Utrecht is known as the beating heart of the Netherlands. Visiting the city will feel like you have been transported to the early Middle Ages. See the beautiful canals, walk the medieval streets, and experience their rich culture like never before.
Here’s your three-day itinerary in the city that will allow you to uncover its most idyllic attractions:
Walk Along the Old Canal Area
Canals are what the Netherlands are famous for; and they’re present almost everywhere. Yet, what makes Oudegracht worth a visit is it is the only inner-canal system with wharves and wharf cellars.
You can even join the boat tour to see it from a different perspective. Feeling more adventurous? You can rent an electric boat by yourself and navigate the city’s canals all on your own.
Visit the Railway Museum (Het Spoorwegmuseum)
See railway equipment with historical significance used by the Dutch National Railway here at the Railway Museum. But it’s more than that! Here, you will dive deeper into the world of trains and how they changed the world’s transportation system. There’s a real-life station here along with other attractions you can explore.
Visit the Dom Tower
Your vacation to Utrecht won’t be complete without visiting the Gothic-style church tower, the Dom Tower.
Get ready to climb the tower, which is over 400 stairs, to see the beautiful city from above. While you’re at it, head to the DOMunder, which is an underground tour in the Dom Tower!
End the Day at a Canal Bar
As mentioned, the canals in the city are unique to the country. You will find a lower level where warehouses were were once located in the 13th century. Today, the warehouses have been converted into bars and restaurants where you can have waterside dining and drinks.
To end your first day in Utrecht, you should definitely try to have dinner and drinks at a canal bar. It’s a unique experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life.
The Netherlands, or rather, the Dutch loves to bike. Therefore, the whole country is bike-friendly. All the major cities here have bike lanes everywhere, which means that it’s safe for you to cycle around here. Rent a bike in Utrecht and explore the city on your own. It’s fun because you get to explore the city at your own pace! So, go on; but don’t forget your helmet!
Feel Like Royalty at De Haar Castle
Interested in history? Go and visit the Castle de Haar, which is now owned by the Rothschild family. It’s 14km from Utrecht, but it’s a nice change of pace if you want to see other attractions outside the city.
You can rent a car to get here, which will only take you 30 minutes, or you can hop on a 45-minute train or bike ride.
Walk Through the Tunnels
Check out the Gazenmarkt Tunnel near the Bezembrug bridge, which is a lit underground passage. It is part of the Trajectum Lumen, a collection of light displays throughout the city. The Gazenmarkt part is their biggest display.
The displays in the tunnel are meant to pay homage to the important places in the city’s history.
Lounge around at the Utrecht University Botanic Gardens
Utrecht is a university town, and they’re open to tourists, well, only some areas. The Utrecht University Botanic Gardens is near De Bilt that has a fantastic collection of plants worldwide!
You will find exhibitions of herbs and other edible tropical plants here as well. Plus, the Roman garden is filled with beautiful greenhouses that are just so relaxing.
Squeeze in some souvenir shopping before you leave the city at Hoog Catharijne, the country’s biggest indoor mall. Here, you can certainly shop ’til you drop!
Eager for more? Let me help you make the most out of your trip to the Netherlands. Browse our other topics here at Ask the Dutch Guy!