From festivals to exhibitions, from sports events to music performances: there is always something going on in Nijmegen! But where do you start? Below we have compiled a list of the not-to-be-missed events, activities and holidays that take place in Nijmegen every year.
New Year's dive in the Spiegelwaal
In Nijmegen, too, it has been a trend for a few years now: the New Year's Dive! Hundreds of Nijmegen people jump into the Spiegelwaal on January 1 for a refreshing dive to start the year off right. The cold is not for everyone, but for those who dare, it is certainly a splashing start!
Nijmegen Winter Weeks
A light sculpture route including cool music quiz, performances, live music and street theater; you will find it all in the city center during the Nijmegeese Winterweken. This cozy winter festival starts in December, but is also in full swing in January. Enjoy the winter in downtown Nijmegen!
To the museum
The museum De Bastei teaches you all about nature and culture, with a focus on the river. The National Bicycle Museum Velorama is the only bicycle museum in the Netherlands. In the muZIEum you experience what it is like to be blind and the Valkhof Museum takes you back to ancient Rome. As a museum fanatic, you won't have to get bored in Nijmegen!
When the horse is back in the corridor and the polonaise music comes back on, you know it's going to happen. Singing, partying, dancing. Carnival is something you celebrate together. Every year, the oldest city in the Netherlands is also renamed Knotsenburg. Alaaf!
What to do with the February cold in Nijmegen? Tie your laces and hit the road! Stroll along the waterfront past konik horses and wild cattle, walk under the dense canopy of the forest near the Duivelsberg or take a sporty hike in the hilly area around Groesbeek. And don't forget to score a nice cup of chocolate milk during your walk.
To the cinema
Nijmegen is a real film city! The city of Waal has several cinemas where the latest blockbusters and best arthouse films are shown. And not only that, throughout the year several film festivals and film events are organized. Relax in February in the cinemas of Nijmegen.
LUX offer 'language no problem events': films, theatrical and dance performances and debates that can be attended to by non-dutch speaking visitors.
Spring in Nijmegen
The snow is beginning to melt and give way to the first flowers, buds and leaves on the trees: spring is here! Nothing better than feeling the sun on your face again after a long winter. And where better to celebrate spring than in Nijmegen? Enjoy what Nijmegen has to offer in the blooming season!Discover spring in Nijmegen
Go Short International Short Film Festival
Go Short is the festival for short film in the Netherlands. The program, consisting of several European short animation films, documentaries, experimental films, independent films and student films, is mostly screened in LUX. Visit five festival days full of short films in Nijmegen in April!
On Koningsdag (King's Day) Nijmegen celebrates the birthday of the head of state. King Willem Alexander's birthday is on April 27 and so that day is all about parties, free markets and of course the king himself. Put on your best orange outfit, visit one of the free markets in Nijmegen and - very important - do not forget to eat an orange tompouce of course!
Finding Easter eggs in the garden and then painting them, going to the petting zoo to play in a playground, making Easter bunnies... But the highlight of the Easter weekend is of course the table full of rolls, fresh juice and eggs at the Easter breakfast. Celebrate Easter in Nijmegen!
In Nijmegen, there are plenty of great locations for gifts and activities to celebrate Mother's Day. Take her to one of the many nice terraces Nijmegen has to offer. Of course, you can also make a night out of it at one of the Nijmegen hotels. There are also plenty of stores to pick out something nice.
Shopping in Nijmegen
A day of shopping in Nijmegen feels like a day out. Nijmegen has a huge diversity of stores: second-hand or brand new, specialty or chain. The old town is a shopper's paradise. April is therefore the perfect shopping weather and who knows, you might score something nice in the spring sales.
On May 5 we celebrate that we live in freedom in the Netherlands and that in 1945 World War II full of violence and oppression came to an end. Liberation Day is also a day of celebration for everyone. Want to celebrate freedom but also dwell on personal stories from World War Two? Then you can go to the official Liberation Festival Nijmegen in the Hunnerpark.
Music Meeting Festival
Music Meeting Festival is a three-day music festival during Whitsun in Nijmegen. The programming cuts across styles, genres and cultures. From jazz and improvised music to traditional music and unique crossovers. The beautiful Park Brakkenstein is the place to be every year. Do you dare?
Despite the decreasing number of believers, Pinksteren (Pentecost) is still considered a national holiday. Ideal for a nice day out in Nijmegen. Go vintage shopping, for example, or visit the Whit market on Whit Monday! At the end of the day sit down on a terrace. These are the places to be.
Summer in Nijmegen
When summer arrives, Nijmegen people soon head for the water to cool off. Fancy a day at the beach? Then the Ooijpolder or the Spiegelwaal are highly recommended. Or spend a day sailing, canoeing or supping. Rent the equipment easily at Bij Ceulemans or SURF & SUP. Summer is not complete without a delicious cooling ice cream, fun at the summer fair and partying until late. Welcome to Nijmegen in the summer!Read more
Down the Rabbit Hole
This festival may not take place in Nijmegen, but Down the Rabbit Hole really feels like a Nijmegen festival and should not be missed in this overview. This adventurous mini vacation at the crystal clear lake takes place around three music stages and all kinds of hidden worlds where there is endless to discover.
