What to visit in Utrecht?
Updated: Jun 7
Utrecht, the fastest-growing city in the Netherlands and the vibrant heart of the Netherlands. The city is built around the Dom tower and is full of all the nice canals. These canals are full of cafes and terraces, where you can enjoy a drink or a bite to eat. It is an atmospheric city full of conviviality. In Utrecht, there are many more beautiful monuments besides the Dom Tower. You will read more about these further on in the blog!
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What not to miss?
The center of Utrecht is full of cozy courtyards and canals.
First up is the Bruntenhof. This courtyard consists of 15 small houses that look beautiful from the front.
The Hofje was built in the 17th century by a wealthy gentleman named Brunt. This courtyard was meant for the poor and the homeless.
The residents were not only given a house by Mr. Brunt, but also food and fuel. Hence, this court is called the Bruntenhof.
Then you also have the Doelenhofje. This courtyard was first a beguinage and later became a convent.
When you visit the Hofje, you can still see the walkway that the monastics used. They used this to go to their church.
Of course, there are many more courtyards to visit in Utrecht!
This beautiful church is located in the center of Utrecht. With its impressively high arches and vaults, the cathedral is one of the medieval churches that resemble cathedrals. This medieval history is reflected in both the architecture and interior of the church.
In the 16th century, the Iconoclasm took place in the Dom Church. The Iconoclasm was the destruction of statues of saints and other objects from Catholic religious sites by Protestants.
In 1674, the nave of the church collapsed due to a gust of wind. This created Cathedral Square, a clearing between the church and the tower.
You can stand on top of the Dom Tower, which gives you the most beautiful view of the whole city. If it is not cloudy you can even see Rotterdam, The Hague, and Amsterdam.
It is possible to climb the Dom Tower. This is done together with a guide who will explain more about the history and construction of the Dom Tower. A really fun experience!
Missing the Cathedral Tower is not an option. If you can't see the tower, you can probably hear it. After all, the Dom Tower has 14 bells.
Old Canal 133
Old Canal 133 goes right through the inner city of Utrecht. Along the canal are many old merchant houses, but Old Canal 133 is the most special.
Old Canal 133 comes from the 14th century and is the smallest house in Utrecht. On the side facade, the old woodwork is still visible.
The little house has now become a store where you can buy jewelry. The store is called Pracht.
Castle de Haar
This castle comes from a period around World War I.
A medieval castle used to stand here. Unfortunately, this castle has been gone for more than 300 years.
However, the remains of the castle were used in the construction of the current castle. Castle de Haar has an impressive historic interior, it is beautiful to see. There are also some modern amenities in the castle.
What else to visit?
St. Jans Church
This beautiful church is located in the center of Utrecht in Jans Churchyard.
The church was built in the 11th century. In the Middle Ages, St. Jans Church was one of the five chapter churches of the city.
The St. Jans Church played an important role in ecumenism. From 1958, weekly services were held here on Wednesday afternoons in which all Protestant churches participated.
At present, classical and choral concerts are regularly held there.
The Railway Museum is located in a former train station. The museum is in the top 10 most visited museums in the Netherlands. It is highly recommended to visit!
In the Railway Museum, you can experience how it used to be, since 2005 it has become a real experience center.
It consists of different worlds. You start in the time of the steam engines and end with the invention of the train as we know it today. So you experience the whole development of the train over the years.
When visiting Trajectum Lumen, you will see the most beautiful spots of Utrecht but with beautiful illuminations. Trajectum Lumen is a light art route that goes through the heart of Utrecht.
To get the best possible experience, you can only take the route in the dark. Otherwise, the lights are not as clear.
The most beautiful spots are the illuminated trees, the Dom Church, and the canals. It is wonderful to be able to see these places with the illuminations!
Brewery The Boog
At Brewery The Boog, beer was brewed in the late 16th century using canal water as a base product. It is a protected monument and very nice to visit.
Unfortunately, you cannot taste beer there because people now live in the Brewery.
Visit Utrecht Region
When you visit Utrecht you can visit many things! To give a better guideline on what you can all do in Utrecht, how to plan for it, and more, we have noted an organization
We recommend Visit Utrecht Region! You can find the tour operator on Instagram by clicking this link VisitUtrechtRegion! Visit Utrecht Region offers all the information you need for a trip to Utrecht!
If you want to know the best places of Utrecht, explore Visit Utrecht Region now!
For more information about the Visit Utrecht Region, we direct you to the website. Here is the link https://www.visitutrechtregion.com/nl.
How to travel there?
