15 Best Things to do in Utrecht (Netherlands) (2023)

Here’s a list of the 15 best things to do in Utrecht (Netherlands), along with famous landmarks, museums, and other points of interest.

Railway Museum (Het Spoorwegmuseum)

The Railway Museum is a great place to learn about the interesting history of trains and what impact they had on the development and culture of countries.

This museum is located in a historic train station that also houses a large number of well-preserved train cars and locomotives. Many of them are open for visitors and especially children will love climbing into these old trains.

15 Best Things to do in Utrecht (Netherlands) (1)

Photo: URRaL / Shutterstock.com


Oudegracht is a picturesque canal that runs through central Utrecht. It’s a lovely area to stroll around where many of the city’s best restaurants and hotels are located here.

Stop by and have something to eat while enjoying the beautiful view of the water and old buildings. Going shopping in the atmospheric stores situated in typical Dutch houses is also a great way to spend an afternoon and evening in Oudegracht.

15 Best Things to do in Utrecht (Netherlands) (2)

Dom Tower

At 112.5 m theDom Toweris the tallest church in the Netherlands. It is visible from many areas of the city as Utrecht is dominated by largely smaller, more historical buildings.

Interestingly, the structure was planned to be part of a cathedral but ended up being a stand-alone tower as the rest of the church never got completed due to financial problems.

It takes the visitors 465 steps to reach the viewing platform which offers a great overview of the beautiful streets of Utrecht. Climbing the tower is only possible on guided tours offered by the visitor center located in the tower’s ground floor.

15 Best Things to do in Utrecht (Netherlands) (3)

(Video) Top 15 Things To Do In Utrecht, Netherlands

Photo: www.hollandfoto.net / Shutterstock.com

Pandhof Domkerk

Pandhof Domkerk is a monastery garden enclosed by a 15th-centurycloister and the St. Martin’s Cathedral. It is one of the most idyllic spots in Utrecht and is home to many flowers and herbs.

The gardens are often considered to be one of the best in the Netherlands. Due to its construction in the late 14th century, the Pandhof offers a distinctly medieval atmosphere.

Many residents of Utrecht use it as a meeting place or a place to read and relax. The entrance to the Pandhof Domkerk is located on the Dom Square. There is no admission fee and the gardens are open every day.

15 Best Things to do in Utrecht (Netherlands) (4)

Photo: marketa1982 / Shutterstock.com

Museum Speelklok

Museum Speelklok is a very unique institution that focuses on self-playing instruments. The museum enjoys increasing popularity as it featured in several TV shows and other media outlets.

There is an interesting collection of self-playing music boxes, pianolas, musical clocks, and barrel organs to be found here. The museum is a great spot for families with children as many of the exhibits can be tried out.

There is also a free guide tour offered here which takes visitors around the museum explaining most of its interesting sites.

15 Best Things to do in Utrecht (Netherlands) (5)

Photo: Stephan Schlachter / Shutterstock.com

De Haar Castle

De Haar Castle is the region’s historic highlight, located around 20km northwest of Utrecht’s city center. The castle has a distinct medieval style as its history goes back to as early as the 14th century.

(Video) A day in UTRECHT! (15 things to do + our vlog)

The current castle was built as part of a restoration effort in the late 19thcentury and today impresses with its almost perfect conservation. The interior of the castle is used as a gallery and museum and impresses with fantastic ornamented woodcarvings and furniture from the famous Rothschild collections.

The landscaped gardens surrounding the castle are very inviting for short walks. During the summer there are many fairs and markets held here, it is best to check the schedule online before coming in order not to miss an interesting event.

15 Best Things to do in Utrecht (Netherlands) (6)

Beatrix Theater

The modern Beatrix Theater, named after the queen of the Netherlands, has quickly become a cultural hotspot of the city since its inauguration in 1999. The theater offers a state-of-the-art stage, fantastic acoustics and very comfortable, yet elegant seating.

Many fantastic musicals such as Mama Mia have been performed here. The theater and its 1500 seats attract visitors from all over the country.

Make sure to check the schedule and don’t hesitate to book your tickets, live events at the Beatrix Theater are always a great experience.


DOMunder is a unique visitors’ centre dedicated to the Domplein square and its history. Visitors can go on an underground tour of the city’s past where they will find a fascinating collection of artifacts and ruins of former buildings such as the pillars of the cathedral.

Visitors will experience the area with a flashlight and find many interactive exhibits that spark the imagination of what life must have been like centuries ago.

