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Nijmegen march: The best insider guide to the walk of the world in The Netherlands

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Shoes on a rope in the city of Nijmegen during the International Four Days March in The Netherlands
Discover everything you need to know about the Nijmegen march in The Netherlands. This walking event is one of the largest of the world and is also named the walk of the world. Find the routes, dates, times, tips, how to get there and accommodation tips for Nijmegen and its march here.

The Nijmegen march is the biggest walking event and 4 day hike in The Netherlands. The Four Days March in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, is one of the most famous walks across the world.

Whether you’re planning on visiting Nijmegen for the march or are planning on walking it, you will find some perfect usable information right here. Including the dates of the march of Nijmegen, history, distances, best events and even accommodation tips. Find tips for a Nijmegen march training, how to get to Nijmegen and find out why visiting Nijmegen is great when you’re looking for what to do in The Netherlands in July.

Find out why you have to visit Nijmegen for 4 days in July. But when you have 4 days in The Netherlands I would definitely recommend you to visit Nijmegen, whether it’s July or not. The city has a lovely atmosphere at any time of the year.

Remember, Nijmegen is located in the province of Gelderland, The Netherlands. If you’re looking for how to spend 4 days in Holland I would recommend you to have a look at the following cities: Hoorn, Alkmaar, Naarden and Schoorl.

 

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All the things you have to know before visiting the International Four Days Marches in Nijmegen, The Netherlands

The Nijmegen marches of 2019 have started. Discover everything you need to know about the Nijmegen march 2019 and tips for when you want to partake in next years walk of the world in 2020. Discover the Nijmegen march medal and why it’s one of The Netherlands (not Holland) best marches.

Nijmegen is the oldest city of The Netherlands and has plenty of things to offer, during and beyond the four days marches. If you’re visiting Nijmegen during four days in July, then visiting the route of this 4 day hike is a wonderful thing to do in Nijmegen.

Find the best tips on what to do in the incredible city of Nijmegen, The Netherlands, here. 

One of the main bridges and best views of Nijmegen The Netherlands over the Waal river

Where to stay and best accommodation options for the Nijmegen march

When you’re walking the march of Nijmegen, the last thing you’d want is to be far away from the city because you couldn’t find any space. There are quite a lot of options in the city of Nijmegen, whether it’s hotels, b&b’s or staying with friendly locals who open up their home for you.

Great hotels in Nijmegen

Blue Inspired by Manna, click here to book your stay now

Manna, click here to book your stay now

Apollo Hotel, click here to book your stay now

Boutique Hotel Straelman, click here to book your stay now

Hotel Credible, click here to book your stay now

Hotel Oranjestaete, click here to book your stay now

Guesthouse Vertoef, click here to book your stay now

Hotel Linnen, click here to book your stay now

Good B&B’s in Nijmegen

Het Blauwe Uur, click here to book your stay now

Bed & Breakfast Pluweel, click here to book your stay now

Stay with locals in Nijmegen

Another option if you’re looking for places to stay during the Vierdaagse/ Four Days March of Nijmegen is to stay with locals. There are a lot of locals that open up their homes for participants of the walk of Nijmegen. You will have a good bed and breakfast. Some locals offer a bit more, but all of them provide a bed and breakfast. This option is called Vierdaagsebed (four days bed= literal translation), click here for more information about the Vierdaagsebed.

There are also a lot of campings and other places you can stay at during the 4 days walk of Nijmegen. Have a look for more accommodation options for the Nijmeegse Vierdaagse here.

People are walking through the centre of the Dutch city of Nijmegen, The Netherlands, during the march of Nijmegen People are watching the finishing of the participants of the Nijmegen march in The Netherlands at Via Gladiola

The Event: International Four Days Marches in Nijmegen 2019

Here you will discover the most important information to see the Nijmegen marches of 2019 and will learn about the cost and distances for when you’re thinking about participating. As well as find the routes for the Nijmegen march.

Nijmegen march 2019 dates: The march of Nijmegen 2019 is held from Tuesday the 16th of July until Friday the 19th of July 2019. The flag parade of 1500 people (military and civilians) is held on the Sunday afternoon around 15:45 before the walk starts on Tuesday.

Nijmegen march cost: The cost for the march in Nijmegen is 84 euros. If you’d want to get a certificate (you can choose that when registering) it costs you 10 euros as well.

