SHOPPING WEEKEND IN NIJMEGEN, THE OLDEST CITY OF THE NETHERLANDS
Grab your things and get ready!! I’m gonna take you on a shopping trip to the oldest city in the Netherlands, Nijmegem! We’ll only need a 3-hours drive to arrive… Let yourself go and get ready to discover a new destination, not too far away from home, to escape for the time of a weekend…
Some facts about Nijmegen
Nijmegen is the first city recognized as such in Roman times and celebrated its 2.000 years of existence in 2005. The heart of the city with its appealing and compact historic centre is an interesting mix between old and new. Past and present go hand in hand, historic buildings are scattered among fine examples of modern architecture, so the place is also quite interesting for all architecture lovers. The Waal River, Europe’s busiest waterway, sees a large barge or ferry rolling through every few minutes.
This prominent Old Town is not very big with its 170.00 inhabitants (with a large part of students), comparable to Luxembourg City centre, most distances can be easily reached on foot. And very important: it’s only a 3-hour trip away from Luxembourg by car…
Sunshine and icy temperatures accompanied us on our discovery circuit around the town. We were delighted about the proximity of the different shopping opportunities and the diversity of the cultural attractions.
For the shopping lovers
You will find shops for every style and every budget, from design shops to concept stores without forgetting the luxury fashion shops and the large department stores. The shopping streets are all clustered around the vibrant city centre so you rarely have to walk very far.
For the shopping part of your trip, here my recommendations:
- The Lange Hezelstraat and Stikke Hezelstraat, considered to be the oldest shopping street in the country as it once linked two Roman settlements, for smaller boutiques and great galleries
- The renovated Marikenstraat situated on two levels!
- The Molenstraat and Bruchstraat featuring the large chain stores and big brands
- The Houstraat or Van Weldenstraat for great design shops
- The Saturday market starting at the place in front of the Het Valkhof Museum and going down the Bruchstraat
Be aware that the shops close already at 5 pm on Saturday afternoon… BUT lucky you, they are all open on Sunday afternoons!! 🙂
And no problem either to sit down for a drink and a bite to eat, you will find a large, but fine, selection of cafes, terraces and excellent little restaurants.
You are more the kind of food lovers and you are always looking for THE one and only place to eat and drink in each city you are traveling to, then this selection is for you:
- “In de Blaauwe Hand”, the oldest bar in town
- Vlaams Arsenal with both its Grand Café and Brasserie serving the best dishes of the Flemsih kitchen
- Zeezicht with its cosy interior
- New dutch! with its fine street food selection
- Mugs & Muffin for the little sweet stop between two store visits
- The Black Fox (butchery – bar – restaurant) for meat lovers
- De Pizzabakkers for the pizza lovers
- Ducommerce for their brasserie atmosphere and friendly staff
- Shabu Shabu – all you can eat Dutch sushi franchise restaurant
And if you want to give your trip a cultural touch, here a fine selection of spots you should not miss:
- The Valkhof Museum, at the Kelfkensbos square, which hosts a permanent display of the history of Nijmegen, including artefacts from the Roman era
- The Grote Markt: a few important bits of the old town either survived the war or have been reconstructed
- The Waag: a sixteenth-century weighing hall that now serves a restaurant
- The Commanderie van Sint Jan, originally a monastery but now a microbrewery and restaurant
- The St Stevenskerk courtyard, on the left a fifteenth-century Latin school, to the right of the church a series of small, reconstructed, seventeenth-century houses
- The Kronenburgerpark, constructed in the late 19th century, with its preserved medieval wall and defensive towers
- The Nationaal Fietsmuseum Velorama with its quite incredible collection of bikes and other bike-like muscle-powered vehicles
- The muZIEum (museum) where you enter a world in which your other senses – hearing, smell, touch and taste – suddenly play a far more important role than you are used to.
We stayed at the design hotel Van der Valk, situated on the other side of the Waal River and from where you have a great view of the city’s landscape. I just fell in love with their rooms which all have a panoramic window. It was really impressive to watch the sun rise over the awakening town in the morning. The hotel does even offer family rooms for 5! In the morning, you can enjoy a generously breakfast buffet, with a fine selection of bread, in a relaxed atmosphere. Special high 5 for Lola’s bar, the hotel bar, with their friendly staff, the charcuterie menu and the amazing cocktails, without forgetting the modern interior fittings.
If you are looking for a more affordable overnight solution, with creative rooms and within walking distance of the centre, then you’ll have to try the Credible Hotel opposite the Hunnerpark! You can even try out their nice-looking restaurant…
And, interested?!? Don’t forget to keep me posted with your own experiences of this amazing ad picturesque city which is Nijmegen! And don’t forget to hire a bike… 🙂