Student - August 26, 2009

An A to Z of student life

Resource shows you round in Velp, Leeuwarden and Wageningen. The hot spots and the not spots.

Club Noa in Leeuwarden
Where can you eat well on a budget, cultivate inner peace with aikido, or chill out in the park? Resource shows you round in Velp, Leeuwarden and Wageningen. Think we’re biased? Go out and find your own hot spots and not spots.
 
Velp
 
Text: Stijn van Gils
 
Hot spot
The Korenmarkt: the hub of Arnhem’s night life. It was nominated the best city centre in Holland, and as a student you’re sure to feel at home here too. At Aspen Valley the beer is one euro fifty with your student card. Feeling down? Dive into De Heeren van Aemstel and have a grumble with the midlife regulars at this tiny 'brown café’. Hilarious.
 
Not spot
The Beursken Automatik snack bar after eight thirty p.m. You could just about grab a kroket, but don’t hang around for more than ten seconds. If you do you’ll get caught up in a bunch of smoking, beer-drinking, flirting fifteen-year-olds. Cycle past fast. And watch out for punctures – these guys can hardly hold their beer bottles.
 
Food spot
Sadly, Velp has no canteen. For cheap food you’ll just have to find some friends and get cooking. If you do want to eat out, steer clear of Thursdays and stick to quiet nights. At Pizzeria Pinoccio in the Korenmarkt most pizzas are 5.95 euros Monday to Wednesday. Don’t expect haute cuisine though: the ANWB gave the takeaway pizzas a very low grade. Yet it’s pretty busy, even on the quiet nights. A good alternative is Psst…Amigo for Mexican food near the Korenmarkt.
 
Sport spot
With their 75 euro sport card, Velp VHLers get big reductions on about thirty sports and sport classes. A popular one is climbing. For thirty euros you get a full course so you can climb the wall independently. After that, you can climb whenever you want for a bargain price. But if you prefer to reach new heights in another sense, you can also do a yoga course.
 
Fun spot
The campus itself. Not the building – that’s a hideous flying saucer – but the grounds. With its imitations of most of the Dutch landscapes, the twenty hectare garden is a place to learn and to relax. There are loads of local plants, and squirrels jumping about all over the place. Perfect for a walk in the fresh air or an hour on a bench with a book. It wasn’t always this pleasant. In the nineteenth century this was a convent where nuns treated unmarried mothers to a grim re-education.
 
Living (it up) spot
De Brulkikker near Velp station is known for its wild parties. The fire brigade has already been three times to put out the camp fire. Worth checking it out. The council’s not so keen and has threatened to sue the students for the fire danger at their parties. Funny thing happened: six residents were fined for drinking beer on the street while playing football. Luckily De Brulkikker does have a garden, so if you stick to that you can drink beer legally.
 
Ljouwert
 
Text: Marlot Roelofs
 
Hot spot
Club Noa has twice been nominated the most popular club in the Netherlands. With its Asian influences, fancy red wallpaper and huge chandeliers, it is inspired by the Moulin Rouge in Paris. From Thursday to Saturday you can boogie on down on the uniquely lit  dance floor and enjoy the best DJs. And if you think that’s all, you haven’t been downstairs yet. Upstairs is the only LED floor in a disco in Holland, but downstairs there’s a LED ceiling. On Thursday evening Club Noa hosts the student evening of the North. The ‘beer for one euro’ is an ongoing success. You can only get in with a HBO card. For people who just want to have a quiet beer the Doelensteeg is a good option and is full of cosy pubs.
 
Not spot
De Weaze is the sleaziest part of Leeuwarden. Along the canal and down murky alleys are various brothels and in the daytime when the red curtains are still down there are junkies hanging about. A place to avoid after dark. For the daring few: do not venture there before your third year.
 
Food spot
Leeuwarden’s a good place for Foodies. Sushi and dancing in the middle of Leeuwarden may sound an unlikely combination but it’s possible! For sushi, noodles or a drink in a nice atmosphere for a student price, the place to be is Doozo, featured in a TV series Mijn tent is top. Always wanted to taste Japanese food? A whole range of dishes are prepared for you in an open kitchen. For nine euros you can have a good portion of delicious sushi, Doozo’s speciality. And at eleven o’clock the chairs are pushed back and Doozo becomes a dance floor where you can work off the extra calories.  
 
Sport spot
If you think the only sport in Leeuwarden is skating, you’ve got it wrong. There is an endless choice of sports, including the self defence sport Aikido, which is popular among students. Aikido is a modern sport rooted in Japanese martial arts. It aims at coordinating body and mind. Students are very enthusiastic about Aikido as they can use a bit of relaxation and calm in the hectic student life.
 
Fun spot
The Prinsentuin in Leeuwarden is the loveliest park in the North. The ideal place to enjoy the sun and the soothing sound of running water and of course a nice beer. In the spring and summer there are plays and concerts in the park. Particularly students set themselves up in the grass at around six in the evening to enjoy a simple meal of French bread, salad, beer and ice cream from the nearest Supermarket. When the evening sun glistens on the water the Prinsentuin becomes a fairy tale garden. There’s a lovely atmosphere in this open air living room. 
 
Wageningen
 
Text: Nicolette Meerstadt
 
Hot spot
All the pubs you’ll ever need in your student years can be found in Wageningen town centre. Café Daniels at the Salverdaplein is a brown café with over a hundred games. You can play pool and darts, and it’s X Factor winner Lisa’s local. Tuesday is quiz night – a national Trivial Pursuit contest. If dancing and cheap beer are more your scene, the beer is just one euro from Tuesday to Thursday in 't Gat.
 
Not spot
Not bothered about your image, or just want to get away from student life for a bit? Then go to the Korenbeurs, a real Wageningen local. Dutch hits blare out all night long, but the really low point is the Dutch karaoke. Stay away.
 
Food spot
Vreemde Streken is the place for healthy,eco-friendly cheap food. It’s all vegetarian and made with seasonal local organic produce. Noodle soup, lentil soup or quiche for four euros. A nice detail is that it is served on the terrace of De Zaaier, so you can have good beer with it too. On Sundays at Ilayda at the market square you can get the best Turkish pizza in Wageningen. with plenty of veggies and filling from 2.50 euros.
 
Sport spot
Knotsbal  is a real Wageningen sport. It involves hitting a rubber ball with a sort of outsize tampon on a stick, aiming at your opponent’s gym mat. It’s played indoors by teams of four. There’s a competition three times a year at The Bongerd. A nice thing to do with your flatmates or classmates.
 
Fun spot
With the first rays of Spring sunshine, the Wageningen student runs to the banks of the Rhine where there are various little beaches and quiet spots to picnic, swim, or chat into the night. Great for walking or running too.
Another real Wageningen spot is Het Heerenstraattheater, a cosy little cinema where the staff give a friendly short intro to every film. They often run premiere parties and ladies nights too.
 
Living (it up) spot
One of the nicest student houses in Holland is Wageningen Central. It got second prize last year in the Berentzen Apfelkorn house of the year election. Bang in the town centre, the house has thirteen rooms and twelve showers. It’s a Ceres house, so you have to be a member to live there. Two houses that have no links with societies but do throw great parties are Bolus 9 on the Bowlespark and D-way at  Dijkgraafseweg 52. 
 
 

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