek, or Gelderland in general. If you like city trips more, then you may want to head west towards the Randstad. From Doetinchem you can also get to Germany easily by train.

Routes through Doetinchem
ZutphenHummelo  N   S  END
END  W   E  RuurloHaaksbergen
DoesburgKeppel  W   S  Isselburg (D)
ArnhemZevenaar  W   E  → Haaksbergen → Enschede
ArnhemZevenaar  W   E  → Varsseveld → Winterswijk

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