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—  Municipality  —
A view over the center of Nijmegen in the wintertime
A view over the center of Nijmegen in the wintertime
Flag of Arnhem
Coat of arms of Arnhem
Coat of arms
Coordinates: 51°49′30″N 5°51′20″E / 51.825°N 5.85556°E / 51.825; 5.85556Coordinates: 51°49′30″N 5°51′20″E / 51.825°N 5.85556°E / 51.825; 5.85556
Country Netherlands
Province Gelderland
Ulpia Noviomagnus Batavorum 98-102
Founder Trajanus
 - Mayor Th.C. de Graaf (D66)
 - Aldermen P.F.G. Depla
J.A.C. van Hooft sr.
H.T.M. Scholten
J.G. Kunst
J. van der Meer
 - Secretary P. Eringa
Area (2006)
 - Municipality 57.53 km2 (22.21 sq mi)
 - Land 53.59 km2 (20.69 sq mi)
 - Water 3.94 km2 (1.52 sq mi)  6.8%
Elevation 7 - 88 m (24 - 288 ft)
Population (15 September 2009)
 - Municipality 161,817
 - Density 3,020/km2 (7,825/sq mi)
 - Urban 280,079
 - Metro 703,792
  Source: CBS, Statline
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal codes 6500-6547, 6663, 6679, 6683
Area code(s) 024 / 0481

Nijmegen (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈnɛɪmeːɣə(n)]  ( listen))[1] is a municipality and a city in the east of the Netherlands, near the German border. It is considered to be the oldest city in the Netherlands and celebrated its 2000th year of existence in 2005.

East central Nijmegen, seen from railway bridge
Nijmegen Benedenstad


The city of Nijmegen


The first mention of Nijmegen in history is in the 1st century BC, when the Romans built a military camp on the place where Nijmegen was to appear; the location had great strategic value because of the surrounding hills, which gave (and continue to give) a good view over the Waal and Rhine valley.

By 69, when the Batavians, the original inhabitants of the Rhine and Maas valley, revolted, a village called Oppidum Batavorum had formed near the Roman camp. This village was destroyed in the revolt, but when the revolt had ended the Romans built another, bigger camp where the Legio X Gemina was stationed. Soon after, another village formed around this camp.

In 98 Nijmegen was the first of two settlements in what is now the Kingdom of the Netherlands to receive Roman city rights.[2]

In 103 the X Gemina was restationed to Vienna, which may have been a major blow to the economy of the village around the camp. In 104 Emperor Trajan renamed the town, which now became known as Ulpia Noviomagus Batavorum, Noviomagus for short (the origin of the current name Nijmegen). Few Roman remains are visible today; a fragment of the old city wall can be seen near the casino and the foundations of the amphitheatre are traced in the paving of the present-day Rembrandtstraat. However, the Valkhof museum has a large collection of Roman artifacts that have been dug up over the years.

In the 4th century, Roman power decreased and Nijmegen became part of the Frankish kingdom. It has been contended that in the 8th century Emperor Charlemagne maintained his palatium in Nijmegen on at least four occasions. During his brief deposition of 830, the emperor Louis the Pious was sent to Nijmegen by his son Lothar I. Thanks to the Waal river, trade flourished and in 1230, Nijmegen was given city rights by Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor. In 1247, the city was ceded to the count of Guelders as collateral for a loan. The loan was never repaid, and Nijmegen has been a part of Gelderland ever since. This did not hamper trade; Nijmegen even became part of the Hanseatic League in 1364.

The arts also flourished in this period. Famous medieval painters like the Limbourg brothers were born and educated in Nijmegen.

During the Dutch Revolt, trade came to a halt and even though Nijmegen became a part of the Republic of United Provinces in 1585, it remained a border town and had to endure multiple sieges.

The Waal near Nimwegen, 1641.

In 1678 Nijmegen was host to the negotiations between the European powers that aimed to put an end to the constant warfare that had ravaged the continent for years. The result was the Treaty of Nijmegen that, unfortunately, failed to provide for a lasting peace.

In the second half of the 19th century, the fortifications around the city became a major problem. There were too many inhabitants inside the walls, but the fortifications could not be demolished because Nijmegen was deemed as being of vital importance to the defence of the Netherlands. When, however, events in the Franco-Prussian war proved that old-fashioned fortifications were no more of use, this policy was changed and the fortifications were dismantled in 1874. The old castle had already been demolished in 1797, so that its bricks could be sold.