Centraal Museum

Centraal Museum is the biggest and most popular museum in Utrecht and was founded in 1838. Most of its exhibits are dedicated to art coming from Utrecht and its surroundings.

The art on display ranges from medieval times all the way to the modern era. Highlights include the paintings of Joachim Wtewael. But there is more than art to be found here.

Some sections of the Centraal Museum are dedicated to fashion and the city’s history. The Miffy Museum, located across the street also belongs to the institution and offers an interesting collection dedicated to Dick Bruna. The creator of the rabbit character Miffy.

15 Best Things to do in Utrecht (Netherlands) (7)

Photo: Takashi Images / Shutterstock.com

(Video) Best Things to do in Utrecht, Netherlands - Travel Guide

Sonnenborgh Observatory

The Sonnenborgh Observatory is located on the scenic banks of the Stadsbuitengracht right in the middle of Utrecht. The observatory was once a major fortification of the city and features thick walls and cannon emplacements.

This museum and observatory offer a great combination of educational exhibitions dedicated to astronomy and everything connected with it while at the same time also allowing visitors to look through the giant telescopes during certain times of the week.

The area surrounding the observatory offers plenty of scenic greenery and is very inviting for walks or some quiet minutes on a park bench.

15 Best Things to do in Utrecht (Netherlands) (8)

Photo: marketa1982 / Shutterstock.com

Rietveld-Schröder House

The Rietveld-Schröder House is not just a landmark of Utrecht but is also listed as a Dutch UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was designed in 1924 and served as a private residence until the 90s.

De Stijl was a Dutch artistic movement known for its fluid transitions and clean horizontal and vertical lines and use of primary colors. The house is today open to the public and can be visited with a reservation.

15 Best Things to do in Utrecht (Netherlands) (9)

Photo: Takashi Images / Shutterstock.com

Houtzaagmolen De Ster

The windmills at Houtzaagmolen De Ster are a perfect example of the local windmill traditions and can be found in the Lombok neighborhood. The 18th-centurystructures are still functioning to this day and are very well-maintained.

Visitors can take part in guided tours that often also include a demonstration of the historic windmills and their local function as a sawmill. The site also features a playground for children.

15 Best Things to do in Utrecht (Netherlands) (10)

Photo: Nigel Wiggins / Shutterstock.com

(Video) Top 10 Utrecht Attractions | Things to Do in Utrecht , Netherlands

Go Kayaking in the canals

Utrecht’s canals can be navigated with kayaks, an increasingly popular activity in the region. Along with pedal boats and canoes, kayaks offer a unique way to get along the city.

The rental companies usually offer maps with laid-out tours that lead the visitors along with the main sights of the city. Alternatively, there are also guided tours available which are a great way to hear some of the interesting stories that the local guides can tell about the city.

15 Best Things to do in Utrecht (Netherlands) (11)

Lapjesmarkt and Bloemenmarkt

Utrecht offers many interesting markets that sell fresh produce as well as other goods. The Lapjesmarkt is a good example of that. It looks back on 400 years of history and is known as one of the major fabric markets in the area.

All kinds of fabrics, no matter if new or old, modern or traditional can be found here. Keep in mind that the market is only open on Saturday between 8 am and 1 pm.

The Netherlands are well known for their flowers and on the lively Bloemenmarkt, you will have an unbelievable choice of them. Most of them come from the area and are very fresh.

The locally produced flowers are often considered some of the best in all of Europe. The Bloemenmarkt opens its doors every Saturday from 7 am to 5 pm.

15 Best Things to do in Utrecht (Netherlands) (12)

Cafe Olivier

The popular Cafe Olivier is one of the best venues for beer lovers in Utrecht. The house has a history of around 1000 years and served the city of Utrecht as a home for many of its most significant residents and even served as a religious building for a while when it was owned by the Catholic Church.

Today people mainly come here for the great Belgian beer that is on offer. Of course, there is also some great food served. Cafe Oliver is one of the best places in Utrecht to have a nice evening with friends and relax in a rustic atmosphere.

More reading from the Netherlands

  • Things to do in The Hague
  • Things to do in Eindhoven
  • Things to do in Maastricht

Want more recommendations on things to do in Utrecht? Leave a comment below!


15 Best Things to do in Utrecht (Netherlands)? ›

Its the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, and many regard it as the cozier alternative to Amsterdam. The city boasts beautiful canals and parks, lively restaurants and cafés, fascinating museums and remarkable historical buildings.