Nijmegen march distance: There are three distances: 50 km, 40 km and 30 km.

Nijmegen march start and finish: 

  1. 50 km
    1. individuals start between 04:00- 04:30 / individuals have to be finished between 12:00 – 17:00
    2. groups start between 04:00 – 04:30 / groups have to be finished between 12:00 – 17:00
  2. 40 km
    1. individuals start between 04:45 – 05:30 or 05:45 – 06:30 / individuals have to finish between 12:00 – 17:00
    2. groups start between 04:30 – 05:15 / groups have to finish between 12:00 – 17:00
  3. 30 km
    1. individuals have to start between 06:45 – 07:15 or 07:30 – 08:00 / be finished between 12:00 – 17:00
    2. groups start between 06:30 – 07:00 / have to be finished between 12:00 – 17:00

On the last Friday everyone can finish between 12:00 and 18:00

Nijmegen march route: Click here for the current routes of the march of Nijmegen 2019.

Nijmegen average temperature month of July: The average temperature in Nijmegen in July is 16,9 degrees Celsius. The average lowest temperature is 12,1 degrees Celsius and the average maximum temperature is 21,5 degrees Celsius. But remember this is average over the course of many years. There are plenty of warms days during the month of July as it’s generally the warmest month within The Netherlands. During July, the average precipitation in Nijmegen is 76 mm.

Nijmegen: Nijmegen is a city that isn’t part of Holland. The march takes place in the province of Gelderland.

Seven Hills Groesbeek: This is the hardest part of the international 4 days march of Nijmegen in July. Even when you’re just visiting Nijmegen it can be fun and intense to go walking in this part of The Netherlands (not Holland). Walk a part of the walk of the world and enjoy the best place for a hiker in Nijmegen. Visiting and walking the seven hills of Groesbeek is one of Nijmegen’s things you have to do or see.

RELATED ARTICLE  One day itinerary for Nijmegen, The Netherlands | Things to do

Via Gladiola: the finish line for participants of the 4 days march in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. People are waiting patiently on their arrival. Shoes on a line in the oldest city of The Netherlands during the 4 days march

Nijmegen march history

The Nijmegen four days march (vierdaagse in Dutch: four days= literal translation) was first held in 1909, although it was very different than it is nowadays. The government and councils were trying to make people move more and created the beginning of one of the most famous walks around the world.

On the 3rd of April, 1908, the Dutch Association for Physical Exercise was established. The first big achievement of this organization was the creation of a 4 days march and it’s first edition back in 1909. Back then it was mainly organized for soldiers. The first edition of the 4 day march in Nijmegen had 306 participants, with only ten civilians. They covered 140 kilometers in four days and returned to the starting place only on the last day.

During the years of 1914 and 1915 the Four Days Marches of The Netherlands were canceled due to the mobilization because of the First World War. An interesting thing to know is that before 1925, people could start the four days marches in 12 other places, besides just Nijmegen. Nijmegen became the starting place of the Four Days Marches in 1925. Back in 1928, the first foreign participants joined the fun. That’s when this walk in Nijmegen became an international walking tour and event in The Netherlands.

Nowadays, the Vierdaagse of Nijmegen is also famous throughout The Netherlands for its parties and events. The first time parties were organized was in 1970. The four days march of Nijmegen used to be calm and not an event for the entire city, which was changed by the parties and events. Thanks to that, people were going out of the streets to celebrate and to enjoy the event.

The millionth participant of the marches of Nijmegen participated in 1998. In 2006 the march of Nijmegen was canceled after the first day because of the heat. A lot of hikers suffered from dehydration and heatstrokes, which eventually caused the emergency services to become overloaded, so it wasn’t responsible to continue the event.

One square in Nijmegen ready for the Nijmegen summer festival which is a part of the 4 days walk.

How to participate in the walk of the world: Nijmegen march

A lot of people want to walk the several distances in the Four Days March Nijmegen, but not everyone can participate. There are 47.000 people that are allowed to walk each day. When more people register than that amount, there will be a draw for everyone.

People who have completed this walk before, teens between 12-15 and people who were drawn out in the previous two events are all able to participate because they won’t be added to the draw but are accepted immediately. The draw is always in the month of March. You can also participate when you are a wheelchair user.

You mostly cannot choose which distance you want to walk. Sometimes you do have the choice, but that depends on your age. Your birth year decides which distance is suitable for you, more about which distance you have to walk in the march of Nijmegen and rewards here.

