Jane Harris

Jane Harris



October 30 2023

Pros and Cons of Living in Nijmegen


#remote work



scenic view of nijmegen


Welcome to Nijmegen, a charming city situated in the eastern part of the Netherlands. Known as the oldest city in the country, Nijmegen is a place steeped in history and filled with a vibrant and diverse culture. With its beautiful riverside location and picturesque surroundings, it's no wonder that Nijmegen attracts people from all over the world.

Nijmegen offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern amenities, making it an appealing destination for those looking for a well-rounded lifestyle. The city has a rich cultural heritage, with plenty of art galleries, museums, and theaters to explore. From the historic architecture to the bustling markets and lively festivals, Nijmegen has something for everyone.

But what makes Nijmegen truly special is its forward-thinking attitude towards remote work. With a growing number of companies embracing remote work options, more professionals are flocking to Nijmegen to take advantage of its fully remote lifestyle. In this article, we will delve into the pros and cons of working fully remote in Nijmegen, exploring the unique opportunities and challenges that come with this exciting way of living and working in this enchanting city.



scenic view of nijmegen

  • Affordable Cost of Living

  • Living in Nijmegen offers a great advantage when it comes to affordability. Compared to other major cities in the country, Nijmegen has relatively lower living costs. This makes it ideal for remote workers who prioritize financial stability and want to make the most out of their income.

    In Nijmegen, you can find reasonably priced housing options, whether you prefer renting or buying. The cost of utilities, groceries, and transportation is also quite reasonable, allowing you to manage your expenses effectively. With a lower cost of living, you can stretch your budget further and have more financial freedom, saving for future goals or enjoying a higher quality of life.

    Furthermore, the affordable cost of living in Nijmegen also means you can enjoy a variety of amenities and experiences without breaking the bank. Whether it's dining out, shopping, or enjoying recreational activities, Nijmegen offers a range of options that are accessible to people with different budgets.

    Overall, the affordable cost of living in Nijmegen makes it an attractive city for remote workers seeking a balance between a comfortable lifestyle and financial stability. With its lower living costs, you can enjoy the benefits of remote work while also taking advantage of the city's offerings without straining your budget.

  • Safety and Security

  • The city's compact size and well-connected public transportation system contribute to a sense of safety. Nijmegen is a walkable city, making it easy to navigate and explore without feeling overwhelmed. With well-illuminated streets and parks, residents can confidently go about their daily activities, even during the evening hours.

    - Nijmegen is recognized for its organized community policing, where the police work closely with local residents. This collaborative approach fosters a sense of trust and encourages community members to actively participate in maintaining a safe environment.

    - The city's focus on technology and innovation extends to public safety as well. Nijmegen utilizes modern security systems, including surveillance cameras and emergency response networks, to ensure a swift and effective response in case of any incidents.

    - In terms of digital security, Nijmegen boasts fast and reliable internet infrastructure. This robust connectivity is essential for remote workers, ensuring secure online transactions and seamless communication with colleagues worldwide.

    - Nijmegen's commitment to sustainability also contributes to a safer and healthier environment. The city has prioritized reducing pollution levels, resulting in good air quality on average. Breathing in clean air daily promotes overall well-being and contributes to a safer living environment.

    - Additionally, Nijmegen's warm and welcoming atmosphere enhances the feeling of safety. The city's friendly and inclusive culture, combined with the ease of making friends, allows residents to forge connections and build a strong support system.

    Overall, Nijmegen's focus on safety and security, both in terms of physical and digital aspects, creates an environment where remote workers can feel at ease and concentrate on their professional endeavors.

  • Fast and Reliable Internet

  • Working remotely requires a strong and stable internet connection, and Nijmegen delivers on this front. The city boasts fast and reliable internet connections, making it an ideal place for remote workers who rely on seamless online communication and efficient digital workflows.

    With its modern infrastructure, Nijmegen ensures that you can stay connected with colleagues, clients, and collaborators without experiencing frustrating internet outages or slow speeds. This is especially crucial for remote workers who heavily rely on video conferencing, file sharing, and online collaboration tools.

    Whether you're working from home, a co-working space, or a local café, Nijmegen offers a consistent and efficient internet connection across the city. This means you can confidently join virtual meetings, upload and download files, manage your online projects, and stay productive without any interruptions.

    Moreover, Nijmegen's fast internet services also enable remote workers to enjoy entertainment during their downtime. Streaming high-definition videos, enjoying online gaming, and accessing various digital platforms become effortless and enjoyable.

    In Nijmegen, you can expect reliable and high-speed internet, ensuring that you can work seamlessly and make the most out of your remote work experience.

  • Year-round Warm Climate

  • The warm climate in Nijmegen is undoubtedly one of its key advantages. With mild winters and hot summers, you can enjoy pleasant temperatures throughout the year. This warm weather allows you to make the most of outdoor activities during your free time. Imagine working remotely from a cozy café or park, basking in the sunshine while feeling motivated and productive. The warmth also brings a cheerful and laid-back atmosphere, making life in Nijmegen even more enjoyable. Say goodbye to the dreary winters and embrace the year-round warmth that Nijmegen has to offer.

  • Good Air Quality

  • Nijmegen boasts good air quality on average, making it an ideal place for remote workers who prioritize a healthy and comfortable environment. The city is known for its commitment to sustainability and green living, which translates into cleaner air for its residents. With its spacious layout and not being overcrowded, Nijmegen provides ample opportunity for nature reserves and green spaces, promoting cleaner air and a more pleasant atmosphere. Whether you decide to work outdoors in a park or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll during your lunch break, breathing in the fresh air of Nijmegen will undoubtedly enhance your remote work experience.

  • Spacious and Uncrowded

  • Nijmegen offers a spacious and uncrowded living environment, making it an ideal place for those looking for a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere while working remotely. With affordable housing options available, you can enjoy the luxury of more space without breaking the bank. The city is not overly crowded, allowing you to escape the hustle and bustle often associated with larger cities.

    Having more space means you can set up a comfortable home office where you can work without distractions. Whether you prefer a separate room dedicated solely to work or a cozy corner in your living room, Nijmegen's spaciousness allows you the flexibility to design a workspace that suits your needs.

    In addition, the city's uncrowded nature means you won't have to navigate packed public transportation or fight for a seat in a crowded café. You can enjoy a quieter commute if you choose to venture outside or take refreshing walks during your breaks without feeling overwhelmed by crowds.

    The spaciousness of Nijmegen also extends to its natural surroundings. With beautiful parks, serene forests, and picturesque landscapes, there are plenty of opportunities to connect with nature and find tranquility during your downtime. You can enjoy leisurely strolls or bike rides along the scenic paths, providing a refreshing break from your remote work routine.

    Overall, Nijmegen's spacious and uncrowded environment offers a peaceful and calming backdrop for your remote work experience. Embracing the city's tranquility and abundance of space can enhance your productivity and well-being, allowing you to thrive in your remote work setup.

  • Ease of Building Social Connections

  • Nijmegen is a city that offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere, making it easy for newcomers to build social connections. Whether you're working remotely or not, Nijmegen provides plenty of opportunities to meet new people and make friends.

    The city is known for its vibrant social scene, with numerous cafes, bars, and restaurants where you can socialize and meet like-minded individuals. Nijmegen also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, such as the Nijmegen Four Days Marches, which attracts people from all over the world.

    Moreover, Nijmegen is home to a diverse and international community, making it easier to find people with similar interests and backgrounds. The city has several expat groups and organizations that organize activities and events, providing a great way to connect and socialize.

    Additionally, Nijmegen has a strong sense of community, with friendly locals who are open to meeting new people. This creates a warm and inviting environment where you can easily strike up conversations and build long-lasting friendships.

    Whether you choose to join local sports clubs, attend language exchange meetups, or participate in cultural activities, Nijmegen provides ample opportunities to forge meaningful connections. The city's welcoming atmosphere and friendly locals make it an ideal place for remote workers looking to build a social network outside of their work environment.

  • Conducive for Business Opportunities

  • Nijmegen offers a highly favorable environment for starting or expanding a business. The city is known for its entrepreneur-friendly atmosphere and is home to a number of successful startups and innovative companies. The cost of living in Nijmegen is affordable, making it easier for entrepreneurs to manage their expenses and invest in their businesses.

    Furthermore, Nijmegen's central location within Europe provides excellent networking opportunities and easy accessibility to other major cities. With a strong infrastructure and transportation system, it's convenient to travel to neighboring countries and engage with international markets.

    The fast internet connectivity in Nijmegen is a significant advantage for remote workers and online businesses. With high-speed internet available in most areas, you can easily connect with colleagues or clients from around the world and conduct video conferences or share files without interruptions.

