City of Emmen (Drenthe)

The city of Emmen is included to the province Drenthe and to the municipality Emmen

Presentation of the destination

Getting to know Emmen

In the past the Dutch city of Emmen, in the province of Drenthe, was a number of separate communities. These communities were principally involved in agricultural work, particularly farming, and peat harvesting. The city of Emmen was planned and is a grand example of this kind of city. The villages Westenesch, Noordbarge, and Zuidbarge are remnants of a time before the planning of Emmen and, as a result of this, do not follow the planning and layout of Emmen nor do they share its history, but rather, have their own unique and interesting histories and stories to tell.The growth of Emmen was slow until after the Second World War, when a number of suburbs were constructed around the city itself. Despite the newer constructions and suburbs, a number of historic landmarks remain in Emmen, including the church from the Middle Ages which can be found by the market square. This mix of modern and historic makes Emmen a great place to visit in the Netherlands.

Points of interests / things to see

Centre of Visual Arts

Art lovers will enjoy the Centre of Visual Arts in Emmen. The Centrum Beeldende Kunst, as it is known in the local language of Dutch, was present in the city hall for a great number of years where it played host to many contemporary art exhibitions in its two exhibition halls.The Centre of Visual Arts at the city hall was closed for a while before reopening in a new location. It can now be found in a former milk factory in the suburb of Noordbarge, north of the city centre. Much like the former location, the new milk factory location has two spacious exhibition halls.Each year there are a great number of exhibitions held in the exhibition hall on the ground floor of the building. On the first floor of the building, a number of more varied exhibitions are held. One such example was a fascinating exhibition on community art in the Emmermeer district, which was held at the Centre of Visual Arts in the autumn of 2012.The Centre of Visual Arts (Centrum Beeldende Kunst) in Emmen can be visited by locals and tourists alike at any time between 1:00 in the afternoon and 5:00 in the evening, weekdays and weekends, excluding Mondays and Tuesdays when the centre is closed.

FC Emmen

Football fans and visitors to Emmen can enjoy watching the city’s local team. Football Club Emmen was originally founded as an amateur football team on August 21, 1925. Despite having the opportunity to become a professional outfit, the club chose to remain an amateur club when the professional Dutch league was inaugurated in 1954. It was not until 1985 that the club would become a professional team and three years later, in 1988, FC Emmen split into both a professional and an amateur club. The professional club was named Betaald Voetbal Organisatie Emmen, which means Emmen Professional Football Organisation and finally, in 2005, the club renamed themselves FC Emmen. While the club plays their football in the second tier of the Dutch league, they have reached the playoffs for the top tier no less than eight times, having never been able to attain promotion to the Eredivisie, the top flight of Dutch football league structure.As with football throughout Europe, the club plays during the whole year with the exception of the summer months. As a second tier team, ticket prices to see FC Emmen are very reasonable and visitors can enjoy a very popular Dutch pastime side by side with the local fans and their beloved club.


One of the great historical sights in the Dutch city of Emmen is Nabershof. The farmhouse itself was built in 1681 and stands as a fantastic example of the building and construction methods used at the time. As well as the Saxon farmhouse, there are several megalithic tombs, which include the unique Lang Grave.In 1990 the Nabershof changed owners and underwent a great deal of restoration and eventually was declared a national monument. The Nabershof as a museum was opened to the public in 1995 and is set up to be an example of farm life as it was 100 years ago.While the farm was originally built in 1681, a great number of details have obviously been restored, altered, and renovated. It is suggested that none of the walls would have been originally constructed in stone and humans and animals would have lived side by side in a huge open space.The first known resident of Nabershof is believed to be Hindriks Geert Snijder and his son and descendents are thought to have lived in Nabershof until 1777. The Nabershof was then sold in 1777 to Henry Dobben who resold the property for a tidy profit. It is unclear who owned the farm after this and if you wish to see how it would have been lived in during the last century, then you can visit Nabershof during the summer months when it is open to the public.

District Court

The District Court in Emmen is one of the oldest and most magnificent buildings that can be found throughout the city. There are two documents that describe how the building came to be. The first document was written by a Mr. Buiskool and states that the building was constructed by Messrs Adrianus van den Bandt and Harmannus Adianus Nebbens Sterling. The second document, which was written by Peter Crane, states that the Drentsche Veen and Central Canal Company bought the property from Lady Van Baalen on December 2, 1857. Both accounts suggest that the building would have been built in an Indian style as the two gentlemen referenced in the first document had lived in Indonesia for a number of years and that Lady Van Baalen had relatives in India.In the past, the front part of the building was used as an office while the rear of the building was used as a residence. The company that owned the building was in such debt that they had to sell a great number of their properties and, as they were based in Assen and no longer needed the office in Emmen, the building was sold. Today visitors to Emmen can enjoy one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.

