Snack attack! Did anyone say fries and burgers?!Read more
We explored the best things to do in Utrecht and made it into a 1 day walk for you to enjoy!
Do you want to discover Utrecht in a hip, educational, sporty, but also relaxing way? We explored the best things to do in Utrecht during our first real Utrecht City Day! This blog will highlight our tried and tested route chockfull of hotspots!
Utrecht is a charming, surprising and hip city, full of beautiful history. A city where Utrecht City Hotels feels at home, a city to be proud of! Utrecht City Hotels is happy to share the fun activities, the best preserved spots and best hotspots with her guests. Of course they are all tested and approved by us to give you an unforgettable day in Utrecht.
Start the day on the sunny Ganzenmarkt
… a square in at the heart of Utrecht surrounded by terraces. In the old fire station you’ll find one of the city’s best concept stores: Daen’s. Enjoy a delicious breakfast, coffee or an addictive piece of homemade cake on the sunny terrace. End your visit browsing in their shop for exclusive brands and the best (home) accessories. At the end of the day, come back for a glass of wine to toast to a successful day (and yes, the sun will still be there)!
Culture at the Dom square
After this delicious breakfast, you’re probably full of energy, so you can start with the active part of the day! Make your way to the Dom square, one of the oldest Dutch squares (the Romans settled here!). For the more sporty among us, climbing the Dom tower is a must! Especially on a nice day the view is breathtaking. To find out about the history of the Dom square, you can visit DOMunder. An educational attraction that tells the history of Utrecht through excavations.
Lunch at ’t Wed
Next to Dom square, you can have lunch (or dinner) at ’t Wed. Our favourite place is Madeleine Bar | Bistro. From simple dishes to six course dinners, Madeleine is flexible and always surprising. Madeleine’s sister and good neighbour Sea Salt Saloon is a real ocean gem. Sea Salt Saloon serves fresh and responsibly caught fish, prepared in the open kitchen for you to see.
Through the historic heart to the highlights
After lunch it’s time for a walk to discover the most surprising spots of Utrecht. Start your walk behind the cathedral. Stop by Carla’s Conditorie, a cosy stylish Swedish-inspired lunch spot, to get one of the homemade sweets to take away!
Next to the cathedral is the ‘Pandhof’, the cloister’s garden. This secluded spot is breathes romance and is the perfect place to pause and take in the beauty of the city. Make your way to the old courthouse via the Nieuwegracht (new canal). This building breathes history, but also great food: the risotto of Grana Padano prepared at your table is restaurant De Rechtbank’s signature dish! Continue the walk through the ‘Lange Nieuwstraat’ to visit the Abraham Dolehof, the Drie Dorstige Herten, Syr and Museum Catherijneconvent. Abraham Dolehof is part of the St. Ursula Monastery, worth a quick look. The Drie Dorstige Herten is located at the corner of the ‘Dorstige Hartsteeg’. This street already existed around 1300. This former pub is now a tasting room where you can enjoy many (local) beers, wine, whiskey and gin. Its neighbours at restaurant Syr introduce you to the Syrian cuisine with a Dutch twist. All dishes are prepared and served by refugees. Finally, the Catharijneconvent museum is the national museum for Christian art. This summer you can enjoy live music in their monastery garden.
Cross the Nieuwegracht and the Bruntehof to park Lepelenburg, a popular spot for picnics, barbecues, sports and sunbathing or the occasional ‘Lazy Sunday Afternoon’.
Follow the Singel, built in the 12th century as a defence of the city, and pass Sonnenborgh towards the University museum, Central museum and Miffy museum.
The Sonnenborgh stronghold was built in the 16th century by Emperor Karel V. Today it’s a museum where you can admire the universe with telescopes.
At the University museum you will find the Oude Hortus, this was originally the old botanical garden of Utrecht University and now it’s a beautiful museum garden. You will find lots of special herbs with medicinal properties, ancient trees and greenhouses full of exotic plants. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city here!
The Central museum is housed in a former monastery and has a beautiful large courtyard. It houses several exhibitions as well as the largest collection of Rietveld objects and the work of the world famous Dick Bruna. The museum is also located in opposite of the Miffy Museum, fun for the little ones! Tip: the exhibition ‘Pride of Utrecht: the Dom tower’ in the Central Museum.
Cooling down at Ledig Erf
We think you’re ready for a cold beer now… You can find many locals on the terraces at Ledig Erf! Louis Hartlooper Complex is also worth a visit: this beautiful arthouse cinema occupies the former police station.
Ready to continue your walk? The Twijnstraat is a hotspot explosion with shops Mooi & Belle and Vollers 386 among others. These two inspiring interior and lifestyle shops sell major brands as well as upcoming designers. Sisters Stael and Sector 3 will quench your thirst and still your hunger: Stael combines tough and sweet in a bar located in an old forge. Its shop Sector 3 sells the best macarons in Utrecht. KEEK combines art and cake, and Stach is an organic deli that will leave you wanting more and more… So plenty to discover here!
The Seven Streets
The last stretch of your walk has come… Walk down the Oudegracht (old canal) towards the Springweg ending at the Mariaplaats. Imagine you’re in France at Le Jardin: restaurant and florist in one. Then explore the Seven Streets of Utrecht to shop the best gifts and gadgets (see our blog for the best spots) and finish your day with a nice drink or dinner in Het Zuiden.
More information? Our staff is happy help you and draw the route on a map for you to enjoy your own Utrecht City Experience!
PS: count the cats in Utrecht. The amount will amaze you!