Instead of browsing the web to find inspiration, we decided to ask a couple of Dutch friends. We gave them 3 criteria: a) we only have a day or so to discover a city b) we want chill vibes c) that we can preferably find in cozy restaurants and pubs, because we both had a rough week. Without hesitation Utrecht came as the winner in the blink of an eye. Here are 3 reasons why Utrecht is worth a visit:
Having no fixed plan is sometimes the best plan you can have.
Do you also love to discover a city without a Lonely Planet in your hand, but do you at the same time fear that you will miss out on something? If the answer is yes to this question, Utrecht is a perfect location for you. Compared to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Utrecht is quite small and compact, but not less scenic. Don’t go to Utrecht if you are looking to visit 10 different tourist attractions, because the main attraction is the city itself. Cobble stone streets, medieval houses, canals, street cafes, boutique shops,… you get the gist. Although Utrecht is often nicknamed ‘Little Amsterdam’, ‘Little Ghent’ would also apply to this scenic city with a laid-back atmosphere. Everywhere you look is another pretty view.
Eat. Drink. Repeat.
Our friends told us that Utrecht has quite some good restaurants and pubs. This is quite the understatement of the year, because the city is just packed with cozy restaurants and bars. Foodies are truly in seventh heaven in Utrecht. They need more than a day to discover the very diverse restaurant and bar scene. A typical feature for Utrecht? The ‘canal restaurants and bars’: sitting by the water, sipping wine, having a good time, do we need to say more?
Before you go home, take a night stroll through the city to discover the Trajectum Lumen. It puts some of the buildings literally in the spotlights: a dreamy scenery perfect before going to sleep and heading off to Dreamland yourself.
Shop till you drop.
For a rather small city, Utrecht has a remarkably big shopping center, ‘Hooge Catherijne’, next to the Tivoli Vredenburg, which deserves a visit. Not only the foodies will find what they are looking for in Utrecht. The same goes for shopaholics, who will love the great variety of boutiques in the city center.
Because the number 3 seems to be the common thread of this blog post, we will finish by giving you three tips if you have some more time to spent:
Stay in touch with history: Domunder
If you want to know more about the history of the city, visit Domunder, located underneath the Dom Plein. Once finished, take the 456 steps up the Dom Tower to overlook the city of which you just learnt the ins and outs.
Stay in touch with nature: Botanical Gardens
The concept of botanical gardens don’t need much explanation. Silence and nature, butterflies and flowers, a walk through the park!
Stay in touch with arts & culture: Rietveld Schröderhouse
A house with moving walls and ingenious design elements that connect the interior with the outside world. Although located outside the city center, the trip to the Rietveld Schröderhouse is worth it.