Things to do in Kleve


Kleve enjoys a long tradition as a city of culture, art and history (link in German). The Schwanenburg, or Swan Castle, is one of the city’s most notaeable pieces of cultural heritage. It once served as the residence of the counts and dukes who ruled over Kleve and its territories. Today it’s one of the city’s most prominent features, visible for miles in any direction.

Other noteable cultural sites are the Collegiate Church St. Maria Himmelfahrt; the B.C. Koekkoek-Haus, former residence of the famous Dutch landscape artist and currently a museum and gallery dedicated to him; as well as the Museum Kurhaus Kleve, a museum of art located next to the city’s Forstgarten, an historical garden complex in baroque style that provided inspiration for Versailles and the Potsdam City Palace in Berlin.


Kleve was once a prominent spa retreat for many Europeans, and it continues that tradition with its many relaxing activities for adults and families. You can take a stroll through the city park or the Kleve zoo (link in German) with its large, open-air enclosures and local and exotic animals. You can also explore the expansive Reichswald forest between Kleve and the Netherlands. A trip to the top of the Schwanenburg for a breath-taking view of Kleve and the surrounding area is also something not to miss out on. You’ll find an equally impressive view from the base of the obelisk located at the top of the Springenberg, which looks out over the city’s impressive Forstgarten.


Sport fans won’t be disappointed in Kleve, either. Not only does Rhine-Waal offer students numerous sport clubs of its own, the city of Kleve also offers a wide range of relaxing or exciting activities: from skating, to hot air balloon rides, to kayaking and paddleboating. You’ll also find gyms and fitness clubs like Allround Sports, which offer a place to workout or participate in group sport activities like tennis, badminton or bowling. If you enjoy swimming, then you’re sure to enjoy Kleve’s two indoor swimming complexes.

Leisure Time and Recreation

Kleve also features an impressive variety of shops and stores (de), ranging from big-name stores like H&M, Saturn and Bijou Brigitte, to smaller boutiques. A leisurely shopping stroll through Kleve’s main thoroughfare is a popular weekend activity for many people from around the region.

The city also features many restaurants and cafés where you can meet up with friends or just sit and relax with a cup of coffee. Favourites are Königsgarten (de), the Coffeehouse (de) or Café Country.

If you’re interested in movies, then you should check out Kleve’s Tichelpark cinema (de), which has special undubbed showings of Hollywood films on a weekly basis.

For fans of music, Kleve is frequently a stop for musicians of all genres. For a full overview, see the city’s official upcoming events page (de).

Carnival, the widely-celebrated masquerade festival, has a long tradition in North Rhine-Westphalia, particularly in Kleve. Each year, Kleve sets up a massive party tent in the days leading up to Carnival Monday, when the city holds a huge parade with costumes, candy and creative floats. The Kleve Christmas markets are also worth mentioning, where you can enjoy some warm mulled wine and traditional Christmas pastries in Germany.

Finally, if you’re a nightowl or like to dance, then you’ll want to check out Tower Club (de), Casa Cleve (de), and Radhaus (de). There you’ll find live music, dancing and regular events. Best of all, they’re all located within walking distance of the campus.


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