I grew up in a suburb of Seattle, about a 2-and-a-half hour drive from Canada. I certainly wouldn’t just drive to Canada to buy ice tea; I wouldn’t even drive to Canada for an over-the-counter pharmaceutical product available only over-the-counter in Canada.
Now that I live in Germany, I know that Roermond, Netherlands is only about a 30 minute drive from Krefeld and about an hour drive from the Bonn/Cologne area. Going to Roermond is actually a once (sometimes twice) a month treat in which we indulge.
Let me preface this with the fact that I am a self-proclaimed binge shopper.
While living in the US, I would only go shopping (to a mall) once, maybe twice a year. But when I did go, I would spend what some may call an obscene amount of money. Because really, I hate shopping.
Kay has helped me find some middle ground and well, the European prices make decisions not to buy something a bit easier; it’s too expensive to buy here. I can wait until the next trip back to the US.
For those who are experienced shoppers living in Europe and maybe don’t have any plans to go to the US any time soon, outlet malls are the next best thing.
And for people used to doing their grocery shopping on Sundays, think again because stores are closed in Germany. Traveling to the Netherlands is a wonderful idea if you are yearning for some Sunday excitement.
I should also note that I’m not particularly a name-brand person, but my husband loves to shop. I have to admit that most times this annoys me, but in the off chance that I’m in the mood to shop, I love that we can go together. Even when I’m not in the mood to go shopping, he always makes it fun.
As far as name brands go, there is something to be said about the familiarity of knowing a brand. It’s kind of like seeing a friendly face in a room full of strangers.
Although products are much more expensive in Europe than in the US, we still enjoy looking. Not to mention my husband is a die-hard fan of Converse. Ok, I can’t just point the finger at him since I practically lived in a pair of dark blue, low-tops my eighth-grade year of Jr. High, but my husband has also converted me to a die-hard fan of Chuck’s in my adult years.
Grocery Shopping in Roermond
We also hit the grocery store in Roermond because the Netherlands offers some cheaper items than Germany does, and a larger array of products that we’re used to in the US, but can’t find at our local grocery store in Germany. (Even though my husband has never lived in the US, I say “we” because there are products from the US in which he just can’t live without. Like ordering Barq’s Root Beer online because we can’t find a store that sells it nearby.)
Cheaper items in NL
Some cheaper items we find in the Netherlands include: coffee, black olives (and they taste better than the ones in Germany), jalapeños, tortilla wraps, salsa, and most Asian foods.
If you’re craving Dr. Pepper or Arizona Ice Tea, we’ve found them in Roermond too.
Interesting fact: Despite some US name brands being listed above, many of these brands are not imported from the US, but made on European soil.
What separates NL from DE
What I enjoy most about going to the Netherlands isn’t always the shopping. In fact, did I mention I hate shopping so much that my husband does all the shopping? What I enjoy most is not feeling guilty about speaking English. Because so many Germans go to Roermond, English is used a lot. Not to mention, the Dutch aren’t afraid to speak English, or any language, for that matter. The Dutch people I’ve met can quickly switch between Dutch, English, and German. The same can’t be said for Americans or Germans.
Because shops in Roermond are open on Sundays, this means it can get crowded with Germans, which is why I prefer going on any day other than a Sunday. This weekend I had no choice though. And I definitely refuse to go when it is a holiday weekend in Germany… Parking is insane and I don’t like being around a bunch of stubborn Germans in a parking lot.
This was part of the left turn lane to go to the grocery store.
Speaking of parking… the lot at the outlet mall is €3 per day so bring your change purse. But keep in mind that if someone is leaving, they will usually bestow upon you their parking ticket, and it is fun to pass the ticket on when you leave. I wouldn’t go around asking someone for their ticket though. We find this a bit tacky.
And for the car enthusiasts, today we saw this bad boy… From Russia with Love. It had Russian plates.
Yes, parking was crowded today so I can’t blame them for their crappy parking job. We weren’t even able to get into the lot and ended up having to park down the road.
For anyone around the area, heading to Roermond is worth the trip. The outlet mall has been adding stores so if you don’t see your favorite brand now, keep a look out for it later.
Designer Outlet Roermond:
6041 TD Roermond, Netherlands
Monday to Sunday10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Thursday10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Open 363 days a year. Only closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day!
Also, if you feel like walking around the town of Roermond, there is an entrance from the outlet mall located directly behind the Asian dude holding the Burberry bag. (He isn’t alsways there though…just happened to be in this single shot.)
It’s about a 3 minute walk.
Before we part for the day, the below pictures of Roermond were taken by my mommy dearest during the winter of 2010.