Through the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, Nijmegen grew steadily. The Waal was bridged in 1878 by a rail bridge and in 1936 by a car bridge, which was claimed to be Europe's biggest bridge at the time. In 1923 the current Radboud University Nijmegen was founded and in 1927 a channel was dug between the Waal and Maas rivers.

In 1940, the Netherlands were invaded by Germany with Nijmegen being the first Dutch city to fall into German hands. On February 22, 1944, Nijmegen was heavily bombed by American planes, causing great damage to the city centre. The American pilots may have thought they were bombing the German city of Kleve. Alleged by the Germans to have been a deliberate act, the NIOD announced in January 2005 that its study of the incident confirmed that it was an accident caused by poor communications and chaos in the airspace. Over 750 people died in the incident.

During September 1944, the city saw heavy fighting during Operation Market Garden. The objective in Nijmegen was mainly to prevent the Germans from destroying the bridges. Capturing the road bridge allowed the British Army XXX Corps to attempt to reach the 1st British Airborne Division in Arnhem. The bridge was heavily defended by over 300 German troops on both the North and South sides with close to 20 anti-tank guns and two anti-aircraft guns, supported with Artillery.

The Germans' late attempt to blow the road bridge may well have been foiled by a local Dutch resistance hero, Jan van Hoof. who probably cut the wires to the bridge.

The Germans made repeated attacks on the bridge using bombs attached to driftwood, midget submarines and later resorted to shelling the bridge with 88mm barrages. Troops were positioned on the bridge giving an excellent arc of fire in case of attack. Troops that couldn't fit onto the bridge were positioned in a bombed out house slightly upstream of the bridge. During the shelling, the house was hit, killing 6 soldiers and wounding 1 more.

Nijmegen was liberated from German captivity by the British Grenadier Guards of the Guards Armoured Division, as well as elements of the American 82nd Airborne Division in September 1944. This city would later be used as a springboard for Operation Veritable, the invasion across the Rhine River by Allied Troops.

More recently, on February 23, 1981, the Nijmegen Police Department and the Dutch Army stormed the Piersonstraat and Zeigelhof, a squatted housing block in the city center of Nijmegen. Using two hundred riot vans, three Leopard MBTs, three armoured personnel carriers, a helicopter, twelve hundred policemen, and seven hundred fifty members of the armed forces, they evicted the squatters and demolished the block, while clouding the entire area in teargas and CS gas. This had an enormous backlash in local politics. While the city government wanted the squatters out to build a parking garage, most of the population wanted affordable housing to be built in the area.

As of this date, Nijmegen is still known as Havana on the Waal among some Right-wingers. The Socialist Party, the Green Party and Labour have a solid two-third majority in City Council, making Nijmegen the only major city in The Netherlands with a solely Left-wing government. The current mayor is Mr Thom de Graaf.

Nijmegen celebrated its 2000th year of existence in 2005. It is considered the oldest city in the Netherlands. In gaining this qualification, it has competed with the city of Maastricht.

In November 2005, the city center of Nijmegen was the site of the assassination of political activist Louis Sévèke by a former activist (Marcel T.). Marcel T. was arrested in 2007 in Spain and extradited to the Netherlands. Marcel T. was also accused of bankrobbery. Marcel T. committed his acts out of revenge for a forcible eviction from the squatter scene by Louis Sévèke.


Nijmegen is generally speaking the warmest area of the Netherlands, especially during summer, when the highest temperatures in the country are usually measured in the triangle Roermond - Nijmegen - Eindhoven. The lack of north-south oriented mountain ranges in Europe make this area prone to sudden shifts in weather, giving the region a semi-continental climate.

Some of the northernmost wineries in the world are found just outside of Nijmegen, around Groesbeek, a suburban village south-east of Nijmegen.

During the 2006 European heat wave, Kalkar reached a high of 38.6°C (101.5°F) on July 19, and a Weather Underground station in Nijmegen-Dukenburg reached a high of 38.7°C (101.7°F), which, if accepted by the KNMI, would have been a record high for the Netherlands. The KNMI does not consider data from stations operated by others, however. The heat wave coincided with that year's Four Day Marches, which were cancelled after the first day, when two people died of hyperthermia-related causes. Temperatures on that day, the 18th of July, reached around 36°C (97°F).

On the night of January 6, 2009, an all-time record low of -17.5°C was reached at Weeze airport, and many other stations around Nijmegen reached record or near-record low temperatures, as low as -21°C (-5°F) at some places. Raeren in Belgium recorded -25.9°C (-15°F), making this cold spell the coldest in at least 60 years.

Nijmegen is in USDA Hardiness zone 8 and AHS Heat zone 3.