Click here for more information about registering and participating in the 4Daagse of Nijmegen.

A street with people during the Vierdaagse event in Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Tips for preparing for / walking the 4 day march in Nijmegen, Gelderland

The Netherlands

The Nijmegen March is not something you have to think lightly about. It’s a tough march for many people who are participating. That means that training and having the right equipment is very important in your journey to the 4 days marches of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

  1. Wear supple walking shoes. Buy sturdy, quality, and not cheaply made, shoes and make sure they support you where you feet need it the most. So I wouldn’t recommend you to buy shoes online. Go to a good store for outdoor products, talk to an employee, ask their help and try several pairs on. Mountaineering shoes aren’t recommend because they are very heavy, firm and warm.
  2. Buy good socks.
  3. Start training early and learn and understand your body. 2-3 hours of walking is easy, but walking, let’s say, 10 hours on concrete is a whole different story. Your body will likely hurt like never before. By knowing your body you are aware of the changes within your body during the four days and can react adequately. Do not skip weeks of training. Start at least 6 months before the walk with training and aim to walk at least twice a week long distance trails. But remember, start easy and built it up.

  4. Take care of your feet. I can’t stretch this enough. And although it might seem obvious, there are a lot of people who think of them too lightly. Every year again. So practice walking, get the right materials and treat your feet like a new born kitten.

  5. Clean your gear before you travel to Nijmegen. Clean your backpack, your water bottle, your shoes, etc.
  6. Don’t bring too much luggage. What you need to pack for the Four Days March of Nijmegen are the basics that you can find below.
  7. Keep your body healthy. With this I mean that the food that you put into your body is very important and not just during the 4 days walk in Nijmegen. It’s important to start the walk with a healthy and fit body, this way it will be ‘easier’ for you to walk. Eat your vegetables, fruits, carbs, etc. And hydrate yourself.
  8. Sleep as much as you can. You body needs rest during this 4 days walk in Nijmegen, so while chatting with people in the evening might sound fun, it’s not the best option for your body to recover. Especially since you start walking in the middle of the night again.
  9. Do not drink alcohol during the walk. Alcohol extracts water, leads often to cramping and makes you feel dehydrated, plus is bad for your recovery for the next day.
  10. Always make sure to have sunscreen, a hat, blister patches, a light jacket and a poncho with you. 
  11. Don’t forget to sign in on the Sunday or latest Monday before the start of the walking event. Otherwise you won’t be able to walk.

For extra information about the Nijmegen march click here

Bars and tents are waiting for their visitors during the Nijmeegse Vierdaagse in The Netherlands. People are walking by.

