4 min read

8 Can't-Miss Historic Things to Do in Utrecht

8 Can't-Miss Historic Things to Do in Utrecht

Utrecht, Netherlands, is a charming city located in the heart of the Netherlands. Boasting several historical landmarks and famous architecture, Utrecht is one of the most prominent cultural hubs in the country and a popular tourist destination for people from all over the world, particularly those who love art and history. Here are 8 can’t-miss things to do in Utrecht that you won’t want to miss!

Study the history of Utrecht

Utrecht is home to one of the oldest cities in The Netherlands, as well as one of the most beautiful canals, which could lead you to believe that there’s not much to do in Utrecht if you’re on the hunt for modern attractions. However, this city has a plenty of history packed into its charming streets, many of which were formed centuries ago during the medieval times and feature structures that date back to the 11th century. In fact, when you visit Utrecht, it might even feel like you’ve stepped back in time!

The Street Food Club

A food tour of Utrecht's best street foods, including a stop at one of its many markets. In between, there will be plenty of opportunities to learn about the city and its history. Sample local specialties, such as fries (friets) served with mayonnaise (look for Fritkot, or Fryer), Vlaamse Frikandel (Flemish Sausage), bitterballen (fried meat patties doused in a creamy sauce), an apple pie called Berenpis and kaassoufflé (cheese soufflé). I am sure you don’t want to miss them when you are in Utrecht.

Relax at Oude Gracht

Oude Gracht is a delightful canal that runs through central Utrecht. It’s lined with half-timbered houses, giving it a unique ambiance that you won’t find elsewhere. It’s a great place to see locals relaxing after work and even includes an excellent café along its banks. You can easily spend an hour or two strolling up and down Oude Gracht, stopping for coffee (or drinks!) as needed. If you can resist doing so, however, consider also visiting during one of Utrecht’s many festivals—they bring even more color to Oude Gracht and make it even more fun to explore!

Retro shopping and purchasing

This section of town is Utrecht is home to one of the oldest cities in The Netherlands, as well as one of the most beautiful canals full of many vintage and secondhand shops, as well as some regular retailers. It’s a place where people could find pretty classic outfits that they’d be able to keep for quite some time. I also noticed a lot of people who worked at various businesses on their phones and laptops, so if you’re in search of somewhere nice to sit down with your laptop and get some work done while taking a break from sightseeing, I’d definitely recommend heading into one of these shops. There are plenty that are welcoming for customers even when you aren’t looking to buy anything! But if you do want to go shopping after all, there are also plenty of clothing stores nearby!

Visit Utrecht’s Dom Tower

A free church visit is always a nice way to pass some time. And seeing one of the tallest buildings in all of the Netherlands is even better when it comes to a free pass. The Dom Tower—or, as it’s more commonly known, simply Dom Church—is perhaps one of Utrecht’s most famous landmarks and definitely worth a visit while you’re here. It may not be tall enough to make your list of skyscrapers, but it will surely make your list of churches worth visiting at least once in your lifetime.

Stay & Eat in a Monumental Historical church

Before Bunk, there was a monumental church which dates back to 1890s. Recently this historical church was redesigned to meet the standards of today’s travelers and socially-engaged locals. The building itself dates back decades - no pun intended!

Bunk - Hotel, Hostel & Restaurant - it's clear that they are made for people who want to experience something different when they travel. Whether you're traveling alone or with someone special, if you're seeking inspiration during your visit, then Bunk is the place where you need to be. Bunk hotel rooms are spacious and surprisingly inexpensive. Hotel Rooms and Hostel rooms are equipped with beds, chairs, TVs - everything you need to feel right at home while abroad. With all of these great features, it's no wonder they're so popular! Also, their Restaurant is loved by the locals and the tourists. It a unique experience in itself which I would definitely recommend you not to miss.

Cruise the canals

More than 1,000 years ago, people used to row across flat-bottomed boats called slepers to transport their goods. Slepers (also spelled sleepers) are still a popular way to see Utrecht today—not only because they’re charming, but also because they bring you right into the heart of what makes it a special city. Stroll along one of its many canals and canal-laced streets; your guide will stop at one of these locks so you can hop out and take pictures. As an added bonus, there are boat tours if you don’t want to rent your own.

Castle de Haar, Utrecht

The Castle de Haar is one of Utrecht’s many popular tourist attractions. It’s also a great place to visit if you enjoy fantastic views, because it features an observation tower that’s open to visitors (for a fee). The Castle has been around since 1452, but was rebuilt in 1643. Aside from its two museums, there are plenty of other highlights at Castle de Haar, including beautiful gardens and impressive walking trails. Also located within its walls is Hotel Bourgondië, where you can rest after having spent some time exploring Castle de Haar and its surroundings. *Fun Fact: This castle was built as part of a single fortification system along with Fort Rammekens and Fort Vreeswijk.

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