The charming Dutch city of Utrecht is located a short train ride from Amsterdam and has just as many delights as the capital, but without the crowds.  You can still have your fix of fries, float down peaceful canals and even have a puff of weed if it takes your fancy!  Tulips spill out of the market stalls and there are musicians are around every corner.  But what to do with only a day to spare?  Check out these favourites:

Climb the Dom Tower 

The Dom Tower is the tallest building in the Netherlands, stretching 112.32 metres high into the sky.  You can purchase tour tickets for 9 euros from the information centre. It takes about an hour return and be prepared to climb a lot of stairs – 465 to be precise! But the views at the top make it all worth while.  Along the way, you will also get to see the 14 church bells, made in 1505 and still ringing today, though it takes 26 people to operate them, so they only ring all of them in unison twice a year.

The Dom Tower

Take a Tour on the Canal

You can book a ticket on one of the tour boats, or hire your own kayaks and go paddling down the canals.  Either way, it is a peaceful experiences and you get to see Utrecht from a new angle.  The tours provide historical information about the city landmarks along the way, so it is a nice way to brush up on your general knowledge.

Touring the canals

Buy Some Tulips

The Netherlands is all about the Tulips and Utrecht is no exception!  You will find these flowers everywhere (given you don’t arrive in the middle of winter).

Tulips for sale

Visit a Coffee Shop

If you want, you can inhale the scent of the Netherlands by visiting a Coffee Shop – but don’t expect a coffee.  Weed is regularly available and legal to smoke, so if you want to create a surreal memory to look back on when you are old a grey, this is the place to do it!

Coffee shop

Feast on Fries

There are many shops selling fries – get a dollop of mayonnaise or, if you need your tomato sauce like me, you don’t have to go without!  Best eaten outside, wandering along the pretty canals.

Dutch fries

Go for a bike ride

As with the rest of the Netherlands, cycling is the most popular way to get around, plus it is a great way to burn off those fries.  But there is fierce competition for parking spaces, so be sure to remember where you left your bike!

Bike central

Get a taste of Pofferjtes 

For a last impression, make sure you squeeze in a feast of Pofferjtes, even if it means a last minute snack at the airport! These mini pikelets are served warm with butter and sprinkled with icing sugar.  As with most sweet food, it goes best with a cup of tea.  Truly delicious!


Have you been to Utrecht?  With more time, what would you recommend? 

10 thoughts

  1. One of my colleagues is from Utrecht, and he described it as a smaller, nicer version of Amsterdam. It looks so picturesque – and gloriously free of the hordes of visitors seen in Amsterdam! I’ll have to pay some of the other towns and cities in The Netherlands a visit one of these days 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great publicity for what I feel is a highly-underrated city! Even though I’ve lived in Utrecht for more than three years, I still thoroughly enjoy walking through the city centre and making photos of what I see. I’d recommend seeing Ledig Erf and the Museumkwartier (Museum District). These are my favourite parts of the city centre. You can find great kibbeling (fried fish) at a place called Visjes at Ledig Erf, and very close by is also a burger place called Meneer Smakers, which everyone in Utrecht probably knows about.

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