Like in my last post about Utrecht, I said how much I liked this city! I am glad that I have heard from so many that they want to visit the city. To give you an overview of all the important tips from Utrecht, I have written a travel guide that will certainly help you on your next trip. I also edited a small video about the trip, which you can also find on my Youtube channel.
I hope you can do something with the tips and recommendations. If you know more places, sights or restaurants that you have to see in Utrecht, I would be happy if you link them to me in the comments below!
Accommodation in Utrecht
Star Lodge – Biltsestraatweg 92, 3573 PS Utrecht, Netherlands
Bus: Utrecht, Archimedeslaan
We slept at the Star Lodge for two nights. A very nice, modern hotel, on the outskirts of town. That sounds very outside now, but it is not at all. We could borrow bicycles and since the city is not very big, we were already in the city centre after ten minutes. In general I would advise you to use the bicycle in Utrecht. The buses don’t go all the way to the city centre and you usually travel longer by bus than by bike.
Activities in Utrecht
Trajectum Lumen is a light route that leads through Utrecht and on which one encounters light constellations of national and international artists. These can be illuminated canals, tunnels or plays of light on the ground. On the route you will also pass the cathedral, which is also specially illuminated. Light arrows on the ground show you the way and you get to know Utrecht in a completely different way. I thought the tour was pretty cool and it’s completely free unless you take a special tour. There is also a flyer that shows the route with a small description at each point. However, it is only in Dutch or English. At midnight all lights will be turned off.
Bus: Utrecht, Janskerkhof
I have always been enthusiastic about the Dutch people’s relationship to their flowers. Whenever I am at a flower market in the Netherlands, I only think that the German markets could cut themselves a slice of it. Here you can find really beautiful bouquets and it was such a shame that I couldn’t buy any of them. These are also not small bouquets, like the Germans buy them every now and then. These bouquets that the Dutch put on the table are already one size bigger.
Bus: Utrecht, Domplein
The DOMunder grants you a view into the underworld. If you want to learn more about the really interesting history of Utrecht in another way, you should not miss DOMunder. Nowhere else are you so close to the archaeologists’ exhibits as here. They have found so many testimonies from so many different epochs as in no other place in the Netherlands. Since 2014 the previous finds have been open to the public and not everything has been found yet.
Above all, the concept behind it is beautiful. All those who don’t like history, who are almost switching off now: Watch out! Everyone gets an interactive torch with which they have to search for small microchips between the tombs. If you illuminate them with the flashlight, a voice will sound through the connected headphones, telling you more about this special find on which the microchip is located. So you literally go in search of “treasures”. In addition, short video clips are recorded on screens in between, which draw you even further into the history of Utrecht!
Bus: Utrecht, Catharijneconvent
We made a two-hour canoe tour on the canals and experienced the city from a completely different perspective! After a short briefing we went directly on the water. At first we drove through the city centre, but at some point the hustle and bustle became less and less and we also got to know the quiet, more intimate side of Utrecht. We drove past many plots that had a private footbridge to the canals (I would take such a plot!) and it was incredibly idyllic.
Bus: Utrecht, Domplein
At 112 metres, the cathedral tower is the highest in the country. We took part in a special tour, for which you have to register. We walked up 465 steps to the very top to watch the sunset from a very special vantage point. From this point you can even see the church towers of Amsterdam.
Of course, there are always breaks during the climbing, as there are several floors in the cathedral. Among other things, one also gets into the bell tower. The bells ring every quarter of an hour and always short pieces of music are played. These pieces change every month and are sometimes related to a certain result. For example, after the death of David Bowie, melodies from his songs were played for a week.
The view is beautiful, but it’s not for people with fear of heights or claustrophobia. The further up you go, the narrower it gets.
Bus: Utrecht, Uppsalalaan
We visited the Botanical Garden, run by the University. I love botanical gardens! Somehow I find it relaxing to visit them and see the plants and animals. The garden is a bit on the edge of town, but is worth a visit if you also like botanical gardens. Small shortcoming: All descriptions, flyers and inscriptions are only in Dutch.
Food & Drink in Utrecht
Drieharingstraat 1-3, Utrecht
A small restaurant in a very narrow side street. It was incredibly crowded, but a table became available again very quickly. We didn’t wait five minutes until we got a table. For wine lovers the restaurant is also something, because there is a large selection of the most different wines there. The food was really delicious. Thus, those who like burgers should definitely stop by.
Restaurant De Zakkendrager
Zakkendragerssteeg 26, Utrecht
When one enters the restaurant, at first it seems to be a little old-fashioned, as the furnishings in the anteroom are a little more traditional. But we were taken to a table at the back that looked very different. It was all much more dreamy here with ornate partitions and fairy lights. In addition, one looked through large windows at one’s own garden. Did you see the movie Das Schicksal ist ein mieser Verräter? If so, you can certainly remember the scene where Hazel and Gus dine in the fancy restaurant the author invited them to. In my opinion, Restaurant De Zakkendrager is Utrecht’s answer to this restaurant! Yes, it was so beautiful there!
Eight Clarenburg 6a, Utrecht
The Belgisch Bier Café Olivier* is a converted, former church. Yes, really! This is not really recognizable from the outside, but inside you can see it quite clearly.
In addition to delicious snacks such as sandwiches, toasts and soups, you also get a large selection of the most varied types of beer. There’s also a little cat living in the former church who likes to walk around between the visitors and tables without fear or who sits in the free space next to you to take a nap! You also have the choice of many board and parlour games that you can borrow for free and play at your table. It’s a crazy but cool place!