Weather data for Nijmegen, Netherlands (1971-2008)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.4
Average high °C (°F) 7.3
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.4
Average low °C (°F) 0.8
Record low °C (°F) -17.5
Precipitation mm (inches) 55
Sunshine hours 65 89 123 174 220 199 208 190 142 119 67 55 1,651
Source: (Klimaatatlas van Nederland, normaalperiode 1971–2000, ISBN 90389 1191 2 KNMI[3] DWD[4] September 2009


Nijmegen is host to Radboud University Nijmegen. Founded in 1923 as the first Catholic university in the Netherlands. It used to be called (Catholic) University of Nijmegen until 2004, when it took its current name. As of 2006 it had 17,627 students 4,336 staff. Radboud University runs the High Field Magnetic Laboratory which is able to achieve some of the highest fields available in Europe at 33 teslas (continuous) and 60 teslas (pulsed). The facility is available to outside users, primarily for research purposes.

The education and social work departments of the Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen school for higher level vocational training are also located in Nijmegen, as are that school's medical departments.

In addition to these institutions, there is also an intermediate level vocational school (ROC Nijmegen) and a number of secondary schools: Groenschool Nijmegen, Kandinsky College, Nijmeegse Scholengemeenschap Groenewoud (NSG), Stedelijke Scholengemeenschap Nijmegen (SSGN), Canisius College, St. Jorisschool, Lindenholt College, the Stedelijk Gymnasium (formally the "Latijnse school", founded in the 16th century), the Karel de Grote College, Montessori College and the Dominicus College. Of note is also Leefwerkschool Eigenwijs, which caters to students from all over the Netherlands who have been repeatedly expelled from "regular" high schools. Leefwerkschool Eigenwijs has its roots in the local activist movement of the early 1980s and is the only school of its kind recognised in the Netherlands.

Nijmegen is also an important center of Psycholinguistics, home to the Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour.


Nijmegen has four train stations: Nijmegen, Nijmegen Dukenburg, Nijmegen Heyendaal and Nijmegen Lent. The central station is connected to the national Intercity network. The bus company Novio operates the city buses while Hermes maintains regional buses in cooperation with Veolia and Connexxion.

Museums in and around Nijmegen

International Four Day March Nijmegen

Participants at the start of the 1997 Four Day Marches

Nijmegen is famous for the International Four Day March Nijmegen (Dutch: Internationale Vierdaagse Afstandsmarsen Nijmegen, informally Nijmeegse Vierdaagse), an annual event starting on the third Tuesday in July, comprising four days of walking (distances ranging from 30 to 50 km a day), and the accompanying festivities (the Vierdaagsefeesten including rock festival de-Affaire), which have been drawing the largest crowds for any Dutch event in the past few years.

The event invites WWII allied veterans to help celebrate their participation in the liberation of the Netherlands from German occupation. Participants from Britain, Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand have attended the event. Now-a-days, the event is international, inviting teams from all countries to attention.

During the Vierdaagse of 2006 two people died due to the extreme hot weather.(note that the deceased had other health issues that added up to the death cause). It caused the organisation to cancel the rest of the walk. This resulted in extra safety measures during the 2007 Vierdaagse; for instance, a professional weatherman was added to the organisation staff, more free water refill stations were added along the route and an extensive research program was developed to monitor the effects of hiking long distances on the human body.


St. Stephen's Church (restored after WWII)

In 1968 prominent liberal theologians in the Roman Catholic Church issued what is now known as the Nijmegen Statement, demanding sweeping reforms in the Vatican's Holy Office, previously known as The Inquisition, and calling for greater scope for theological inquiry. Among its signatories was the then progressive theologian Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, then a member of the faculty at the University of Tübingen but later a much more conservative figure as the head of the successor to the Holy Office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and later still Pope Benedict XVI.

The Nijmegen Statement said: "Any form of Inquisition however subtle, not only harms the development of sound theology, it also causes irreparable damage to the credibility of the church". The signatories, a group of predominantly German-speaking theologians asserted that "the freedom of theologians, and theology in the service of the church, regained by Vatican II, must not be jeopardized again." The signatories pledged their loyalty to the pope, but argued that the teaching office of pope and bishops "cannot and must not supersede, hamper and impede the teaching task of theologians as scholars."

Population centres

The municipality is formed by the city of Nijmegen, incorporating the former villages of Hatert, Hees and Neerbosch, as well as the urban expansion project of Waalsprong, situated north of the river Waal and including the village of Lent and the hamlet of 't Zand, as well as the new suburbs of Nijmegen-Oosterhout and Nijmegen-Ressen.


