Things to do in Utrecht + A Modern UNESCO Site

Utrecht is the fourth biggest city in The Netherlands.  Here are a few things to do in Utrecht;

  • Cathedral of Saint Martin and Dom Tower
  • Nuede – Utrecht Central Square
  • Oudegracht canal and reflection photography
  • University Hall
  • Rietveld Schröder House UNESCO world heritage site
  • Pieterskerk Gothic Church
  • Castle De Haar
  • National Railway Museum

You can easily visit Utrecht on a day trip from Amsterdam, Rotterdam or The Hague.  If you do decide to stay over, you’ll find lots of good value hotels.

Cathedral of Saint Martin and Dom Tower

Things to do in Utrecht - Cathedral of Saint Martin and Dom Tower

The city of Utrecht dates back to the 1st century when Romans first settled here.  Dom Tower is the symbol of Utrecht and the highest church tower in The Netherlands.  The church which is known as the Cathedral of Saint Martin dates back to the 7th century.  Dom Tower was built in the 14th century and used to be joined onto the church.  In 1674 the nave of the church was destroyed by a storm and has never been repaired which makes the Cathedral of Saint Martin and the Dom Tower very unique.

Nuede – Central Square

Things to do in Utrecht - Nuede, Central Square

The central square of Utrecht is known in Dutch as the Nuede.  The Nuede is surrounded by traditional Dutch buildings, restaurants and bars.  Foodies will find plenty of eating options around here and the Dom Tower offers the perfect view whilst sitting on the square.  Throughout the summer months this is a popular place to go and enjoy a few beers.  In The Netherlands they like to drink the beer cold which means the beer is served in 0.25 cl sized glasses.  In fact, they seem very concerned that if they drink from a 0.5 cl glass that the last few mouthfuls of beer could be warm.

Oudegracht Canal and Reflection Photography

Things to do in Utrecht - Oudegracht canal and reflection photography

Utrecht has its fair share of those iconic Dutch houses.  It’s those very Dutch houses many people visit Amsterdam to see.  However, if you visit Utrecht to see them, there’ll be must fewer tourists.  As a result you can relax and take much better photos.  In addition, there are canals running through Utrecht which add to it’s beauty.  Finally, as you would expect from the tallest church tower in The Netherlands, The Dom Tower is visible from all over the city.

University Hall

Things to do in Utrecht - University Hall

Opposite Dom Tower is the Utrecht University Hall.  Utrecht is a university town and this photographic building is the heart of Utrecht University campus.  Around the corner from University Hall is the UNESCO world heritage site of Rietveld Schröder House.

Rietveld Schröder House UNESCO world heritage site

Things to do in Utrecht - Rietveld Schröder House UNESCO world heritage site

The Rietveld Schröder House was built in 1924 by Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld and is an example of  the development of architecture in the modern age.  It’s not the most beautiful building like the adjacent University Hall but it’s worth visiting because of its status as a UNESCO site and the fact that it is the first modern apartment.  Is this the world’s most modern UNESCO world heritage site?

Pieterskerk Gothic Church

Pieterskerk Gothic Church is the oldest church in Utrecht.  It’s nowhere near as famous as Dom Tower, however, something which could persuade you to visit is the underground church crypt.

Dutch Clogs

Things to do in Utrecht - Dutch Clogs

Clogs are a symbol of The Netherlands, I presumed they were only for women but there are clogs for men too.  Clogs don’t look to be the comfiest piece of footwear on the market, I prefer my Nike sneakers to walk around a city in.  In Utrecht you’ll find other typical Dutch items to photograph such as Dutch bikes, canals as well as Dutch style houses.

De Haar Castle

Things to do in Utrecht - Castle De Haar

If you need persuading to visit De Haar Castle, the fact it’s the largest castle in The Netherlands should persuade you.  In addition, the castle is extremely picturesque.  To add to its Instagrammablility, one side faces a well kept garden in contrast to the other which faces a moat.  As a result, you’ll be able to pose for some wonderful photos at De Haar Castle.  De Haar Castle is on the outskirts of the city and you’ll need transport to get there.  However, it’s easy to visit using public transport and information on how to get there is available on the Kasteel de Haar website.

National Railway Museum

If you’re traveling independently through The Netherlands, I expect you’re using the national rail system.  As a matter of fact it’s one of the most advanced rail networks in the world.  The train station in Utrecht is modern and efficient as most of the trains stations in the country are, not to mention Rotterdam train station!  For this reason, it’s interesting to learn about the history of the Dutch Railway at the National Railway Museum.  Kids will especially love the museum as there’s a Thomas the Tank Engine on display!

How to get from Utrecht to Amsterdam

Train from Utrecht to Amsterdam, 22 minutes

Utrecht Centraal Train Station a is brand new station attached to a brand new shopping mall.  For this reason, it’s a Utrecht landmark in itself.  There are regular trains to Amsterdam which take less than 30 minutes and cost less than €10.  Finally, there’s free Wifi on all trains in The Netherlands, enjoy the journey.

