One of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, Nijmegen lies on the Waal River near the border with Germany. It was established in the 1st century BC as a Roman military camp and is now home to the Radboud University Nijmegen. In addition to its lively student population, it boasts outstanding museums and impressive architecture to explore.
Things to do in Nijmegen
In the heart of Nijmegen is the Grote Markt, a square that’s watched over by the soaring spire of Stevenskerk and fringed by alfresco cafes where you can watch the world go by. Admire the Commanderie van Sint Jan, a former monastery that’s been transformed into a microbrewery, then browse the boutiques that now occupy Nijmegen’s 17th-century houses.
After a cultural fix? Pay a visit to the Valkhof Museum, which details the history of Nijmegen and houses artefacts dating back to the Roman era. Also not to miss is the MuZIEum, a unique cultural institution that recreates the experience of being blind and offers insight into the daily challenges of living with visual impairment.
If you’re travelling with kids, spend an afternoon exploring the Kronenburgerpark, a leafy green space that encompasses medieval walls and the 15th-century Kruittoren powder tower. In addition to a pond inhabited by swans, the park also boasts a children’s playground and a petting zoo where they can meet friendly deer, goats and peacocks.
Getting around Nijmegen
Nijmegen is around 1.5 hours’ drive from Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport or around the same distance from Rotterdam The Hague Airport. Nijmegen railway station has train connections to destinations across the Netherlands and Germany while buses travel to the surrounding suburbs. The centre of Nijmegen is easy to negotiate on foot or by bicycle.