Council seats
Party seats change from 2002
PvdA 11 +3
SP 7 +1
GroenLinks 6 -3
CDA 5 -
VVD 4 -
D66 2 +1
stadspar 1 -2
VSP 1 -1
nijmnu 1 -
gewnijm 1 +1

The city council has 39 seats. After the 2002 municipal elections, the three major parties, GroenLinks (9 seats), PvdA (8 seats) and SP (6 seats) formed a coalition. Because these are all left-wing parties, Nijmegen received the nickname 'Havana on the Waal'. Although such majorities are no exception (compare Amsterdam) and sometimes also form coalitions (see Muntendam), this is unusual for a city this size. Since such a left-wing coalition might be possible at a national level after the 2006 general election, the achievements of this council are often scrutinised. After the 2006 municipal election such a coalition became possible in many more municipalities, making the example even more interesting.

The municipal elections of 7 March 2006 saw an increase of 4,6% of the votes for these three parties taken together, which could be seen as increased support for the coalition. However, nationally these parties scored much better, recovering from an electoral blow of the 2002 elections. Then again, the Leefbaar parties that caused the loss then and lost most of their votes this time have no branch in Nijmegen, which makes this comparison less valid. Among the three big parties, there was a shift from GroenLinks, who lost 6.5%, to PvdA, who won 6.4% and SP, who won 2.3%. As a result it is no longer the biggest party. The seat assignment is now as shown in the table. The three-party coalition was returned to office.


Sport in the city is principally focussed on its football club N.E.C. Nijmegen or just NEC, short for Nijmegen Eendracht Combinatie, who play at the 12,500 seater McDOS Goffertstadion. The club is in the top division, the Eredivisie, and qualified for the 2008-9 UEFA Cup.

Bandy Vereniging Nijmegen is the biggest bandy club in the country.

The city is also home to one of the country's oldest cricket clubs, Quick 1888, a current member of the KNCB.Formed in 1888,the club is the largest cricket club in the east of the country and was formed 13 years after the first club, Utile Dulci from Deventer.

Natives and residents

See also People from Nijmegen
House in the lower part of Nijmegen, the so-called Benedenstad.
St Stephen's, Nijmegen.



International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Nijmegen is twinned with:


  1. ^ obsolete spellings: Nijmwegen, Nymegen, Nieumeghen — Nimwegen in local dialect and in German, Nimègue in French, Nimega in Spanish and Italian
  2. ^ "Nijmegen oldest city".  
  3. ^
  4. ^

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Nijmegen is a large city in the southeast of the Netherlands, population 160,000 (city proper). It's the largest city in Gelderland, and in the Arnhem-Nijmegen metropolitan area (pop. 725,000). Nijmegen is well-known for its left-wing politics, and its large student population.

Get in

By Plane

Airport Weeze (IATA: NRN), [1], located 45 km southeast of town just across the border with germany, between the villages of Weeze (Germany) and Nieuw-Bergen (Netherlands) (the airport itself is in germany). Although both Ryanair (the biggest airline serving the airport) and the airport itself advertise with Düsseldorf-Weeze, Düsseldorf proper is actually not anywhere near the airport. The city of Düsseldorf is located 60 miles to the southeast of the airport, making Nijmegen the only major city close to the airport. Weeze serves just over 20 destinations across Europe, Northern Africa and Western Asia.

The only form of public transportation nonstop to Nijmegen is a taxivan you have to reserve in advance and will set you back €16 euro one-way. For timetabling see [2] or call +49 (0) 28 37 66 55 55. Quick tip: If your plane lands shortly before the bus is scheduled to leave give them a quick call on the tarmac and they will wait for you.

For the more adventurous traveller, it's possible to get to Nijmegen by city bus to the Weeze railway station, then take a train into Kleve, where you can get a bus into Nijmegen. This will take about 75 minutes and costs €5.90-7.60 (one-way).

Another option is to just hitch. There's a major freeway not far from the airport, connecting Düsseldorf with Nijmegen. This can take as little as 30-45 minutes if you're lucky, and 4-6 hours if you're not.

Eindhoven Airport (IATA: EIN), [3]. Located 60 kilometres (35 miles) to the southwest of Nijmegen. From the airport you take bus 401 to Eindhoven Central Station and then a train to 's Hertogenbosch (which is the same as Den Bosch). In 's Hertogenbosch, change trains and take the train to Nijmegen. This journey will take you approximately 90 minutes by public transportation. When driving yourself, take the A326 feeder motorway to the A50, (Zwolle-Eindhoven) which skirts the west of the metropolitan area to the Eindhoven ring road (A58/A2) Airport exit is exit 29 on the A2.

