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Enschede is the most important city in Twente, the eastern part of the province of Overijssel. The city has a modern look and feel. Much of its center was destroyed during the Second World War, and after the demise of the textile industry (see Economy), Enschede was in a sorry state. From the 1980's onward, great efforts have been made to revitalize the city, which has resulted in a modern city with sometimes daring architecture that matches the city's technological image. It is only around the Oude Markt in the northern part of the center that you will still find a 19th century atmosphere.
The city has 140,000 inhabitants. The municipality of Enschede has 10,000 more inhabitants, because it includes the villages of Boekelo, Glanerbrug, Lonneker and Usselo.
Enschede is located in the far east of the Netherlands, close to the German border. The city is located at 160 kilometers from Amsterdam, at 90 kilometers from Arnhem and at 155 kilometers from Groningen.
Since the mid-19th century, Enschede was the center of the textile industry. The city was filled with textile factories. When they closed their doors in the 1960's and 1970's, it was catastrophic for Enschede. Many people became unemployed and the city went bankrupt.
Nowadays, Enschede is a service and knowledge center with the technical university (Twente University), a music school, an art academy and a polytechnic. The city focuses on technological and other knowledge-intensive companies. Also, beer company Grolsch has its headquarters in Enschede.
To the north of the city lies Enschede Airport Twente, which at the moment is only used for private and business flights and a few chartered flights to holiday destinations (among other places Faro, Antalya, Las Palmas and Mallorca). It is being investigated whether or not a regular connection to Paris has a chance of success, but closing the airport has not been ruled out either.
Bus services in Enschede and surrounding areas are provided by Connexxion, using the name 'Twents'. There are eight city bus lines, which all include Enschede's train station in their route. From the bus station, regional lines connect the city to, among other places, Hengelo, Winterswijk and Doetinchem.
Buses have their own separate lanes, a system that is currently being expanded.
Many of the city's inhabitants complain about the city's appalling traffic situation, at least as far as cars are concerned. It is certainly not easy to get from A to B. This is, by the way, exactly what the city authorities had in mind. All cars are routed around the center, but there are regular traffic jams on the through roads.
You can park your car in the street in the center of the city, but that is more expensive than parking in car park. On Sundays between 20 pm and 9 am, parking in the street is free. Around the center there are five car parks, including a very big one, the so-called Van Heek car park. If you enter Enschede from the A35/N35, you can also park on the P+R area Zuiderval, and proceed by Citybus.
Enschede has over 30 places where you can spend the night, most of them falling into the category 'bed & breakfast'. The city has three four star hotels. Because Enschede is a knowledge and education center, there are often conferences, which are attended by many foreign experts. This means it is better to book your hotel room in advance.
For more information about Enschede, we recommend Google, and the following sources: