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Exploring in Heerlen, Netherlands

Architecture in Heerlen Netherlands

Did you know that not far from Maastricht or Roermond is the pretty location of Heerlen, Netherlands? I’m sure you did, with Heerlen being the third largest settlement in Limburg. There are lots of local things to do, museums to visit and cute local restaurants to try. Read on for our short overview of some things you need to know before visiting. 

Where is Heerlen, Netherlands?

Heerlen is located in the province of South Limburg, in between the Dutch city of Maastricht and the German city of Aachen. 

Fun fact: The high elevation in Heerlen makes it one of the highest cities above sea level in the Netherlands.

How to get to Heerlen?

The easiest way to visit Heerlen is by car or train. By car it takes only 23 minutes if you are living in the city of Maastricht. Else if you are driving from other cities such as Eindhoven or Aachen, it will be easy to get to as there are the main highways right to the city.

Else as mentioned by train, it can take only 28 minutes from Maastricht without any delays. This makes it a great place for a quick stop over to check it out, else to make a full day trip out of your visit.

Else from further cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam, it’s an easy day trip.

Church in Heerlen, Netherlands

What is so special about Heerlen?

Official documents about Heerlen dates back to 1065 with the name mentioned as ‘Herle’. In Heerlen and its surroundings there was a lot of evidence of Roman life, which has been excavated, such as Roman villas. The most notable archeological excavation from Roman times is the Thermae complex in the centre of Heerlen, a Roman bathhouse, discovered in 1940.

Heerlen was once a centre for the coal mining industry in the Netherlands in the late 19th century with a small population of 6646. This population lived and worked in many of the large state-operated coal mines that began production during this time.

Things to do in Heerlen

Some of the main things to see and do here are the following:

  1. Explore the local market on Tuesdays and Saturdays
  2. Shop in the city center with all the typical shops, else to head to the shopping centre for much bigger shops with more selection of things to buy!
  3. Enjoy a day at the GaiaZOO – perfect for those with children!
  4. Watch a live music show at the Poppodium Nieuwe Nor
  5. Visit and ride steam trains at the Het Langste Museum
  6. Learn the local history at the Mijnmuseum
  7. Go on an adventure at the Kasteel Hoensbroek castle!
  8. Follow the free tour to see all the local street art and graffiti
  9. Join a local event
  10. Explore the local nature surrounding Heerlen.

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