Flughafen Düsseldorf (IATA: DUS), [4]. Located 110 kilometres (65 miles) southeast. About one-third the size of Amsterdam-Schiphol, but with plenty of international connections, including to the USA, and gets served by all the major airlines in Europe. Although it doesn't get nearly as many flights as Amsterdam does, it's cheaper, doesn't have nearly as many congestion problems, and generally much less hassle at the airport itself. Major inconvienience here is the lack of a good public transportation link to the Nijmegen area; you either need to take bus 58 to Kleve, and change there for a regional train to Düsseldorf Hbf, where you can take S1 to Flughafen terminal or take the train to Venlo, and change there for Düsseldorf Hbf. Both options take about 2,5-3 hours one way, since it'll be taking commuter trains all the way. When driving there this airport should be the obvious choice though. A73 to Knooppunt Rijkevoort, then follow the signs to the A77 which changes to A57 when it passes the German line. By Kreuz Meerbusch take motorway A44 to exit 31 which is right by the terminal. Expect a 75-minute drive, although it can be done in 50-55 minutes if there's little traffic, due to the fact that 2/3rds of the route is on the German Autobahn.

Amsterdam-Schiphol airport (IATA: AMS), [5]. The largest airport in the Netherlands, and the fifth largest in Europe. 135 kilometres (85 miles) to the northwest. Train takes about an hour and 45 minutes, and will cost €17,- one way. Take the train to Utrecht or 's Hertogenbosch. You do have to change trains for Nijmegen in one of these cities. Schiphol airport gets served by most major carriers, and has in excess of 100 flights to the United States alone per day. When driving; A73 to Knooppunt Ewijk, A50 to Knooppunt Valburg, A15 westbound to Knooppunt Deil, A2 northbound to Knooppunt Holendrecht, A9 westbound to Knooppunt Badhoevedorp, and finally A4 southbound to exit 2, Schiphol airport. Expect this to take anywhere from 75 minutes to over three hours, depending on traffic. the route will take you through both the Utrecht and the Amsterdam metropolitan areas, both infamous for their traffic jams.

By Train

The Dutch Railways, [6] (Nederlandse Spoorwegen, NS) serve Nijmegen from all parts of the Netherlands non-stop. There are 4 trains an hour to Utrecht, 2 of which continue to Amsterdam and Den Helder. At Utrecht, you can change on trains to Schiphol Airport or Rotterdam and The Hague. 4 trains per hour depart for Zutphen of which 2 continue to Deventer and Zwolle (with connections to Leeuwarden and Groningen in Zwolle). Furthermore, 2 trains per hour connect to Tilburg-Breda-Roosendaal (with connections in Breda to Rotterdam/The Hague, and in Roosendaal to Antwerp/Brussels).

The neighboring cities of Arnhem and 's-Hertogenbosch are served by commuter trains: 4 trains per hour leave for 's-Hertogenbosch and 6 trains per hour for Arnhem. On this last connection, there are up to 10 trains per hour between Nijmegen and Arnhem during rush hour. The full adult fare on this line is €3.60 on way or €6.20, correct as of September 2007.

Veolia Limburg runs 4 commuter trains an hour to Nijmegen Heyendaal, the town of Cuijk and further to Venray. Two of these trains continue all the way to Roermond.

By Bus

Nijmegen is connected to the German city of Kleve by bus. This bus (58) usually runs once per hour, but it does not go in the evenings and barely goes on sunday.

By Car

The A73 connects Nijmegen with Venlo, the A77/A57 leads to the German Rhineland. The A15 runs between Nijmegen and Rotterdam and the A50 (Eindhoven-Zwolle) skims the western edge of the metropolitan area. There are many feeder highways connecting these freeways to the city. From Amsterdam one would take the A2 southbound to intersection (knooppunt) Deil, and take the A15 eastbound to Nijmegen from there. Avoid visiting the city by car during the Four Days Walking March, as roads tend to be blocked and circulation is even worse than normal. Also, you may find almost no available parking anywhere near the center of the city.

By Thumb

Nijmegen is probably one of the easiest places in the Netherlands to hitch from. The best spot is just south of the Waal Bridge, on the northbound lane leading to the bridge. You will see a sign saying 'liftershalte' here. This means it's an official hitching spot. Usually it takes anywhere from 1-30 minutes to get a ride.

