Culture & leisure
Learn all about the Dutch Liberation of 1944-1945, experience Nijmegen the way a Roman citizen would, plunge into Burgers’ Ocean, visit a museum or indulge in a wellness experience. You can find the region’s best attractions here.
There are also a lot of more experiential museums, however, that will let you come to grips with the background and issues of the region in a more interactive way. The Dutch Water Museum in Arnhem is a great way to get to know more about the Dutch struggles with and solutions to water management, for instance. Other options are:
- MuZIEum: The MuZIEum in Nijmegen lets you experience what it's like to live as a person who is blind or partially sighted, through a tour in complete darkness.
- Holland Open Air Museum: The rich history of the area has also created a lot of options for immersive experiences. The Holland Open Air Museum in Arnhem lets you experience the lives of ordinary Dutch people of the past, from the dark ages to now.
- Airborne Museum: In Oosterbeek, near Arnhem, you will find the impressive Airborne Museum, which deals with the last stages of Operation Market Garden during WWII.
For a complete overview of museums in the area, TripAdvisor is your friend.
Apart from all the opportunities of the great outdoors, there are also a lot of indoor sporty pleasures to discover. For instance, Nijmegen has a state-of-the-art sports centre, called the Gymnasion, on its university campus, and Wageningen boasts sports centre De Bongerd on campus as well.
Are you a professional or semi-professional athlete? Olympic Training Centre Papendal is the national training centre of the Netherlands, situated near Arnhem. Papendal is the home base of NOC*NSF (Dutch Olympic Committee*Dutch Sports Federation) and football club SBV Vitesse. The soccer fields are also being used as training ground by Vitesse's first squad. Around 550 top athletes use the facilities of Papendal, 400 on a daily basis. With over 20 building projects in 10 years' time, the Olympic Training Centre is completely up to date with modern technological advances.
Perhaps you would prefer watching someone else do all the work? Our region is home to two major football clubs: Vitesse of Arnhem and NEC of Nijmegen. There is bitter rivalry between these two, so a match between the two of them is always a real highlight.
These are only a few examples of the sporty options that our region has to offer, of course. Check out some of the dozens great outdoor activities that you can get up to (including hiking and cycling trails) at TripAdvisor.
Hiking, cycling and running
The area is full of nice places to hike, cycle and run. Head down to the Klompenwaard, a nature reserve along the Waal near Nijmegen or explore the marshland of the Overasseltse and Hatertse Vennen. You can also enjoy the wilderness of the Mookerheide heathland near Plasmolen-Mook or the lush greenery of Millingerwaard. The surroundings of Arnhem offer a lot to hikers, cyclists and runners as well. In the Veluwe National Park, you reach a height of 110 metres above sea level (which is quite something by Dutch standards). In the park you will also find the famous Posbank, which is a real highlight in clear weather.
Regional cycling network
A great way to explore the rivers and polders, forests and towns of the area is by bike. Maps and cycle routes are available at the tourist information offices (called VVVs in the Netherlands). You can download and print the maps for free from their websites.
The most popular shopping streets of Arnhem are concentrated in Arnhem's Old Town. Here you will discover large department stores as well as dozens of fashionable boutiques that offer clothes, shoes and accessories that will suit everyone's taste.
The Ketelstraat has a rich variety of shops that are influenced by Arnhem's non-native Dutch communities. It is here that you can go in search of exclusive souvenirs and handicrafts. The street is also home to some excellent jewellery and antique shops, as well as art galleries.
For shoppers who have a bit more to spend and prefer exclusive designer clothes and accessories, it's worth taking a stroll in Arnhem's Modekwartier (fashion quarter). There are 35 designer stores that offer clothes and shoes for every taste. Here you will find fascinating handmade accessories and local stores might invite you to come see a one-of-a-kind original handbag or hat.
After a day of shopping, you might be quite peckish! Arnhem will amaze you with its numerous high-quality restaurants. Besides venues that specialize in the Dutch national cuisine, there are many that show off how those foreign cuisines that have been integrated into Dutch culture over the past few hundred years. In short, Arnhem is the perfect place for everyone who loves pure, good food. Nature provides fresh game; many kinds of mushrooms and nuts and small local producers supply wines and cheese. As a result, restaurants in the city are able to use the best possible ingredients.
Take a look at Arnhem’s best restaurants.
Nijmegen, Wageningen and beyond
Now we'd be remiss if we didn’t mention the fact that the cities of Nijmegen and Wageningen also have a lot of amazing shops, markets and restaurants. As these towns are much more defined by their student population, there are more restaurants that offer a decent bite to eat at a more attractive price. If you don't want to spend too much, these might just be ideal. Obviously, there are also a lot of places that are sure to please in the wider Arnhem – Nijmegen – Wageningen region; so why not have a Google or go on a culinary quest yourself? TheFork gives you the lowdown on nearly all European restaurants and allows you to search per city.
If you're really into science, you can't miss International Science Film Festival Nijmegen. InScience is a joint initiative of Arthouse LUX and Radboud University and thé international film festival for the science film. InScience offers a platform for the dialogue between science, art and society. InScience wants to use the art form of film to clarify the social relevance of science for a wide audience and make it accessible. The diverse film program, the presence of a large festival audience and more than 200 national and international scientists and film professionals (directors, film producers, journalists) turn Nijmegen into a meeting place for exchanging new insights during InScience. The fifth edition will take place from 11 to 15 November 2020.
Pubs and bars
Trying to describe the best options for a night out in our area is truly an embarrassment of riches! Wageningen has a number of great pubs, one of which (Café Rad van Wageningen) sells the beers that are made by Wageningen's local brewery. Arnhem is renowned for De Korenmarkt square, where over a dozen clubs and pubs are situated, as well as for great pubs like Café 't Moortgat (literally 'the murder hole', but don't worry, you can have a beer here in complete safety). Craft brewery and distillery De Hemel ('Heaven') in Nijmegen is located in a 12th-century building and its tasty beverages are sold throughout the city. Nijmegen is also home to the oldest pub in the country In de Blaauwe Hand, named after the cloth hall that the building was first used for in 1320, as well as more modern but no less charming pubs such as Café de Mug and Van Ouds.
If you are into concerts and dance parties, Nijmegen's Doornroosje is one of the country's 'pop temples' (as referred to by the Dutch) and hosts great musical events as well as smashing dance parties. Arnhem's Gelredome also hosts huge dance spectacles such as Qlimax, and pop concerts by the biggest names in the business.