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Nijmegen

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Nijmegen [1] is a large city in the southeast of the Netherlands, population 160,000 (city proper). It's the largest city in Gelderland, and in the Arnhem-Nijmegen metropolitan area (pop. 725,000). Nijmegen is well-known for its left-wing politics, its prominent Old Town, and its large student population.

Contents

Understand[edit]

Climate[edit]

Nijmegen has a semi-continental climate, and it's usually together with Venlo and Eindhoven the warmest city of the Netherlands during summer.

Climate Table
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average daily maximum temperature (°C) 5 7 10 14 18 22 24 25 21 15 9 6 14.65
Average daily minimum temperature (°C) 2 1 3 6 10 12 14 13 11 7 4 2 7.1
Record daily maximum temperature (°C) 17 20 27 32 36 36 39 38 33 30 21 17 39
Record daily minimum temperature (°C) -15 -17 -13 -3 -1 0 2 1 -2 -7 -11 -13 -17
Mean total rainfall (mm) 50 45 50 60 70 60 90 95 75 60 55 60 770
Source: [Deutsche Wetterdienst, KNMI - Klimaatatlas van Nederland]

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Airport Weeze (IATA: NRN), [2], located 45 km southeast of town just across the border with germany, between the villages of Weeze (Germany) and Nieuw-Bergen (Netherlands) (the airport itself is in germany). Although both Ryanair (the biggest airline serving the airport) and the airport itself advertise with Düsseldorf-Weeze, Düsseldorf proper is actually not anywhere near the airport. The city of Düsseldorf is located 60 miles to the southeast of the airport, making Nijmegen the only major city close to the airport. Weeze serves over 50 destinations across Europe, Northern Africa and Western Asia.

The only form of public transportation nonstop to Nijmegen is a taxivan you have to reserve in advance and will set you back €18 euro one-way. For timetabling see [3] or call +49 (0) 28 37 66 55 55. Quick tip: If your plane lands shortly before the bus is scheduled to leave give them a quick call on the tarmac and they will wait for you.

For the more adventurous traveller, it's possible to get to Nijmegen by city bus to the Weeze railway station, then take a train into Kleve, where you can get a bus into Nijmegen. This will take about 75 minutes and costs €5.90-7.60 (one-way).

Another option is to just hitch. There's a major freeway not far from the airport, connecting Düsseldorf with Nijmegen. This can take as little as 30-45 minutes if you're lucky, and 4-6 hours if you're not.

Eindhoven Airport (IATA: EIN), [4]. Located 60 kilometres (35 miles) to the southwest of Nijmegen. From the airport you take bus 401 (with stops in between) or 400 (non-stop) to Eindhoven Central Station and then a train to 's Hertogenbosch (which is the same as Den Bosch). In 's Hertogenbosch, change trains and take the train to Nijmegen. This journey will take you approximately 90 minutes by public transportation. When driving yourself, take the A326 feeder motorway to the A50, (Zwolle-Eindhoven) which skirts the west of the metropolitan area to the Eindhoven ring road (A58/A2) Airport exit is exit 29 on the A2.

Flughafen Düsseldorf (IATA: DUS), [5]. Located 110 kilometres (65 miles) southeast. About one-third the size of Amsterdam-Schiphol, but with plenty of international connections, including to the USA, and gets served by all the major airlines in Europe. Although it doesn't get nearly as many flights as Amsterdam does, it's cheaper, doesn't have nearly as many congestion problems, and generally much less hassle at the airport itself. Major inconvienience here is the lack of a good public transportation link to the Nijmegen area; you either need to take bus 58 to Kleve, and change there for a regional train to Düsseldorf Hbf, where you can take S1 to Flughafen terminal or take the train to Venlo, and change there for Düsseldorf Hbf. Both options take about 2,5-3 hours one way, since it'll be taking commuter trains all the way. When driving there this airport should be the obvious choice though. A73 to Knooppunt Rijkevoort, then follow the signs to the A77 which changes to A57 when it passes the German line. By Kreuz Meerbusch take motorway A44 to exit 31 which is right by the terminal. Expect a 75-minute drive, although it can be done in 50-55 minutes if there's little traffic, due to the fact that 2/3rds of the route is on the German Autobahn.

