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Pocket Guide: Venlo

Och was ik maar bij moeder thuisgebleven: this is the title of the immensely popular carnival song from the 50’s that was written in Venlo. Not surprisingly, Venlo is the city with the oldest carnival association of the Netherlands. That is not the only claim to fame, because Venlo also has the most medieval streets of any town or city in the Netherlands. Why not book yourself into an incredible historic hotel. It’s also famous for its shopping.

The City Centre

There are a number of incredible neighbourhoods in Venlo, but the most popular has to be the city centre – and with all the delights it has on offer, it’s not surprising.

One great reason to stay in the centre is the Gasthuisstraat. This street has really maintained its medieval character. Another top place to visit is the Maasboulevard an area with cafés, shops, a park and the Romertoren (Romer Tower), a 65 metres tall residential and commercial tower with shops and restaurants.

Since Venlo is located close to the German Ruhr area, it also serves as a great base from which to explore western Germany. German visitors have also become very important to the local economy. Do not be surprised if shopkeepers greet you in German.

There’s something to do in Venlo all year found, even in the colder months. The annual Venlo Carnival is celebrated in February every year. It’s been celebrated since the end of the 19th Century and is one of the biggest and best street parties in The Netherlands.

Besides carnival and the incredible Medieval architecture, Venlo is also a very green city. They were even deemed the greenest city in the Netherlands in 2002, and Europe in 2003. Just head to the Grote and Kleine Heide, the Jammerdaal and Zwart Water to see all this goregous greenery.

Finally, there are several sights you cannot miss. The Sint-Martinuskerk, Vliegbasis Venlo-Herongen – a former World War II German airfield) and the Romerhuis.