Discover Benelux, Issue 27, March 2016

Page 28


This year, Nijmegen celebrates The oldest city in the Netherlands is a fantastic place to meet new people all year round. Located on a ridge on the banks of the river Waal, Nijmegen has been attracting visitors for many centuries. TEXT & PHOTOS: GEMEENTE NIJMEGEN

This year is special for Nijmegen, as the city will be hosting the Giro d’Italia in May and the Special Olympics in July. And, later that month, the 100th edition of the International Four Days Marches is expected to draw over 50,000 participants from around the globe. In short, this year will be jam-packed with festivals and events. Nijmegen is a university town that is popular with students and tourists. Visitors love the city centre because of its combination of attractive pavement cafés and restaurants as well as its entertainment, modern shopping centres and charming boutiques. Everything is within walking distance and the city is a great example of how well old and new can combine. One minute you will be buying clothes in the oldest shopping street of the Netherlands, and the next you will be moving on to a trendy lounge café for a drink or visiting one of the hip and happening festivals. Alternatively, you might choose to sit outside one of the many restaurants on the Waalkade 28 | Issue 27 | March 2016

and enjoy the fantastic views overlooking the river. The rich cultural history of Nijmegen goes back 2,000 years when the Romans settled here. Nijmegen grew into the largest city in the country at that time. In the centuries that followed, many regents, dukes and emperors chose Nijmegen as their home. Nijmegen is transforming. The face of the oldest city in the Netherlands is changing dramatically due to large development projects along both banks of the Waal, creating all kinds of hotspots along the river. One of the projects is the internationally renowned Room for the River Waal, this project has created an island in the Waal and a unique urban river park with lots of possibilities for recreation, culture, water sports and nature. Instead of the river flowing past Nijmegen, the river actually flows right through the city now. In other words, Nijmegen is embracing the River Waal.

NIJMEGEN AT A GLANCE Nijmegen is an active city with lots of music and sport events. It is famous for the Four Days Marches, a walking event of four consecutive days held in July. People from all over the world walk in and around the city and its beautiful (woodland) surroundings. Thousands of spectators cheer on the walkers along the route every day and all over the city centre, the party goes on well into the night. After four days of walking, a glorious finish along the Via Gladiola awaits the walkers, topped off by them receiving their well-deserved Four Days Medal. The city is friendly, with a wealth of history and culture for you to explore. Come and enjoy all that Nijmegen has to offer.

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