Famous for its quirky canal-side bars, colourful Middle-Age buildings and grand medieval castles, Utrecht is a bustling city located right in the centre of the Netherlands. Get your history fix with a visit to the cities grand medieval fortress and enjoy a breath of fresh air in the manicured botanical gardens.
Things to do in Utrecht
For the best views of Utrecht, take a guided climb to the top of Dom Tower, the tallest church tower in the country. On a clear day you can see as far as Amsterdam. On your descent, make sure you pass through the arch at the bottom, which is part of the tour de France route.
The Botanical Gardens at Fort Hoofddijk are home to an array of flora and fauna. Wander amidst the tulips taking in this green oasis in the heart of the city. Afterwards, head to the City Castle Oudaen, a monumental building with its own brewery. Take a guided tour, before retiring to the outdoor terrace for a beer or two.
Utrecht’s canals are one of Utrecht's iconic landmarks, best experienced on a canal tour. Head down to the shipyards to hop aboard a boat, before retiring to Talud9, a quaint coffee and wine bar that occupies one of the canal-side warehouses.
Castle De Haar is the biggest castle in the Netherlands and features a moat, turrets and drawbridge. The 20th-century medieval fortress is the former home of the Van Zuylen family and exemplifies the wealth of Utrecht. Spend a morning exploring the manicured grounds on a guided tour.
Getting around Utrecht
Vliegbasis Soesterberg Airport sits 20 minutes north-east of Utrecht, while Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport is just under an hour’s drive to the north. Utrecht city centre is compact enough to explore on foot or bicycle, though you can make use of the public transport system, including buses, trams and trains.