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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in nijmegen
Free Travel guide Ooaj.com A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in nijmegen, Bed and Breakfast!
Nijmegen is a college town in the southeast of the Netherlands, population 157,000.
Airport Weeze (NRN) (http://www.airport-weeze.de/index.php?lang=en) is located 20 miles southeast of town, between the villages of Weeze and Nieuw-Bergen. Although both Ryanair (the biggest airline serving the airport) and the airport itself advertise with Duesseldorf-Weeze, Duesseldorf proper is actually not anywhere near the airport. The city of Duesseldorf is located 60 miles to the southeast of the airport, making Nijmegen the only major city close to the airport.
The only form of public transportation nonstop to Nijmegen is a taxivan you have to reserve in advance and will set you back EUR 15,- (one-way)
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 about EUR 5,-
Another option is to just hitch. There's a major freeway not far from the airport, connecting Duesseldorf with Nijmegen. This will probably also take about 75 minutes if you're lucky.
Amsterdam-Schiphol airport (AMS) (http://www.schiphol.nl) the largest airport in the Netherlands, about 100 miles to the northwest. Train takes about an hour and 45 minutes, and will cost EUR 17,- one way. You do have to change trains in Duivendrecht, a suburb of Amsterdam. This airport gets served by most major carriers, and has in excess of 100 flights to the United States alone per day.
The Dutch Railways (Nederlandse Spoorwegen, NS) serve Nijmegen from all parts of the Netherlands non-stop. There are 2 trains an hour to Utrecht/Amsterdam and on to Den Helder, 2 trains per hour depart for Deventer/Zwolle (with connections to Leeuwarden/Groningen in Zwolle), 2 trains per hour to Tilburg/Roosendaal (with connections in Breda to Rotterdam/The Hague, and to Antwerp/Brussels in Roosendaal) and there's an hourly service to Roermond. (With connections to Maastricht/Heerlen)
The neighboring cities of Arnhem and 's-Hertogenbosch are also served by commuter trains and there are 4 trains per hour leaving for 's-Hertogenbosch and 6 trains per hour to Arnhem. During rush hour, there are 8-10 trains per hour between Nijmegen and Arnhem.
Nijmegen is connected to the German city of Kleve by bus. This bus (58) usually runs once per hour.
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.
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.
The city busses (Novio) connect almost every neighborhood in Nijmegen to the city center. Hermes runs busses 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 highways end up at this roundabout in the middle of downtown. Besides that, parking is very expensive. Nijmegen is extremely bike-friendly, and the old downtown area is rather small (every place in the downtown area can be reached within 20 minutes from the Central Station by foot!) Commuter trains serve the neighborhoods of Lent, Dukenburg and Heyendaal, as well as the suburb of Wijchen.
Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands, celebrating her 2000th birthday in 2005. Unfortunately not a whole lot of very old buildings are left in town: first the Americans put a bomb carpet on it February 1944, then 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 funny and drink. To the south of Nijmegen Carnaval gets celebrated more, and if you like this kind of thing, go to Maastricht 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 miles 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.
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-kilometer (9 mile) run around Nijmegen and it's surrounding hills. (Hence the name Zevenheuvelen-means Seven Hills in Dutch)
Being a student town (roughly 10,000 students in a population of 150,000) there's plenty of relatively cheap restaurants ("eetcafés") to be found. Look for them in the Van Welderenstraat and on Kelfkensbos. A well known low budget destination is Gallisch Eetcafé on the corner of Wintersoord street (off the Hertogstraat, which itself hosts a fair number of internationally flavored eateries, such as an Indian restaurant, a Yugoslav restaurant and a Portuguese restaurant). An absolute classic is Eetcafé De Plak on the corner of Plein 1944. Not only is it a mainstay of Nijmegen's sizeable alternative scene (don't be surprised when your meal is 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). A relative newcomer is the dirt cheap "Dromaai" on Plein 1944. After your meal there be sure to pop into ijssalon Ghiani's across the street for some of the finest Italian-style ice cream to be found in the Netherlands.
If your budget allows it, there's also plenty of opportunity for luxury dining. The Chinese restaurant 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 while Heertjes in the Ridderstraat is the place locals go to when they want to indulge themselves. More up market dining can be found along the Waal river. From the casino, walk west past the terraces and into the old downtown. Finally, for more classic french style quisine in a historic ambiance, try either Belvedere (the tower) or Het Poortwachtershuis (the small building west of the museum) west of the Valkhof park.
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. During the rest of the year, however, you should have no problem at all. Low budget hotels include Hotel Catharina on St. Annastraat, Hotel Atlanta on the Grote Markt and City Hotel on Kelfkensbos. Classier lodgings are offered by Hotel Belvoir in the Graadt van Roggenstraat and Hotel Mercure next to the train station. If you'd like to go camping, you'll need to head off to the village of Berg en Dal 5km from the city where you'll find camping Kwakkenberg.