What is Utrecht most known for? ›

Its the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, and many regard it as the cozier alternative to Amsterdam. The city boasts beautiful canals and parks, lively restaurants and cafés, fascinating museums and remarkable historical buildings.

How many days do you need in Utrecht? ›

If you are wondering how long to stay in Utrecht, I would really recommend spending around 3 days in Utrecht. This should be enough time for you to get a good feel for the city and to see all of the attractions. Whilst you might be tempted to do Utrecht in one day, you won't get the benefit of slow travel.

Is it worth going to Utrecht? ›

Is Utrecht Worth Visiting? Absolutely! Utrecht is a charming and vibrant city located in the heart of the Netherlands that is definitely worth a visit. With its picturesque canals, historic architecture, and cozy cafes, Utrecht has a unique and inviting atmosphere that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Should I go to Utrecht or Amsterdam? ›

Utrecht is a lot older and therefore is a bit more interesting if you are a history buff. Atmosphere: Amsterdam is a bit more wild but does suffer from a tourist overload while Utrecht feels more town like and dutch and has a lot student (sub) cultures. It is also a bit more family friendly. Depends on your preference.

Do they speak English in Utrecht? ›

The short answer is yes, people in Utrecht do speak English. Depending on who you meet and where you are, you can expect most people to be able to communicate with you in English.

What does Utrecht mean in English? ›

Utrecht. / (Dutch ˈyːtrɛxt, English ˈjuːtrɛkt) / noun. a province of the W central Netherlands.

What is the best month to visit Utrecht? ›

May might be the best time to visit Utrecht. Long days, nice weather, and nature around the city blossoming and fully awake. SPRING is across the city. Utrecht is an ideal festival city.

What is the best season to visit Utrecht? ›

The best months for good weather in Utrecht are May, June, July, August and September. On average, the warmest months are June, July and August. February is the coldest month of the year. The rainiest months are June, July and August.

Can you drink the water in Utrecht? ›

Utrecht tap water named Tastiest Water in the Netherlands

According to RTL Nieuws, the research revealed that tap water in South Holland, Utrecht and Gelderland is “softer” than in Groningen, Overijssel and North Holland.

Should I go to Rotterdam or Utrecht? ›

Hi there, Utrecht for sure. Much more nice sights and enough gigs (e.g. Tivoli theatre and sometimes Vredenburg hall). Rotterdam is bigger and hence has also a decent amount of culture but really hardly any sights unless one likes modern architecture.

What is the rich part of Utrecht? ›

Witte vrouwen. The neighborhood of Witte Vrouwen is considered to be a more 'posh' area to live in Utrecht. The narrow streets give the district a village-like atmosphere with the advantage of being in the city center in no time.

Why is Utrecht so expensive? ›

Being a fast-growing city, Utrecht is attractive to locals and internationals alike. As a consequence, the demand for accommodation is nothing short of high, therefore driving the rent prices up.

What is unique about Utrecht? ›

Utrecht's ancient city centre features many buildings and structures, several dating as far back as the High Middle Ages. It has been the religious centre of the Netherlands since the 8th century and one of the most important places in the history of Netherlands.

How long is the train journey from Amsterdam to Utrecht? ›

On average, it takes around 27 minutes to travel from Amsterdam to Utrecht Centraal by train, the fastest services can get you there in as little as 26 minutes though. You'll usually find 106 trains per day running along the 22 miles (35 km) route between these two destinations.

Is it cheaper to stay in Utrecht or Amsterdam? ›

While not as expensive as Amsterdam, Utrecht is still a pricey city to live in, if you add up the rent, groceries, restaurants and entertainment. Living in Utrecht costs about 850 euros/month per person, on average, excluding rent.

Is Utrecht protestant or Catholic? ›

The Archdiocese of Utrecht (Latin: Archidioecesis Ultraiectensis) is an archdiocese of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands. The Archbishop of Utrecht is the metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Utrecht.

How far is Utrecht from germany border? ›

The journey, including transfers, takes approximately 6h 11m. What is the distance between Utrecht and Germany? The distance between Utrecht and Germany is 383 km. The road distance is 636.3 km.

Is English closer to Dutch or Spanish? ›

Closest Major Language: Dutch

Because of this, Dutch possesses many words and phrases similar to English and has a similar grammatical structure.

What does ja mean in Netherlands? ›

interjection. yes [interjection] used to express agreement or consent. yeah [interjection] (informal, spoken) yes.