    Additionally, the city's spaciousness and lack of crowding make it easier to find suitable office spaces or coworking locations. Nijmegen offers a range of options, from modern coworking spaces to shared offices, which can provide a productive and professional atmosphere for remote workers.

    Moreover, Nijmegen's friendly and welcoming community makes it easy to network and collaborate with other professionals. The city hosts various business events, meetups, and industry conferences, creating opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals and exchange ideas.

    Ultimately, Nijmegen's business-friendly environment, fast internet connectivity, and supportive community make it an excellent choice for remote workers and entrepreneurs looking to establish or grow their businesses.

  • Safe Environment for Women

  • Nijmegen is known for being a safe city for women. With a low crime rate and a strong emphasis on gender equality, women can feel secure and confident living and working in Nijmegen. The city is committed to creating a safe environment for all residents, regardless of gender, and this includes implementing measures to prevent and address gender-based violence.

    One of the key reasons Nijmegen is considered safe for women is the presence of well-lit streets and public spaces. The city takes great care in ensuring that areas are properly illuminated, providing a sense of security when walking alone, especially during the evenings or early mornings. This focus on lighting also extends to parks and recreational areas, allowing women to enjoy outdoor activities without feeling vulnerable.

    Additionally, Nijmegen has a well-developed public transportation system that is safe and reliable. Women can travel around the city easily using buses, trams, or bicycles, knowing that they are in a secure environment. The city also places a strong emphasis on maintaining and improving public transportation safety, with designated areas for women on buses and trains.

    Moreover, Nijmegen has implemented community initiatives, such as self-defense classes and women's support groups, to empower and protect women. These programs provide resources, education, and a network of support, ensuring that women have the tools they need to navigate daily life with confidence.

    Overall, Nijmegen offers a safe and inclusive community where women can thrive both personally and professionally. The city's commitment to gender equality and safety makes it an ideal place for women to live and work remotely, providing peace of mind and a sense of security in their everyday lives.

  • Low Prevalence of Tobacco Smoking

  • Not many people smoke tobacco. Nijmegen offers a refreshing environment for those looking to avoid exposure to tobacco smoke. With a low prevalence of smoking, you can breathe easy and enjoy cleaner air. Whether you're working from a café or taking a stroll in the park during your breaks, you won't have to worry about secondhand smoke or its detrimental effects on your health. This is especially beneficial for remote workers who value a healthy lifestyle and want to maintain a smoke-free workspace. By choosing to live and work in Nijmegen, you can prioritize your well-being and enjoy a more pleasant and tobacco-free environment.



    scenic view of nijmegen

  • Limited Freedom of Speech

  • While Nijmegen offers many advantages, one of its drawbacks is the limited freedom of speech. The city is not known for its strong support of free expression and can be quite restrictive in this regard. This can be particularly concerning for those who value open dialogue and the ability to freely express their opinions without fear of repercussions.

    In Nijmegen, there may be less tolerance for dissenting viewpoints and criticism of the government or other influential figures. This could potentially affect individuals who work remotely and rely on expressing their thoughts and ideas openly. It's essential to be cautious about what you say or write, especially on public platforms, to avoid any potential conflicts or legal consequences.

    Moreover, the limited freedom of speech may also impact creativity and innovation. When individuals feel restricted in their ability to express themselves, it can hinder the development of new ideas and perspectives. For remote workers who thrive on a vibrant and diverse environment, the lack of freedom of speech could be seen as a significant drawback.

    Despite this limitation, it is important to note that the level of restricted freedom of speech may vary depending on individual experiences and circumstances. It is always advisable to familiarize oneself with local laws and cultural norms to ensure a better understanding of the environment and its limitations. Engaging in open and respectful conversations within the boundaries set by the city can still foster connections and new perspectives despite the limitations.

  • Lack of Democracy

  • the lack of democracy. While Nijmegen is generally a safe and pleasant place to live, it is known for its weak freedom of speech and lack of democratic practices.

    The local government has a reputation for being less transparent and inclusive in decision-making processes compared to other cities. This can limit the opportunities for public participation, hindering the ability of residents to voice their opinions and influence local policies. As a result, some individuals may feel frustrated or disconnected from the city's governance.

    Additionally, the lack of democracy in Nijmegen can affect the overall development and progress of the city. Without a robust democratic system, the potential for innovative ideas and initiatives may be stunted. This could impact the city's ability to adapt to changing needs and priorities, ultimately hindering its growth and competitiveness.

