Venlo, a bustling, exciting city in The Netherlands, is full of places to eat, things to do, and fun experiences. Guests will enjoy the unique combination of history, culture, and modern attractions located in the city.
Founded in the early 1300s, presumably by the Romans, Venlo is located in the Limburg province and is now home to over 100,000 permanent residents. In 2003, the city won a “Best City Center” award.
Venlo is a busy city full of different type of attractions, meant for all types of guests to the city. Below are just a few of the many stand out features to see when visiting.
- Stadhuis - This historic building, located in the center of the city, is the hub of local government. The building itself is a Renaissance architectural wonder that is lit up during the evenings with an array of beautiful colors. It was built in 1597 and features two large towers and an ornamental facade. Guests should be aware that they will not be allowed to enter into Stadhuis.
- Saint Martinuskerk - Located within walking distance from Stadhuis, this church is stunning both inside and out. Built in 1879 in the Baroque architectural style, the church features stained glass windows, a vaulted ceiling, a pipe organ, and a high altar that has been crafted with gold ornamentation.
- Nationaal Park Maasduinen - Covering over 45 kilometers, this park was officially established in 1996 as a national park. It is full of natural beauty, including sand ridges, forests, and plateaus. There is also an abundance of wildlife, like small snakes, lizards, birds (including the western harrier and the nightjar), and frogs. Guests should make sure to check out Reindersmeer Lake and the sandy dunes (located near Nieuw-Bergen).
- Nationaal Park De Groote Peel - The other national park in Venlo, De Groote Peel is smaller in size but offers just as wide and diverse a selection of natural wonders as Maasduinen. De Groote Peel is more of a water based national park, with multiple peat covered bogs. There are also multiple bicycling and hiking opportunities, as well as being the perfect place for bird watching (large populations of cranes and grebes live in the park).
- Toverland Amusement Park - Located just east of Venlo, the amusement park opened in 2001 with multiple, adrenaline pumping rides like the wooden roller coaster (Troy), the log flume (Back Stroke) and the steel roller coaster (Booster Bike). There are also carnival games and food stalls, making these the perfect family attractions.
- Kasteeltuinen Arcen - Originally built in 1511, then demolished and rebuilt in 1651, the Arcen castle is open for public visitors. From the beautifully manicured gardens out front, to the multitude of water fountains and ponds, even the exterior will delight and amaze.
- Limburgs Museum - Dedicated to exhibits focusing on the Limburg region Venlo is located in, Limburgs Museum is actually one of three different museums featuring on the area. The main theme of the exhibitions there related to archaeological finds (like farming tools, textiles, and clothing tracing back to the Neolithic Period) and the history of the settlements that were located in the Limburg region.
- Museum van Wasrol tot DVD - One of the most unique museums in Venlo, this focuses on the history of musical recording and offers an interesting collection of artifacts like old phonographs. Guided tours are available and encouraged.
One of the most fun events in Venlo is Carnival season, which varies yearly depending on when Easter falls on the calendar. This festival includes a huge, colorful parade (mostly using the colors green, yellow, and red) and focuses on “role “reversal as well as the suspension of long held social norms.
Also known as the Summer Park Party, Zomerparkfest in Venlo musical festival lasting four days and offered to the public free of charge. Held in Julianapark in August on an annual basis, the event focuses mostly on music but also offers science, cabaret, theater, dance, film, and literature. It also corresponds with the end of the school year and attracts thousands of people.
In June, Venlo is home to the Dropout Festival. The festival focuses on people who have “dropped out” to make positive impacts to society, and offers a wealth of music, workshops, food, and conversation. It is located in the Talent Valley area of Venlo.
Dining and Shopping
Venlo is home to a variety of different dining options. One visitor favorite is The Valuas. Guests can enjoy a full service, sit down, nine course meals. Another favorite is the Cafe de Klep, full of ala carte options as well as beer and liquor. Venlo also offers almost 200 different and unique shopping options, including both chain shops and local boutiques. There is also an established shopping center.