You can do so much in two days in Nijmegen. It is definitely not enough to explore the historic Dutch city of Nijmegen and take in all that it has to offer. From Amsterdam or Rotterdam, make your way to Nijmegen in the province of Gelderland to better appreciate this amazing country.
This is most likely the oldest city in the Netherlands, and here is an idea how you might spend two days in Nijmegen
Day 1: A cultural adventure
Start your day with a lovely breakfast at Down Town in Kannenmarkt. A love café located in the heart of Nijmegen, Down Town is known for its homely and peaceful living-room-like atmosphere. Get your fresh bread, pastry and coffee to begin your adventure in this historic city.
Museum visits and beer
This old city is tiny compared with major Dutch destinations. And just like most major cities in the Netherlands, Nijmegen is teeming with rich history and heritage that you have just got to check out the city museums.
Begin your exploration at the Afrika Museum in Berg en Dal, a little outside the city border. While here, it is easy to get in touch better with what it means to be human, as the artefacts point to the fact that we are all the same no matter which part of the world we came from. See amazing traditional African architecture in Ghana, Lesotho, Mali, Cameroon and Benin, and realise that they are not very different from those you see around Europe.
Also, in Afrika Museum is a big collection of objects, relics, and treasures from 54 African countries. Admission is only 14 euros for adults and 6 euros for children and students. The museum has an app you can download.
The next stop is the Nationaal Bevrijdingsmuseum or National Liberation Museum of Nijmegen. This is perfect for those who love historical warfare, particularly in Europe. The museum displays memorabilia and integrates learning about World War II and events that led to the liberation of the Netherlands. You could also learn about the economic, political and cultural effects of the war and the years after.
Interestingly, the National Liberation Museum is located in one of the largest air landing operations during the famous Operation Market Garden in September 1944. You can come visit the museum for only 10 euros (5 euros for students).
If you love art, Museum Het Valkhof should be next on your list. It has a significant collection of modern art, old masters, and Roman antiquities. While here, you will definitely be amazed at the long glass gallery and a panoramic view of the river landscape.
Your next stop isn’t really a museum, but definitely a place of interest. Come and visit De Hemel brewery and have beer-tasting fun. “De Hemel” means “Heaven”, which is perfect if you love a cold one. Located in one of the most historic buildings in Nijmegen, De Hemel is the oldest craft beer brewery in Holland.
A visit here will teach you interesting facts about how beer is processed and produced. For only 11 euros, you can spend time in the brewery and have a tasting session for six home-brewed beers. It is open on Saturday and Sunday, but will let in a group of 10 people or more any day of the week.
Lunch and Dinner
A great day is capped with an amazing lunch and dinner. Try either or both of these popular restaurants in the city.
Fika is a well-known restaurant that serves delicious breakfast and lunch. It is best known for its great sandwiches, delicious food, and lovely atmosphere. This café is ready to receive you from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm at Van Broeckhuysenstraat 5.
A second option is Restaurant De Meesterproef at Waalbandijk 14. Serving modern dishes, Restaurant De Meesterproef is popular for its big, open kitchen, spacious terrace and beautiful interior. It is open from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight.
Day 2: Get to know the city more
Begin Day 2 with a hearty breakfast at Bairro Alto, behind the busy Grote Markt. Enjoy some freshly baked cake, aromatic coffee, and some vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free dishes. Bairro Alto is located in Kannenmarkt, not far from Down Town.
Walking tour and shopping
Nijmegen is such a historic city that visiting the town centre, old shops, and street landmarks is like being inside a museum already. Go on a personal walking tour and let your feet do the exploring for you. No paid guides needed.
Nijmegen’s streets are lovely and very picturesque. The experience is like walking inside post cards and travel brochures. Stroll past the old Renaissance-style city hall at the Burchtstraat, Sint-Jacobskapel chapel that was built in the 15th century, and the Tower of Belvédère, a guard tower that was built in the middle of the 15th century.
Finally, make your way to Lange Hezelstraat, the oldest shopping street in the Netherlands, to do some shopping. There are several shops, boutiques, and souvenir stores. Not far is another popular shopping street, Stikke Hezelstraat.
Nature at its best
Spending two days in the city gives you enough time also to explore the beauty of nature, Nijmegen-style. Take a stroll to the beaches of the Waal river and introduce yourself to some cows and horses that live in this nature park. You can even swim in the river if you are a good swimmer. There are no lifeguards here.
Also, just outside Nijmegen to the east is the De Ooijpolder nature reserve. See idyllic villages, typical Dutch farms, meadows and hike trails, and Mother Nature at her best.
Lunch and dinner
End your day with a delicious meal at De Nieuwe Winkel, a well-known restaurant at Gebroeders van Limburgplein 7.
How to get to Nijmegen
These activities can take up your two days’ visit to the city. You might want to stay longer because there are more sights and surprises to discover here. Start packing your bags. Here is how you can get to lovely Nijmegen.
From Amsterdam, travel by train from Amsterdam Centraal. Get off at Nijmegen after one and half hours of travel.
If coming from Utrecht, take the intercity in the direction of Nijmegen. The train ride is around 55 minutes.
Finally, from Rotterdam, take the train from Rotterdam Centraal in the direction of Eindhoven. Get off at Breda station and transfer to the intercity going to Zwolle. Nijmegen will be your next stop. Or, take a train from Rotterdam Centraal to Utrecht Centraal. Rotterdam to Nijmegen could take 1 hour and 40 minutes.