Amsterdam-Schiphol airport (IATA: AMS), [6]. The largest airport in the Netherlands, and the fifth largest in Europe. 135 km (85 miles) to the northwest. Train takes about an hour and a half, and will cost €17.50,- one way. You no longer have to change trains for Nijmegen, there are direct trains to and from Schiphol twice an hour on weekdays, although if you miss one you can catch a train to Utrecht 15 minutes later and change there. Schiphol airport gets served by most major carriers, and has in excess of 100 flights to the United States alone per day. When driving; A73 to Knooppunt Ewijk, A50 to Knooppunt Valburg, A15 westbound to Knooppunt Deil, A2 northbound to Knooppunt Holendrecht, A9 westbound to Knooppunt Badhoevedorp, and finally A4 southbound to exit 2, Schiphol airport. Expect this to take anywhere from 75 minutes to over three hours, depending on traffic. the route will take you through both the Utrecht and the Amsterdam metropolitan areas, both infamous for their traffic jams.

By train[edit]

The Dutch Railways, [7] (Nederlandse Spoorwegen, NS) serve Nijmegen from all parts of the Netherlands non-stop. There are 4 trains an hour to Utrecht, 2 of which continue to Amsterdam and Den Helder. At Utrecht, you can change on trains to Schiphol Airport or Rotterdam and The Hague. 4 trains per hour depart for Zutphen of which 2 continue to Deventer and Zwolle (with connections to Leeuwarden and Groningen in Zwolle). Furthermore, 2 trains per hour connect to Tilburg-Breda-Roosendaal (with connections in Breda to Rotterdam/The Hague, and in Roosendaal to Antwerp/Brussels).

The neighboring cities of Arnhem and 's-Hertogenbosch are served by commuter trains: 4 trains per hour leave for 's-Hertogenbosch and 6 trains per hour for Arnhem. On this last connection, there are up to 10 trains per hour between Nijmegen and Arnhem during rush hour. The full adult fare on this line is €3.80 one way or €7.60 return, as of December 2012.

Veolia Limburg [8] runs 4 commuter trains an hour to Nijmegen Heyendaal,Molenhoek (nearby Malden), the town of Cuijk and further to Venray. Two of these trains continue all the way to Roermond.

By bus[edit]

Nijmegen is connected to the German cities (and railway stations) of Kleve and Emmerich by bus. This bus (58) usually runs once per hour, but it barely goes on Sunday.

By car[edit]

The A73 connects Nijmegen with Venlo, the A77/A57 leads to the German Rhineland. The A15 runs between Nijmegen and Rotterdam and the A50 (Eindhoven-Zwolle) skims the western edge of the metropolitan area. There are many feeder highways connecting these freeways to the city. From Amsterdam one would take the A2 southbound to intersection (knooppunt) Deil, and take the A15 eastbound to Nijmegen from there. Avoid visiting the city by car during the Four Days Walking March, as roads tend to be blocked and circulation is even worse than normal. Also, you may find almost no available parking anywhere near the center of the city.

By thumb[edit]

Nijmegen is probably one of the easiest places in the Netherlands to hitch from. The best spot is just south of the Waal Bridge, on the northbound lane leading to the bridge. You will see a sign saying 'liftershalte' here. This means it's an official hitching spot. Usually it takes anywhere from 1-30 minutes to get a ride.

By bike[edit]

Nijmegen has exceptionally good cycle links. The RijnWaalpad is a cycle high way connecting Nijmegen and Arnhem. There are also two Dutch national cycle routes that come through Nijmegen: the LF12 and the LF3-3. In Millingen the LF3-3 connects with the Rhine Cycle Route (EuroVelo 15), giving Nijmegen a good cycle connection with Germany, France and Switzerland.