    It's essential for individuals considering living in Nijmegen to be aware of this disadvantage. While it may not be a significant concern for everyone, those who value active participation in decision-making processes and strong democratic principles may find themselves at odds with the city's governance structure.

    Despite this con, Nijmegen still offers many positive aspects that may outweigh the lack of democracy for remote workers. It's affordable, safe, and provides fast internet connections—making it an ideal place for remote work. The warm climate, good air quality, and spaciousness of the city also contribute to a comfortable and enjoyable living experience. Ultimately, it's up to individuals to weigh the pros and cons and determine if Nijmegen is the right fit for their lifestyle and values.

  • Limited Entertainment Options

  • Nijmegen, while it has its charm, may not offer a wide variety of entertainment options compared to larger cities. With its small size, the city may lack the bustling nightlife and cultural events that you might find in places like Amsterdam or Rotterdam. This means that if you're someone who craves constant excitement and a vibrant social scene, Nijmegen may not be the best fit for you.

    However, it's important to note that Nijmegen still has plenty to offer in terms of entertainment. The city boasts a handful of theaters, cinemas, and concert venues where you can catch a show or enjoy live music. Additionally, there are several parks and recreational areas where you can engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, or jogging. While it may not have the same extensive options as larger cities, Nijmegen still provides a range of recreational opportunities to keep you entertained and active.

    Furthermore, Nijmegen's proximity to other major Dutch cities means that if you're seeking a change of scenery or want to experience a more vibrant nightlife, it's easy to hop on a train or bus and explore nearby destinations. Whether it's a weekend trip to Amsterdam or a day excursion to Utrecht, you can easily access a wider range of entertainment options within a short travel distance.

    Overall, while Nijmegen may not have an abundance of entertainment options within the city itself, it is important to consider the balance between work and leisure. If you prioritize a slower pace of life, enjoy outdoor activities, and appreciate a more intimate and community-oriented environment, Nijmegen can still provide a fulfilling living experience.

  • Low Quality of Education

  • Low quality of education in Nijmegen can be seen as a significant drawback for those looking to settle in the city. While the cost of living may be affordable and the lifestyle may be appealing, families with school-age children might find themselves at a disadvantage.

    One of the main concerns is the lack of well-ranked educational institutions in Nijmegen compared to cities with renowned universities or prestigious schools. The standard of education may not meet the expectations of those who prioritize a high-quality educational experience for their children.

    The limited options for international schools may also pose a challenge for expatriates or families who prefer an education system that caters to their specific needs. While there are a few schools that offer international programs, the choices may be limited, and admission could be competitive.

    Furthermore, the curriculum and teaching methods in some local schools might not align with what expatriates are used to in their home countries. This discrepancy could lead to difficulties in transitioning children into the local education system and may even affect their academic performance.

    It's important to note that this does not mean Nijmegen lacks any decent educational opportunities. However, the overall quality and options available may not meet the expectations of those seeking highly regarded educational institutions or specialized programs.

    For families considering a move to Nijmegen, thorough research into the local schools and their curriculum, as well as exploring alternative educational options, should be a priority. It may be worth considering nearby cities that have a more established educational system if education is a top priority for your family.

  • Inadequate Healthcare Facilities

  • While Nijmegen offers many advantages, one of its drawbacks is the quality of healthcare facilities. The city's hospitals are known to have limitations in terms of infrastructure, staff, and equipment. This can lead to longer waiting times for medical appointments and procedures. Additionally, the quality of care provided may not always meet international standards.

    For expatriates or those accustomed to advanced healthcare systems, this can be a significant concern. Access to specialized medical treatments and facilities may also be limited, requiring residents to travel to other cities or countries for certain procedures or consultations.

    It is worth noting that the Netherlands as a whole does have a highly regarded healthcare system, but Nijmegen specifically may not offer the same level of quality and resources as larger cities like Amsterdam or Rotterdam. Therefore, individuals who highly prioritize top-quality healthcare may find this aspect of living in Nijmegen challenging.

  • Dangerous Road Conditions

  • Nijmegen, unfortunately, has some of the most dangerous road conditions in the region. The city's infrastructure is outdated and inadequate to handle the increasing volume of traffic. Narrow roads, poorly designed intersections, and inconsistent traffic rules contribute to the high number of accidents. Additionally, cyclists and pedestrians often share the same lanes with vehicles, leading to potential collisions.

