Welcome back to another edition of our on-going City Guide series, where movers and shakers from around the world take us on a tour of their city, giving us the ins and outs of the places they call home and making us feel that much more like a local. This time, we travel to Arnhem in The Netherlands with Free Your Mind festival. As one of the first and most established festivals in the country, Free Your Mind has been doing it right for over 15 years, bringing the best and freshest talent to their stages. Words by Daniel Williamsen of Free Your Mind festival.
We all like a good drink, so where are the top spots to head to before a night out?
Arnhem is a very diverse and cultural city. There are various spots to hang out before heading into the nightlife, depending on your preferences. The top spots among the most people are Stan & Co, Jans, Bizar-Bazar, Taphuys and the lately opened Foodhallen. Stan & Co and Jans are mostly focussed on the more high-end drinks and bites with a variety of cocktails and the best of wines and beers in a wonderful and chill ambiance. Taphuys, on the other hand, is completely focussed on one of the biggest selections of beers in the country with a whopping 100+ beers in their inventory. As a guest, you have the possibility to tap your own beers with a handy self-service system that works with a pre-paid card. Bizar-Bazar has opened its doors at the end of 2018. This newly formed concept combines the ultimate Mediterranean experience which has a bar, restaurant, hotel, and shops in one iconic building: a restored Lutheran church. A must see for everyone that hasn’t visited Arnhem before! Lastly, the recently opened Foodhallen provides a variety of small food stands in a big hall that has something for everyone to enjoy. From the sushi out of Japan to the Mexican taco, and from delicious shish kebabs from Turkey to your classic American Burger Menu: if you got a party with an appetite and difficulty to choose, this is the place to go!
Where can you find the best clubs / late night venues in town?
Unfortunately, there have been some clubs and late night venues that closed down lately due to lack of business and other destination plans by the city council. Luckily we have several events and creative guys in Arnhem that do all sorts of events to keep the city very much alive. If the more commercial stuff is your type of music, then you’ll find most of the bars, cafés, and clubs on the Korenmarkt square to your liking. For me personally, I always find something in pop-stage Luxor Live, Musis, Stadsvilla Sonsbeek or youth center and cultural breeding ground the Willemeen. There are a variety of events programmed by several concepts like 8Bahn, RELIËF, FLOW, Overstuur, Knock On Wood, Deepsense and Sundaypeople. If you want a broad view of what’s happening in town, better check the agenda of these places – or meet up with the local guys!
Brunches are a weekend staple, which spots stand out for you? Best dirty late-night street food option?
When you’re waking up and you want the best bakery in town: ‘Het Arnhemse Bakkertje’ is the place to be. Known amongst locals it has been a staple in Arnhem for a decade! Some other choices are BABO Café, Graave, Arneym, Josephine Coffee and ‘t Arnhems Meisje. Anyone of those is perfect to start your weekend in a proper fashion. If you want to grab something while taking a stroll through the city and do some sightseeing: the local market close to the Eusebius church is a perfect spot to hang out! At night, when you’re feeling down ‘n dirty: best try your luck at one of the cafeterias on the Korenmarkt square. Perhaps you’ll even make some new friends and experience one of Arnhems finest stories from one of the locals. Killer.
Where can we shop for records and music memorabilia in Arnhem?
Waaghals, Kroese or the small selection at Arnhemse Meisjes are the options for all you diggers out there. If you happen to have missed packing cabels or equipment: Radio Piet has it all! The service is excellent and they will definitely help ya out!
Your Sunday escape plan when you need to get away from it all?
Sonsbeek park if the weather is right! Best place to be all day! If not, better grab one of the many bars or restaurants to fill you up with some good food and a few of the better beers.
Something everyone should do when visiting Arnhem, but probably hasn’t?
Visit one of the many beautiful parks that Arnhem has to offer, take a trip to the Openlucht museum or the Burgers Zoo, or just have a great time sightseeing in the centre of town. Arnhem is a great diverse cultural and open city to hang out, without ever feeling really crowded.
A gift you can’t leave Arnhem without taking home for friends?
The incredible experience that’s called Arnhem!
Tickets for the 2019 edition are now available here.