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Travel Guide Honours

Nijmegen – The battle with water

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The city of Nijmegen and it’s battle with water

Thinking of Holland I see broad lazy rivers flowing through infinite low-lying land -Hendrik Marsman (1936)


Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands. You can still find lots of old monuments in the city, for example, the middle-aged towers of the defense walls in the ‘Kronenburgerpark’, the ‘Valkhof’ or the ‘Waalkade’. The Waalkade is a quay that lies along the river the Waal. Just like many cities that lie on a riverside has Nijmegen a hate-love relationship with the water. On the one hand, it brought the city economic welfare, on the other hand, can high water levels cause floods. The city is shaped by the water, the effects of the water in the city will be the main theme in our tour, which will be explained further below. To get a sense of the city of Nijmegen before doing the tour, you can watch this video.


The main theme is the relation between the water and the city. There will be a focus on the river de ‘Waal’ and in particular the ‘Nevengeul’, as well as the beautiful nature in the ‘Ooijpolder’, which is lovely to bike through. The Nevengeul is a recent project which was part of a bigger plan by the government to make space for the rivers in the Netherlands, called Room for the River.

Practical information

  • Start at trainstation Nijmegen
  • By OV-bike or regular bike
  • +/- 21.5 km route (provided on Google Maps click here, for the route description click here)
  • 2hr to 3hr (of which +/- 1hr 10min biking)


An ‘OV-bike’ can be rented at NS, or people could even choose to take their own bike on the train. When you are outside and in front of the train station, you cross the first road where the busses drive and then there are you can take the stairs down and find the OV-bike rental. To be able to rent the bike, you will have to put the option of renting an OV-bike on your OV-chipcard. You can (and should) purchase the option to rent an OV-bike, click here for the Dutch link and click here for the English link. The cost of the rental option is €0.01 and for 24 hours is €3.95.

Food and drinks

We suggest you at least bring some water and snacks with you on the bike, also lunch is not a bad idea. You could however also decide to get something to eat along the way, for example at Oortjeshekken or De Kaaij. We also recommend you have a coffee or something else to drink at one of these places (or any other place that appeals to you) and to take several breaks. However, this is of course all up to you.


According to Google Maps, the tour will take around 1 hour and 10 minutes by bike. However, we suggest you just bike at the tempo that suits you best and take several breaks – for example at Veur-Lent, the Watchtower, the Bisonbaai (or Oortjeshekken), de Kaaij, and/or the Valkhofpark.

Altogether the tour could take up to 2 to 3 hours, which depends on your preferences, choices, and biking tempo.

What to bring

  • Bring enough water and snacks
  • Bring OV-chipcard with the option to rent an OV-bike and enough money on the card
  • Bring the Google Maps route on your smartphone or even printed
  • Bring suited clothing and accessories depending on the weather forecast (e.g., sunglasses, sunscreen, rain gear, etc.)
  • Bring a good mood


  • Bring lunch (if you are not going to buy it)
  • Bring some cash to be able to buy something to drink and, if needed for lunch
  • Bring a camera to capture Nijmegen and its beauty
  • Bring good shoes if you are also planning on walking in certain areas (e.g., Stadswaard, Ooijpolder)
  • Bring swimming gear if you feel like it and want to spend some more time at the beaches (Waalstrandje at Veur-Lent or the Bisonbaai is recommended)
  • Bring a picnic blanket, music box, etc., if you want to chill at the park or at the beach


During this tour, you will come across the city centre of Nijmegen, Ooijpolder, Bizonbaai, and a lot more. For the description and the highlights of this tour, click here Highlights in and around Nijmegen. Be aware to download or print this information when doing the tour. The route description is given here, you can download this description by clicking here Route description Nijmegen. The route is also provided by a Google Maps link, click here.