Get around[edit]

The regional bus company Breng connect almost every neighbourhood in Nijmegen to the city center. Hermes run buses into the suburbs as well as a few towns outside of the metropolitan area. Forget about using your car unless you're absolutely sure of your driving skills: the city can get extremely clogged up during rush-hour because 6 main roads end up at an infamous roundabout in the middle of the town. Beside this, parking is relatively expensive. Nijmegen is extremely bike-friendly, and the old downtown area is compact (every place in the downtown area can be reached within 20 minutes from the Central Station by foot) Commuter trains serve the neighbourhoods of Lent, Dukenburg and Heyendaal (the campus area), as well as the nearby town of Wijchen. You can rent bicycles at the underground bike storage facility beneath the Central Station.

See[edit][add listing]

Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands, celebrating her 2000th birthday in 2005. The Valkhof Museum, on the Valkhof, has a permanent display of the history of Nijmegen, including artifacts from the Roman era. Additionally, they usually have temporary exhibitions of more and less famous artists. Unfortunately not a whole lot of very old buildings are left in town: first the Americans carpet bombed it in February 1944, later the Germans shelled it for about 5 months after the liberation in September 1944, and finally there were a lot of very rigorous city planners in the 1950's, 60's and 70's who finished what the Americans and Germans started.

There's still a few noteworthy sights, however. Valkhof hill downtown features a Carolingian chapel (eight, ninth century AD) and a small remainder of an imperial castle that was demolished in 1798. From Valkhof hill walk west through the Burchtstraat. Here you will see, on your left hand, the fifteenth century town hall. If you've finished admiring its exterior (there's nothing of note inside) continue walking west to the Grote Markt (Great Market) on the north side is a sixteenth-century weighing hall that now serves as a restaurant. To the left is the Blauwe Hand, the oldest bar in a town that boasts the most pubs per square feet than any other town in the Netherlands. On the west side you will see the entrance to the St. Stevenskerk courtyard. Enter it. On the left is a fifteenth-century Latin school. On the right stands the thirteenth century St. Stevenskerk, the interior of which was destroyed during the Dutch revolution of the sixteenth century. To the north of the church is a series of small seventeenth-century houses that now serve as trinket shops.

Do not miss the opportunity to visit Nationaal Fietsmuseum Velorama ([9]) - for the €5 yo get a chance to view a quite incredible collection of bikes and other bike-like muscle-powered vehicles, with some really unusual and extraordinary examples.

Do[edit][add listing]

Events[edit]

Spring[edit]

  • Carnaval Six weeks before Easter is Carnaval. People dress up in funny costumes and drink. There are parades in every town & village. To the south of Nijmegen Carnaval gets celebrated more, and if you like this kind of thing, go to Maastricht, Den Bosch or Kerkrade instead.
  • Dag van het Levenslied Every year in May there's a traditional Dutch folk festival in the Valkhofpark. Don't expect Dylan though, The type of music is comparable to the German schlager music. Again: Lots of drinking!
  • Roze Meifeesten Also in May, this is the annual Gay and Lesbian festival in downtown.

Summer[edit]

  • Heavy Metal festival Traditionally, there's a one-day Heavy Metal festival in the Goffertpark, 2 miles SW of the Central Station. It's called Fortarock. Usually draws 15-25,000 people depending on city regulations.
  • Nijmeegse Vierdaagse/Zomerfeesten The most famous of them all, the Nijmeegse Vierdaagse (Four Day Marches of Nijmegen) with the Zomerfeesten (Summer Festival). This is the biggest event in the entire Netherlands and according to the organisers the largest walking event in the world. The Four Day Marches draw about 45,000 people alone, walking 30, 40 or 50 km(depending on age and sex) a day for four days in the Nijmegen area. The Summer Festival lasts for 10 days, starting the Friday before the marches start, continuing all the way to the Sunday after the Marches. For these 10 days, the entire downtown area is one big festival with concerts everywhere, even more beer stands and 1.5-1.7 million people partying or trying to get some sleep because they have to walk another 30 miles the next morning.
  • Other festivals In some years, a one-day festival, called Rockin' Park, is organized in the Goffertpark. The line-up usually consists of various national and international rock acts. Another festival is the Arrow Rock Festival, featuring several (older) national and international rock acts. Also, the Goffertpark is often used for large once only concerts of prominent bands (often with numerous support acts) such as the Rolling Stones, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead and Coldplay.

