The oldest city in the Netherlands is bursting at the seams with ancient history, stunning architecture, gorgeous landscapes, and exciting things to do — it’s the marvellous Nijmegen!
Over 2,000 years ago, the Romans settled in a city that sits just on the German border and in what is today the serene Dutch province of Gelderland.
From then on, Nijmegen became a true gem and a forever icon that helped make Holland what it is today. With a perfect mix of culture, fascinating museums, and unique spots to visit, Nijmegen is a Dutch city you shouldn’t miss.
- 1. 🚲 Learn about the history of bikes at Velorama
- 2. 👀 Do a free sightseeing tour with a local
- 3. 👨🦯 Have all your senses heightened at muZIEum
- 4. 👨💼 Explore unique entrepreneurs at work in the Honigcomplex
- 5. 🍺 Quench your thirst with a beer tasting at Brouwerij de Hemel
- 6. 🌳 Take in the gorgeous scenery at Valkhof Park
- 7. 🔎 Scout the medieval ruins of Barbarossa
- 8. ⛰️ Go mountain biking on a scenic route in Nijmegen
- 9. 🐐 Pet some goats at De Goffert Petting Zoo
- 10. 🥪 Have a Dutch-style picnic at Goffert Park
- 11. 🌺 Embark on a walk through history at Kronenburgerpark
- 12. 🎹 Catch a spectacular organ concert at Stevenskerk
- 13. 🚶 Go on a splendid self-guided tour through Nijmegen
- 14. ☕ Sip on a cup of koffie or thee at the Grote Markt
- 15. 🛍️ Browse the many boutiques at Lange Hezelstraat
- 16. 📷 Capture the magnificent Waalbrug on camera
- 17. ⛪ Marvel at the stunning architecture of the Petrus Canisiuskerk
- 18. 😍 See Nijmegen from above at Belvédère
- 19. 🏃 Join the annual Four Days Marches and make unforgettable memories
- 20. 🇿🇦 Discover African cultural treasures at the Afrika Museum
- 21. 🚢 Promenade through the vibrant Waalkade
- 22. 🧘 Escape the bustling city centre and do the week-long “Walk of Wisdom”
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1. Learn about the history of bikes at Velorama in Nijmegen
It’s a fact that the humble bike is an indispensable part of everyday life in the Netherlands — but how much do you really know about its evolution and history?
From the earliest model of the bike to the latest, the national bicycle museum in Nijmegen, Velorama, tells all about the 600-year-long history of the fabulous two-wheeled transportation device.
READ MORE | How the Netherlands became a cycling country
Velorama boasts an incredibly large collection of bicycles, featuring a few that were even passed down by the Royal Family and the famous Dutch cyclist Wim van Est, well-known for his victories in the Tour de France.
💰 Price: €6 for adults, €4 for children, €5 for seniors (aged 65+), €15 for a family of four
⏰ Opening hours: 10 AM until 5 PM, Monday to Saturday, 11 AM to 5 PM on Sunday
📍 Location: Waalkade 107, 6511 XR Nijmegen
2. Do a sightseeing tour of Nijmegen with a local
Nijmegen is chock-full of key landmarks and hidden treasures, so what better way to explore these than through a sightseeing tour with a local?
Set off to see, feel, and learn all about this charming city through a simple expedition — and with the help of a true Nijmegener, steer clear of any tourist traps and get a real glimpse into the culture and history surrounding this place.
💰 Price: €40 for a group of four, €125 for a group of 20 people
⏰ Number of hours: Each tour typically lasts 1.5 to 2 hours
📍 Location: Starting point varies per chosen tour
3. Have all your senses heightened at muZIEum, Nijmegen
Have you ever wondered how a person who is blind experiences the world? If so, you can satisfy your curiosity by visiting MuZIEum in Nijmegen.
The museum offers two unique tours in complete darkness, each guided by a person who is visually impaired or partially sighted, where you’ll get a real glimpse into how they navigate the world.
Rather than admiring objects on display, like most museums, you’ll play a vital role in the experience, where all your senses are magnified, from hearing to smell, as well as taste and touch.
💰 Price: €18.75 for adults and €13.75 for children (aged 8 to 12) on-site, €17.75 for adults and €12.75 for children online.
⏰ Opening hours: Monday from 12 PM until 5 PM; 9:30 AM until 5 PM, Tuesday to Sunday
📍 Location: Ziekerstraat 6B, 6511 LH Nijmegen
4. Explore unique Nijmegen entrepreneurs at work in the Honigcomplex
Any avid traveller knows that going off the beaten track is the best way to really get to know a new city — and one of Nijmegen’s secret nooks is the Honigcomplex: a hidden industrial building that houses 150 small businesses.