What town is between Amsterdam and Utrecht? ›

Stichtse Vecht lies between Amsterdam and Utrecht. Due to its green character, picturesque villages and the many 17th- and 18th-century historic buildings situated along the river Vecht, the municipality is nicknamed 'Pearl at the Vecht'.

Do you need a car in Utrecht? ›

Moving to Utrecht: owning a car

Should you own a car when moving to the Netherlands? Absolutely not, if you can avoid it.

What airport do you fly into for Utrecht? ›

(Amsterdam) Schiphol Airport

is the international airport closest to Utrecht. From Schiphol, trains to Utrecht take about 30 minutes and depart every 15 minutes. The train station is situated directly below the airport.

What is the cheapest time of the year to go to Netherlands? ›

Generally, the cheapest time to visit Amsterdam is in the winter – usually between November and March. It's important to bear in mind that it can get quite cold in Amsterdam at this time of year. Most holidaymakers want to travel when the weather is at its warmest and this means summer for Amsterdam.

What is the best village near Utrecht? ›

Travelers are voting Oudewater, Moordrecht and Nederlek as the best of 53 towns & villages near Utrecht. There are 45 towns & villages near Binnenmaas a city just 71 km from Utrecht and 53 towns & villages near Delft which is 65 km distant. The most popular of these are Oudewater near Binnenmaas and Lisse in Delft.

How often do trains run from Utrecht to Amsterdam? ›

Utrecht Centraal to Amsterdam-Centraal by train
First train00:23
Journey timeFrom 26m
Distance22 miles (35 km)
Frequency104 trains per day
ChangesDirect trains available
5 more rows

Which is better leiden or Utrecht? ›

2022 sees Utrecht University (UU) claim the top spot in the Netherlands in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), for the 20th year in a row. While two other Dutch universities managed to secure spots in the global top 100, this year saw Leiden University drop several places and fall out of the top 100.

Can Americans drink water in Netherlands? ›

Yes. Tap water in the Netherlands has to meet very stringent biological and chemical safety requirements, and its quality is safeguarded through regular, strict monitoring.

Is water free in restaurants in the Netherlands? ›

by law in the Netherlands every place that serves alcohol is required to provide free drinking water. Further asking for tap water is completely normal. Does the Netherlands lack fresh water?

Can you drink water straight out the faucet in Netherlands? ›

In the Netherlands, tap water is so clean and of such high quality that you can actually drink it straight from the tap without worrying about quality or safety. Clean water contributes to a healthy life. For instance, clean drinking water contributes to a healthy diet.

Is it better to say Holland or the Netherlands? ›

The Netherlands consists of 12 provinces but many people use “Holland” when talking about the Netherlands. The two provinces of Noord- and Zuid-Holland together are Holland. The 12 provinces together are the Netherlands. Holland is often used when all of the Netherlands is meant.

Is it hard to get into Utrecht? ›

Admission selections at Utrecht University are based on overall application, academic and non-academic aspects (LOR, SOP, Language Test scores). However, preference is given to students with academic scores above 75% in the UG and 85% in Class XII.

Is Utrecht Netherlands expensive? ›

The average cost of living in Utrecht is $1887, which is in the top 21% of the most expensive cities in the world, ranked 1992nd out of 9294 in our global list and 6th out of 70 in the Netherlands.

Where do the richest Dutch people live? ›

This statistic displays the top 10 of the richest municipalities in the Netherlands in 2021. Bloemendaal was the richest municipality in the country that year. Around 29.7 percent of households in Bloemendaal had one million euros worth in wealth or more.

What language do they speak in Utrecht? ›

  • Arabic.
  • Estonian.
  • Russian.

Where do expats live in Utrecht? ›

Finding Accommodation in Utrecht

Ijsselstei, Leidsche Rij, Nieuwegein and De Vechtstreek are popular neighborhoods for expats to live in with their proximity to the city center and transport connections. Properties in these areas range from traditional Dutch brick dwellings to ultramodern brand new builds.

Is it cheaper to live in the Netherlands or the USA? ›

The average cost of living in the Netherlands ($1780) is 20% less expensive than in the United States ($2213). the Netherlands ranked 19th vs 5th for the United States in the list of the most expensive countries in the world.

What is a good salary in Netherlands? ›

The median gross expat salary in Amsterdam (2023) as reported by PayScale Inc is €51,000. Likewise, Numbeo lists an average net salary (2023) in Amsterdam of €3,415 per month (equivalent of €57,500 per year).

