Utrecht / Netherlands

The beautiful city of Utrecht is the 4th largest in the Netherlands, and located in the province of Utrecht. It is located in the center of the mainland of the Netherlands and very easy to reach with public transportation. This bustling city is well known for its international acclaimed University and of course Dom Tower, with 112,5 meters the highest church tower in The Netherlands. Utrecht has the dutch characteristic architecture and canals, also known as “Small Amsterdam”, but Utrecht has much less toerism.

One of the most attractive aspects of Utrecht is that it has terraces and restaurants on a lower level located right next to the canals. These terraces were used for unloading cargo from ships coming to Utrecht and the goods were stored in the cellars under the street starting in the 13th Century. These restaurants and terraces add immensely to the charm of Utrecht as a city. It is great to sit on one of these terraces in the sun and watch the boats and barges go by. It brings an enchanting atmosphere to that part of the city, especially in the evening. The best terraces in Utrecht can be found on the Oude Gracht, just north of the city hall.

One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Netherlands, the Rietveld-Schröderhuis stands in Utrecht just a 20-minute walk from the Dom Tower.

Fun facts:

•             Miffy worlds cutest little rabbit, in Dutch Nijntje, known from the Dick Bruna books originated in Utrecht.

•             Utrecht has the country’s largest shopping centre in the city centre; that shopping centre is called ‘Hoog Catharijne’ and is located next to Utrecht’s train station.

•             Utrecht was voted the world’s most bicycle-friendly city by CNN. It has the largest (covered) bicycle parking facility in the world (space for 12,500 bicycles) located right next to the train station.