Top 5 places to explore around Wageningen
Exploring Wageningen and it’s surroundings is a nice way to get settled into a new environment. Wageningen itself has a nice market, cafes and beautiful surroundings. So it’s not hard to survive life in the city. But if you are willing to go a bit further out by foot, bike, or train then you can find so much more to explore around Wageningen. The perks of living in such a small country and central location is that you never have to travel far.
So, this is a pretty obvious one. Utrecht is a lovely city around 1 hour by bus or 30 minutes by train from Wageningen. It has canals winding through it and you can hire paddle boats or kayaks to explore – can you get any more Dutch than that? It also offers amazing places to eat and drink along the canals and many parks. There is the Dom in the centre that is gorgeous inside and out and apparently, there are some fantastic museums (the latter I cannot personally vouch for). The city is a lot busier than Wageningen and bikes roam freely around the city centre so make sure you keep your eyes and ears open. Would recommend Ted’s as a great place for lunch!
The best part about Renkum is the journey there. If you cycle to Haarweg you can easily follow the cycle maps to Renkum. The route takes you along a beautiful secluded river and through some picturesque farms full of black and brown cows. Just be aware of a quite large hill on the outskirts of Renkum that you must summit before entering the city. After cycling around Wageningen, the slightest incline feels like Everest.
The actual city is small and lovely I would recommend the ice-cream café next to the church. It also contains more shops than Wageningen if you want to do some shopping. Once you have explored the city then head to the Rhine and follow the Rhine back to Wageningen. Nothing beats cycling next to the Rhine on a hot day. You will see people sunbathing, swimming, and sailing. I think you can even hire some kayaks and explore the Rhine by boat. The route takes you through a semi-dense forest and open fields, but it is a very easy cycle.
If you want to explore a larger city and in need of some retail therapy, then I would recommend Arnhem. It is super easy to get to, just a 30-minute bus ride and is full of nice shops. You can shop till you drop in their small vintage shops and the big shopping centres. It also contains many cute cafes and second-hand stores in which you can find some very interesting objects. It is also a nice central location for buses and trains that can take you elsewhere in the Netherlands.
The other nice thing about Arnhem is the green environment. Close to the city centre you can find Sonsbeek Park. This expansive parkland & gardens with 18th century mansion, fountains, a water mill and a tea house is great place for a stroll or picnic.
I must confess, I only saw the city and surroundings of Amersfoort when I ran a half-marathon there. But from what I saw on the route, it was beautiful. Again, this is another canaled city and some beautiful bridges and archways that tower over the city. The city centre dates back to Medieval times. The surrounding countryside is also beautiful, again just follow the river. There are a lot of big and small parks which will be the perfect place for a picnic. However, the best thing about Amersfoort had to be Zandfoort Aan De Eem. This is a restaurant on a fake beach, and so was a huge tick in my book.
Follow your nose
Ok, so technically this isn’t a specific place but thought I should mention it. When it is a nice day I would recommend grabbing your bike and just cycling somewhere. There are so many lovely things to see around Wageningen. If you are near Asserpark, go find the forest next to the sports complex. If you are near Haarweg, follow the river and find the Cherry Blossoms and Wallabies. If you are near the city centre, find the Rhine and just see where it takes you. One of the best things about the Netherlands is the cycling culture. You will find bike paths everywhere, so take advantage of them and just go for a cycle to see what you can discover. Just be sure to remember which way you came from.