Drachten is the second largest city in the Dutch province of Friesland. Today, it is home to some 45.000 inhabitants. Since it was only a small village until well in the 1950s, when it passed the 10,000 people mark, its historic heritage is somewhat limited, but the city today serves as the regional centre for shopping and services.
Drachten is along the A7 motorway, providing connections from the southwest (Amsterdam 1h 30m; Heerenveen 20m) and the east (Westerkwartier region 15m; Groningen 30m; German border 1h). The N31 expressway provides a direct connection from the provincial capital Leeuwarden in the northwest (30m) and the N381 trunk road connects to Drenthe province.
By public transport
Drachten is one of the few larger towns in the Netherlands without a connection to the railway network. Therefore, the only option to get to Drachten by public transport is by bus. The key bus stops in Drachten are the Van Knobelsdorffplein in the city centre, and the newly built Transferium Drachten-Oost park-and-ride facility at the eastern side of the city. The main bus routes are:
- Bus route 13 (1x/hour) from Leeuwarden via Surhuisterveen.
- Bus route 14 (1-2x/hour) from Assen via Veenhuizen and Oosterwolde.
- Bus route 20 (1x/hour) from Heerenveen via Gorredijk, and from Leeuwarden.
- Bus routes 114/120/121 (1-5x/hour) from Leeuwarden.
- Bus route 189 (1x/hour) from Marum.
- Bus routes 304/314 (2-8x/hour) from Groningen.
- Bus route 310 (1-2x/hour) from Heerenveen.
All bus routes are operated by Qbuzz, with the exception of line 314, which is operated by Arriva. To reach Drachten from other destinations in the Netherlands, the fastest and easiest way to reach Drachten is usually to take a train to Heerenveen, Assen, or Groningen, and take one of the buses as mentioned above to Drachten.
The main bar and restaurant area is considered to be around the so-called "Kaden", so the Noorderkade and Zuiderkade. There are, however, plenty of establishments in the other commercial streets.
- [dead link] De Splinter, Zuidkade 45. A good selection of straight-forward restaurant dishes, including steaks, fish filets and several vegetarian options. Mains from €15.
- Pata Negras Tapas, Noordkade 32. This tapas restaurant can be crowded on weekends, so make reservations if you can. Most popular is the all-you-can-eat menu. All you can eat price: €23.50 on F-Sa, €18.50 on other days.
|Routes through Drachten|
|Amsterdam ← Heerenveen ←||W E||→ Westerkwartier → Groningen|
|Harlingen ← Leeuwarden ←||W E||→ Emmen|