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We’re a big fan of exploring our own home country, which is The Netherlands in our case. Nice sights, architecture and activities don’t have to be far away: they might also be right at your doorstep. One of the cities we absolutely adore is Utrecht, which is just a stone’s throw away from Amsterdam.
To make your trip to Utrecht unforgettable, we’ve put together a walking route that covers all the best parts of the city. You can find the entire route in Google Maps through this link. Let’s get walking!
Start your day with a stroll along Utrecht’s canals
Your trip to the Netherlands won’t be complete without a proper stroll along the characteristic canals. Luckily, Utrecht is filled with them. But what truly sets Utrecht’s canals apart are the restaurants right at the waterfront – the perfect setting for a nice meal. The Oudegracht is Utrecht’s most famous canal, but more quiet streets like the Dorstige Hartsteeg are also very nice.
Climb all the way up the Dom tower and visit the Dom church
This will be the biggest highlight (literally!) of your visit to Utrecht. With 465 steps, this church is the highest in The Netherlands. The only way to visit the church is with a guided tour, which takes about an hour. In that way, you won’t have to make the climb up in one go, because the guide will stop frequently to tell more about the rich history. Once you finally reach the highest point of the church, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing and farstretched view. Make sure to get your tickets in advance here.
TIP: Locals always know best when it comes to the nicest places in town. That’s why taking a free walking tour with a local is a great way to explore a city. In Utrecht, you can join an organized tour every saturday and sunday (in summer also on wednesdays) which takes you through the city center. An awesome day guaranteed! For more information, check out this website.
Explore Utrecht’s ancient history at the Dom’s foundation
Two thousand years ago a great Roman fortress was built under at what is now the Dom Tower. If you’re curious to see the foundation of the fortress, but also other relics and archaeological finds, this is the place for you. The Dom’s history will really come to life. You can get your tickets in advance here.
Wander off in the Pandhof courtyard
The Pandhof courtyard is actually located right next to the Dom Tower, but is often overlooked by visitors. It’s a peaceful little courtyard, with a colourful botanical garden and some sculptures. The majestic hallways that surround the yard can easily make you feel like your walking through Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. Besides, the Pandhof doesn’t charge any entrance fee.
Refuel at The Streetfood Club
The Streetfood Club is a delight for your taste buds: the menu is filled with delicious streetfood from all over the world, which you can share together (vegetarian and vegan options are available!). The place is also nicely decorated which makes it feel like an urban jungle, while old school hip-hop music is blasting through the speakers.
Unwind at Park Lepelenburg
After having a nice lunch, it’s time to chill out for a bit. And there’s no place better to do that, than in a park. Park Lepelenburg is located on the edge of the city center and close to the Streetfood Club. Here, you’ll find plenty of locals picknicking or working out. Especially on summer days, the park is filled with sunseekers. If you’re lucky, you’ll even be able to listen to live music, see a play or join an event.
TIP: Not tired of strolling through Dutch cities yet? Check out our guide about Alkmaar, a historical Dutch city only 30 minutes by train from Amsterdam. Or explore Amsterdam with this funpacked 1-day itinerary.
Go back in time at the Bruntenhof
The Bruntenhof is a communal garden surrounded by fifteen studios. The complex was founded in 1621 by Frederik Brunt and was meant for poor widows. To this day, the Bruntenhof still donates money to the poor and sick every year, because of a statement in a testament from 1742. Isn’t that amazing?
Finish your day at The Colour Kitchen
Dining right at the Utrecht canals is an unmissable experience. That’s why we suggest having a meal at The Colour Kitchen. This is a social enterprise that works with local produce and educates new cooking talent. Win-win! The menu is filled with tasty veggie options.
If you have any questions about visiting Utrecht, drop them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you!