What to pack for the Nijmegen march in The Netherlands

  1. A valid passport. It needs to be valid at least 6 months from the date you leave The Netherlands again.
  2. Sunscreen. I prefer to use coral friendly sunscreen as it’s both good for the environment (doesn’t get into the shower water either) and it’s a less sweaty sunscreen than the ones that have toxics such as oxybenzone. But try to find one that is created for athletes, which is anti-sweat, as well as without the toxics.
  3. Flip flops. They are perfect to give your feet some rest when you’ve finished this 4 day hike in The Netherlands.
  4. T-shirt. But not just any kind of t-shirts. Use lightweight, sweat absorbing shirts that will keep you warm and cool you down/
  5. Socks. Which kind of socks depends on what you like. Do you want to have high socks, or lower ones, etc. But I would definitely recommend you to buy socks that keep your feet dry. This way you can try to get as little blisters as possible, so I would buy socks like these ones from Drymax.
  6. Shorts. I wouldn’t recommend you to walk in long trousers, but if you prefer that then I won’t be stopping you.
  7. Good, sturdy and supple shoes.
  8. Poncho. We have an interesting climate sometimes, I would recommend you to buy a lightweight and reusable poncho like this one.
  9. Backpack or waistband for your walk. When you take a backpack make sure it’s lightweight and has a mesh panel on its back, such as these.
  10. Sports bra
  11. Menstrual products. I would actually not recommend you to walk on your period as it’s even more exhausting for your entire body, but if you have done it before, I’ve said nothing. I would absolutely recommend you to get a menstrual cup though! Remember to open it and twist it 360 degrees once inside. Buy a menstrual cup here!
  12. Comfortable underwear. This means by underwear that is made of non chafing fabric.
  13. Water bottle. But make sure it’s lightweight, as water is already pretty heavy. Buy a great lightweight waterbottle here!
  14. Deodorant. Buy one without aluminium, parabenes, etc. Your armpits will thank you later.
  15. Good sunglasses. Make sure they are sturdy and have protective layers against UVA and UVB.
  16. Energy bars and/or gels. Depending on what you prefer. I personally like the energy bars, especially because those are actually tasty and many of the gels taste chemical.
  17. Sandals. Quality sandals to wear after each day to give your feet and toes some time to breath.
  18. Insoles. If you need them, don’t forget them.
  19. Jacket. You could also bring a little vest as it’s not that cold and you’re constantly moving. In case you’re bringing a small jacket, buy a lightweight one in an outdoor shop and try them on. They need to be comfortable.
  20. Sun hat. Make sure it’s a breathable sun hat and a lightweight one.
  21. Gum
  22. Blister patches from Dr Scholls. I notice that the ones from Compeed often get warm and mushy when walking a long distance, so they will create more blisters in its process. Dr Scholls blister treatment is especially created for active people, buy the best blister patches here.
  23. Vitamins, muscle pain relief, tiger balm, lotion, foot powder and other items you use to take care of your feet and body, such as tape. 
  24. Anti chaffing products. One of the most annoying and irritating pains are the ones you get from chaffing. But don’t you worry, they can be prevented. I would recommend you to buy Body Glide anti chafe balm. You will be able to walk without being in pain.
  25. Others. Of course there are always other things that you have to bring with you, because not everyone is the same. Whether it’s medicine or something else, always double check your list and write things down immediately.
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Platforms at the beginning of Via Gladiola, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. People sit here and watch the finishers of the 4 days walk of Nijmegen come in.

Tips for visiting one of the great walks of the world: the Nijmegen walk

  1. When you visit Nijmegen for the march make sure to arrive either by bike or public transport. Parking lots are sparse and trains run often. It’s only a little walk from the train station of Nijmegen to the centre of the city.
  2. If you want to sit on the platform during the last day at Via Gladiola you’d have to buy tickets which you can do here. You don’t have to sit on the platform to see the hikers come in as most of the route is open and only has some gates in front of them. 
  3. The routes of the Nijmeegse Vierdaagse can be found here.
  4. You will see gladioli flowers everywhere and hikers are offered gladioli by the public. Why? That has to do with gladiators. ‘Death or the gladiolus’ was always chanted from the stands when the gladiators in the arena fought each other to death with the help of a sword. The winner was buried in gladioli after the battle. Gladiolus comes from the latin word Gladius which means sword and that explains the name of the flower, as it has a sword-shaped appearance. The gladiolus has become a sign of strength and victory. The flower is only earned after a special performance and finishing the walk of the world in Nijmegen is an incredible achievement.
  5. The St. Anna Street is transformed into Via Gladiola and is the finish for the hikers on the last day of the Four Days Marches.
  6. You don’t have to spend an entire day walking around Nijmegen. Relax at the beaches of Nijmegen for instance. The Nijmeegse Vierdaagse is about having a fun, relaxing and great experience. Go to some events, eat at local street food places, dance your heart out, enjoy performances, get some beer and swim in the river.

One of the beaches of Nijmegen located in the Waal river

4 day march Nijmegen: Events and parties during the Nijmegen march 2019

You can find many different genres of music all throughout the city of Nijmegen during the third week of July. From blues to hiphop and from rock to salsa music. And from Dutch music to pop. Besides music events, there are also a lot of theater performances and even special events for kids. The parties and events take place from Monday until Friday.

There are so many more parties that you can visit during the Nijmegen summer festival. Click here for all the events and parties.

Fun facts about the walk of the world in Nijmegen, The Netherlands

  1. There are more than 1000 performances
  2. There are more than 100 street theater performances and marching bands
  3. There is more than 18.000 square meters of terraces
  4. 300 outside bars have been placed for the walk of Nijmegen
  5. 381.000 unique visitors that together bring around 1.6 million visits
  6. A visitor spends around 43,50 euros a day
  7. Visitors and locals drink more than 1,25 million litres of alcohol together
  8. Almost all performances are free, with the exception of intimate concerts in the Stevenskerk and a few performances at Festival ‘t Eiland
  9. There are 46 locations for the 1000 performances
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Little street food places and bars under a bridge in the city of Nijmegen during the four days marches in The Netherlands. With a view of the Waal river in the back.

