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Utrecht: Insider tip in the heart of the Netherlands #places2.0

3 min read

Getting lost in Utrecht is actually impossible, because the second oldest city in the Netherlands was built around the famous St. Martin's Cathedral. It is visible almost from everywhere and thus serves as an optimal orientation point during a stroll through the city. With its 112 meters, the cathedral tower is the highest and oldest church tower in the country and was built between 1321 and 1382. If you want to enjoy a fantastic view over Utrecht, you can walk up the 465 steps and, in good weather, even catch a glimpse of Amsterdam. The capital is just 45 kilometers away from Utrecht. But not only the location, but also the many canals unite the two Dutch cities. The Oudegracht is Utrecht's most famous canal and stretches over a length of about two kilometers. Unlike in Amsterdam, here you can admire the many shipyard cellars, where today numerous restaurants and cafes have settled. A visit is worthwhile!

#places 2.0 Utrecht
 


Country: Netherlands
Population: approx. 361,686
Area: 99.32 km²
Famous landmark: Cathedral Tower

Café

The Anne&Max café in Donkeregaard is also a great place to have breakfast. Here you sit in comfortable armchairs or stylish wooden chairs while you enjoy a delicious coffee speciality. The breakfast is sumptuous and varied: from croissants, scrambled eggs, salmon, avocado, rolls, pastries to different smoothies, there is everything your breakfast heart desires here. If you want, you can also sit down for lunch or cake at Anne&Max, because the warm dishes as well as the cake selection are also impressive. So if you're in the mood for coziness and tasty delicacies, this is the place for you.

Address:  Donkeregaard 4, 3511 KW Utrecht

Architecture

Just outside the city center is the Rietveld-Schröder House, designed by Dutch architect and designer Gerrit Rietveld in 1924 - famous for his Red-Blue Chair of 1919. The house is one of the most important buildings of the De Stijl art movement, exemplified by its exclusive use of primary colors, along with white, gray and black. Until 1985, the house was occupied by its builder, Truus Schröder, who commissioned Gerrit Rietveld to build it at the time. Today, the house is a UNSECO World Heritage Site and part of the Centraal Museum Utrecht. Interested people can visit the building on a guided tour - an exciting journey into the past, which almost everything is still in its original condition.  

Address:  Prins Hendriklaan 50, 3583 EP Utrecht

Special places

In those days, anyone who needed to run errands in Utrecht would go to the Winkel van Sinkel department store, founded by the German Anton Sinkel. Located directly on the Oudegracht, it was the first department store in Holland. It opened in 1839 and offered a wide variety of goods. The four large, cast-iron figures on the facade of the building were made in England due to the cost of manufacturing and transported to the building by water. However, due to their enormous weight, the crane collapsed during their delivery, which colloquially gave the figures the name "The Fallen English Women." Today, the Winkel van Sinkel is home to various catering establishments, such as a tapas bar and a cocktail lounge. Here you can turn night into day in a historic ambience.

Address: Oudegracht 158, 3511 AZ Utrecht

 

Photo: Hans Middendorp

Do you know the picture book character Miffy? Its creator, Dutchman Dick Bruna, lived and worked in Utrecht and designed the little rabbit, which, by the way, is called Nijntje in Dutch, in 1955. Since then, he has already appeared in numerous books that have been translated into more than 50 languages. The drawings are very minimalist and are limited to the most necessary lines and colors. Later, Miffy movies also appeared, as well as many other products depicting the cult figure. No wonder, then, that the little rabbit even has its own museum dedicated to it , where both young and old get their money's worth.

Address: Oudegracht 167, 3511 AL Utrecht

Art

Especially in the evening, when the sun has set and darkness falls, Utrecht is very charming. This is because the light art project "Utrecht Lumen" invites you on a journey of discovery through the city from sunset to midnight. Just follow the luminous trail staged by both national and international artists. The various light artworks are spread across the city and can be found on buildings or even in tunnels - an exciting play with architecture. To discover all the artworks, you can either set off on your own or join a guided tour, but whichever you choose: A walk along the route of lights in Utrecht is definitely worth it!

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