Amsterdam: the best capital in the world. Why, I hear you say? Because it’s the only capital city that you can cycle around in under four hours. You’ve got all the nice things a capital has to offer crammed into a small city, which is just perfect. Not to mention the beautiful buildings, parks and canals! And the food…someone told me that Amsterdam has fantastic restaurants at fantastic prices, and the shopping is absolutely brilliant.
I suppose that’s why Amsterdam has become very popular with tourists over the past decade. The tourists make me feel very proud of the city. The only thing is, the city centre itself has really gone down in my estimations lately. The inhabitants of Barcelona have been complaining for a long time that their city has turned into a park crammed with too many visitors. And the same thing is going to happen in Amsterdam – it’s getting way too crowded.
If you want to enjoy another beautiful, less crowded city, Nijmegen is definitely the place to come to. You can reach this friendly, pretty city in under 1.5 hours – there’s a direct train from Amsterdam!
Nijmegen is one of the oldest cities in the whole country. Even the Romans have been here – you can still find relics of Caesar and his mates. Nijmegen effortlessly and perfectly combines the old buildings with modern architecture – the biggest arthouse cinema in the Netherlands is in Nijmegen, in a beautiful modern building. Nijmegen also loves recycling: the former instant soup factory has become the latest hotspot for restaurants and bars.
But what I like the most about Nijmegen is that it’s so close to nature. It’s good for both running and walking – you can go on the most beautiful 5, 7 or 12-kilometre runs. Just fifteen minutes away from the city centre, you’re surrounded by beautiful countryside, in the middle of nowhere. It’s fascinating how close a city can remain to nature. This summer, it’s also going to be lovely at Nijmegen’s riverside. I myself will definitely be going there for a sunbathe, rather than heading to one of Amsterdam’s very crowded parks. When the sun goes down, I love having a drink in one of the centre’s old cafes, followed by dinner in one of its great restaurants. Have I already mentioned how many good restaurants Nijmegen has?
Nijmegen: I think it’s the only city in the Netherlands where I would choose to live besides Amsterdam. So when the tourists are taking over Amsterdam, you’ll know where to find me!