One thing I absolutely love about the Netherlands, is that there are beautiful towns/cities all over. All you have to do is look. A few weeks ago my husband and I decided that we wanted to take a day trip somewhere. More specifically, we wanted to take the train. Looking around our province of Limburg (the southernmost province in the Netherlands) we came across a city that we had never been to but had heard about: Venlo.
Venlo sits right on the border with Germany and is in the northern part of Limburg. Like many of the cities around this part of Europe, there is a water way running straight through the city. In Venlo, that is the River of Meuse. This river was once used as a trading route during the Middle Ages and has since become a bustling city for shopping, dining and historical reference.
I’ll be honest, we knew very little about this city when we first ventured out but were pleasantly surprised. It was about 10 a.m. when we sent out. Drove 10 minutes to the small train station of Schinnen, loaded our O.V. Chipcards and set out on adventure. –On a travel note here: you can either load chipcards or buy a ticket to your intended destination.– After an hour train ride with only two change overs, we had arrived!
Now, whenever I get to a new city I always try and walk around a bit to get the ‘lay-of-the-land’. The train station lets out right on the edge of the city center, which is perfect. So, leaving the station and setting out towards the city.– I will admit that at first we were not really sure which direction to go and ended up just following a group of other people who looked like they knew where they were going.– Entering the city, we were welcomed with some architecture and sculptures.
The first statue we came across was a “Sacred Heart” statue of Jesus Christ. (The Limburg province follows the Catholic religion). This statue was built and unveiled in the early 1920’s and has an engraving on it, “Regi Suo Cives”, which means: “to its citizens” in Latin.
Walking farther into the city, we took notice of the beautiful architecture. It may sound crazy, but I highly suggest that as you travel that you look up more. Enjoy the interesting roof lines that are abundant in this city. Each building showcases a lot of character.
We made it into the city center where there is a beautiful city hall. Originally, it was built as a castle in the 14th century and was later reconstructed in the 16th century to how it looks today. You will notice different types of clocks on the front two pillars. –Look up, more!–
Now, you are not able to go into the city hall, but there are many restaurants and cafes in the area. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with a gorgeous background!
As we continued to explore, we walked through a little market and made it over the River Meuse, which runs through the city. We did not expect there to be a great little park and walkway next to the river, but there was! This is also the area of where the city has its port that can hold up to 30 boats. The day we went was warm and perfect, so we sat at the end of the port on some cement steps, just watching people–one of my favorite things to do. There is a informative etching near the port that showcases the changes in the city from 100 AD to 1850 AD. Also, the same area speaks about the city’s part in WWII and the ‘Venlo Incident’.
After some wonderful exploring, it was time for lunch! Walking back towards the city center and getting distracted. We passed a place called: “Burgers and Beers”. –I mean come on! That is perfect for us!–We stepped in this place and loved the atmosphere immediately. It is very small, but they have more seating upstairs. We sat down near the bar, ordered a few beers and burgers and planned the rest of our day. Be aware: the burgers are messy!
**Due to this town being on the border with Germany, most restaurants have menus in three languages-Dutch, German, and English.**
By this time in the afternoon, we just wanted to do a few more things and then head back to the south. I can not remember where I read about this store but is an awesome music shop called, “Sounds”. From the outside, this place looks small and that it will not have a variety of music. But walking in, we noticed that this place is two stories and the entire length of the building. By that, I mean that
they have a second entrance on the street parallel to where we went in at. If you do go in the second entrance, however, you will be entering through their cafe. My husband and I love music and spent a little over an hour in this store. They have A LOT of vinyl records and cd’s. –The majority of the music they sell, are world wide artists.
We bought a few things and then decided to head back towards the train station. However, we passed a little Irish bar called “Shannon’s”. A little snack and a few beers later, we were back on the train and headed home.
We only spent about a half a day in the city of Venlo and we are really looking forward to going back. If you guys, want to know more or have any suggestions of places we need to see, please comment below. Also, there will be a budget breakdown of this trip for all of you guys to look at.
Until next time, adventure awaits!!
Venlo Welcome Website; https://www.venloverwelkomt.nl/blog/passantenhaven
Netherlands Tourism Website; http://www.netherlands-tourism.com/the-history-of-venlo/
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