Fall[edit]

  • Nijmeegse Kermis The oldest street carnival in the Netherlands, dates back to 1272. Usually lasts a week and a half, and there are a lot of attractions, traditional ones like the Ferris Wheel and the Merry go-'round, Bumpercars, but also modern stuff like a Bungy-Jump.
  • Zevenheuvelenloop An annual 15 km (9 mi) run around Nijmegen and its surrounding hills. (Hence the name Zevenheuvelen - which means "Seven Hills" in Dutch.)

Leftist politics[edit]

Nijmegen is known for the abundance of left-wing political activist organizations, including many student organizations. It is a major stronghold of the Dutch socialist and 'green' parties. For those in the leftist political spectrum, a visit to Nijmegen could bring about interesting contacts.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Each Monday, there is a weekly market in the centre of Nijmegen, mainly located on the "Grote Markt". The stall keepers can give you much more personal advice than you will get in an average shop. The wide range of stalls sell a wide range of products, not necessarily locally made, but the marketplace is definitely worth strolling over. For eating,try a 'superwafel' at the 'stroopwafel' stall, those are really good!

Eat[edit][add listing]

Being a student town (roughly 21,000 students in a population of 160,000) there's plenty of relatively cheap restaurants ("eetcafés") to be found. Look for them in the Van Welderenstraat and on Kelfkensbos. Fast Food is also widely available in the city center, with two McDonald's, a Burger King and numerous snackbars often offering traditional dutch snacks, but also turkish dishes.

  • De Ontmoeting Tapas & Catering, Graafseweg 27, 024-3230466, [10]. Opens at 17.00h. On the corner of the Graafseweg and the Stijn Buijsstraat (at walking distance from the central station and the city center). De Ontmoeting is one of the most popular restaurants in Nijmegen, famous for the enthusiastic staff and delicious Aioli.  edit
  • Eetcafé De Plak, corner of Plein 1944. An absolute classic. Not only is it a mainstay of Nijmegen's sizeable alternative scene (don't be surprised to have your meal served by a pierced waitress with dreadlocks or a waiter with a mohawk), it's also famous throughout the Netherlands for its Kaasgehakt - a hearty dish made with cheese and breadcrumbs that's supposed to be a vegetarian version of "gehakt" (minced meat).
  • Dromaai, Plein 1944. A dirt cheap student eatery.
  • Restaurant de Hemel, Franseplaats 1, 0243656394, [11]. 12-24u. Great dining experience in a fantastic historical building in centre. Guests are served 6-8 rounds of small appetizers and bites for dinner. De Hemel serves a great variety of food and on top of that an intimate setting. Also opened for lunch and highly popular High Tea. 28,50. (51.848635,5.863897) edit
  • Riva, at the Waalkade (alongside the Waal river) Walk downtown to the market, keep the market at the left and walk downhill to the river. Turn right and then it's one of the first restaurants on the right. Popular among students and offers a range of delicious meals.
  • Restaurant Ankara, on the corner of the Burghardt van den Berghstraat and the Graafseweg in the Bottendaal district, is at walking distance from the central station and the city center. It offers a wide range of affordable Turkish meals, as well as a wide range of pizzas. You are always offered a free soup, which is quite spicy and tasty.
  • De Kluizenaar, of the Burghardt van den Berghstraat, offers tapas from various cooking styles, and more traditional meals, such as salads and spare ribs. In the summer, it is a nice place for a drink, just like cafe Maxim across the street.
  • Van Buren, of the Molenstraat, offers traditional french cuisine for a good price, and also has plenty of lunch options. Furthermore, in the summer, you can enjoy your food outside.
  • Funkenstein, on the Lange Hezelstraat. Small, cosy, and good value for money.
  • Meneer Dijkstra on the corner Hobbemastraat/Daalseweg, opposite the Albert Heijn supermarket, is a typical student restaurant.
  • Eten & Drinken on the Groesbeeksedwarsweg (corner Heyendaalseweg/Groesbeekseweg) is very cheap (almost all main courses are under € 8), but portion size and quality is good enough. Lunch is also possible.

