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The pretty little city located just four miles from the German border



Most people have never heard of this pretty little city located close to the border between Germany and the Netherlands, but it could be the perfect place for a weekend getaway.

Venlo located just four miles away from Germany in the Netherlands’ Limburg region is packed with charming historic buildings, bustling bars and brilliant independent shops but hardly sees any tourism.

Its central market square, overlooked by Venlo’s beautiful city hall, is the perfect place to relax with a coffee or beer after a walk through its narrow streets with restaurants offering an array of cuisine on the lanes branching out of the square.

And Venlo has picked up a number of awards for its beauty including being voted ‘Best City of the Netherlands’ in 2013 and even the ‘Greenest City of Europe’ in 2003.

But the city has not always been known for picturesque scenes, in the 1990s Venlo had a large problem with drug-related anti-social behaviour with a government project seeing all of its coffee shops relocated to its outskirts freeing the city of nuisance behaviour.

The city is also steeped in history, with the Venlo Incident in the Second World War seeing two British agents kidnapped in the city by the Sicherheitsdienst in a bid to link Georg Elser’s failed assassination of Hitler at the Burgerbraukeller to Britain in order to justify the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands.

Those who enjoy history and culture will be well served in the city as it is home to Limburg Museum, which showcases the story of the region.

In the museum visitors can find archaeological material from the Neolithic period and onwards as well as folklore items such as agricultural tools, kitchen utensils, textiles, clothing and objects relating to carnivals and religion.

Art lovers will enjoy the Museum van Bommel van Dam, which is a cross-border collaboration by Crossart, a group of museums in Germany and the Netherlands.

The museum is home to an intentionally diverse variety of art from the collection of Maarten and Reina van Bommel-van Dam who started collecting works at the end of the Second World War, in 1969 their Amsterdam home became too small to house the collection so the museum was opened.

Venlo is also home to a unique police museum which shows the history of law enforcement in the city using a changing exhibition space.

The city’s close proximity to Germany makes it perfect for a trip across the border to cities such as Cologne, Dusseldorf and Gladbach.

Those wishing to visit Venlo should book a return flight from London Stansted to nearby Eindhoven with Ryanair for about £30 in May, before taking the short train trip down to the city.

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