As a visitor, you can take a jaunt through the complex, admire its factory-like interior designs, and browse the many former office rooms taken up by creative entrepreneurs and artists.
The building also has a coffee bar with a ton of great options for that much-needed caffeine buzz and, what’s more — a rooftop terrace overlooking the Waal River! Grab a tasty bite to eat with a beautiful view.
5. Quench your thirst with a beer tasting at Brouwerij de Hemel
There’s no better way to scout out the best brewskis than through a good ol’ beer tasting!
The Netherlands, in general, has an incredibly cool beer scene, but if you want a unique look into the oldest craft beer brewery in the country, Brouwerij de Hemel is the place to be.
Through a guided tour, you’ll find out all there is to know about beer, the people who make the beer, and their special techniques. The icing on the cake? A tasting session of the brewery’s homemade products!
💰 Price: €12 for the entrance fee, including a tasting of six beers
⏰ Opening hours: 1 PM until 5 PM, Saturday to Sunday
📍 Location: Franseplaats 1, 6511 VS Nijmegen
6. Take in the gorgeous scenery at Nijmegen’s Valkhof Park
Nijmegen is known for its great swaths of nature — so you can imagine that the city is brimming with gezellige parks to promenade in.
One particularly wooded area is Valkhof Park. Featuring ancient Roman ruins, scenic river sights, and a chapel — this Nijmegen nature gem sits on top of a small hill, giving folks a gorgeous, photographic view of the city from above.
After spending an afternoon wandering around the city, you can retreat to the Valkhof park for a bit of peace and greenery and walk along centuries-worth of Roman history.
💰 Price: A breath of fresh air doesn’t cost a penny!
⏰ Opening hours: All day, every day
📍 Location: Kelfkensbos 59, 6511 TB Nijmegen
7. Scout the medieval ruins of Barbarossa in Nijmegen
While you’re at Valkhof Park, make sure you take time to find and admire the ancient Barbarossa ruins surrounding the place.
Rumour has it that the history of the ruins goes way back to the 12th century when they used to stand as a castle built by Emperor Frederik Barbarossa (hence, the name).
After being badly damaged in the late 1700s, the city council decided to demolish the castle — which is why its leftover pieces can still be seen today in the park. Now, these ruins are classified as national monuments and jewels to the city of Nijmegen!
💰 Price: Just your attention 🙂
⏰ Opening hours: All day, every day
📍 Location: Benedenstad, 6511 TB Nijmegen
8. Go mountain biking on a scenic route in Nijmegen
The Netherlands is famously known for being one of the flattest countries in the world. In fact, this pancake land happens to have the lowest height of all its European neighbours.
Even so, there’s one special place that boasts a few slight summits, making it the perfect destination to try out an activity you otherwise couldn’t in other Dutch cities — mountain biking!
There are several mountain bike trails in and around Nijmegen that you can find, and since the city is loaded with natural beauty and wildlife, there’ll be no shortage of majestic views on your journey.
💰 Price: It costs anywhere from €20 for 4 hours to €30 for 8 hours to rent a mountain bike
⏰ Opening hours: You determine your hours!
📍 Some routes: Route Heyendaal, Route Shimano Groesbeek, Route Giant Mook, Route TREK Nijmegen (Red pipe)
9. Pet some goats at De Goffert Petting Zoo
Are you visiting Nijmegen with a few younguns by your side? Or perhaps you just really like four-legged friends? Then consider visiting Kinderboerderij de Goffert — a small petting zoo that lets you play with farm animals!
It’s perfect if you’re looking to kill an afternoon in nature, fondling some furry friends, whilst also giving your kids (or yourself) the chance to actively learn how the farmers properly care for them.
💰 Price: Free of charge
⏰ Opening hours: 10 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday to Friday. 11 AM to 5 PM, Saturday & Sunday
📍 Location: Slotemaker de Bruïneweg 268, 6532 AD Nijmegen
10. Have a Dutch-style picnic at Goffert Park, Nijmegen
This wide area of grass is one of the largest parks in Nijmegen — and it has a reputation for holding pop concerts by some of the greatest artists in the world, from Bon Jovi to Coldplay.
At Goffert Park, you can enjoy the great outdoors with a good dose of music thrown into the mix. Nevertheless, you don’t need a rockstar to make this one of the many fun things to do in Nijmegen.
Grab a basket, a blanket, some bitterballen, and a few glasses of Jenever for that much-needed picnic — and admire the great outdoors, perhaps even while hearing some sweet guitar melodies.
💰 Price: Gratis, unless you plan to attend a concert at the park!
