Nijmegen through the eyes of Julie and Bas Hoebink
Owner Make My Day & Owner De Meesterproef
Julie and Bas both grew up in Wijchen and visited Nijmegen frequently. They have now lived in Nijmegen for nine years. Julie owns two stores: Make My Day Women and Make My Day Atelier. Make My Day Men is owned by Julie’s brother Jan. Bas runs the De Meesterproef. Together, they know enough about Nijmegen to fill an entire guidebook.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE NIJMEGEN?
“Nijmegen is an incredibly diverse city. You can cycle for ten minutes and get to know a completely different side of Nijmegen. Nature is available in the floodplains and the Nevengeul, and you can cycle over the hills of Beek and Berg & Dal. Districts like Bottendaal and Oost have a very different atmosphere from the city centre. And the city sometimes feels slightly alternative, which creates its own style.”
What is an absolute must-visit in Nijmegen?
“The Hezelstraat—you have to go there! It is a beautiful street with some great stores. When the weather is nice, be sure to visit the Waal beach. Look out over the water or turn around and enjoy the view of the oldest city in the Netherlands. I strongly recommend a delicious drink at Lebowski to end the day!”
Why do your shops fit Nijmegen so well?
“Make My Day fits the style of Nijmegen’s consumers really well. Our offer is slightly different to the big chains. With a combination of clothing, interiors, vinyl, jewellery, books and cards, there is something for everyone.”
“De Meesterproef is in the Biezen district, where the modernisation is palpable. The Honig Factory has greatly impacted the city—half of Nijmegen used to work here. We also buy local as much as possible: you can taste the city on your plate.”
WHAT MAKES NIJMEGEN UNIQUE?
“It’s mostly the combination of city and nature. There are numerous options within cycling distance from the city to take a break amid greenery, which is great. Nijmegen is also the perfect size. It is big enough to offer everything a big city should, but small enough to remain manageable and pleasant.”
“Nijmegen is also unique because of the shops we have here. There are a surprising amount of small, independent businesses that do not belong to large chains. The students who stick around after graduation help keep the city young. You can feel that in the lively atmosphere!”
“If we’re talking about uniqueness, we should also mention the Four-Days Marches. That’s the best time to come to Nijmegen. It is a wonderful week when the whole city is turned upside down. If you would rather get to know Nijmegen in relative peace, come a week later: everything and everyone will be on holiday then.”
WHAT ARE THE BEST PLACES TO GO FOR A BITE TO EAT OR A DRINK?
“Our favourite is Ultimo. And we’re not just saying that because Pepijn, Bas’ brother, runs the place. They serve creative and delicious food with an excellent wine list. While on the topic of restaurants in Nijmegen, the Nieuwe Winkel deserves mention. That is something the whole city can be proud of. Pizzacafé Desem is also really great!”
“Lebowski is our preferred venue for drinks. You can also often find us at Atelier and Café In de Blaauwe Hand. If you want something a little more lively, we strongly recommend Het Zusje van Debbie!
WHERE DO YOU FIND PEACE?
“We have already mentioned it, but that would be the Waal beach. It is SO beautiful there. We also often take the children hiking at Duivelsberg. It’s not far from Nijmegen but a completely different atmosphere. For a great view of Nijmegen, cross the bridge and walk along the river in Lent.”
Portrait photography: Elise Photography