How to get to the 4 days marches Nijmegen

It’s very easy to get to the city of Nijmegen from any small town in The Netherlands. Reason being that the train system in The Netherlands is very good and Nijmegen has great and regular connections with other big train stations and cities. To reach Nijmegen by train is very easy as the train station of Nijmegen is one of the biggest in the Eastern side of the country.

Keep in mind that if you’re looking for Nijmegen airport, you won’t find it. Because it’s not here. An airport that is nearby Nijmegen is Flughafen Weeze, or airport Weeze in Germany.

From Amsterdam: It’s very easy to get from Nijmegen to Amsterdam or Amsterdam to Nijmegen. There’s an intercity train (yellow train) to Nijmegen that runs twice an hour. The trains depart from Amsterdam Sloterdijk, Amsterdam Centraal and Amsterdam Amstel train stations. This direct train takes you from Amsterdam to Nijmegen in 1:23 hour.

From Rotterdam: To get from Rotterdam to Nijmegen, or from Nijmegen to Rotterdam I would also recommend you to take a train. From Rotterdam Centraal train station you have 8 options every hour that can take you to the beautiful city of Nijmegen in between 1 hour and 30 minutes and 1 hour and 42 minutes. Go to NS.nl/en to see al the options.

View of a small fun fair and the waal river in Nijmegen during the 4 days march in The Netherlands View of a small fun fair and the waal river in Nijmegen during the 4 days march in The Netherlands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Maastricht: It’s very easy to get from Maastricht to Nijmegen or Nijmegen to Maastricht. This will be a train ride of around 1 hour and 50 minutes. Take the NS intercity in the direction of Alkmaar or Schagen (runs twice an hour) and get out at roermond. If you have an OV chip card, you’d have to check out by NS and check in at the company of Arriva. You can do that by the little check in/out poles within the station. Get on the Arriva train in the direction of Nijmegen, get out at Nijmegen.

From Utrecht: To get to Nijmegen from Utrecht you can take any of the four trains that will run in the direction of Nijmegen every hour. The intercity train will take you from Utrecht to Nijmegen in 53 minutes. 

From Groningen: It’s quite a journey to get to Nijmegen from Groningen, but you’d only have to transfer one time. You can take two trains from Groningen Centraal station every hour. Take the intercity in the direction of Zwolle. From Zwolle you get on the train in the direction of Roosendaal. Get out at Nijmegen. The train ride of Groningen to Nijmegen takes you around 2 hours and 18 minutes.

From Weeze Airport: You can take a bus from airport Weeze, but you’d have to reserve a ticket for the bus ride at least 24 hours in advanced. A one way ticket sets you back 18 euros, a returning ticket is 30 euros. Visit this website for more information on how to get from Weeze Airport to Nijmegen.

From Schiphol Airport: It’s very easy to get from Nijmegen to Schiphol or from Schiphol to Nijmegen. There are two direct trains that take you straight to Nijmegen every hour (Nijmegen is the final destination of those trains). That will take you around 1 hour and 30 minutes. Or you could take the intercity train in the direction of Venlo and transfer at Utrecht Centraal to the intercity in the direction of Nijmegen. Those intercity trains to Nijmegen run four times an hour from Utrecht Centraal. This will take you also around 1 hour and 30 minutes.

If you’re planning on staying longer in The Netherlands and are looking for tips to explore the country I would recommend you to visit one of these beautiful places in The Netherlands. I can also guarantee you will love the entire province of Friesland. There are cute towns, beautiful nature reserves and endless meadows. It’s the perfect place to slow down after a busy four days.

And don’t forget about the Wadden Islands either okay? It’s a bit of a trip from Nijmegen, but you will be arriving in one of the most beautiful areas of The Netherlands. If you’re looking for what to do in Holland in July, then you have to visit the most beautiful beaches of Noord- Holland. Share this post!

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Manon

Founder of Visiting The Dutch Countryside at Visiting The Dutch Countryside
Hey there! My name is Manon and I'm the founder of Visiting The Dutch Countryside, a local travel blog about The Netherlands. I also wrote the article you just read. I'm a Dutch, born and raised, travel blogger. I decided that it's time that tourists explore The Netherlands beyond the crowds and not just Amsterdam. Have fun exploring The Netherlands!
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