Heerlen is a city in Limburg in the south east of the Netherlands. The old name of the city was Coriovallum and from ancient times it was a Roman hub. This expanded into the city it is presently. Currently, Heerlen has become a part of a new larger project city called Parkstad Limburg comprising: Brunssum, Kerkrade, Landgraaf, Onderbanken, Nuth, Simpelveld en Voerendaal on the operational level.
Even though there have been traces of earlier civilization the real history of this town starts in the Roman era. The Roman military settlement, known as Coriovallum, sat at the crossroads of the Boulogne-Cologne and Xanten-Aachen-Trier routes.
In the late 19th century the town's importance for the coal mining industry grew. A railroad was finally constructed in 1896 and strongly improved the accessibility of the town, which was then only a village. The first major mine, the Oranje-Nassau mine, was opened in 1899 and three more mines followed in the years up to 1927. The town rapidly grew in size, changing it into one of the largest in the area.
In 1965, the decision to close all Dutch coal mines left many workers without jobs. In an attempt to create jobs and welfare, the Dutch government moved the Dutch Bureau for Statistics and the ABP, the pension fund for government and education employees in the Netherlands to Heerlen.
The main train station is situated in the centre of the city. Three other railway stations in Heerlen are Heerlen de Kissel, Heerlen Woonboulevard and Hoensbroek. There is a train from Aachen Hbf to Heerlen called the euregio-line which travels twice per hour. The train station in Heerlen is going to get a renovated starting in 2010 adding more travel options when completed (second part of the Maankwartier build). Also this will be a shopping mall when arriving in this new station when completed with eating and drinking possibilities.
The bus terminal is close to the back exit of the trainstation. The bus operator in Heerlen and surrounding cities is Veolia. There is one international busline from Aachen to Heerlen.
Heerlen is situated along the A76 highway but get on the N281 if traveling south or north because there is no exit to Heerlen on the A76. You can find taxies waiting on the upper level when exiting at front of the trainstation. From Aachen by car you will have to take the N281. From Maastricht take the A79 to Heerlen. At the end of the A79 is Heerlen. You can also use the inner ring of parkstad to get to Heerlen.
Maastricht-Aachen airport is 10 miles away from the city centre of Heerlen. Albeit it is more convenient to fly to Eindhoven airport and take a bus and train to Heerlen, because of the low number or flights arriving and departing from Maastricht-Aachen airport. For international flights it is better to arrive and depart from Brussels (BE), Amsterdam (Schiphol, NL) or Dusseldorf (DE). Each of these airports are about 2–3 hours away from Heerlen by car.
If you are in Heerlen center, everything could be done on foot. A car is convenient to explore the outskirts of town and attractions in the broader area, but take into account that the city center is car-free and parking there is expensive. Another possibility is to discover Heerlen by bike. There are some interesting parks and locations to reach by bike. Using the extensive bus routes can take you to everything in the city that is bit further away from the center.
- Dutch Mine Museum, Mijnmuseumpad 2, 6412 EX Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 571 3707. 11:00-16:00. €4.
- Parkstad Theater (Theater Heerlen), Burgemeester van Grunsvenplein 145, 6411 AS Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 576 8576.
- Glaspaleis, Bongerd 18, 6411 JM Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 577 22 00.
- Thermenmuseum, Coriovallumstraat 9, 6411 CA Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 560 5100. Tu-F 10:00-17:00, Sa-Su & holidays 12:00-17:00. A famous museum of a Roman bathhouse. €6.50.
- Kinderstad Heerlen, Parallelweg 4, Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 571 7252. 10:00-18:00. €9.
- St. Pancratiuskerk, Pancratiusplein 45, 6411 JZ Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 571 4554.
- The Oliemolen (Oil mill), Oliemolenstraat 32 (At the foot of the Molenberg in Aambos in Heerlen), ☎ +31 45 571 29 49. Th-F 10:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-17:00. The Oliemolen (Oil mill) is a water mill original for pressing oil. It dates from 1502. These days corn is ground by volunteers and in the building is a bakery and a sewing machine shop. The mill is a protected national monument.
- Terworm. Take a walk between Heerlen en Voerendaal and see some of the great nature in Heerlen. In this park there are also some architectural buildings situated at the edge. On the northside of the park you can find a lot of school and sports fields. In the center of this lush area you can see the water purifying station.
