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- 10 Dec 2019, 3 nights
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Nijmegen is easy on the eye. It’s the oldest city in the Netherlands and comes complete with cute cobbled squares, leafy parks and riverside beaches. It hosts several regular music and cultural events (hiking party or wine festival, anyone?) at venues like Goffertpark where international acts such as Radiohead have played. The thriving art scene in this youthful student city also makes it a stellar destination for days out gallery hopping and museum browsing.
Lots of industrial buildings in the city have been converted into creative spaces (like the Honigcomplex) and many Nijmegen hostels have taken note. You can stay in former warehouses or factories with on-trend interior design schemes. In true Dutch style, there are hostels in Nijmegen with a mish-mash of contemporary and antique furniture in common areas as well as cutting-edge prints. Look out for a Nijmegen hostel with a bar for swapping travel tips over a drink or a private room with a kitchenette if you're aiming to save money by cooking for yourself.
The most popular neighbourhood in Nijmegen with travellers is the Old Town with its cobblestoned square, atmospheric churches and cool craft beer bars. The Lower Town, beside the banks of the Waal river, is popular for its waterside cafes. If you love to get out and about to experience a city's natural surroundings, spend your time near one of the big green spaces, such as Goffertpark, which has lots of footpaths and thickly wooded sections.
For sights, the city has a handful of innovative museums, including one that helps you experience what it's like to have a visual impairment by organising tours in the dark. There's also Velorama, which has bicycles from earlier than 1900 on show. Speaking of cycling, a fun thing to do in Nijmegen in warmer weather is to ride along some of the city's 43km of paths or over the iconic Waalbrug bridge with its 65m arch. You can also settle in for a relaxed afternoon at one of the riverside beaches.
Get around Nijmegen by bike (you can rent a ride at the underground cycle storage centre under Central Station) or just walk: the main sights are no more than 20 minutes' stroll from each other. There are buses from pretty much every neighbourhood in the city and commuter trains serve the Lent, Dukenburg and Heyendaal areas, dropping off in the centre. For onward travel, there are four trains per hour to Utrecht, where you can change for journeys to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Rotterdam and The Hague.