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Why is Arnhem Different From Other Dutch Cities?

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Why is Arnhem Different From Other Dutch Cities?

For many travelers to the Netherlands, Arnhem stands out among the numerous other Dutch cities. Located in the Gelderland province, Arnhem is an old industrial city located right on the banks of the river Rhine and has a character truly distinct from most other Dutch cities. So what makes it different, and why should you visit?

Situated close to the German border, Arnhem is the second largest city in Gelderland after Nijmegen. It has a population of around 156,000 people, so it isn’t a huge city, but for travelers, it certainly packs a punch! The city is often depicted in film and literature as an example of Dutch life. People looking for a modern, metropolitan feel won’t find it here, instead, Arnhem has a rich cultural landscape unique to the Netherlands and a unique character that can’t be found in other cities.

Arnhem has two main areas; the north side of the city is where the centre is situated and home to many historic churches and other religious splendours. On the south side, you’ll find the universities and most of the business area. In addition to this, there are several different museums in the city centre on both sides. An interesting piece of Arnhem history can also be found in the nearby national park of De Hoge Veluwe, famous for its mixture of charming villages, stunning landscapes, and sand dunes. The park is also home to one of the most renowned art institutions, the Kröller-Müller museum.

It is because of these attractions that Arnhem has become an increasingly popular destination for tourists to the Netherland’s, who flock to explore it’s stunning natural beauty and impressive architectural heritage.

International Influences

One thing that sets Arnhem apart from other Dutch cities is its international influence. Many of the cities streets and buildings have retained their old world charm, adding to its appeal to visitors from abroad. The influence of the British is particularly strong here due to Arnheim’s reputation as an Allied stronghold during World War II. Tourists can visit the Airborne Museum Hartenstein to learn more about this victorious battle. However, there are also many British influenced shopping centres and neighbourhoods within the downtown area which reflect how this international influence has changed the city’s character over time.

A Wealth Of Activities

The unique character of Arnhem can be found right throughout its landscape, but there are some areas that really stand out to visitors as distinctly different to other Dutch cities. Arnhem is famously regarded as one of the greenest cities in the country with its numerous parks and lush forested areas. Visitors can easily explore these on foot, by bike or by hopping on a Guided Tour Bus.

The city also plays host to many large music events throughout the year that attract visitors from all over Europe due to their eclectic mix of music genres. These include some of Europe’s biggest open air events such as Rockin’ Park and Elco House Party as well as smaller more independent events like Forest Invasion and I Love Techno.

If you’re looking for some excitement, there are many cultural festivals throughout the year like Goose Weekend which is famous for having visitors burst into dance in the street! In addition to this, there are many unique bars, cafes and restaurants throughout the city offering visitors traditional cuisine or contemporary offerings. To really experience Arnhem in its full glory visitors could even consider applying for the renowned Koning Willem-Alexander Scholarship where lucky recipients are given ample funds to create their own cultural projects or mini studies within the city!

Overall, Arnhem offers travellers a unique experience that they can’t find in many other Dutch cities. There is so much to explore here, from its monuments and natural gems to its cultural events and bars; we could go on forever! For further information on all of the amazing things that you can experience in this charming city be sure to check out, where you can find all of your answers regarding planning your perfect holiday in Arnhem.

An Insider’s Guide to Arnhem

Arnhem is a hidden gem located in the east of the Netherlands. While it may not be as well-known as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, or The Hague, this city has a unique charm and character that sets it apart from other Dutch cities. Here are some insider tips to help you make the most of your visit to Arnhem.

Local Attractions

While Arnhem has plenty of popular attractions, such as the famous Openlucht Museum and the Burgers’ Zoo, there are also lesser-known spots that only locals know about. One such place is the Sonsbeek Park, a stunning 67-hectare park in the center of the city. The park features beautiful gardens, ponds, and water features, as well as a panoramic view of the city skyline. Another hidden gem is the De Hoge Veluwe National Park, just a short drive outside the city. This expansive nature reserve is home to stunning landscapes, wildlife, and also houses the famous Kröller-Müller Museum.

Dining Spots

Arnhem is known for its diverse and vibrant food scene. The city’s street food scene is especially popular, with many stands and vendors offering local specialties like ‘Bitterballen,’ a deep-fried snack filled with ragout, as well as ‘Stroopwafels,’ traditional Dutch syrup-filled waffles. For a unique dining experience, head over to the Foodhallen in the heart of the city. This indoor food market features a wide variety of cuisines and dishes, from burgers to sushi, and cocktails to craft beers.

Cultural Experiences

Arnhem plays host to several annual festivals and events that showcase the city’s culture and traditions. One of the most famous is the World Street Painting Festival, where artists from all over the world converge on the city to create beautiful chalk artwork on the streets. The city also boasts a vibrant music and art scene, with many underground galleries and music venues that showcase local talent.

Local History

Arnhem has a rich and tumultuous history, especially during World War II. The city played a crucial role in the famous Operation Market Garden, featuring in the infamous bridge too far battle and several notable museums and monuments dedicated to the memory of the conflict. Similarly, the Hartenstein Museum is an excellent museum that chronicles the city’s history during the Second World War.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions

If you’re looking for something more unique and memorable, don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the city’s legendary underground tunnels. The city’s countless tunnels dating back to medieval times, have a fascinating history and are now open for adventurous visitors. You can also take a walking tour of the city to discover hidden art and graffiti that are only visible to eagle-eyed pedestrians. Every local tour guide will have their favourite off-the-beaten path location, waiting to be discovered.


Arnhem is a hidden gem that has much to offer visitors from around the world. Whether you’re into food, culture, history, or nature, this city has it all. So, explore and discover this uniquely Dutch city like a local, experience more than just the tourist spots, and create memories to cherish forever.

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Why is Arnhem Different From Other Dutch Cities?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!