    The road surfaces themselves are a cause for concern. Potholes and uneven pavements are quite common, especially in older parts of the city, making it challenging to navigate safely. Furthermore, during winter, icy conditions exacerbate the road hazards, making it even riskier for both drivers and pedestrians.

    The aggressive driving culture in Nijmegen can also be unsettling. Speeding, tailgating, and disregard for traffic regulations are not uncommon. As a result, accidents and near-misses happen frequently, posing a significant risk to road users.

    It is crucial for remote workers in Nijmegen to exercise caution and be extra vigilant while commuting. Inconvenience in terms of delays and potential accidents may occur as a result of the city's dangerous road conditions. It is advisable to familiarize yourself with the local traffic rules, prioritize safety, and consider alternative transportation methods whenever possible to mitigate these risks.

  • Language Barrier

  • People don't speak English well.

  • Not Family-Friendly

  • The quality of education in Nijmegen is relatively lower compared to some other cities. This can be a concern for families looking for excellent schools and educational opportunities for their children. Parents might need to explore other nearby cities or consider private education options to ensure their children receive a high-quality education.

    3. Lack of English Proficiency: Although many people in Nijmegen speak English, the overall English proficiency may not be as high as in some other cities. This language barrier might pose challenges for non-Dutch-speaking families, making it difficult for them to integrate into the community and find suitable education or support services for their children.

    4. Limited Childcare Facilities: Nijmegen might have fewer childcare options compared to larger cities. This can make it challenging for working parents to find reliable and affordable childcare services. Families may need to plan ahead and secure childcare arrangements well in advance, or they might have to commute to nearby cities for better options.

    5. Lack of Family-oriented Infrastructure: Nijmegen's infrastructure may not be as accommodating for families as in other cities. For instance, there might be a scarcity of parks, playgrounds, or family-friendly spaces. Transportation might also lack the convenience and accessibility needed when traveling with children, making it more challenging for families to navigate the city.

    While Nijmegen has many advantages, families considering a move to the city should weigh these factors to ensure it suits their specific needs and requirements.

  • LGBTQ+ Hostility

  • Nijmegen is not known for being an LGBTQ+ friendly city. While the overall atmosphere may seem accepting on the surface, there is still a significant amount of LGBTQ+ discrimination and prejudice present. Same-sex relationships and LGBTQ+ individuals may face challenges when it comes to finding LGBTQ+ friendly establishments, support networks, or events. The lack of LGBTQ+ inclusive policies and laws can make it difficult for LGBTQ+ individuals to feel fully accepted and comfortable in their daily lives. Additionally, people belonging to the LGBTQ+ community might encounter verbal harassment or even physical violence in certain situations. It is important to consider this aspect if you identify as LGBTQ+ and plan to live or visit Nijmegen.


    scenic view of nijmegen


    In conclusion, living in Nijmegen has its definite advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, it is an affordable place to live with a pretty safe environment. The city also boasts fast internet connectivity, making it an ideal place for remote work or online business. Plus, Nijmegen's warm climate and good air quality throughout the year create a pleasant living environment.

    Nijmegen is known for its spaciousness, as it is not overly crowded, allowing people to enjoy a sense of tranquility. Additionally, making friends in Nijmegen is relatively easy, as the locals are known for their friendliness and welcoming nature. The city also provides a favorable atmosphere for doing business, with a high level of ease and a supportive entrepreneurial community.

    Another significant advantage of living in Nijmegen is the safety it offers, particularly for women. Women can feel relatively secure and comfortable moving around in the city without fear of harassment or violence.

    On the downside, Nijmegen does have some drawbacks. Freedom of speech is not as strong as in other places, and the city may not be considered very democratic. Moreover, Nijmegen may lack a vibrant nightlife and recreational activities compared to bigger cities. The quality of education may not be as high as desired, and the local healthcare system may have room for improvement.

    The roads in Nijmegen can be dangerous, so extra caution is advised when traveling. Furthermore, while English is widely spoken, there might be instances where communication could be challenging due to language barriers.

    Nijmegen may not be the most family-friendly city, with limited amenities and attractions specifically catering to children and families. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that the city might not be particularly open or accepting towards the LGBTQ+ community, which can be an important consideration for individuals seeking an inclusive living environment.

    In summary, living in Nijmegen offers affordable living, safety, fast internet, and a warm climate. However, it does come with some drawbacks, such as limited recreational activities, lower quality education, and potential language barriers. Ultimately, choosing to live in Nijmegen will depend on your individual preferences and priorities.

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