Looking for a city that combines nature and culture? Arnhem it is!
Sara van Maurik from Utrecht needed a change of scenery and decided Arnhem was the place to be. She wrote a blog about her first time in Arnhem:
“I Never Visited Arnhem Before
I live in the Utrecht, the Netherlands and I never visited Arnhem. Country-sharers told me it was beautiful. So I got curious: would Arnhem and I fit? I took a few days to try Arnhem on like a new pair of shoes. And how comfi where these shoes?
Beautiful Endless Sonsbeekpark
At first I discovered that Arnhem has a beautiful and endless park: Sonsbeekpark. As I liked this park so much I took some pictures of the park. You can walk through Sonsbeekpark for hours if you want. Of course the name changes at some point but the most important is: here you get a little glimpse of what Dutch nature is like. It exists of a few little hills, big trees, water, reindeer’s (although these are kept, but at the Veluwe you’ll find them walking freely). If you keep on walking or biking you will even find yourself at the Veluwe. That is the best part of Dutch nature in my opinion. In Sonsbeek park I got some good coffees and beers at the ‘Stadsvilla Sonsbeek’ and at ‘Grand Café Aan de beek’. Both not expensive and with a beautiful view on the park!
Upcoming Scene Of Shops, Bars And Restaurants
Secondly, Arnhem has a broad upcoming scene of shops, bars, restaurants. The people I met were friendly and easy going. My top three shops and café’s (don’t know whether they are all upcoming but I liked them):
Stella by Starlight: the restaurant/café looks like an old Dutch living room. Just cosy and warm. The waiters and waitresses were funny and easygoing. They have great beer and very important: live jazz music on every Wednesday by conservatorium students. That, for me, is already worth the trip to Arnhem.
Walter: a book shop/café. You can just read and drink a cup of coffee here or you can buy yourself a book. The brownies are very good.
Molenplaats Sonsbeek: someone can explain you all about the ‘molen’/windmill. You can buy the real windmill-flour here. There’s also a little café next to it with great coffee. They sometimes organize theme-walks through the park. Or other things. Just check the calendar.
A Perfect Amount Of Events
Thirdly there are a perfect amount of events in Arnhem. Not too much so you don’t have to choose between a 30.000 options every day or need to make a reservation for everything you do or pay your whole month salary on one concert. It’s enough to choose from, they are small (as far as I know) and if there isn’t anything you like, there are lots of places you are able to visit spontaneously.
Top three of what I liked the most:
-Wednesday night (as I said) there’s a jamming session in Stella by Starlight, where jazz students from ArtEZ show their work.
-Rozet. It’s a library and restaurant and museum in one and also has a beautiful panoramic view of Arnhem! For me it had a good atmosphere for a book and a cup of coffee. They also organize events which differ per month. I would also say: check the calendar. -Museum of Modern Arts. They had a beautiful exhibition about the Millennials. The café is also very much worth the visit. The beautiful view over the Rhine will put you in a relaxed state of mind.
Too Much To See In Arnhem!
I didn’t see everything unfortunately. People advised me also to visit:
-Every Wednesday at lunchtime students of ArtEZ give concert. It’s jazz music and you don’t have to pay for it. It is situated at the same street as the museum of modern arts and is called the ‘Concertzaal’.
-Thursday night there is salsa dancing in café Stout.
-Café Vrijdag, always a nice place to hang out.
-Luxor Live (also for the parties and concerts).
-Focus (Art house movies in a cute building in the middle of the center). -Probably way more other shops/bars and of course more big ones like the big Pathé Cinema that you see right away when you walk out of Arnhem CS.
Arnhem Is Filled With Little Surprises
Well in the end: Arnhem is filled with little surprises! So my conclusion is: the pair of shoes I tried on were very comfortable. I felt welcome and it was for me an experience of cosines and beauty. I’m sure I would have been able to explore a lot more, but limited time prevented this… I will certainly come back to Arnhem. The beautiful trees at Sonsbeek Park deserve another visit.
Blog by Sara van Maurik
Pictures 1+2 by Sara van Maurik
The rest of the pictures by Petra Dielman
Don’t wish to stay in the city? Why not book a room at B&B De Wachtkamer in Rheden?
“De Buitenkamer can be translated as “Outdoor Room”. It’s not inside, it’s not outside. It’s just in between. Our B&B has a magnificent view on the ancient vegetable garden, which used to belong to the country house De Valkenberg (1834), which is surrounded by a monumental wall. The garden is situated at the rolling landscape of the Veluwe, one of the Netherlands largest nature resorts. The B&B has one wall with mainly glass and another one with great large doors. When opened, you feel like you’re outside! It’s a great place to relax after an active day in the forest, on the heath, at the water or in one of the nearby cities. Our house is a coach house and dates from 1890. Originally it belonged to the Valkenberg too. There used to be 5 horses in our living room and our kitchen was the place for the coaches! The B&B was build later. You’re having your own entrance to the B&B.”
I live in the Netherlands and I didn’t ever visit Arnhem. Country-sharers told me it was beautiful. So I got curious: would Arnhem and I fit? I took a few days to try Arnhem on like a new pair of shoes.