weekend in Arnhem

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I’ve already written why the Netherlands is so memorable for me.

Now I would like to add few words about Arnhem – travel hub halfway between Brussels, Amsterdam and Hamburg.

Arnhem is the capital of the Dutch province Gelderland; home to a growing number of creative start-ups and excellent artistic University ArtEZ, which offer dozens courses at the Bachelor or Master level in disciplines like:

– architecture and interior

– creative writing

– dance

– design

– education in Art

– fashion

– fine Art

– Music

– Theatre

Locals from Arnhem are proud off the architecture and design of their city. The first astonishing landmark visible for travelers is the central station itself – a super futuristic building reopened in current form in the end of 2015. Shops, offices, houses, cinema and railway station create one consistent object which tempts visitors to stay and explore Arnhem more.


I stayed a few days around Arnhem six years ago. I remember sleeping in a caravan in the middle of a Dutch forest but I didn’t take any pictures on that occasion.

source: XL Creations https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj9GkWJNxGw

There are large parks, open spaces and farms. Clean, unpolluted air. You can take a biking tour or just use one of the free white bikes prepared at Sonsbeek Park for tourists.

The area of Arnhem is bigger than the area of the administrative capital of The Netherlands, The Hague. Did you know that Arnhem is actually called the Little Hague Of The East?

Gelderland is the largest province in Nederland and Arnhem with over 150 000 citizens is its capital.

Beautiful video displaying the charm of Arnhem:


I would like to show you some cultural heritage from Arnhem.

The following video from Spannendegeschiedenis.nl tells an interesting story behind medieval Doorwerth Castle.

It was destroyed in 1944. Polish historians like to emphasize that polish army helped Nederland to keep independence as a nation in the battle for Arnhem (Operation Market Garden, 17th-26th September 1944), but in fact, polish army failed there. It is explained well here with conclusion: “Sadly, Operation Market Garden proved to be ‘a bridge too far’.” Fortunately, Doorwerth Castle was later reconstructed, so you are welcome to visit and explore this castle in its full glory.


More optimistic side of history is displayed in main Dutch Open Air Museum, Nederlands Openluchtmuseum,

Address: Hoeferlaan 4, Arnhem.

It’s a huge area of 44 hectares where you can effectively spend whole day, learn about daily living and admire historical landscapes of the whole of Nederland. You can even join skaters in the winter. Have fun! Architect Macanoo presents the museum on YouTube:

source: Mecanoo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tjwgkWgMg0


I experienced a massive flood as a seven years old kid. It happened exactly 22 years ago. My neighborhood wasn’t a victim but areas closer to the river fell into chaos and destruction.

Then I spent two weekends in a sandpit collecting sand for defenders. Only my city collected around 300 – 480 thousand sandbags. Sadly, 114 people died in Czech Republic, Poland and Germany. Damage in Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Slovakia and Austria was worth 4.5 milliards USD.

I write about this because Dutch are masters in dealing with water. More than half of entire country lies below sea level. Apparently, God created a sea but the Dutchie created their own land. The whole country’s existence depends on modern water – engineering solutions. The best place to learn about this is Water Museum in Arnhem.

Address: Zijpendaalseweg 26-28, Arnhem

That’s of course not all what Arnhem has to offer for visitors. We can simplify that Indonesia was a Dutch colony in the past. Nowadays, you can find at least ten Indonesian restaurants in Arnhem, and it’s the best cuisine available in the Netherlands (not only in my opinion).

Just type in your google browser: “best Indonesian restaurants in Arnhem”.

If you enjoy contact with nature, Arnhemians would also recommend this large zoo.


You shouldn’t limit searching for your hotel only to Arnhem. There are some nice places to sleep for around 100 euros / night, but my advice is to find accommodation with a direct train connection to Arnhem Central.

Nederland is a compact country with excellent net of public transportation. You can choose a perfect place which isn’t necessarily located in Arnhem and easily commutable. Quality and price are more important factors than location.

Check also: interview with Dutch rockman who recommends the National Park in Gelderland.

author: Sam O’Black