⏰ Opening hours: All day, every day
📍 Location: Muntweg 442, 6532 TP Nijmegen
11. Embark on a walk through history at Kronenburgerpark
For those who seek a break from the bustling city centre and want to lay amongst the chirping birds and tall trees for a while, Kronenburgerpark is an ideal choice.
If you follow the park’s many paths, you’ll come across various stunning historic buildings, of which the kruittoren (powder tower) is the most eye-catching.
Since the park is located just around the corner from Nijmegen Centraal Station, you don’t have to worry about travelling far. Just hop off the train, grab a bike or walk, and get ready to enjoy the tranquil vibes this park brings.
💰 Price: Gratis!
⏰ Opening hours: All day, every day
📍 Location: Kronenburgerplaats 6511, 6511 AW Nijmegen
12. Catch a spectacular organ concert at Stevenskerk in Nijmegen
The majority of Dutchies might not carry such a religious outlook anymore. However, their churches still stand as some of the most beautiful in all of Europe.
In fact, the Stevenskerk in Nijmegen is downright breathtaking, located right in the historical centre of the city. It’s old but well-maintained, with colourful stained glass windows and lit candles burning inside for that extra ✨.
It’s well worth a visit if you’re looking to connect with Nijmegen’s past, and if your timing is right, you can also catch a special organ concert inside the church!
💰 Price: Entrance is free of charge
⏰ Opening hours: 10:30 AM to 5 PM, Saturday. 12 AM to 5 PM, Sunday
📍 Location: Sint Stevenskerkhof 62, 6511 VZ Nijmegen
13. Go on a splendid self-guided tour through Nijmegen
If you prefer to navigate the city and discover local gems on your own, you can also take a self-guided tour through Nijmegen!
Embarking on your own tour comes with tons of advantages. You can travel at your own pace and spend more time somewhere without having to worry about keeping up with a tour group or guide.
Just walk into any tourist agency in the city, pick up a map and a few brochures of interesting attractions, and get ready to sight-see!
💰 Price: Sight-seeing at your leisure comes at no expense
⏰ Number of hours: It’s all up to you 😉
📍 Location: Wherever you’d like to begin your tour
14. Sip on a cup of koffie or thee at Nijmegen’s Grote Markt
Taking a tour through Nijmegen means you’ll eventually come across the Grote Markt — a picturesque stop that’s dominated by outdoor cafes, medieval buildings, and diverse restaurants.
A cosy, centrally-located large square, the Grote Markt is the absolute highlight of Nijmegen. Grab a koffie or thee, sit back on a terrace and discover that there’s truly never a dull moment here.
On Saturdays, the Grote Markt hosts a lively market filled with delectables, and when the sun goes down, watch out — Nijmegen’s active nightlife scene comes alive.
💰 Price: Costs vary depending on how many latte macchiatos you buy ☕
⏰ Opening hours: Saturday market lasts from 8 AM until 2 PM
📍 Location: 6511 KA Nijmegen
15. Browse the many boutiques at Lange Hezelstraat, Nijmegen
While good eats and cool attractions are key to deciding where to venture next, any trip to Nijmegen isn’t complete without a stellar shopping hit — especially for any fashion fan.
Existing for over 2,000 years, the Lange Hezelstraat is the oldest shopping street in the Netherlands, offering a wide range of trendy stores that any serious shopper won’t want to miss out on.
However, its large collection of shops isn’t the only thing that this cosy street excels in. You can also find plenty of eateries to indulge in some food treasures!
💰 Price: Depends on how much cash you’re willing to splurge. 💸
⏰ Opening hours: Stores usually open from 9 AM until 5:30 PM, every day
📍 Location: Lange Hezelstraat 20, 6511 CJ Nijmegen
16. Capture the magnificent Waalbrug in Nijmegen on camera
Bridges aren’t usually the first thing you think of when choosing where to go on vacation. Still, these utilitarian structures can often be beautiful works of art.
One, in particular that captures Nijmegen in a unique view is the Waalbrug! Built in the 1930s, this bridge is over 600 metres long and even used to be the largest bridge in all of Europe.
READ MORE | 16 hidden places in Rotterdam you have to visit
Overlooking the gorgeous Waal River, the bridge gives off an aesthetic vibe — perfect for whipping out your camera and capturing the perfect jumping selfie.
💰 Price: No money? No problem!
⏰ Opening hours: All day, every day
📍 Location: Waalbrug, Nijmegen
17. Marvel at the stunning architecture of the Petrus Canisiuskerk
Speaking of architectural wonders, the Petrus Canisiuskerk is a sacred Roman Catholic church in Nijmegen, where people from across the world come to light a candle, enjoy the silence, and pray.
It’s conveniently located in the middle of a vibrant shopping street in the city — so you can decide to spontaneously stop by the church while on your spending spree.