The pizza fan is also well-catered for by a wide range of restaurants. Many though, are specialized in take-away/delivery, and don't offer a very nice eating experience. However, if you like to sit down for a pizza, there are still some nice options. Generally, all pizzas in the restaurants below are under € 10. Most of the establishments also offer other italian dishes.

  • Donatello's, Eerste Walstraat, on the edge of the city center. It's a bit hidden, don't let the alley-like street scare you away.
  • Pinoccio, beginning of the Molenstraat, one minute walking from Donatello's
  • Bella Italia, St. Annastraat, a short stroll from the Keizer Karelplein. The pizza is hard that you can't use your normal knife to cut it... And the waitress is sooooooooooo slow....
  • Mr. Jacks, Kelfkensbos. Do not expect top quality service, but the food is cheap and tastes reasonable. You might have to wait long whilst you have already ordered - there is often a table available, but not enough capacity to serve it. Instead of a pizza, you may also choose to order a greek dish here.

If your budget allows it, there's also plenty of opportunity for luxury dining. Hoo Wah on Plein 1944 serves excellent Asian food (not to be confused with the stuff sold in normal Dutch "Chinese" restaurants). Het Savarijn in the Hertogstraat offers classy French food and is known for its extensive wine list while Heertjes in the Ridderstraat is the place locals go to when they want to indulge themselves. Het Lemke in the Lange Hezelstraat offers high quality French cuisine, though it might be a little bit too experimental for some. More up market dining can be found along the Waal river. From the casino, walk west past the terraces and into the old downtown. For up market dining near the university, Chalet Brakkenstein is well worth a visit. Finally, for more classic french style cuisine in a historic ambiance, try either Belvedere (the tower) or Het Poortwachtershuis (the small building west of the museum) west of the Valkhof park. (Please note that for the moment, the Belvedere is only open to groups with a reservation, due to a lack of cooking staff.). If you're into that sort of thing, in 2008 the Michelin guide has awarded a Bib Gourmand to Het Savarijn, Liberty's (on Kelfkensbos) and Vesters (Groesbeeksedwarsweg 307a). There are no restaurants in Nijmegen that have received Michelin stars.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Downtown Nijmegen and the neighborhoods just next to it are positively swarming with pubs and cafés. Some notable ones:

  • In De Blaauwe Hand, Grote Markt. The oldest pub in Nijmegen. Very, very picturesque.
  • Samson, Houtstraat. Old fashioned and classy with service of a high quality. [12]
  • Brouwerscafé de Hemel, Franseplaats 1 (Located on walking distance from De Blaauwe Hand, right behind Grote Markt.), 024 3656394, [13].  edit Local beers in an amazing setting: picturesque monument "De Commanderie van St. Jan".
  • Cafe van Ouds, Augustijnenstraat 33. A bar with lots of different national and international beers and the biggest winemenu of Nijmegen. In the centre of Nijmegen between the "Grote Markt" and "Plein 1944". [14]
  • Universiteitscafe Piecken, Studentencomplex Hoogeveldt, university campus. This bar, owned by students, is the homeplace for all the local and the international students in Nijmegen. Visit the website to see if there is a party or other activities. [15]
  • De Mug, Pauwelstraat 9. Probably the smallest and cosiest cafe in Nijmegen. Serves a variety of dutch beers from (local) microbreweries.
  • St. Anneke, St. Annastraat. Of interest primarily if you're staying in Hotel Catharina as it's right across the street but even then you'd be wise to walk a little (50 meters) further to Frowijn on the corner of the Pontanusstraat as that has a much nicer terrace.
  • Mets, Grotestraat. The premier gay / lesbian hangout.
  • Kollektief kafee de Bijstand. Van Welderenstraat. This is where the local activist scene congregates. Wednesday night is cheap vodka night. All profit goes to charity.
  • De Klinker. Van Broeckhuysenstraat. De Klinker is a left-wing cafe which is entirely run by volunteers and serves without profit.
  • Odessa (Sint Anthoniusplaats) is a reasonable and fairly cheap restaurant, but on Mondays it functions as a Jazz bar that attracts lots of foreign students.
  • Chaps (Gay Leather Bar) is a reasonable and fairly priced pub with interesting socks-only and jack-off parties. Only for men that are interested in the same sex.
  • Billabong (Australian pub) [16]

