Venlo is located right on the Netherlands/German border in the south east region of the Limburg province. With a population of just over 100,000 it is one of the largest cities in the province and one of the economic centres of the region too. Venlo has a large agricultural industry with one of the most active green ports in Europe.
Furthermore the city acts as a link to other cities in the region and in neighbouring Germany and is a central point for the development of the Limburg economy. During eras past, the area surrounding Venlo was occupied by both Celts and Romans and in later years around the 14th century, it served as a major trading post in the region. Today it stands as a fine city with a great deal to offer with a variety of historical buildings, modern activities such as escape rooms, public parks and specialized museums.
Lets explore the best things to do in Venlo:
Many cities in the Netherlands have a historic town hall that has stood for many years as a central structure of justice and ceremony.
The Stadhuis in Venlo is one such building and can be found on the Markt square in the old town centre.
Constructed in 1597 in a renaissance style, the town hall has a beautiful front façade with two domineering towers and a great deal ornamentation.
At night the town hall is often lift up in a fantastic array of colours and the surrounding Markt square is a great place to enjoy a drink or a meal.
Although you cannot enter the town hall, it is still a fine building to admire and photograph in the centre of Venlo.
2. St. Martinuskerk
Only a short distance from the Stadhuis sits the church of saint Martin in the centre of Venlo.
The interior of this church is extremely beautiful and ornate with a wonderful vaulted ceiling that is splashed with lighting.
Furthermore there is an array of gorgeous stained glass windows, a large pipe organ and a stunning high altar that is laced with gold.
Constructed in 1879, this is a relatively modern church and has a baroque design with a large central bell tower.
This tower stands out against the surrounding buildings and can be seen at many different place in Venlo.
3. Nationaal Park Maasduinen
A long stretch of land that covers an area of 45km squared and was established as a national park in 1996. The start of this dramatic part of Limburg is only 20 minutes to the north of Venlo and the major N271 road runs along its western edge.
Here you can expect to find a mixture of sand ridges, heath land, forests and sandy plateaus.
Aside from the amazing scenery, there is also an abundance of wildlife such as small snakes, frogs, lizards and birds such as the nightjar and western harrier.
Particular points of interest are the Reindesmeer lake and the sand dunes found near the village of Nieuw-Bergen.
4. Nationaal Park De Groote Peel
Aside from the Maasduinen national park, the other area of natural beauty of note is De Groote Peel.
This wonderful wild landscape lies 30 minutes to the west of Venlo and can be reached via the A67. Although smaller in size than other parks in the Netherlands, De Groote Peel still has a varied landscape and a great deal to offer.
With an abundance of peat and bogs, this is a water haven and remains virtually untouched by human cultivation.
A well developed network of paths runs through the bogs and fields and provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy some hiking or cycling.
Moreover, this is a bird watches paradise and is one of the richest areas in western Europe for species such as Grebes and Cranes.
5. Toverland Amusement Park
If you travel 20 minutes to the west of Venlo to the small village of Evertsoord you will find the amazing Toverland amusement park.
Originally established in 2001, this theme park has gone from strength to strength and continues to grow and add new rides to its arsenal.
Inside the grounds of this fun filled park are high octane rides such as the Troy wooden rollercoaster, the Back Stroke Log Flume and the Booster Bike steel rollercoaster.
Moreover, in the two large buildings situated at the back of the park, there are a number of stalls, a restaurant and fun games to enjoy.
With something for all the family to enjoy, Toverland makes for a great day out.
6. Team trapped escape room
A new form of attraction is springing up all around Europe and becoming hugely popular – The escape room.
Escape rooms are all about teamwork, cooperation, problem solving and logic.
Team Trapped escape room in Venlo is a brilliantly designed game that truly tests your ingenuity and concentration.
Pit yourself and your friends against the clock and try to solve a series of clues to escape from the room and find the secret of the golden Tiger.
If you have some free time or have a group of people looking for a unique experience, team trapped will provide a huge amount of fun.
7. Sounds Record shop
Old record shops are extremely cool – They exude a certain vibe and aura and the people who work there really appreciate the art of music.
The sounds record shop in Venlo is one of these old establishments and a great place to chill and find some truly classic songs.
Spread over two floors, the collection of music is unbelievable and every genre of music is catered for.