Get around

The city bus company Novio connect almost every neighbourhood in Nijmegen to the city center. Hermes run buses into the suburbs as well as a few towns outside of the metropolitan area. Forget about using your car unless you're absolutely sure of your driving skills: the city can get extremely clogged up during rush-hour because 6 main roads end up at an infamous roundabout in the middle of the town. Beside this, parking is relatively expensive. Nijmegen is extremely bike-friendly, and the old downtown area is compact (every place in the downtown area can be reached within 20 minutes from the Central Station by foot) Commuter trains serve the neighboorhoods of Lent, Dukenburg and Heyendaal (the campus area), as well as the nearby town of Wijchen.


Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands, celebrating her 2000th birthday in 2005. The Valkhof Museum, on the Valkhof, has a permanent display of the history of Nijmegen, including artifacts from the Roman era. Additionally, they usually have temporary exhibitions of more and less famous artists. Unfortunately not a whole lot of very old buildings are left in town: first the Americans carpet bombed it in February 1944, later the Germans shelled it for about 5 months after the liberation in September 1944, and finally there were a lot of very rigorous city planners in the 1950's, 60's and 70's who finished what the Americans and Germans started.

There's still a few noteworthy sights, however. Valkhof hill downtown features a Carolingian chapel (eight, ninth century AD) and a small remainder of an imperial castle that was demolished in 1798. From Valkhof hill walk west through the Burchtstraat. Here you will see, on your left hand, the fifteenth century town hall. If you've finished admiring its exterior (there's nothing of note inside) continue walking west to the Grote Markt (Great Market) on the north side is a sixteenth-century weighing hall that now serves as a restaurant. On the west side you will see the entrance to the St. Stevenskerk courtyard. Enter it. On the left is a fifteenth-century Latin school. On the right stands the thirteenth century St. Stevenskerk, the interior of which was destroyed during the Dutch revolution of the sixteenth century. To the north of the church is a series of small seventeenth-century houses that now serve as trinket shops.

  • Carnaval Six weeks before Easter is Carnaval. People dress up in funny costumes and drink. There are parades in every town & village. To the south of Nijmegen Carnaval gets celebrated more, and if you like this kind of thing, go to Maastricht, Den Bosch or Kerkrade instead.
  • Dag van het Levenslied Every year in May there's a traditional Dutch folk festival in the Valkhofpark. Don't expect Dylan though, The type of music is comparable to the German schlager music as the lyrics are usually about shitty stuff in your life. Again: Lots of drinking!
  • Roze Meifeesten Also in May, this is the annual Gay and Lesbian festival in downtown.
  • Heavy Metal festival Traditionally, there's a one-day Heavy Metal festival in the Goffertpark, 2 miles SW of the Central Station. Usually it's called Fields of Rock, Dynamo Open Air or Ozzfest, but they all get organized by the same company anyway. Usually draws 15-25,000 people depending on city regulations.
  • Nijmeegse Vierdaagse/Zomerfeesten The most famous of them all, the Nijmeegse Vierdaagse (Four Day Marches of Nijmegen) with the Zomerfeesten (Summer Festival). This is the biggest event in the entire Netherlands and according to the organisers the largest walking event in the world. The Four Day Marches draw about 45,000 people alone, walking 30, 40 or 50 km(depending on age and sex) a day for four days in the Nijmegen area. The Summer Festival lasts for 10 days, starting the Friday before the marches start, continuing all the way to the Sunday after the Marches. For these 10 days, the entire downtown area is one big festival with concerts everywhere, even more beer stands and 1.5-1.7 million people partying or trying to get some sleep because they have to walk another 30 miles the next morning.
  • Other festivals In some years, a one-day festival, called Rockin' Park, is organized in the Goffertpark. The line-up usually consists of various national and international rock acts. Another festival is the Arrow Rock Festival, featuring several (older) national and international rock acts. Also, the Goffertpark is often used for large once only concerts of prominent bands (often with numerous support acts) such as the Rolling Stones, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead and Coldplay.
  • Nijmeegse Kermis The oldest street carnival in the Netherlands, dates back to 1272. Usually lasts a week and a half, and there are a lot of attractions, traditional ones like the Ferris Wheel and the Merry go-'round, Bumpercars, but also modern stuff like a Bungy-Jump. Again, there are plenty of possibilities to get drunk.
  • Zevenheuvelenloop

A annual 15 km (9 mi) run around Nijmegen and it's surrounding hills. (Hence the name Zevenheuvelen-which means "Seven Hills" in Dutch.)

Leftist politics

Nijmegen is known for the abundance of left-wing political activist organizations, including many student organizations. It is a major stronghold of the Dutch socialist and 'green' parties. For those in the leftist political spectrum, a visit to Nijmegen could bring about interesting contacts.


