Unraveling 10 Things to Do in Utrecht

Unraveling 10 Things to Do in Utrecht

Nestled in the heart of the Netherlands, the beautiful city of Utrecht is all about history, culture, and an energetic ambiance. It is the fourth-largest city in the Netherlands and is considered a cozy alternative to Amsterdam. 

No doubt it is one of the most beautiful cities in the Netherlands. Beautiful canals and parks, lively restaurants and cafés, fascinating museums, and historical buildings will transport you to another era. This is what Utrecht is all about! 

Let’s go and uncover 10 must-do activities that will make your visit to Utrecht truly memorable. We’ll also delve into some top activities to do here and ensure your stay in the city is as comfortable as it is enchanting.

1. Explore Dom Tower

No visit to Utrecht is complete without a climb up the iconic Dom Tower. It is pretty much the symbol of Utrecht. Once at the top, your eyes will feast on the breathtaking views of the cityscape. 465 steps stand between you and stunning views of the city. Ready for the challenge? I bet you are! The tower’s observation deck offers a mesmerizing glimpse into Utrecht’s beauty.

2. Wander Through the Canals

Utrecht has a huge network of beautiful, meandering canals that rival those of Amsterdam. To fully enjoy these canals, you can stroll along the waterside, admiring the charming canal houses, quaint bridges, and vibrant houseboats. The Oudegracht, in particular, is a must-visit, lined with bustling cafés and unique shops. It is the old canal and runs for about 2 km through the center of Utrecht. 

3. Visit the Centraal Museum

If you love art, then the Netherlands is the perfect spot for you. With one famous museum after the other, it is a treat for art lovers. And of course, there is Centraal Museum in Utrecht. It offers art, history, and culture all together. They house a diverse collection ranging from medieval art to contemporary design. Plus this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Utrecht’s rich heritage. 

The great thing about Centraal Museum is that the works on display change very frequently, but the collection includes a number of world-famous pieces. It is also home to the largest Gerrit Rietveld collection in the world. Rietveld Schröder House was designed by Rietveld in 1924 and is considered an architectural masterpiece of De Stijl, the modern art movement. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

4. Discover De Haar Castle

Just a short distance from Utrecht lies the enchanting De Haar Castle. It is the largest castle in the Netherlands. You will actually feel like you’re stepping into a fairytale as you explore the lavish interiors, wander through the beautiful gardens, and learn about the castle’s captivating history. This architectural gem is a must-see for history enthusiasts.

5. Indulge in Culinary Delights

Utrecht’s culinary scene is a treat for food lovers. I am a huge fan of all food that the Netherlands has to offer, but there was something special about Utrecht. From cozy cafes to trendy restaurants, the city offers a plethora of dining options. Try traditional Dutch dishes like stroopwafels and bitterballen, savor international cuisines, and explore local food markets. If you love experimenting with food, you will have a great time in Utrecht. 

6. Experience the Miffy Museum

If you’re traveling with little ones, the Nijntje or Miffy Museum is a must-visit. Dedicated to the beloved children’s character created by Dutch artist Dick Bruna, this interactive museum offers a world of discovery and play. Engage in hands-on activities, explore Miffy’s world, and spark your child’s imagination.

7. Shop at the Trajectum Lumen

You have to enjoy the nightlife in Utrecht. The city comes alive at night with the Trajectum Lumen light art project. As dusk falls, the city is transformed into an enchanting spectacle of light installations. It is truly a sight to behold. Take a nighttime walk along the illuminated streets and bridges, and enjoy Utrecht’s ambiance in a whole new way. It is magical. 

8. Stay at Luxury Hotels

There are plenty of hotels in Utrecht. For a truly memorable stay, Utrecht offers a range of luxurious hotel options. The Grand Hotel Karel V, housed in a former monastery, combines historic charm with modern elegance. Its spacious rooms, exquisite dining, and rejuvenating spa will make your stay truly indulgent. It will be a true luxury experience for you. 

9. Enjoy Boutique Stays

However, if you prefer a more intimate experience, try the boutique hotels in Utrecht. The Mary K Hotel, with its unique rooms and artistic flair, captures the essence of the city’s creative spirit. Or you can stay at The Mother Goose Hotel. With its chic design and central location, it provides a cozy retreat in the heart of Utrecht. 

10. Embrace Local Hospitality

If you don’t want luxury experiences or boutique hotels, and you prefer to immerse yourself in the local culture, then consider staying at a bed and breakfast. Utrecht is home to charming B&Bs that offer warm hospitality and a personal touch. Experience the city like a local, savoring homemade breakfasts and receiving insider tips from your hosts.

Why should you pick Utrecht as your next destination?

Utrecht, with its rich history, lively atmosphere, and cultural delights, is a destination that promises an unforgettable experience for you. From exploring historic landmarks to indulging in culinary delights, this Dutch gem has something for every traveler. Utrecht might be even better than Amsterdam

With a range of accommodation options, including luxurious hotels and cozy boutique stays, your visit to Utrecht will be as comfortable as it is enchanting. Now all there is left to do is pack your bags and book that ticket. Get ready to unravel the wonders of Utrecht.


Aemilius Dost is originally from the Netherlands but moved to Mexico more than two years ago. He started traveling when he was 19 and visited over 20 countries spread over North, and Central America, Europe and Asia. He currently works as a freelance SEO specialist and has worked with companies such as Surfshark, SafetyWing, and BP.

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