Don’t be fooled when you hear that Nijmegen is the oldest town in the Netherlands. Behind its medieval facades, gothic churches and ankle-breaking cobbled streets beats a young, creative heart. Most of the action happens along the banks of the De Waal river, but there are plenty of craft beer spots and vintage shops hidden in the labyrinthine streets, too. Here is Culture Trip’s pick of the best hotels to choose as your base.
Set in a brutalist former office block near the river, Hotel Nimma brings a touch of Manhattan industrial flair to Nijmegen. Enjoy plenty of downtime in the laid-back rooms – bright and airy, punctuated with moss-green accent walls and reclaimed wood — because you’re going to need it after a lively night on the hotel’s rooftop terrace. Grab yourself a beanbag under the ivy-entwined pergola, rest your mojito on a repurposed crate and watch the city shimmer below.
You’ll be hard-pushed to find a hotel with more local history than this one. Although the building was technically constructed in 1450, some of the exposed brickwork in the corridors are battlements that date back to the Middle Ages. If you feel the decor has a 19th-century, almost French feel, with its cascading chandeliers, gilded mirrors and regal red carpet, you’d be on the money — it’s a nod to a certain Napoleon Bonaparte, who stayed here in 1810.
On the north bank of the river and about a mile from central Nijmegen, the large and modern Van Der Valt Hotel Nijmegen-Lent is a box-ticking, crowd-pleasing mega-hotel. Whether you’re visiting for business, pleasure or general lolling in the Turkish bath, end your day in the buzzy Lola’s Bar, with a satisfying tuna poke and tempura sushi selection, plus the best cocktail list in Noord Nijmegen.
You’ll find this modern hotel right by the central station and Nijmegen’s illustrious Poppodium Doornroosje concert hall. The Mercure City Nijmegen Centre Hotel has everything you’d expect from this upmarket international brand: smiling staff, comfortable rooms and a stellar breakfast buffet (watch out, the Dutch pastries are killer), but with welcome, thoughtful touches such as a complimentary espresso and Dutch sweets at reception.
With its bold, monochrome decor — masterminded by interior designer Eric de Bruijn — and exceptional amenities such as rainfall showers, Bulgari goodies and spectacular free-standing baths, this bijou hotel punches well above its weight. You’re close to some of the city’s best dining spots (Arsenaal 1824 and Humphrey’s, for example), but cut out the steps and enjoy a meal at Manna’s restaurant, where the seasonally inspired and constantly changing menu features fusion dishes such as catfish with tabbouleh, pumpkin and dashi beurre blanc.
Digital nomads will lap up the on-trend, home-from-home vibes here. Guesthouse Vertoef is made for the socially conscious start-up generation, with 144 solar panels strapped to the roof and recycled material used wherever possible. Flex those digits and tap away in the hotel’s hip Bar and Bites cafe, cappuccino in hand. Need a screen break? Hit the high-tech gym or the sauna, or rent a bike and head to the city’s prettiest park, Kronenburgerpark.
This centrally located, eclectic hotel is hard to miss, splashed with bright colours, ’80s Tetris shapes and psychedelic patterns – and that’s before you’ve seen the wallpaper. Don’t miss the downstairs bar, with the most extensive burger and craft beer pairing menu in the city — vegan, falafel, Mexican, pulled pork or, perhaps, a delicately weed-infused patty.
Tanja Seegers is the force behind Boutique Hotel Straelman. It was her life-long wish to open an intimate, luxurious hotel, and as soon as she cycled past this 19th-century town house, she knew she’d found the one. The five rooms are each named after an extravagant item — caviar, champagne, pearl, oyster and truffle — and tastefully decorated with faux fur throws and chocolate-hued leather. Take your breakfast in the sunny garden before a morning of culture at the nearby Valkhof Museum.
On Lange Hezelstraat, the oldest shopping street in Nijmegen, and a hop and skip from the Stevenskerk (the city’s resplendent church), Lino City Hotel is a contemporary yet charming central hotel. The restaurant Fingerz may not endear you by name, but it serves up the best Spanish tapas and pintxos in the city, including patatas bravas and octopus carpaccio, alongside hard-to-find Spanish drinks, such as Estrella Galicia and a zingy natural cider, Astarbe.
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