Bargerveen Nature Reserve

Nature lovers visiting Emmen should definitely make the time to make a trip to the Bargerveen Nature reserve. The nature reserve is nestled in the heart of the province of Drenthe and is part of the Natura 2000 ecological network. The nature reserve has been part of the Internationaler Naturpark Bourtanger Moor-Bargerveen (the Bourtanger Moor-Bargeveen International Nature Park in English) since 2006 and the reserve itself is on both the Dutch and German sides of the border. While most of the reserve is in Lower Saxony, Germany, it certainly merits a visit by those spending time in the Netherlands as well.The part of nature reserve in the Netherlands was originally the Natuurreservaat Bargerveen, which was founded in 1992 and spans 21 kilometres squared, the majority of which is a peat bog. The wetlands of the nature reserve was initially at risk following the extraction of peat in the area. The government agency in charge of the reserve has conducted a great deal of restoration work to improve the water retention of the wetlands. If the weather is nice, then you have no excuse not to visit this wondrous site of natural beauty in either the Netherlands or even by crossing the border into Germany.


If you are not able to travel as far as the nature reserve then you can enjoy wildlife from the city of Emmen. The Noorderdierenpark houses a number of animals, particularly animals from South America in the newer part of the zoo. Some of the particularly beautiful animals that can be seen at the Noorderdierenpark include elks and bisons and the zoo is open daily. While the zoo is open daily, the opening hours vary by season and in the summer the zoo is open from 10:00 in the morning until 6:00 in the evening. During the winter the zoo closes at 4:30 in the afternoon.

Playa Pinguinos

When visiting the zoo in Emmen, make sure not to miss the Playa Pinguinos. This newer part of the zoo was opened in 2002 and can be accessed on foot and is on a separate site to that of the main zoo. Those who love penguins will love the Playa Pinguinos where guests can pretty much walk amongst these wonderful flightless birds. In the past it was possible to walk between the penguins though short fences were later added to stop them from walking into the city itself. Guests can also watch the penguins swimming as they would do in their natural habitat.


Any visit to any place in the province of Drenthe would not be complete without a trip to one of the region’s hunebeds. In fact, 52 of the 54 hunebeds in the Netherlands can be found in the province of Drenthe. Hunebeds are huge stone burial chambers that are nearly 5,500 years old and weigh around 25 tonnes. The stones themselves arrived in the Netherlands in glaciers during the Ice Age and were then piled up to make the graves. Visitors can find 10 hunebeds in the city of Emmen while the unique long grave is the only one in the Netherlands and only one more exists in Oldenburg in Germany.

Full Colour Festival

If you find yourself in the Dutch city of Emmen during the month of August then you should certainly ensure that you make your way to Full Colour Festival. The Full Colour Festival takes place in Emmen city centre and is an amalgamation of world music including acts from Africa, Asia, and South America. As well as the music, guests can enjoy an international market peddling goods from across the world.As well as the music and market, visitors can enjoy food and drink from across the globe and take part in a number of arts and crafts workshops and learn how to make music.

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Vacation rentals in Emmen (Drenthe)

Weather in Emmen

consult meteo of Emmen

Time in emmen

Local time

Local time and timezone in emmen

Emmen time
UTC +2:00 (Europe/Amsterdam)
Summer time UTC +2:00
Winter time UTC +3:00


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Surrounding towns

  • Coevorden ~21.5 km
  • Klazienaveen ~10.5 km
  • Twist ~26.9 km
  • Ter Apel ~19.4 km
  • Laudermarke ~25.4 km
  • Emmer-Compascuum ~11.9 km
  • Emlichheim ~20.9 km
  • Emlichheim ~22.3 km
  • Dalen ~15.0 km
  • Nieuw Amsterdam ~10.0 km

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How to get there ?

Reaching Emmen

If you are wanting to visit the city of Emmen from outside of Europe, the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is just 20 minutes north of the city of Amsterdam itself. Once at Amsterdam Schiphol, there are a number of methods to reach Emmen from the airport but the easiest way to reach the city of Emmen is by train. Visitors should take one of the intercity train services from the airport to Zwolle before changing and boarding a train headed directly to Emmen. The total journey time from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Emmen by train should be two and a half hours.While train is perhaps the simplest journey to reach Emmen from the airport. Those with their own car or even a rental car can reach the city of Emmen from Amsterdam by taking the A1, the A28, and the A37 roads. This journey should take visitors just under two hours in total, depending on the traffic in and around the city of Amsterdam.Even though Emmen can be reached fairly quickly and easily from Amsterdam airport, the journey is so simple that a trip to Amsterdam itself is even a possibility. The train from the airport to Amsterdam itself takes only around half an hour and means that the remaining train journey to Emmen will only take around two hours thereafter.

Emmen city hall

City hall address
Raadhuisplein 1, 7811 AP Emmen, Netherlands
City hall phone number
+31 591 685 555
City hall location
Opening hours
08:30 16:30
08:30 16:30
08:30 16:30
08:30 19:00
08:30 16:30
Web site

Hotels in Emmen (Drenthe)