Music venues[edit]

* Doornroosje Classic intimate underground stage/club located in an old school-building. Well known for its acoustic and electronic concerts and parties. Historic location as it was one of the first places in the country to sell mariuana. Great artists and bands have played here before their big breakthroughs, inlcuding Pink Floyd, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead and Green Day. A new building is currently being built next to the Central Station.

* Merleyn The second intimate stage of Doornroosje. Many concerts and electronic parties.

* The Matrixx The biggest club in the city, in the outskirt Dukenburg. Has many parties. Examples of parties are Armin Only (with Armin van Buuren), XXlerator (hardhouse/ hardstyle), 90's now (90's themes party) and Erotixx (erotic themed electronic music party). Club has great sounds system, bars and lounge spots.

* Waalhalla Underground style partycentre in an old factory hall, located in the industrial district of the city. Recently turned into a legal spot after years of formally illegal parties. In the day-time this place is a skate-hall (ocassionaly tournaments are organised here), at night you can feel the industrial metal walls vibrating to various electronic styles from techno, tekno, hard-house, dubstep, drum & bass and much more.

* de Drie Gezusters, El Sombrero, van Buren, Malle Babbe, de Stretto From Thursdays to Saturdays, these are the most popular mainstream student clubs, located in the centre of town. On Thursdays the students are in charge here, on Friday and Saturdays, more local youth and people from the surrounding towns and villages visite.

* The Underground Club located near the popular mainstream clubs in the centre of town, situated in a basement. This club is more alternative.

* Onderbroek Party place underneath squaters house de Grote Broek.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Finding a place to sleep during the summer festival and the four day's marches is absolutely impossible. Everything will be booked full months in advance. To give you an idea; during these days the population of Nijmegen swells from 160,000 to 1,800,000. It goes to the extent of people needing accommodation because they're walking the marches being taken into private people's homes and sleeping in sporting arena's. However, during the festival many trains and buses run around the clock, giving the opportunity to find a place to stay outside the city. During the rest of the year, however, you should have no problem at all.

Budget[edit]

  • Hotel Atlanta, Grote Markt
  • City Hotel, Kelfkensbos
  • Barbarossa Hostel, St. Anthoniusplaats 14

Mid-range[edit]

  • Hotel Belvoir, in the Graadt van Roggenstraat.
  • Hotel Mercure, next to the train station.

B&B[edit]

  • De Prince, offers you a modern accommodation in historical buildings on different locations on the oldest shopping street of The Netherlands, de Lange Hezelstraat.

Get out[edit]

Cycling[edit]

The surrounding area of Nijmegen is unique in that it has to offer almost every landscape type available in the Netherlands. Rent a bicycle and start exploring the river landscape of the Ooijpolder to the northeast, the forested hills around Groesbeek to the east, the drier heath landscape to the south or, if you insist, the typically Dutch flat lowlands to the west.

There are many ready-made cycle routes you can try:

Places to go[edit]

If you're interested in cities, pay a visit to 's-Hertogenbosch or Zutphen (both between 30 min / 45 min by train) which have city centres far better preserved than that of Nijmegen itself.

During World War Two, the 82nd Airborne Division landed near Groesbeek as part of Operation Market Garden. Groesbeek has one of Canada's war cemeteries, called Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery. The Cemetery is a short drive out of Groesbeek.

  • The Africa Museum, in Berg en Dal, has an indoors and outdoors section and specializes in African cultures. On most summer days, they organize all kinds of workshops.
  • Museumpark Orientalis, in the Heilig Landstichting, provides a contemporary view of the three religions that have played a decisive role in establishing the identity of present day Europe: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.


Routes through Nijmegen
ZwolleArnhem  N noframe S  Eindhoven




This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



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