Nijmegen: The Green-Starred Dutch City With A Cutting-Edge High Street

Nijmegen: The Green-Starred Dutch City With A Cutting-Edge High Street

Nijmegen – the oldest city in the Netherlands – is our top choice for a long-weekend getaway. Read on for the concept stores, green-starred restaurants and independent boutiques to have on radar


Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Why now?

That picture-perfect city you pinned on your IG at the weekend?
We’ll bet our first-class Eurostar tickets that it was some
culture-packed Dutch destination. You know the type: grand and
glorious townhouses, tulip-flanked canals, handsome cafés, swathes
of bunting and more bicycles than the Tour de France. Our carry-on
is practically zipping itself up. Yours, too? In that case,
Nijmegen – the Netherlands’ oldest city – should be your next

Situated a 90-minute drive south-east of Amsterdam, just a few
kilometres from the German border, the city has all the ingredients
for a stellar city break: forward-thinking concept stores and
design-driven boutiques; warehouse music venues; green-starred
restaurants; an annual four-day hiking fest; and a hedonistic
summer festival. Ready to explore it for yourself? Here’s how to do
it in style.

Nijmegen, Netherlands
Nijmegen, Netherlands

A charming cobbledstone street, left, and a collection of
vinyls. | Photo credit: Frans Blok & Hatice Yardim / /

Don’t miss

There’s a fierce independent spirit on Nijmegen’s shopping
streets. Start on Van Broeckhuysenstraat, where you’ll find the
contemporary concept store 512. Browse stylish garms, potted greens and
home furnishings across its airy, two-floor set-up. Then, wander
across to the storied Lange Hezelstraat district, whose Bob & Bill is
a haven for vintage gems, and Make My Day
is brimming with the sort of design-led souvenirs you can’t help
but flaunt.

Where to stay?

A quartet of individually designed bedrooms make for the perfect
base at boutique hotel Box 5. We love Room Four for its retro steamer
trunks used as coffee tables, soft lighting and Chesterfield sofas
buried beneath plush patterned cushions. The breakfast menu is one
that lends itself to a room service call, with its fresh fruit,
cheese and charcuterie offering.

Where to go for dinner?

Yep, you’re absolutely right in thinking we’ve shouted about the
forest-foraged plates at three-starred Restaurant De
Nieuwe Winkel
before, but it’s simply impossible to not pay a
visit to the city’s leader in the sustainable dining game. Chef
Emile van der Staak works with the likes of pickled vegetables,
dried berries and pine needles to craft plant-based perfection in a
setting we’d argue is worthy of an award in itself. Be sure to
taste-test one of the botanical juices – we couldn’t get enough of
the juniper berry. Fancy something a little more laid-back? Vegan
café Bhalu is
your answer, with its plant-clad interiors, blonde woods and
basement yoga studio making for a health-fuelled getaway.

DJ Set, Netherlands
Vegan Bowl

A DJ mixing tunes, alongside a bowl of healthy goodness. |
Photo credit: Yasin & Caroline /

And for a drink…

The Netherlands knows a thing or two about dance music. Make
tracks to Paak Vinyl Bar for all-day drinks and standout DJ
sets. It also has a vinyl shop showcasing legendary (and hot, new)
labels, and offers a handful of quirky workshops. Think DJ sessions
that will see you learning how to mix your favourite records and
cocktail masterclasses packed with top tips on how to nail a

Who to take with you?

Your friend who’s prone to a Lycra-clad expedition. With some
60km of scenic cycling highways cutting through the university
town, there is no better way to explore Nijmegen than on a
pedal-powered tour.

Essentials to pack

A scent that promises a blissful night’s sleep? Our eye mask is
twitching with excitement. Pack the Jo Malone London Pillow Mist in the Moonlight
Camomile scent for a solid eight hours of pillow time. Infused with
English camomile leaves, night-blooming moonflowers and white musk,
the fragrance is designed to provide the ultimate level of

How to get there

Fly from London to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, then either hop
on a scenic two-hour train ride or rent a car for a quicker,
one-hour journey to Nijmegen.

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