The capital of the province of Gelderland, Arnhem is a welcoming city with unique neighbourhoods and surrounded by lush parks all waiting to be explored. It’s a vibrant hub for art and culture, with exceptional museums, concept stores and historic concert halls. Do a bit of shopping or walk in the park and then relax at one of the many barista coffee shops or trendy bars.

Like a local
Experience Arnhem like a local

Experience Arnhem like a local

Girl walking along the Rhine in Artnhem

Arnhem offers the perfect mix of city amenities and relaxing green spaces. It’s not for nothing that it is called 'The Gateway to the Veluwe'. Located in the heart of Gelderland, Arnhem is surrounded by many special nature reserves but is also a medium-sized city with a very urban character. It has a rich, interesting history and you’ll find many opportunities to enjoy international art and culture.

Did you know that Arnhem has a large, modern train and bus station designed by award-winning architect Ben van Berkel? It offers convenient direct connections to the major cities of the Randstad or other beautiful spots in the province of Gelderland. While you're there, check out the unusual trolleybuses. These electric buses get their power from overhead wires and the system is unique in the Netherlands. The first of these drove around as early as 1949! The buses fit right in with Arnhem, which has developed into an international hub of renewable energy start-ups.

Interior of Arnhem station with view of trolley bus

The history of Arnhem

John Frost Bridge in the evening, Arnhem

Arnhem is probably best known abroad for a famous Second World War battle that took place there in 1944. During the Battle of Arnhem, the (now famous) John Frost Bridge was literally and figuratively 'a bridge too far' for the Allies in their attempt to liberate the city during the war. Traces of that battle for freedom can still be found today, not just in museums but also via sculptures and other (outdoor) art. The Open Air Museum, where the past comes alive with authentic buildings and objects, is highly recommended.

Thanks in part to its renowned fashion and art school ArtEZ, Arnhem is considered one of the forerunners in the creative field. The capital of Gelderland is turning into an international centre for creativity and ideas around sustainable fashion and offers an incredible range of art and culture. The city has centuries-old buildings and beautiful theatres; from studios to artworks and diverse performances. Check out the special Arnhem UITagenda to get an up-to-date overview of what’s going on in and around the city.

Arnhem, Jans' Theatercafe

Arnhem: gateway to the Veluwe

Couple walking on the Veluwezoom in autumn

If you’re going to Arnhem, it would be a missed opportunity not to rent an OV bicycle and venture outside the city limits. For example, enjoy the Veluwezoom National Park with its vast forests, ancient beech trees and stunning natural beauty. Or take a long walk on the Veluwe heath – also an ideal place to test your cycling abilities. Finally, the welcoming village centres and historic castles and country estates around Arnhem are proof that this area has been attracting the rich and famous for centuries.

Feel like a real Ernhemmer

You will work up an appetite after exploring the lush green areas and all that Arnhem has to offer. Luckily, Arnhem is a culinary paradise with top-class restaurants, unique bars and trendy new concepts. Foodies can spend hours enjoying different snacks and trying out new dishes. Head to bustling squares such as the Jansplaats or the Korenmarkt, where you will find countless cafés, restaurants and terraces. Or sit down and relax in one of the city parks or courtyards, or at the Rijnkade quay along the water.

Jansplaats Arnhem met gezellige terrasjes
Parks, hills and vast forests

Parks, hills and vast forests

Cities don’t come any greener than Arnhem, which is why it was proclaimed the ‘greenest city in Europe’ years ago. The many parks in and around the city are testimony to this. At just a 5-minute walk from Central Station and the city centre, Sonsbeek Park is undoubtedly the most well-known park in Arnhem. Along with the Zypendaal and Gulden Bodem parks, Sonsbeek Park is a green gem in Arnhem’s crown.

The park is home to a magnificent old watchtower, The Belvédère, and the particularly beautiful Steile Tuin (Steep Garden). Locals and visitors come to Sonsbeek Park to relax, play sports, enjoy a picnic, take a stroll and even skate in winter. It’s also the setting for various sustainable goods markets and cultural festivals.

Park Sonsbeek in autumn

Huge landscape park

Park Lingezegen Arnhem

Slightly less known is the beautiful Lingezegen Park. This is a huge landscape park the size of 3,400 football fields, so you’ll have plenty of space to relax, cycle, take a walk, and enjoy nature, culture, local food and the rich history of the park. Its sheer size alone makes Lingezegen Park unique. The park stretches from the southernmost border of Arnhem all the way to the northern bank of the Waal River near Nijmegen (the oldest city in the Netherlands).

Lingezegen Park is no standard park; it is not surrounded by a fence and is accessible to everyone. It also contains newly created nature areas, as well as farms and estates. The park is a beautiful stretch of green space where you can escape the urban hustle and bustle.

Green and sustainable

There are also many special green and especially sustainable elements in the centre of Arnhem. Did you know, for example, that the Eusebius Church, Arnhem's most famous urban landmark, is heated for up to 60% by district heating and residual heat from the incineration of waste in the nearby town of Duiven? For the remaining 40%, the church uses radiant heat generated with hydrogen. This makes it the first 100% fossil fuel-free church in the Netherlands!

Cityscape of Arnhem, St. Eusebius church seen from Sonsbeek park
Hidden gems
Off the beaten track

Off the beaten track

The Modekwartier district is located in the authentic old working-class neighbourhood of Klarendal, where, as soon as the sun shines, people set up their entire lounge on the pavement. In the middle of this special neighbourhood you will find the Modekwartier, where around 60 designers and other creative people settled with their studios and shops.

The Modekwartier district in Arnhem
Girl works in atelier in Arnhem Modekwartier district

It is a place where you can find handmade clothes, jewellery, shoes and bags, as well as exceptional ceramics, sustainably produced soap, tattoo artists and (vintage) design for your home. What connects all these designers is that they make their products using traditional methods and view fashion and design from a sustainable perspective. They often studied at ArtEZ, the college of arts in Arnhem, and are strongly linked to Arnhem and its core values of being sustainable and green.

A must see

The Modekwartier is also a hotspot when it comes to delicious food and drink. It’s the place to be according to many bloggers and a must-see according to travel guides. The combination of designers and trendy restaurants and bars makes shopping in the Modekwartier a very special experience. A good example of this is the Modez Hotel, designed by fashion illustrator Piet Paris. Together with 30 internationally acclaimed but also young designers, Paris created 20 completely different rooms and six studios where every tourist or traveller can unwind and marvel at the unique design.

Hotel Modez in Arnhem

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