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Utrecht day-trip: unique architecture and canals

Posted on Sep 3, 2015 by

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Only half an hour by train from Amsterdam, Utrecht is another destination for a day-trip (although you could easily spend a few pleasant days there, if you wanted).  This charming old city has a young vibe from all the students studying at the largest university in the Netherlands — Utrecht University. The city centre features many old buildings, some dating back to the High Middle Ages, with beautiful architecture. Utrecht also has very special canals — their wharves and wharf cellars are unique.

Getting around is really easy, I recommend walking or cycling because most of the points of interest can be reached on foot. There are several museums and monuments worth visiting, but one day is not enough to see all of them. You’ll have to choose the ones that are most interesting to you: perhaps the Railway Museum, the Dick Bruna Huis or the Museum Speelklok (Museum of Musical Clocks), or the exhibitions at the Aboriginal Art Museum, the Central Museum or the Museum Catharijneconvent? If the weather is good and you’re not particularly interested in museums, I really recommend (as always when there’s only a little time to spend in a place) just strolling around the streets of the old city, so you can soak up a bit of the city’s feeling.

Start from the Dom Square, because Dom Tower and Domkerk are a must see. Go down the Oudegracht where you can walk along its wharves and enjoy a drink at one of the terraces. Don’t miss the small, hidden gardens that you’ll stumble upon on your way, have an ice cream from Ik smelt voor jou and enjoy, for a moment, the quiet street behind the Domkerk reverberating the sounds of the Dom Tower bells announcing the time.

Here are a few photos from my last trip, on a grey, cloudy day (but the weather didn’t stop me from having a lovely day in Utrecht):

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  1. After years summering in Amsterdam I made it down to Utrecht with my friend Michou, by bicycle. Fantastic journey down and an amazing little university town. Loved the mix of Dutch cool and Oxford, or thereabouts.

    • I’m not sure I will ever dare to go there by bike, but I’m sure the trip is lovely. Maybe I’ll try someday 😉


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