You can find Vinyl’s, CDs, DVDs and tapes, and if the store doesn’t stock it, they will try and find it for you! A true step back in time, the Sounds Record shop is a must visit for music lovers.
8. Kasteeltuinen Arcen
Have you ever seen a double moated stately home before set in a lavish landscaped garden? This is exactly what you get at Arcen castle – This home was created in 1511, demolished, and then rebuilt in 1651 and now stands open to the public.
A central attraction of the estate is the meticulously manicured gardens that are a true delight to explore.
Water is a central theme here and there are many ponds, streams and water fountains to admire.
Furthermore you can find a myriad of plants, trees, shrubs and flowers all arranged beautifully in delightful patterns.
Summertime is the best time to visit when you can experience the full beauty of the blossomed flowers and greenery of the vegetation.
9. Enjoy a fine meal at the Valuas restaurant
Fancy a meal with a riverside view? The Valuas restaurant provides this and more! Located 15 minutes to the north of the city centre on the banks of the river Meuse, this restaurant is one of the finest places to eat in Venlo.
Exuding with ambience and a fined atmosphere, the service is second to none.
If you want a true dining experience, you can opt for the extraordinary 9 course meal; alternatively you can choose from the al la carte menu with such dishes as Nord Sea crab with fennel and water cress, or partridge with mustard and celeriac.
10. Sample a local beer at the Cafe de Klep
Located right in the centre of the old town, Cafe de klep offers a fantastic atmosphere, friendly staff, and a brilliant selection of beers and spirits.
The friendly staff and owners at this bar will make you feel at home and will help you choose from the mind boggling selection of tap and bottled beers.
Maybe you fancy a Achel blonde or a Boon Kriek? Food is also served here and a visit to Cafe de Klep isn’t complete without sampling the famous bitter balls.
If you want a fun filled and entertaining night out with a wealth of food and drink, this establishment will deliver.
11. Limburgs Museum
A museum dedicated to the Limburg region that is located next to the beautiful Julianapark in the centre of Venlo.
This is one of three museums dedicated to the province and has a fantastic collection of artefacts and exhibitions.
A central theme in the museum is that of archaeology and settlements that have been recorded throughout history here.
You can see a range of archaeological finds dating as far back as the Neolithic period including farming tools, clothing, textiles and utensils.
Furthermore, a fine restaurant can be found within with reasonable prices and a good selection of local dishes.
12. Holland Casino
For those who love the high adrenaline world of gaming and gambling, the Holland Casino in Venlo is right up your street.
Created in 2006, the structure has an oriental style and is situated on a business park around 10 minutes to the west of Venlo city centre.
Inside you can enjoy a variety of games and tables including Barbut, Roulette, Blackjack and Poker.
There is also a designated smoke and play are an a myriad of slot machines to try your hand at.
Once you have made a fortune, you can dine at the quality restaurant or enjoy a cocktail at the licensed bar.
13. Museum van Wasrol tot DVD
Do you have an interest in electronic technology? Do you appreciate the design and style of visual and sound recording devices? For techno lovers, the Van Wasrol tot DVD museum offers great insight into the world of recording and has an extensive display of rare equipment from various eras.
Here you can find everything from old phonographs to current blue ray DVD players and a great deal in between.
Set in an old farm building, guided tours are available of the museum and live demonstrations are given of many of the pieces of equipment.
14. Museum van Bommel van Dam
Venlo has a host of museums and this particular establishment hosts a fantastic display of modern art.
The museum van Bommel van Dam is in close proximity to the other fascinating museums in the city centre and could be visited as part of a tour of the old town.
Inside this modern structure you can see a varied collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs from the modern era of art.
A wide range of artists are featured here including work from Jan Meijer, Marjan Teeuwen and Edgar Fernhout.
15. Cross the border to Lobberich
Venlo sits right on the Netherlands/German border and provides convenient access to the western cities of Dusseldorf, Cologne and Duisburg.
Only 25 minutes to the east of Venlo is the charming city of Lobberich which is actually part of the Nettetal district.
Lobberich has a great amount of parks, lakes and natural scenery that is simply brilliant to explore.
Furthermore you can sample some fine German cuisine at one of the fine restaurants located in the town centre.
You can also use this town as a hopping point to the wider region and to explore further into Germany.