Where do you take a quiet stroll one day and stand among 60,000 enthusiastic music lovers the next? Right, the Goffertpark! Because this is where big concerts are organized by MOJO. U2, The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rammstein and many more big names have performed there during the summer.
Nijmegen 4Daagse and Vierdaagsefeesten
For decades, the 4Daagse has been the largest multi-day walking performance event in the world. The Vierdaagsefeesten, popularly known as summer festivals, are of course part of that. Seven days of partying, dancing, eating, drinking and much more with your friends, family or colleagues. With more than 40 stages and 1200 performances spread across Nijmegen, this is the largest freely accessible event in the Netherlands!
With the largest terrace density in the Netherlands, Nijmegen's terrace is the place to be in summer. At Strandbar Stek you definitely want to spend the summer evenings watching the setting (or rising) sun. The best parties and concerts can be found in De Achtertuin. Grand Café Moenen has the largest terrace on the Grote Markt, where you are welcome from 10 am. Looking for old-fashioned coziness? Then you should definitely visit the Faberplein. Check out Nijmegen's nicest terraces.
The Nest Festival
Looking for adventure? Then you have to go to The Nest Festival in September in the Goffertpark. Five green stages for all kinds of lovers. A versatile, musical program, an outdoor cinema, light artists, good and special food, a spacious fringe program and much more!
Festival De Oversteek
Festival De Oversteek is a cozy small-scale theater and music festival north of the river Waal. The festival of Nijmegen North, with more than 35 different theater, dance and music performances at over 25 locations. View the photo report from 2022 here.
In September it is once again time for the Art Night. Kunstnacht is a night full of unique experiences where surprising combinations of art institutions from Nijmegen and Arnhem show what they have to offer to a wide audience in an accessible festival format. Indispensable for anyone who loves art and adventure! View the photo report from 2022.
Open Monumenten Dag
Every year, Open Monumentendag is organized in Nijmegen to bring residents and visitors into contact with monuments in Nijmegen and their cultural heritage. Each time there is also a theme around which the exploration of the most beautiful Nijmegen monuments is made.
Autumn in Nijmegen
Wind, rain, whirling colored leaves and you know that autumn has begun. Lovely to go to the forest in search of leaves, acorns or just to get some fresh air. Also cultural Nijmegen is starting again to provide you with spectacle and the most beautiful performances during these dark days. Come and enjoy autumn in Nijmegen!Discover Nijmegen in autumn
Festival Jazz International
Each year, Festival Jazz International (FJIN) presents a diverse and international program featuring artists from different countries, racing through the many diverse facets that contemporary jazz has to offer. In addition, the festival introduces audiences to young, local talent and provides a stage for unique projects. Worth a visit!
Nacht van de Ommetjes
The Nacht van de Ommetjes is the annual walking event for and by local residents in Nijmegen, young and old! Enjoy art, culture and historical stories and performances in your favorite neighborhood. Once founded by the first Night Mayor of Nijmegen, and still a success. Walking is free, but registration is required.
Schemerlicht Festival is an audiovisual art festival in which scientists, artists and composers work together on the creation of installations, musical compositions, audio or moving images and on the broad story these works tell together. Expect an immersive walking experience past works of light and sound art with a focus on climate. View the photo report from 2022.
October is History Month at 024geschiedenis! Every year they put on a great program, which takes place mainly in the St. Nicholas Chapel and the Valkhof Park. Enjoy a daily cultural theater cafe in the Sint-Nicolaaskapel with various presentations, music and pitches from the cultural heritage field combined with Nijmegen hospitality hotspots.
Winter in Nijmegen
It is dark early and a lot colder, then you know that winter has begun. Fortunately, Nijmegen makes sure you are not completely in the dark and the city center is beautifully lit. During the Nijmeegse Winterweken you can enjoy a beautiful light sculpture route, go to the cinema for the best Christmas movies, shop in beautiful Christmas atmosphere or enjoy a nice Christmas dinner.Discover winter in Nijmegen
Feest van het Licht
In December, Museumpark Orientalis is transformed into the annual Feast of Light. The Feast of Light is an annual event around Christmas. There is always an experience program for young and old, combined with a nativity exhibition.
Christmas Circus Nijmegen
Every winter the tents in the Goffertpark are set up again for the Christmas Circus Nijmegen. What can you expect? Daredevils from South America in the Motorglobe of Terror, cute ponies, tightrope walkers, aerial acrobatics and funny clowns. A cool show for kids, but also definitely fun for adults.
Downtown Nijmegen is once again decorated with Christmas lights and festive decorations. Everywhere, Jingle Bells sound from the stores and houses in the city center. Wondering what you can do in Nijmegen during Christmas? Then keep an eye on this page!
New Year's Eve
The event to end the year on a high note is of course New Year's Eve. Every year the most exuberant parties are organized in the city centre. Of course, the party is not complete without oliebollen! Get the powdered treat at one of the many oliebollen stalls. Start the new year fresh and fruity again on January 1 with an ice-cold splash in the Spiegelwaal or at recreation area Berendonck.