- Beautiful Benzerade. See a source of a stream in Heerlen and also seeing some of the farms in this old village. And also see some splendid black horses for which this village is famous for. You can also sit and enjoy the scenery acompanied by a drink and something to eat from "het koffiehuisje" in benzerade.
- Neoliet, Stadionbaan 52, 6416 CS Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 542 43 58. The indoor climbing wall is a great experience to have. Climbing up indoor to the top of the building and continue climbing on the roof.
- Bowling & Partyhoeve De Aar, Welterlaan 45, 6419 CN Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 571 44 32. Play a game of bowling in hoeve de aar.
There are two known shopping locations in Heerlen. The center of the city and the Woonboulevard. The Woonboulvard is famous for its living and lifestyle shops. It is the biggest Furniture strip of Europe.
- Woonboulevard, In de cramer. This is the mayor living and lifestyle shopping center. Which is the biggest furniture strip of Europe. You can buy anything from lamps to beds.
- Heerlen Center. This is the historical shopping district within the old city center. A lot of small and big retail stores as bars, cafes and restaurants can be found here.(
- Car Boulevard. This is close to the woonboulevard. All mayor car brands are situated here.
- Hoensbroek Center. This part of Heerlen is to the north of the city and can be reached by bus. There is also a train going to Hoensbroek but this is not recommended if just wanting to go to the shopping center of Hoensbroek. Ask for direction at the Veolia ticket counter in the train station.
- Karnevalswierts, Homerusplein 11, 6411 AW Heerlen (In shoppingmall Het Loon), ☎ +31 45 564 55 93. A very large store dedicated to party costumes and carnival costumes as well as some other festive seasonal occasions.
- Mr Wok, Bongerd 7, 6411 JM Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 571 01 56. A small restaurant but very good take-away food. Especially the sauces. € 5-20.
- Rhodos, Dautzenbergstraat 17, 6411 LA Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 571 95 44. open at 16.30 till 23.00. closed on: Tuesdays. Greek Restaurant ± € 20,-.
- Dafne, Oranje Nassaustraat 2, 6411 LG Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 404 07 40. Another fine Greek Restaurant in the centre of Heerlen. A regular haunt for the devil cleaner!!
- Restaurant Vlaanderen, Wilhelminaplein 7, 6411 KV Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 571 11 94. 17:00-22:00. ± € 30,-.
- In de Gekroonde Haan, Stationstraat 19, 6411 NH Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 571 13 73. Eat a delicious roasted chicken at this restaurant.
- Auberge de Rousch, Kloosterkensweg 17, 6419 PJ Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 571 58 90. A very luxious restaurant. Check the website for special events. Making a reservation upfront is highly recommended.
- Mijn Streek, Bongerd 1. Popular new place on one of the higher levels of the Glaspaleis. It has good views over the city and a great outdoor terrace for warm days. The menu is varied, including sandwiches, salads and full diner options, and offers a good number of vegetarian choices.
On the pancratiusplein people can find the many cafes and terrasses who are usually filled with people troughout the year.
- Amrâth Grand Hotel Heerlen, Groene Boord 23, 6411 GE Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 571 38 46. A good class hotel for staying in Heerlen.
- Tulip Inn Heerlen City, Wilhelminaplein 17, 6411 KW Heerlen. Good location right in the center of the city.
- Bastion Hotel Heerlen, In de Cramer 199, 6412 PM Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 575 45 40. Close to the Woonboulevard.
- Van der Valk Hotel Heerlen, Terworm 10, 6411 RV Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 571 94 50. Good hotel but the location is inconvenient without a car .
- Hotel Kasteel Terworm, Terworm 5, 6411 RV Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 400 11 11. Very luxurious four stars hotel.
- Guesthouse No. 16, Coriovallumstraat 16, 6411 CC Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 571 47 77. From € 50,-.
- Stadshotel Paris, Geleenstraat 1, 6411 HP Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 400 91 91. From € 65,-.
- Hotel Café Amicitia, Markt 9, 6431 LG Hoensbroek, ☎ +31 45 521 29 99.
- Huizepassart, Passartweg 56a, 6413 NX Heerlen, ☎ +31 45 522 85 24.
VVV Heerlen is where you can get information about the city. For any information go to Oranje Nassaustraat 16, 6411 LH Heerlen. They can assist with:
- Cityguide / Tour
- Theater & Concert information
Connections to Aachen are via train or bus. Other options by train are to Belgium (via Maastricht) and the remainder of the Netherlands.