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City Trips and Weekends in The Netherlands
February 2011

The Netherlands Flag The Netherlands: Venlo Flag The Netherlands

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Venlo train station, The Netherlands

Venlo is a border town between Germany and Holland.

I was going to Düsseldorf and had to change trains there, so I decided to take a walk in the city centre.

If you're heading to Germany, buy your ticket at the German ticket machine next to press kiosk.

International tickets prices at the Dutch ticket machine or at the counter are much higher.

Guardian lion in Venlo, The Netherlands

Venlo train station is less than 10 minutes walking from the centre, on a pedestrian road.

There were a lot of works going on between the station and the city centre.

Venlo is well in the Netherlands, but has undoubtly a German feeling.
When walking in the streets I realized that I understood what people were talking about. That wasn't normal, as I don't speak Dutch... then I realized that a lot of people was speaking in German!

I went to buy something to eat and the waitress said "Guten Tag"... I ordered my meal and German and I asked her if she was German or Dutch.
She replied that she was Dutch, but most of Venlo inhabitants speak both languages, which they learn from school.

Cafe Central on Venlo Central Square

Venlo is a very old city. It started as a trading post on the Meuse River during Roman times and grew fast in the Middle Ages.

But it's during World War II that the city became famous for what is known as The Venlo Incident: After Georg Elser failed to assasinate Adolph Hitler, two british agents were captured in Venlo by Germany's Sicherheitsdienst (SD, or Security Services) in 1939.

This was used to justify the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands, in May 1940.

Minderbroederskerk in Venlo, The Netherlands

That part of history is well in the past, and today many Venlo inhabitants speak German, and many Germans also come here.

Venlo might not have many monuments and might not be Holland's most beautiful city, but it's a very nice place to wander.

On the left you see the Minderbroederskerk. It was built in 1617 as the church of the Franciscan monastery, which was demolished in the early 20th Century.

St Martinus Church in Venlo, The Netherlands

Venlo's major church is the Roman Catholic church of St. Martinus. The current building dates from the early 15th century. It replaces an wooden church built around the year 1000.

In 1945 the tower was destroyed, the one we see today dates from 1953.
St Martinus Chruch also boasts one of the largest carillons in Europe.

The Netherlands travel guide

The Netherlands travel guide

Cycle along the canals, past sand dunes, windmills, tulips and wild national parks. Reward yourself with warm appeltaart, then learn to swallow a raw herring without flinching.

Stadhuis, Venlo city hall, The Netherlands

Venlo City Hall, called the Stadhuis, is probably Venlo's most famous and most beautiful building. It was built in 1736.

The Stadhuis is located in Venlo's Market Square, the place where pedestrian streets converge. It's a nice square with colourful old houses, which are now turned into bars, restaurants and shops.

Venlo: The rooster and the city hall

I spent the afternoon walking around Venlo's pedestrian streets which were full of people on this festive sunday.

There were a lot of stalls selling all kinds of stuff, including food, clothes and traditional crafts.

Carnaval coming to Venlo's Market Square

The Carnaval season was starting so there were a lot of people in the streets. It was very lively, especially for a sunday afternoon.

After this short tour of Venlo, I went back to the station, as I had to catch the train to Düsseldorf.

Links on Venlo and the Netherlands:

The Netherlands official Tourist board
Lonely Planet The Netherlands guides
Venlo on Trip Advisor
Compare cheap flights to The Netherlands
Cheap Hostels in The Netherlands
Hotels in Venlo with

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Carnaval coming to Venlo
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Western Europe - The Netherlands (Chapter)

Western Europe - The Netherlands (Chapter)

This is the Netherlands chapter from Lonely Planet's Western Europe guidebook.

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