Utrecht is located in the middle of the Netherlands. Utrecht Central Station is the main railroad hub of the Netherlands. The following will describe how to reach Utrecht.
Utrecht itself does not have an airport. The easiest way is to fly via Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and then travel to Utrecht.
From Amsterdam Schiphol Airport there is a regular Intercity train that runs to Utrecht Centraal. This train runs about 4 times an hour. By train from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Utrecht Central takes about 30 minutes.
There is also a possibility to take a cab from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Utrecht. This can be arranged at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport itself, but a cab can also be arranged in advance which will usually make the prices cheaper.
It is also possible to get to Utrecht by train.
Intercity services run up to every 10 minutes from Amsterdam Centraal to Utrecht Centraal. The trip takes about 26 minutes.
From Rotterdam, there is an Intercity that goes through to Utrecht 4 times an hour. This trip takes 37 minutes.
And from Eindhoven Centraal, there are 6x per hour trains to Utrecht Centraal. The trip takes 50 minutes.
If you are traveling to Utrecht by train from France, Belgium, or the UK it is best to change trains in Rotterdam and not Amsterdam.
From London, you can travel with Eurostar. From Paris, Brussels, and Antwerp you can travel by the Thalys. And from Brussels and Antwerp with the Intercity Brussels.
There are also international train services to and from Utrecht. The regular ICE International train between Frankfurt, Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Amsterdam stops at Utrecht Centraal.
There is also an ICE service to Basel in Switzerland. This is a daily service.
The ÖBB NightJet train services between Amsterdam and Vienna, Munich, and Zurich also stop at Utrecht Centraal.
Utrecht is surrounded by the A2, A12, A27, and A28 freeways. This makes Utrecht easily accessible from all parts of the Netherlands.
If you only come to Utrecht to visit the city center, traveling by car is not recommended. Parking rates in Utrecht are very expensive and on some roads, only buses and cabs are allowed.
However, there are Park & Ride schemes around the city outskirts.
When to travel there?
Spring is the best time to visit Utrecht. In spring the flowers are in full bloom and the weather is pleasant. In spring you can see the city in its beautiful bloom.
The months when the weather in Utrecht is best are May, June, July, August, and September,
The warmest months in Utrecht are June, July, and August.
The months when the weather is least pleasant in Utrecht are December, January, and February. These are very cold months when it can freeze and snow.
The coldest month in Utrecht in January.
Alone you're spending around 151 euros per day.
Alone you spend around 1,058 euros per week.
With two people you spend around 2,116 euros per week.
With two people you spend around 4,233 euros per 2 weeks.
Alone, for accommodation, you spend around 85 euros per night.
With two people, the cost of accommodation is 170 euros per night.
In one day you spend about 46 euros on meals and 18 euros on local transport.
What to eat?
Utrecht is of course full of nice restaurants where you can eat. Therefore, below will be the top 3 hotspots in Utrecht.
At Tijm they serve delicious, but also fresh and healthy meals. The slogan of Tijm is a coffeehouse by day, a dinner bar by night! Tijm is located on the Oudegracht.
Another fun fact about Tijm is that the restaurant serves healthy snacks to all the sports enthusiasts who come by in a canoe, rowboat, or supboard!
The dishes Thyme serves range from delicious curries to healthy salad bowls. There is plenty to choose from!
ĂnĂn is a Vietnamese restaurant in Utrecht. The name stands for "eat, eat. You can try the real Vietnamese cuisine here, very tasty!
The dishes they serve are full of flavor and very affordable. There are many delicious dishes, all worth trying!
This restaurant is a Lebanese restaurant that takes you to the Middle East. The restaurant looks cozy with its colorful decor.
It is located in Hoog Catharijne and is highly recommended if you like to try quirky food in a super nice, cozy location!
This festival is all about the winter season. Various artists will perform across five heated and covered areas.
You can think of crackling fires, ski suits, fresh snow, mulled wine & après-ski at this festival.
Soenda Indoor Festival
Soenda Indoor Festival is an electronic festival in Utrecht. It is for true techno lovers,
Soenda is considered one of the most renowned experts in the techno genre in Europe.
The festival has a cool lineup every year with many well-known artists.
Central park festival
The Central Park Festival is a pop festival organized in Utrecht. It is a real musical festival day filled with pop music.
The most famous Dutch artists will perform to make it a wonderful day.
This is the end of the Utrecht guide. We believe that this article will you help by planning your trip. Utrecht is a beautiful city and we are sure you will be amazed by it. We also have other places for you to explore, see our guides to Rotterdam, Copenhagen and Belgium! Do not forget to follow us @thewalkingparrot to be always updated on the new releases.