What is a good salary in Utrecht? ›

The average salary for jobs in Utrecht, Netherlands is € 50.549 (EUR) per year or an hourly rate of € 24 (EUR).

How many Muslims are in Utrecht? ›

List of cities in the European Union by Muslim population
CityMember state% Muslim (est.)
43 more rows

What is the crime rate in Utrecht? ›

Crime rates in Utrecht, Netherlands
Level of crime23.19Low
Problem people using or dealing drugs32.88Low
Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft33.74Low
Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery18.61Very Low
Problem corruption and bribery9.93Very Low
8 more rows

What is the famous castle in Utrecht? ›

De Haar Castle is the largest castle of Holland and is located just outside Utrecht and a half an hour drive from Amsterdam. De Haar has everything you expect from a castle; towers, turrets, moats, gates and suspension bridges. The castle is also home to many art objects.

How much does the train cost from Amsterdam to Utrecht? ›

In 28 minutes from Amsterdam to Utrecht

It will take you just over 28 minutes to get to Utrecht. Each day 107 trains are departing and the lowest price for an e-ticket is €8.80.

Should I go to Utrecht and Amsterdam? ›

For Places to Stay:

Amsterdam is famous for its hefty accommodation prices (even dorms in hostels start at around €40). Getting out of the big city can be a lot cheaper, and Utrecht (though certainly not as cheap as other Dutch cities), offers cosy places at more stomachable prices.

What is the most expensive city to live in Netherlands? ›

The most expensive place in the Netherlands to live is the small town of Blaricum, 30 kilometres south east of Amsterdam, according to Groningen University researchers. Blaricum residents pay an average of €1,198 a year in council taxes – that is property, waste collection, drainage, tourist and other charges.

What is special about Utrecht University? ›

What makes Utrecht University special? Founded in 1636 and located in the heart of the Netherlands, Utrecht University is one of Europe's leading research universities. It is recognised internationally for its high-quality, innovative approach to research and teaching.

What are the differences between Utrecht and Amsterdam? ›

Utrecht is often described as Amsterdam minus the tourists. You'll hear less English and more Dutch people in the streets and will be able to enjoy beautiful views of the Oudegracht (the main canal running through the center Utrecht) without hundreds of large tourist boats.

Why is Utrecht important? ›

It has been the religious centre of the Netherlands since the 8th century. It was the most important city in the Northern Netherlands until the Dutch Golden Age, when it was surpassed by Amsterdam as the country's cultural centre and most populous city.

How prestigious is Utrecht University? ›

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned in the top 15 in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of international rankings, and member of the renowned League of European Research Universities.

What GPA is required for Utrecht University? ›

If you do not meet the grade entry requirements, an alternative route to become eligible to apply is to complete one year of university (in an academic subject) with a grade average of at least 70% at a 3-year university OR at least 80% or a 3.5 GPA at a 4, 5, or 6-year university programme.

What are the three names of Netherlands? ›

The Netherlands, Holland, and the Dutch: Why some countries have so many different names.

What language do you speak in Utrecht? ›

The language spoken is Dutch, with English widely spoken as a second language. Its central location combined with excellent transport and communication infrastructures has attracted people and businesses from all over the world and encouraged many of them to make the Netherlands their home.


1. UTRECHT TRAVEL GUIDE - Utrecht Travel in 7 minutes Guide - The Netherlands
(Martijn Around The World - Travel)
2. Top Ten Tourist Attractions In Utrecht Province - Netherlands
(Rashid Edayur)
3. Top 5 things to see in Utrecht,Netherlands
(Berserk Ivan )
4. Best Things to do in Utrecht, Netherlands - Travel Guide Utrecht Canal
(tipu and livia )
5. Utrecht in 5 minutes | Travel Guide | Must-sees for your city tour
6. 10 Best Tourist Attractions you MUST SEE in Utrecht, Netherlands | 2019
(Top Rated Online)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lilliana Bartoletti

Last Updated: 15/06/2023

Views: 5851

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lilliana Bartoletti

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 58866 Tricia Spurs, North Melvinberg, HI 91346-3774

Phone: +50616620367928

Job: Real-Estate Liaison

Hobby: Graffiti, Astronomy, Handball, Magic, Origami, Fashion, Foreign language learning

Introduction: My name is Lilliana Bartoletti, I am a adventurous, pleasant, shiny, beautiful, handsome, zealous, tasty person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.