This Utrecht travel guide may be the missing piece to completing your ultimate trip in the Netherlands. Many say that Utrecht is often overshadowed by its neighboring city, Amsterdam.
However, the city is one of the country’s oldest urban centers. Today, it’s a university city with beautiful canals and a vibrant culture that will make any tourist awed and inspired.
If Utrecht is part of your travel bucket list this 2021, you might want to know more about the city and the things that make it a must-visit destination.
When to Go in Utrecht
From mid-April to mid-October, the city gets packed with tourists. However, the peak season here is in July and August.
The Weather in Utrecht
Summers in the city can get really hot than during July and August; therefore, it’s crucial you pack light clothes to bring. Utrecht is beautiful even during the winter but expect some businesses to be closed during this time.
If you want to make the most out of your stay here—summer and spring are the perfect times to go because you can lounge by the canal and take in the festive atmosphere in the parks.
How Much Does It Cost?
When traveling to Utrecht, one of your biggest expenses would be your accommodation. An average hotel room in Utrecht starts at around $48, but it can go up to about $120 per night. It all depends on the type of hotel you choose.
If you’re coming as a large group, renting a vacation home in Utrecht may be more practical. In that case, prepare to spend around $140 to $400 per night for an entire home in the city.
Save more by renting a hostel instead. You can get a hostel in Utrecht for as low as $28 per night. The good thing is that there are many hostels in the city, and many of them are beautiful!
For your daily activities, it depends on the type of activities you will participate in the city. Stick to at least $40 per person per day for transportation and your meals.
How to Get Around Utrecht
It’s easy to get around in the city; so, no need to worry. You can explore the city by foot, but you can rent a bike or take public transportation if you want to go a bit farther.
If you plan to rent a bike, you won’t have any problem at all. There are overwhelming choices to choose from because the city aims to be the most bike-friendly city in the world.
If you don’t want to go around just to get a bike, you can go to the tourist office and rent one.
When it comes to their public transportation, the city is well-connected by train, tram, and bus. Get a U-OV travel ticket at any ticket vending machine. On the other hand, if you ready have an OV-chip kart, you can use it on the Utrecht system as it can be used for almost all modes of transportation.
The Utrecht Region pass is similar to the OV-chip kart, which is a pay-as-you-go public transport pass you can link to your credit card.
It is not advisable to take a taxi because it’s expensive and the city is small enough that you can walk everywhere. Bus travel is cheaper; but keep in mind that routes between Utrecht and other cities in the country are limited.
For train travel, you can get to Amsterdam and Schipol Airport in just 30 minutes while The Hague is only a couple of minutes away. There are international trains as well, including Brussels and Paris.
What to See in Utrecht
There are a lot of things to see in the city. For one, the De Letters van Utrecht is one of the most unique art projects in the world—it’s a poem for the future that grows every year.
It’s written one character at a time, one letter per week, which are written by poets from the guild of Poets. Even though the poem is in Dutch, you can find an English translation online.
If you’re a fan of museums (even if you’re not, you should definitely check out the museums in the city), visit the Railway Museum that is located inside one of Utrecht’s old railway stations. If you think it’s “old school” here, you’ll be surprised that it’s very interactive here. Here you can spot the first Dutch steam locomotive.
Shop around at the many great street markets of the city. Every Saturday, there’s a colorful flower market at Janskerkhof that sells beautiful sunflowers and roses. For affordable fabric, you can head on to the Breedmarkt. However, if you’re looking for souvenirs, the market on Vredenburg is the one you should visit, which is open thrice a week.
Do you want to go underground? Go underneath the Dom Tower at DOMunder to get to know the city’s history.
Are you ready to explore the beautiful city of Utrecht? Browse more topics here at Ask the Dutch Guy!