TRAVEL | 12 March 2016

Holland’s best spots | Nijmegen

I grew up in a tiny village not far from Nijmegen and I’ve pretty much visited this city on regular basis for as long as I can remember. Shopping with my mom when I was little and occupying photo boots all afternoon with friends when I was old enough to go by myself. I still have those very VERY shameful pictures somewhere, which I keep hidden (even from Leon, that says it all). Even though I did study in another city for a brief period of time, I ended up getting my masters degree at the University of Nijmegen.

But these last few years I kind of fell out of love with Nijmegen. Mainly because the stores can’t compete with Amsterdam (or online shopping, hallelujah for online shopping!), but also because I think I’ve been here for far too long. Would love to pack my bags and leave the country, but since I’m a wuss ànd we have a house (buying a house does restrict you somewhat…), I thought it would be best to rekindle. I took my bike and tried to see the city with a fresh pair of eyes. And I have to say: Nijmegen is winning back some of that long lost love!

Nijmegen is the tenth largest city of the Netherlands and it claims to be the oldest Dutch city (Another city, Maastricht, claims the same and both cities advertise this very unique selling point…). The atmosphere is laid back and the guys are outnumbered by us women. It’s a miracle I met Leon there (I suggest Delft if you’re looking for a college ladies). Although Nijmegen has some beautiful streets and historic buildings, a large part of the city has been bombed during the Second World War. Such a tragedy! But if you skip the main shopping street, Nijmegen really has a lot to offer. So here’s a roundup of my favorite spots!

If there’s one area you should visit, it’s the Honig Fabriek area!

Our favorite hotspots


Mood conceptstore: my favorite store! From fashion to interior design. Plus the owner is super nice and has her own bag label which she sells in the store as well.

Dejavu: bring some money and go furniture shopping. From Muuto to Hay.

Petit village: cool vintage store located at the even cooler Honig Fabriek area.

512: it’ll be difficult to leave empty handed. 512 sells brands such as Wood Wood and Cheap Monday, plus an outrageous amount of plants in the basement.

Premium supply store: if you need sneakers, this is the store to pay a vis.

I know the list of stores is a bit on the short side, but I only want to share my favorites with you and I always hate enormous shopping lists with mediocre stores. I know you’ll love these though!

Lunch & coffee

Fikka: inspired by the Scandinavian lifestyle (cinnamon buns!), always crowded and one of our fav spots.

Sid & Liv: cute place to have lunch especially on a sunny day in their garden.

Bairro Alto: this little place smack in the middle of the center is always crowded. Good coffee and lunch. Get there early!

Munt: the one and only salad bar of Nijmegen.

Down Town: new in town, by the same owner as Bairro Alto. Great place!

Fresca: looking for a healthy lunch? This is your spot!

Cali: great spot to relax during the afternoon and forget the time while sipping from your cocktail.

Tati: a bit out of the city enter, but Tati has a cute vintage interior and great lunch options.

First things first: roasting their own beans (Blommers coffee), it’s one of the best coffee places.

Stoom: also located at the Honig Fabriek area, Stoom makes their own beer. Need I say more?


Helden: a bit out of the city center in a cool renovated old brick building. The food is decent although nothing special, but the atmosphere makes up for it.

Het Grut: old fashioned little French caffe with great food for an okay price.

De Nieuwe Winkel: while experimenting with molecular cooking they serve Michelin star worthy dishes. Best dinner you’re going to have in Nijmegen, promised!

Vänner: during the evenings lunchroom Sid & Liv turns into Vänner and offers some pretty good meals.

Wally: when you need a hamburger fix, this is the place to go.

De Meesterproef: situated in the old Honig Fabriek the decor is amazing, but I have to admit we would’ve eaten here more often if the food was a bit better.

Nature & Culture

I had to illegally drag myself (and my bike… workout galore) over some fences as the new area near the Waal is still being renovated, but boy does it look good! I biked from a bridge called De Oversteek to a bridge called De Waalbrug, through a newly developed nature area called Veur-Lent. And I loved it! Great spot to enjoy the waterfront and relax a bit.


Goffert Park: it’s the biggest park of Nijmegen and perfect to relax during Spring days.

Heumensoord: this forest is close to my home and I love the part full with heather plants that bloom purple. Whenever I’m in a running mood (which is not that often), I go here.

Veur-Lent: already told you all about it, this park in the middle of the river is going to be the perfect spot when it’s done!

De Kaai: this city beach near the center is the place to be during the summer when you can eat, drink and relax on the tiny strip of sand.

Zomerkwartier: another city beach, but this time located at the Honig Fabriek area. Cool vibes, music and drinks during the Summer.


Unlike other big cities in Holland, Nijmegen doesn’t have a lot to offer on the art front and I have to admit that I feel much more inspired while museum hopping in Utrecht, Amsterdam or Rotterdam. But there are two places that will fix your hunger for art.

Valkhof Museum: in the middle of the city center with a nice mix from archeology to modern art.

Gallery Bart: a gallery at the Honig Complex area (seriously: if you decide to visit one area in Nijmegen it should be this one).