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Nijmegen calls itself the oldest city of the Netherlands: in 2005, the city celebrated its 2000th anniversary. In Roman times, the city was called 'Noviomagus', or New Market. Unfortunately, many old buildings were lost when the city was bombed in the Second World War, and during the following reconstruction of the city. Nevertheless, the city still has a lot to offer. In addition, Nijmegen is a typical student city. Each year the famous Nijmeegse Vierdaagse (a four day walking event) attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors.
The city has 160,000 inhabitants, among whom 10,000 students.
Nijmegen is located in the east of the Netherlands, close to the German border and surrounded by hills and forests. Most of the city is built on the left bank of the river Waal, at the foot of a lateral moraine. At the other side of the river a new suburb arises.
The healthcare sector is heavily represented in Nijmegen. The Sint Radboud Hospital has an excellent reputation and the city's policy is aimed at attracting more medical companies, which would cooperate closely with the higher education institutes in Nijmegen (including the universities) to share knowledge and expertise.
There is hardly any industry. As a result, unemployment among the less highly educated is high. The city hopes if can solve part of this problem by encouraging tourism in the region.
To the south-east of Nijmegen - in Germany - lies Airport Weeze, which is used by low cost carrier Ryanair. The company uses the term 'Duesseldof-Weeze' to refer to this airport, although it is closer to Nijmegen.
Nijmegen has a good bus network. Its city buses are exploited by Novio, while a different company - Hermes - provides bus transport to other places in the region. All buses depart from the square in front of the train station, or they make a stop there.
From the train station, two trains an hour depart for Utrecht and Amsterdam, while another two depart for Roosendaal, which has connections to Rotterdam and The Hague or to the Belgian capital of Brussels.
Driving in Nijmegen is not difficult and you will have little trouble finding your way: all entry roads lead to the large roundabout in the center, the Keizer Karelplein. Near that square are the main shopping streets, which are car-free.
Around the center there are four indoor and seven outdoor car parks. The cheapest car park is located immediately on the other side of the railway. Via a tunnel underneath the tracks you will be in the city center within minutes. You can also park in the streets, but the parking meters do not accept coins. On Sundays and between 18 pm and 9 am, parking in the street is free (with the exception of shopping nights and shopping Sundays).
The city council wants to limit car traffic in the center. Taking the bike is encouraged. There are many cycle paths in Nijmegen, separated to ensure that the cyclists are not bothered by the other traffic.
Nijmegen has a reasonable number of hotels. Around major events like the Vierdaagse, all hotels are fully booked. In addition, more and more people spend a few days in Nijmegen and the surrounding area. So book in advance at your favorite hotel.
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