Amsterdam Photography

2019-01-01T10:45:57+00:00March 11th, 2017|The Netherlands, Western Europe|21 Comments


  1. Mimi March 12, 2017 at 5:54 am - Reply

    Have heard a lot of Utrecht, more for its university thought, great to see the travelling perspective of it. University Hall looks beautiful so is the shot you did of Dom Tower!

  2. Melissa March 12, 2017 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    Utrecht looks very pretty. I have never heard of it before, but it definitely looks like it would be worth visiting… especially since it’s so close to Amsterdam. I love visiting the smaller or lesser known towns in Europe.

  3. Rebecca March 12, 2017 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Utrecht looks so cute. I’m headed to the Netherlands in April and plan on visiting Utrecht, along with the Hague and Lisse. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Amsterdam but I’m hoping that the smaller towns are a little more charming.

  4. Anita March 12, 2017 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Hey. I read this at a perfect time. I am planning a trip to Amsterdam later in the year and I am all about the day trips. I am thankful to read that I can travel somewhere with so much to see, and seeing a heritage site is not a bad bucket list item to check off. Thanks

  5. Noemi March 12, 2017 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    I love the Nuede! It looks like a typical Dutch square with the architecture of the building. Funny how they serve their beer in smaller glasses to keep it cold. Good thinking though. :p

  6. Sylvanmist March 12, 2017 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    Those colorful buildings are so neat looking! I’d love to visit this place and walk along the canals and just take pictures! Can you go inside Dom Tower?

  7. Janine Good March 13, 2017 at 2:23 am - Reply

    Utrecht looks fab! It has many similarities to Amsterdam in the buildings and canals. Wow, dating back to the 1st century – that is impressive. I love old cities that began with Roman settlers, the legends usually are quite interesting. Next time I head to Amsterdam I will be sure to do a day trip here and have a cool beer 🙂

  8. Katie Featherstone March 13, 2017 at 6:39 am - Reply

    Utrecht sounds like an interesting city. Lovely photos! I wouldn’t think they would need to worry about the beer warming up at this time of year though!

  9. Sabs March 13, 2017 at 10:01 am - Reply

    I was also surprised when we visited Zaanse Schans near Amsterdam and discovered you get clogs for weddings and all kinds of celebrations. The shoe for all occasions!

  10. Rhiannon March 13, 2017 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    The main square looks so colourful, kind of like a little toy town. Love the little tidbit of info about the beer, so funny!
    I had no idea there’s free wifi on all trains in the Netherlands! If that’s not a big enough draw to pull me back to the country, I don’t know what is.

  11. danik March 13, 2017 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    I remember driving through Utrecht many years ago and remember seeing the colourful buildings in the centre but didn’t spend long enough to appericate the city. I am going that direction next month (whilst celebrating KingsDay of course) so hope to spend longer here. 🙂

  12. Soraya March 13, 2017 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    It sounds like Utrecht is totally worth visiting while in the Netherlands, especially considering it is only 30 minutes by train. The buildings look amazing, I really love all the bright colors. Plus I’m sure there is a lot of Roman influence in the architecture considering Utrecht’s history.

  13. Kassie March 14, 2017 at 2:04 am - Reply

    Sounds like a really interesting day trip! I agree that those clogs don’t really look very comfortable. I’m assuming thats more of a tourist thing and the locals don’t really wear them except for festivals/history lessons. But I’ve never been to the Netherlands so maybe everyone wears them 😉

  14. Riely March 14, 2017 at 6:23 am - Reply

    Utrecht looks from your pictures like a great spot in the Netherlands to visit. I am very found of the Netherlands and therefore always interested in reading your posts. I have never heard of Utrecht prior to your post, but would love to visit and walk around the centre square, Nuede. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Ellis March 14, 2017 at 7:56 am - Reply

    such a great post about my almost hometown where i studied 4 years. Utrecht is definetly worth visiting and thanks for making it there and inspire other people.

  16. Stephanie Fox March 17, 2017 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    Ive heard such good things about UTrecht but only ever passed through on the train. I would really love to visit though hopefully this year as its so close to Amsterdam.

  17. Lena March 17, 2017 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    I actually never have been to Utrecht even though I have been very often in the netherlands … I really should go there, it seems nice! 🙂

  18. Ferna March 18, 2017 at 11:08 pm - Reply

    Its my first time to hear about Utrecht and havent been to that place either. Yet I aim to visit Netherlands because of Amsterdam, should note on this as there is a chance to view this beautiful place.

  19. Anita March 19, 2017 at 6:25 am - Reply

    I love Netherlands and have been there many times but not to Utrecht yet. The Dome tower looks great and the fact that a train ride is just 22 minutes from Amsterdam makes visiting idea appealing.

  20. Emily March 19, 2017 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Such a pretty city! I love the view of the Dom tower with the lights coming on in the shops – very atmospheric! I think I’d have to pick up some clogs as a souvenir! I’ll definitely visit Utrecht whenI go to the Netherlands.

  21. Danielle Hambuckers April 14, 2017 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    I love that this post gets so many comments on the city Utrecht and that for a lot of people this is a new thing to read about. Being from such a small country as the Netherlands it’s not that often that people know or even recognize other cities than Amsterdam. Also, great pictures of Utrecht, it’s a bit similar to Amsterdam isn’t it, but also so, so different!

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