What To See In Utrecht In 1 Day

What to see in one of the cities with the most beautiful canals in the Netherlands? It may start to sound like a cliché, but Utrecht breathes differently from the rest of the cities, and it is that it has been cataloged by Lonely Planet (here we are a big fan of LP) as the most beautiful channels in Europe (with the exception of Venice if you allow me).

What makes this city different from the rest of its neighbors is, as I mentioned earlier, the canals. While most of the country’s canals are simply to be seen and admired, in Utrecht they are just another extension of the city and the streets. Businesses are practically touching the water, full of terraces, life (with the exception of Covid19) and people along all its channels.

How to get to Utrecht

As always we are going to propose two options, in public transport and in private transport. The drive is about 43km along the A2 from Amsterdam to Utrecht, and takes about 45 minutes. By public transport either from Amsterdam Zuid or Centraal it takes about 25 minutes and costs € 7.5 from platform 1 towards Venlo. Be careful not to be confused, because there are several trains that go to Utrecht and take different routes, in my case I got confused and instead of 30 minutes I ended up arriving in 1 hour, the return must be made from platform number 5. There are also trains direct from The Hague and Rotterdam that take between 1 hour and 1:15 hours and cost between € 11 and € 13. As you have already seen, public transport is much more convenient and unless you park on the outskirts, parking is going to cost you a kidney.

What to see in Utrecht

There is one channel that stands out above all and this is Oudegracht (old channel). I recommend that you start to discover Utrecht here, this canal runs through the historic center of the city. If you have been in other cities such as Amsterdam or Haarlem you will see that this channel has nothing to do with it, unlike its neighbors, in this channel there is a lower level which is full of restaurants, shops, terraces and people simply drinking beers at the same time. length of it.

Its waters much calmer than the lapsed canals of Amsterdam full of tourist boats often congregate all kinds of water activities, from canoeing or kayaking to pedal boats. I recommend that you visit the following link to rent / reserve your canoe trip with Kanoeverhuur (currently they only accept online or telephone reservations). There are two free circuits, depending on your desire to row, 1 hour circling the western part of the historic center in a circular clockwise direction and about two hours extending it to the eastern part of Utrecht.

When you have already begun to familiarize yourself with the city and need to regain strength, either because you have been rowing through the canals or kicking the streets of the city, I recommend that you head towards the Oudegracht through the Stadhuis area. This is where most of the restaurants in the city are, the views are unbeatable and any option is valid to eat along the banks of the canal. The most popular option is Broodje Mario, this mythical bakery / pizzeria is probably one of the most iconic fast food places in the city. If this option does not convince you, there are many more places to eat along the canals in the same area.

Domtoren is undoubtedly the biggest highlight of the city. Wherever you are in the city you will be able to dispel the gigantic tower of the cathedral. Although for some reason and it is that someone has to touch it, when I went he was working from top to bottom, not even a single Domtoren stone was visible. Hopefully we have better luck next time. I imagine that when they have finished the rehabilitation they will be able to resume the visits and climb to the top of it (95 meters), I leave you the official link.

Without giving up, we continued our march through the city, admiring the monumental Domplein square where the Utrecht Cathedral and the Academiegebouw, now Utrecht University, are located. It is one of the emblems of the city and most characteristic buildings, in it the Union of Utrecht was signed, which would end up giving way to the Netherlands as we know it today.

Without going much further, I recommend that you continue wandering the city and walking along the sides of the canals, discovering narrow streets and hidden patios. You will find countless churches apart from the cathedral, these are some of them Pieterskerk and Sint Willibrord. In addition to many alleys less than 1 meter wide in which to enter and discover interior patios and alleys with a lot of charm.

To end the day I recommend that you take a walk from Lepelenburg Park along the canal in a clockwise direction to Rijnkade, it is a nice and relaxed walk to contemplate Utrecht and say goodbye to it.

Don’t miss out on the following posts to continue discovering the Netherlands.

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