Holland trip – Nijmegen, 's-Hertogenbosch, Utrecht

Travelling and walking sightseeing of cities is more fun when you are in a group. We were five - four Czech students and one French student and decided to see the city of Nijmegen. But we seized the day and visited also 's-Hertogenbosch and Utrecht. Let's discover Netherlands!

Our Discover Holland trip group in NijmegenOur Discover Holland trip group in Nijmegen, source: my picture

I have been to the Netherlands for 5 months but during that time I didn't travel much. I wanted to explorer the surroundings of Maastricht by bike and I also visited some cities a few years ago. I like to travel, but I prefer to do sightseeing with friends, as it's more fun than just walking alone. Netherlands is not a big country and it takes about 5 hours to get by train from the south to the north. But trains are not cheap for foreign visitors, so you carefully have to search for special offers. One of them is the "Dagkaart" (Dayticket) that you can buy in some shops from time to time. As regular price of such ticket is 48€, in special offer you can buy it for 13€. As I had such a ticket and it was about to expire I was glad that we agreed on a trip. Let's discover the Netherlands!


City tour in NijmegenCity tour in Nijmegen, source: my picture

We met at 8:45 at the train station in Maastricht and took the train at 8:56. I was glad that Adéla planned the trip and she also had a tour guide with information about each city and town in Netherlands. Sun was shining, no clouds, no show and it was not freezing. Taken the fact that it's the end of January, we had ideal conditions for city tours. Shops are opened on Saturdays and there are also markets with fresh food in the city centres. Nijmegen was therefore empty only at the suburbs. Nijmegen is very old city but you would not say that while walking through the city. Architecture is modern and very diversified which makes the city interesting.

City is located on the left side of the river Rhine over which two big bridges are built. It was foggy and very cold at the river side. We returned back to the city and visited the city park with the rest of ancient city walls and lakes with animals. As it was cold outside and we were hungry, we visited an Asian bistro for a lunch. On our way back to the train stations, girls bought something sweet at the market, we passed by the free Pringles action and I decided to taste local French fries. Well, the ones in Maastricht were better. We decided to go to 's-Hertogenbosch to see the cathedral there and almost missed the train because girls were buying a cup of coffee at Starbucks and Starbucks needed several minutes to make it Smiley :D.


Let's have a drinkLet's have a drink, source: my picture

The tour guide was not much informative about this city (Den Bosch) but recommended Saint John's Cathedral and street with pubs. We visited both, but we should not skip the city tour. We arrived to the city at 3 o'clock and headed to the centre. Streets were crowded but people were mostly shopping than just sitting in pubs. Typical Dutch market at the Market square and contiguous steets provided fresh fishes, flowers and a lot of food and other stuff. But as we reached the cathedral, city was more or less empty at this side. Historical gothic cathedral is said to be one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the Netherlands. Next to the cathedral there is kind of square and there was lying a block of grass. Later on, we found another pieces in the city, but we didn't find out for what event it was used. After the sightseeing we ended up in a pub a tasted different beers. Time went on and before 5 o'clock we were sitting in the train and heading direction to Utrecht.


Utrecht in nightUtrecht in night, source: my picture

After 30 minutes in train, we entered the city of Utrecht. It was getting dark, but Adéla who knows this city very well, guided us through to the centre. City was very busy and crowded even at late afternoon. At 6 p.m. it was already dark and what we entered a pub in a former church. Nice! I've seen a lecture hall, dining room, book-store, hotel and kinder-garden in a building of a church but pub is the best so far. It was obviously very favourite place for a lot of people, so we had to find another place. It was on Saturday evening and what else we should expect? We walked for about 15minutes along the canal and than went down the stairs into a very interesting restaurant. Adéla really knows it here. All tables were taken or reserved but we got place at the bar. Cool. Another hour spent at a beautiful place. And than? Time to go home. We took the train at 20:08. I was in Utrecht in July 2008, but we were really unlucky about the weather as it was raining. I really like the atmosphere of Utrecht, but is's just too busy compared to really quiet Maastricht. I would have to get used to it.

Back to Maastricht

It was a really busy day and I was tired when we got back to Maastricht. I enjoyed it a lot and while walking home I said to myself that we definitely have to repeat this. But for the next time we need to find another trip buddies as Petra and David were leaving the next week and I am not sure who is coming from Prague to Maastricht for the summer semester for exchange. I should also prepare a bit more myself, like find coordinates of some Geocaches and places that are worth seeing, because I think we might have seized the day in Nijmegen a bit more. On the other hand, we would not have managed to make such an awesome round trip Smiley :)

Article last edited 7. 2. 2012, viewed: 1279-times.
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labels Labels:Beer, Czech people, Historical place, Sightseening, Train
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