7 Reasons to Visit Utrecht

7 Reasons To Visit Utrecht, Pinterest Title Image

Often called the beating heart of The Netherlands, Utrecht is one of those instantly lovable cities. It forms the fourth largest Dutch city and while it is small and vibey, it still maintains its gorgeous medieval charm. The city itself is relatively small. In fact you could explore the whole city on foot in less than a day! Here are 7 reasons why you should visit Utrecht.

It’s the only inner city canal to have wharfs and wharf cellars

The picturesque canal’s of Utrecht are one of a kind with its wharfs and wharf cellars. It’s one of the best reasons to visit Utrecht! The history of the wharfs and wharf cellars go back to sometime in the 12th century. Back in the Middle Ages the main flow of the river Rhine moved south so parts of the old river bed were dug out to create De Oudegracht (also known as the Old Canal). Wharfs were added to create an inner city harbour system and large city castles were built along the canal. In the 13th Century, shipyards were built as second streets existing at water level. Deep cellars ran along through to below the houses serving as storage spaces. Today though, these canals and shipyards become home to shops, restaurants and even private residences.

Canals of Utrecht, 7 Reasons To Visit Utrecht

It is one of the most quintessentially Dutch cities

Some say Utrecht forms the heart of The Netherlands with it’s medieval look, vibrant culture, picturesque canals and street side cafes. In fact, Utrecht is often said to be the more traditional sister of Amsterdam. This is because of its medieval-looking centre which embodies the 15th century Dom Tower. That being said, it still keeps its vibrant university town vibe and picturesque feel. Definitely a reason to visit Utrecht!

It’s one of the happiest places in the world

According to BBC Travel, Utrecht was declared as the fourth happiest place in the world! Can’t disagree there… I mean wouldn’t walking through such a picture perfect town day-in and day-out make anyone happy? It’s old town charm together with modern day amenities, relaxing atmosphere and easy access to nature means you’ll always have everything you need to keep you soul at ease. Happiness always!

Friends in Utrecht, Utrecht City Centre

You’ll never get lost in Utrecht

The Dom Tower dominates the Utrecht skyline and sits right in the centre of the medieval town making it hard to get lost. In fact, part of the cities beauty is it’s Dutch quaintness. The heart of the city is actually enclosed by a canal. This forms an inner ring running all round so you can explore the city and naturally head towards the centrally positioned Dom Tower.

It has some of the prettiest parks and gardens

Utrecht is known for having some of the prettiest parks and gardens to pass the time. From the Botanical Gardens to Cathedral Gardens to century-old greenhouses and fountain-filled parks, every trip to Utrecht should include a visit to at least one charming garden.

Utrecht Gardens, 7 Reasons To Visit Utrecht

Have some coffee at a sub-street level cafe

One of Utrecht’s distinguishing traits is the terraces that sit upon canals. In fact, while most Dutch cities offer a steep drop between the sidewalk and canals, Utrecht on the other hand has a sub-street level filled with pretty cafes and restaurants. Why not try having a cup of coffee (or even a glass of wine!) on a canal taking the crisp Dutch air? Sounds perfect to me!

It embraces its old world charm together with modern day vibes

Utrecht is known for its medieval charm and beautifully old buildings allowing it to still embody all the vibey amenities needed in a university town. From bars, to nightclubs to being a 30 minute direct train ride to Schiphol Airport… it perfectly encapsulates and merges its medieval character with modern day personality.

Buildings of Utrecht

Have you visited this beautiful Dutch town? What are some of your best reasons to visit Utrecht? Leave me a comment down below! I’d love to hear more.

Posted by

I'm Shalinee - a Geminian scientist who loves to travel, write, draw and eat chocolate. I've visited over twenty countries, published a Environmental Science encyclopaedia and somewhere along the way started a science communication company to help students and corporates translate that hard-to-read data generated in a lab. Other than that, I'm just searching for the magic still hidden in the world.

What are your thoughts?