Historic & atmospheric Utrecht...
Surprising, compact Utrecht promises interesting developments at every turn and with its masses of charming and intimate eateries and offers a gastronomic goldmine unparalleled anywhere in the southern area of the Netherlands. Enjoy a day or two strolling around Utrecht’s winding streets before making the short journey outside its environs to some interesting and history-laden towns sure to offer a warm welcome and a stimulating stay.
Immerse yourself in the history and atmosphere of Utrecht by exploring its atmospheric Oude Gracht. This old centre of Utrecht is full of interesting nooks and crannies and is a treasure trove of antique shops specialising in old prints and maps. Enjoy an hour or two window shopping in this area, marveling at the historic sites and the lively atmosphere with a vital, youthful core. The focal point of the area is the Domkerk, an old cathedral whose cloisters, the Kloostergang, date from the 14th century. The highlight of the Domkerk however, is undoubtedly the beautiful Domtoren, its bell tower, the tallest bell tower in the entire country that offers on a clear day a view of Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Pay a visit to the interesting and entirely original Nationaal Museum van Speelklok tot Pierement, a museum dedicated to fairground organs and music boxes. Spend a diverting hour or two here before stepping back out onto the streets where you might be lucky enough to hear some real-life street music courtesy of some enterprising street entertainers. Step back in time to visit the Catharijne Convent Museum, an absorbing museum featuring paintings, manuscripts and church ornaments dating as far back as the 9th century, or witness the recent past at the Schroderhuis, a modern house charting the history of the de Stijl design movement and featuring some typical angular furniture. Revisit the Oude Gracht and enjoy a bite to eat in one of its many fine restaurants or take a trip underground to experience one of Utrecht’s unique attractions, a myriad of brick cellars that have been converted into cosy and atmospheric cafes, bars and restaurants.
Travel to the east of Utrecht for a gentle day’s cycling around the many historic monuments and ruins of medieval castles. Take a stroll along the canal banks or cycle along the flower laden towpaths around this curious little city. For a holiday out of the ordinary, consider Utrecht, a secret waiting to be discovered.