Nijmegen has a semi-continental climate, and it's usually together with Venlo and Eindhoven the warmest city of the Netherlands during summer.

Update: on July 19th, 2006 Kalkar (the weather station most representative for Nijmegen) reached a record high of 38.6C. Nijmegen-Dukenburg reached an unofficial high of 38.7C During this heatwave the "Vierdaagse" got cancelled due to 3 deaths caused by extreme heat. 2 of these died during the monday march, number three died that night at the campsite. (source - "De Gelderlander")

Climate Table
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average daily maximum temperature (°C) 5 7 10 14 18 22 24 25 21 15 9 6 14.65
Average daily minimum temperature (°C) 2 1 3 6 10 12 14 13 11 7 4 2 7.1
Record daily maximum temperature (°C) 17 20 27 32 36 36 39 38 33 30 21 17 39
Record daily minimum temperature (°C) -15 -17 -13 -3 -1 0 2 1 -2 -7 -11 -13 -17
Mean total rainfall (mm) 50 45 50 60 70 60 90 95 75 60 55 60 770
Source: [Deutsche Wetterdienst, KNMI - Klimaatatlas van Nederland]


Being a student town (roughly 21,000 students in a population of 160,000) there's plenty of relatively cheap restaurants ("eetcafés") to be found. Look for them in the Van Welderenstraat and on Kelfkensbos. Fastfood is also widely available in the city center, with two McDonalds', a Burger King and numerous snackbars often offering traditional dutch snacks, but also turkish dishes.

  • De Ontmoeting Tapas & Catering, Graafseweg 27, Nijmegen, 024-3230466, [7]. Opens at 17.00h.  edit on the corner of the Graafseweg and the Stijn Buijsstraat (at walking distance from the central station and the city center). De Ontmoeting is one of the most popular restaurants in Nijmegen, famous for the enthousiastic staff and delicious Aioli.
  • Eetcafé De Plak, corner of Plein 1944. An absolute classic. Not only is it a mainstay of Nijmegen's sizeable alternative scene (don't be surprised to have your meal served by a pierced waitress with dreadlocks or a waiter with a mohawk), it's also famous throughout the Netherlands for its Kaasgehakt - a hearty dish made with cheese and breadcrumbs that's supposed to be a vegetarian version of "gehakt" (minced meat).
  • Dromaai, Plein 1944. A dirt cheap student eatery.
  • Riva, at the Waalkade (alongside the Waal river) Walk downtown to the market, keep the market at the left and walk downhill to the river. Turn right and then it's one of the first restaurants on the right. Popular among students and offers a range of delicious meals.
  • Restaurant Ankara, on the corner of the Burghardt van den Berghstraat and the Graafseweg in the Bottendaal district, is at walking distance from the central station and the city center. It offers a wide range of affordable Turkish meals, as well as a wide range of pizzas. You are always offered a free soup, which is quite spicy and tasty.
  • De Kluizenaar, of the Burghardt van den Berghstraat, offers tapas from various cooking styles, and more traditional meals, such as salads and spare ribs. In the summer, it is a nice place for a drink, just like cafe Maxim across the street.
  • Van Buren, of the Molenstraat, offers traditional french cuisine for a good price, and also has plenty of lunch options. Furthermore, in the summer, you can enjoy your food outside.
  • Funkenstein, on the Lange Hezelstraat. Small, cosy, and good value for money.
  • Meneer Dijkstra on the corner Hobbemastraat/Daalseweg, opposite the Albert Heijn supermarket, is a typical student restaurant.
  • Eten & Drinken on the Groesbeeksedwarsweg (corner Heyendaalseweg/Groesbeekseweg) is very cheap (almost all main courses are under € 8), but portion size and quality is good enough. Lunch is also possible.

The pizza fan is also well-catered for by a wide range of restaurants. Many though, are specialized in take-away/delivery, and don't offer a very nice eating experience. However, if you like to sit down for a pizza, there are still some nice options. Generally, all pizzas in the restaurants below are under € 10. Most of the establishments also offer other italian dishes.

  • Donatello's, Eerste Walstraat, on the edge of the city center. It's a bit hidden, don't let the alley-like street scare you away.
  • Pinoccio, beginning of the Molenstraat, one minute walking from Donatello's
  • Bella Italia, St. Annastraat, a short stroll from the Keizer Karelplein. Best pizzas in town and very nice icecream.
  • Mr. Jacks, Kelfkensbos. Do not expect top quality service, but the food is cheap and tastes reasonable. You might have to wait long whilst you have already ordered - there is often a table available, but not enough capacity to serve it. Instead of a pizza, you may also choose to order a greek dish here.

