Hello everyone. Are you ready to start a new adventure? The city that we will discover today is a well known city with a large population (we could call it a small Amsterdam). We are talking about Utrecht.
Utrecht is a city located to the east of the Netherlands and it is surrounded by several channels. Its importance is so great that in ancient times was considered the most important city of Holland, then substituted by Amsterdam. It’s also very famous for its university, for its rail network and its economic value. Very present is also the sport and various events are held in the city (football, cycling, tennis…). The things to know and to see are so many that we will start immediately with the exploration of the city.
To know more (to eat, what to eat, where to play, what to visit…) continue to read.
The city’s history is vast and we will start by this one.
PLACES TO VISIT (MUSEUMS/THEATERS…)
- St. Martin’s Cathedral: is the main religious site of the city, in Gothic architecture. The building has a tower very high, enough to be considered the tallest tower in the country. If you go on the top in the days of good weather you will see the city of Amsterdam. Behind the cathedral and not far from it, you will find another place of worship: the Janskerk.
- Sint-Catharinakathedraal: another nice cathedral of the city.
- Sint-Willibrordkerk: is a church in neo-Gothic style. The building is considered a national monument. Also it has a very nice architectural structure, as well as its interior.
- Centraal Museum: as the name suggests, it is considered the main museum in Utrecht. It has an extensive collection of works by famous painters such as: Mannerist Joachim Wtewael or Utrecht Caravaggisti (as Gerard van Honthorst and Hendrick ter Brugghen) but also the most famous painters of the city, Paulus Moreelse and Abraham Bloemaert. Most of the works contained in the collection are locally produced.
- Rietveld Schröder House: a house that have to be visited! The building is one of the best examples of the artistic movement “De Stijl”. A modern place that creates a connection between the external and internal environment. It’s really something innovative, a monument that became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Museum Speelklok: a museum entirely devoted to the music. There are so many musical instrument (Dutch organ, carrilon, piano…) and many sounds coming (automatically) from these. What a nice place for your ears!
- Spoorwegmuseum: the museum is dedicated to the ancient means of transport. The collection is vast and includes trams, locomotives, railcar and so on. The museum is divided by an outer part and an inner part. Being this place a former station, it is recreated like the old one.
- DOMunder: all the secrets of Dutch history will be revealed here, in this underground museum. This is situated at the center of the city (which makes it a perfect place to start your tour of the city), not so far from the museum district and from the shopping district (Oudegracht).
- Catharijneconvent Museum: is a museum of sacred art, located in the former convent of St. Catharine. The extensive collection includes paintings, ecclesiastical objects in gold and silver… you will know everything you need to know about the religious history and the strong impact it had on the city and on the Netherlands in general.
- Het Universiteitsmuseum: a museum focuses on the archeology and zoology. There are many collections and there are many activities for the little ones.
- Sonnenborgh: public observatory in the Dutch city of Utrecht which is worth a visit.
- Het nijntje museum: this museum (very close to the Het Universiteitsmuseum and the Centraal Museum) will be loved by the children since it is designed just for them. The museum is focused on the famous bunny Miffy (a very well known character here bacause it is originated here in the Netherlands). You will find a world full of games and lots of fun. Walking through the streets you will also notice the Miffy’s Traffic Light. We are sure that the children will be very happy abou that!
- AAMU Museum: is the only museum in Utrecht that shows the contemporary Australian art and precisely the Aboriginal art. It presents a wide range of themes and important artists represented through videos, paintings, objects. The museum is located in the city center, exactly on the Oudegracht district. You will also find a themed souvenir shop and a café.
Now we are ready to know what is the most popular theater of the city, the Stadsschouwburg Utrecht and most famous concert hall the TivoliVredenburg.
Before to discover flavors of the city, let’s have fun!
- Jaarbeurs: place for events of all kinds and for everyone (maybe in those days that you are there, there might be some event that interests you).
- Utrecht University Botanic Gardens: an amazing place for a moment of total relax amogn plants and so much green.
- Wilhelminapark, Griftpark, Zocherpark: three magnificent parks of Utrecht to enjoy joyful hours.
- If you love flowers or walks, or shopping, we will suggest some perfect streets: Bloemenmarkt, Janskerkhof and Oudegracht (which we have seen before). There is also De Neude, that is a square located in the center of the city, close to some districts: Hardebollenstraat (former red-light district) Breedstraat, Potterstraat, Voorstraat. Here you will find everything you need (restaurants, bars, shops, monuments). These are also the places where are held various festivals.
- The inevitable tour on the canals or the Utrecht Free Tours (tour of the city very helpful and not at all tiring).
- As in any city of Holland, Utrecht also has its inalienable cycling path. Get a bike and go!
- Station Utrecht Centraal: you can’t miss a visit in the station (for many of you it will be a necessary part). It is very wide, you will find shops, restaurants and cafès.
- Trajectum Lumen: an evening tour through the historic center of Utrecht. This route is very special and beautiful because it will take you to the most hidden places of the city and plus you will see a very enlightened Utrecht. Something that can’t go unnoticed!
- Ouwehands Dierenpark: a zoo located in Laarschenberg (to the east of the city). The fauna and flora here is very present so come forward and explore what nature has to offer.
- De Haar: is a Gothic castle and it is located in Haarzuilens. It has a majestic look not only externally but also internally. It is considered the largest castle in the Netherlands.
- Slot Zuylen: Another magnificent castle of the city of Utrecht
- Vredenburg Castle: it was also a castle. It was because now there are only the remains that are really beautiful to see. These are located in the Vredenburg square.
- De Uithof: this part of the town (to the east part) is an area dedicated to the students, as there are various universities and some houses for them. But not for this it the less important part, because in addition to the the special and modern building (that are nice to see), the area is surrounded by botanical gardens, shops and restaurants. It is an opportunity to enter in the city’s life.
- The Queen Real Adventure Game/Mysterium Escape Room: escape games.
The festivals are another important things for the city. Here there are held several events, including: Utrecht Early Music Festival (musical event of all kinds), Netherlands Film Festival and the Utrecht Museum Night. This event means that the museums are open until late at night. Among the various museums that take part of this initiative are: Nederlands Spoorwegmuseum, Universiteitsmuseum, Centraal Museum, Aboriginal Art Museum and Museum Catharijneconvent.
As for the nightlife, in Utrecht there is much to enjoy. The most popular places are always the main squares, streets along the canals but also several places that are hidden in the inner part of the city. Let’s see them.
- Club Poema: nightclub.
- Body Talk: cafè.
- Belgisch Bier Café Olivier
- BASIS: disco.
- Venue Utrecht: nightclub.
- Aus der Reihe Derrick: disco.
Below we will list the hotels that you can find in Utrecht.
http://www.booking.com/searchresults.html?city=-2154382&aid=960457 – hotels in the city.
http://www.booking.com/searchresults.html?district=6229&aid=960457 – hotels in the city center.
http://www.booking.com/searchresults.html?landmark=615&aid=960457 – hotels next to the central station.
Continue to page 2 to find the typical dishes and restaurants of the city.