And if you’re not the religious type, you can also visit for the sole purpose of admiring the beautiful structure of the church and the objects it boasts inside, from the altar to statues and historical paintings.
💰 Price: Entrance is free of charge
⏰ Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 9:30 AM until 5 PM
📍 Location: Molenstraat 37, 6511 HA Nijmegen
18. See Nijmegen from above at Belvédère
Whether you’re wandering through the streets or checking out the fascinating architecture from inside top gems, Nijmegen, in itself, is a sight to behold. Sometimes, though, you need to get above it all to capture a perfect view of the city.
Situated on a hill in the eastern part of the city, the Belvédère is an impressive tower that offers a wonderful panorama of Nijmegen.
Also a restaurant, this place makes for the perfect afternoon getaway to wine and dine with a few friends amidst a natural backdrop like no other.
💰 Price: €37.50 per person for a three-course dinner at the restaurant, €42.50 for a 4-course dinner, €47.50 for a 5-course meal
⏰ Opening hours: 9 AM until 5 PM, Monday to Friday
📍 Location: Kelfkensbos 60, 6511 TB Nijmegen
19. Join the annual Four Days Marches and make unforgettable memories
A great time to experience Nijmegen when it’s full of vim and vigour is in the third week of July. Why? Because that’s when the annual Vierdaagse (Four Days Marches) occur!
During this time, the city is buzzing with energy while over 45,000 people from across the world come together to participate in the world’s largest walking achievement event.
If you participate in the march, you’ll get the chance to explore Nijmegen in a unique way, and trek next to the elegant Waal river with its beautiful, wooded surroundings.
💰 Price: €109 for the registration fee
⏰ Opening hours: The next march will commence in the third week of July 2024.
📍 Location: Nijmegen and its surroundings
20. Discover African cultural treasures at the Afrika Museum in Nijmegen
Got an interest in the African way of life? Or do you simply yearn to learn about other cultures? A unique gem that you certainly would not think to find in Nijmegen is the Afrika Museum.
Through exhibitions that display contemporary African art, stories of religion, and traditional objects, you’ll discover that Africa’s rich history intertwines with the Dutch in more ways than one.
Outside the museum, you’ll find a playful forest filled with mythical African animals designed for children to enjoy climbing in.
💰 Price: €15 for adults, €10 for students, €6 for those aged 6-18, free for infants
⏰ Opening hours: 10 AM until 5 PM, Tuesday to Friday, 11 AM to 5 PM, Saturday & Sunday
📍 Location: Postweg 6, 6571 CS Berg en Dal
21. Promenade through the vibrant Waalkade in Nijmegen
Gezellige terraces, scrumptious eateries, friendly vibes, and a cosy atmosphere — the Waalkade in Nijmegen has it all.
Aan de Waalkade in Nijmegen pic.twitter.com/UplXEPAq8E— geert geenen (@geertgeenen) September 7, 2022
You can take a stroll along the boardwalk for a breath of fresh air, grab a spot on one of the street’s lawns, or treat yourself to an ice-cold biertje at a terrasje with a view of a busy quay on the Waal River.
Though, if you prefer to wolf down some good ol’ bitterballen or classic croquettes at a restaurant, the street also has a number of top-quality food hotspots to choose from.
💰 Price: It all depends on how you choose to spend your leisure time at the Waalkade!
⏰ Opening hours: 12 PM to 8 PM, Tuesday to Sunday
📍 Location: Waalkade, 6511 WT Nijmegen
22. Escape the bustling city centre and do the week-long “Walk of Wisdom”
Perhaps all that adventuring in bustling Nijmegen has worn you out. We don’t blame you! Trying to experience as much of the city as you can while you’re there can be tiring.
Fortunately, there is a way to end your vacation with a quiet bang. The week-long Walk of Wisdom is a nature-inspired pilgrimage route that takes you away from the clump of tourists in the centre and into the outskirts of the city.
READ MORE | Hiking in the Netherlands: 4 myths, busted
Spend some time to focus solely on yourself, and attempt to rest, rejuvenate, and recoup in nature before making your way back home and resuming your daily routine life.
💰 Price: €33 for the registration fee
⏰ Opening hours: 9 AM until 5 PM, Monday to Saturday
📍 Starting point: Stevenskerk
Nijmegen might not be the most popular city in the Netherlands, but if you ask any local, they’ll tell you that this millennia-old treasure is well worth a visit. 🤩
With a perfect blend of history, culture, and incredible architecture, there are plenty of things to do in Nijmegen!
Have you visited any of these attractions in Nijmegen? If so, what was your favourite? Tell us in the comments below! 👇
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in November 2022, and was fully updated in September 2023 for your reading pleasure.