If your budget allows it, there's also plenty of opportunity for luxury dining. Hoo Wah on Plein 1944 serves excellent Asian food (not to be confused with the stuff sold in normal Dutch "Chinese" restaurants). Het Savarijn in the Hertogstraat offers classy French food and is known for its extensive wine list while Heertjes in the Ridderstraat is the place locals go to when they want to indulge themselves. Het Lemke in the Lange Hezelstraat offers high quality French cuisine, though it might be a little bit too experimental for some. More up market dining can be found along the Waal river. From the casino, walk west past the terraces and into the old downtown. For up market dining near the university, Chalet Brakkenstein is well worth a visit. Finally, for more classic french style cuisine in a historic ambiance, try either Belvedere (the tower) or Het Poortwachtershuis (the small building west of the museum) west of the Valkhof park. (Please note that for the moment, the Belvedere is only open to groups with a reservation, due to a lack of cooking staff.). If you're into that sort of thing, in 2008 the Michelin guide has awarded a Bib Gourmand to Het Savarijn, Liberty's (on Kelfkensbos) and Vesters (Groesbeeksedwarsweg 307a). There are no restaurants in Nijmegen that have received Michelin stars.


Downtown Nijmegen and the neighborhoods just next to it are positively swarming with pubs and cafés. Some notable ones:

  • De Blaauwe Hand, Grote Markt. The oldest pub in Nijmegen. Very, very picturesque.
  • Samson, Houtstraat. Old fashioned and classy with service of a high quality.
  • Brouwerscafé de Hemel, Franseplaats 1 (Located on walking distance from De Blaauwe Hand, right behind Grote Markt.), 024 3656394, [8].  edit Local beers in an amazing setting: picturesque monument "De Commanderie van St. Jan".
  • St. Anneke, St. Annastraat. Of interest primarily if you're staying in Hotel Catharina as it's right across the street but even then you'd be wise to walk a little (50 meters) further to Frowijn on the corner of the Pontanusstraat as that has a much nicer terrace.
  • Mets';', Grotestraat. The premier gay / lesbian hangout.
  • Kollektief kafee de Bijstand. Van Welderenstraat. This is where the local activist scene congregates. Wednesday night is cheap vodka night. All tips go to charity.
  • Odessa (Sint Anthoniusplaats) is a reasonable and fairly cheap restaurant, but on Mondays it functions as a Jazz bar that attracts lots of foreign students.
  • "Chaps" (Gay Leather Bar) is a reasonable and fairly priced pub with interesting socks-only and jack-off parties. Only for men that are interested in the same sex.
  • "Billabong" (Australian pub) Woman behind the bar has a nice cup size, beer is fairly priced.


Finding a place to sleep during the summer festival and the four day's marches is absolutely impossible. Everything will be booked full months in advance. To give you an idea; during these days the population of Nijmegen swells from 160,000 to 1,800,000. It goes to the extent of people needing accommodation because they're walking the marches being taken into private people's homes and sleeping in sporting arena's. However, during the festival many trains and buses run around the clock, giving the opportunity to find a place to stay outside the city. During the rest of the year, however, you should have no problem at all.

  • Hotel Catharina, St. Annastraat,
  • Hotel Atlanta, Grote Markt
  • City Hotel, Kelfkensbos.
  • Hotel Belvoir, in the Graadt van Roggenstraat.
  • Hotel Mercure, next to the train station.

Get out

The surrounding area of Nijmegen is unique in that it has to offer almost every landscape type available in the Netherlands. Rent a bicycle and start exploring the river landscape of the Ooijpolder to the northeast, the forested hills around Groesbeek to the east, the drier heath landscape to the south or, if you insist, the typically Dutch flat lowlands to the west. If you're interested in cities, pay a visit to 's Hertogenbosch or Zutphen (both between 30 min / 45 min by train) which have city centres far better preserved than that of Nijmegen itself.

During World War Two, the 82nd Airborne Division landed near Groesbeek as part of Operation Market Garden. Groesbeek has one of Canada's war cemeteries, called Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery. The Cemetery is a short drive out of Groesbeek.

  • The Africa Museum, in Berg en Dal, has an indoors and outdoors section and specializes in african cultures. On most summer days, they organize all kinds of workshops.
  • Museumpark Orientalis, in the Heilig Landstichting, provides a contemporary view of the three religions that have played a decisive role in establishing the identity of present day Europe: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Simple English

Nijmegen is a city in the east of the Netherlands. It has about 160,000 inhabitants and a university.

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