what to do in utrecht

What to do in Utrecht: 10 insider tips!

Simone Wortel Community Management Trainee
27 November 2017

What to do in Utrecht: 10 tips to enjoy the Dom City!

People in Utrecht have always known this, but it became official in 2014: Utrecht is the most beautiful canal city of Europe. Yes Venice, eat your heart out, cause our city is on the rise! But then you wonder, what to do in Utrecht on a typical Dutch day? We share our best insiders tips to make sure that you’ll enjoy yourself in this pretty city.

#1 Tourist: climbing the Dom Tower
What to do in Utrecht - Dom by night
What to do in Utrecht – Dom Tower by night

Climbing the Dom Tower in Utrecht
Yes, it doesn’t matter if you’re a tourist or not. Climbing the Dom Tower is the ultimate must-do when you visit Utrecht. Especially at night you’ll have a spectaculair view over luminous Utrecht. The Dom Tower is one of the highest buildings of the city with 112 meters. There even exists a rule that new buildings are absolutely not allowed to be higher than the Dom Tower. Cool right! And did you know that the carillon plays hits from time to time? If you’re lucky you can hear tunes like Gangnam Style or songs from Oasis and David Bowie.

#2 Bars: Malt Vault whiskey bar
What to do in Utrecht_Malt_Vault
What to do in Utrecht – Malt Vault Whiskey bar

Malt Vault Whiskey bar Utrecht
One of Utrechts best kept secrets can be found in the Voorstraat. Here, at the Malt Vault whiskey bar, they serve the best whiskeys. They pay attention to craftsmanship and strive for high quality. Oh and ehm, if you get hungry from all that drinking… They serve all kinds of great finger food. Cheers!

#3 Culture & drinks: Springhaver Theater
What to do in Utrecht_Springhaver_theater
What to do in Utrecht – Springhaver theater. Photo: springweg.nl

Springhaver Theater Utrecht
This is – in our opinion – one of Utrecht’s most authentic theaters. When you’re in the Spinghaver Theater on the Springweg, it’s like the time stands still for a little bit. The cinema was opened in 1978 by film producer Jos Stelling and it’s a famous attraction amongst people in Utrecht. You can watch the most beautiful movies in the intimate rooms, and the café is also a great place for a good cup of coffee.

#4 CULTURE: Cultural Sunday in Utrecht

Cultural Sundays in Utrecht
Looking for something fun to in Utrecht on a Sunday? Check if it’s ‘Culturele Zondag’: Dutch for cultural Sunday! Six times a year, cultural events can be found everywhere in Utrecht all day long. So what kind of activities can be found in the city? Well, these following examples took place during ‘Culturele Zondag’ in June. “Become a DJ by following a workshop in the library of Utrecht, attend an intimate concert of Dutch singer Eefje de Visser or walk into the Werkspoorkathedraal and find yourself in the middle of the modular synthesizer project of Colin Bender (better known as Dutch musician Kyteman).”  So, whether you go on your own, with a friend or with your whole family: Cultural Sundays in Utrecht are different every team, but always a fun way to spend your day!

#5 Culture: homeless tour
What to do in Utrecht_stadswandeling_app
What to do in Utrecht – city walk app

Homeless Tour Utrecht
Do you want to see Utrecht from another side? Let yourself be shown around by a homeless person! With the Utrecht Underground tour you’ll be taken along by homeless people. Interesting.. but maybe a bit too thrilling? Well, don’t worry! You won’t be taken around personally, but with an audio tour. Richard van Rijn, head distribution of street news, invented an app with a city walk along several special places. During the walk, 10 homeless people will tell you their story: where they are from, and what they’ve been through. The real stories from the streets make this city walk an unique experience.

#6 Art: Trajectum Lumen light art walk
What to do in Utrecht_Trajectum_Lumen_lichtkunst_wandelroute
What to do in Utrecht – Trajectum Lumen. Photo: art by Erik Groen.

Trajectum Lumen Utrecht
Is the homeless tour not really your thing, or are you looking for a special activity in the evening? Then visit the Trajectum Lumen! This city walk takes you along several light art pieces in the city center of Utrecht. When the sun sets you can start the route and find your way around via their app. The light art varies from famous artists to innovative students. It’s a special way to discover the city of Utrecht.

#7 Art: the endless poem
What to do in Utrecht - Eindeloos Gedicht
What to do in Utrecht – the endless poem

The endless poem of Utrecht
When you walk along the Oudegracht, just take a look down. You’ll find “The Letters ” of Utrecht, carved in old cobble stones. Together, they form an endless poem. Every saturday around one o’clock the next cobble stone is placed to add a letter to the poem. The letters change into words and the words into sentences. Do you want to read the whole poem? Start at the Smeebrug at ‘t Oude Pothuys!

#8 Culture: Castle De Haar
What to do in Utrecht - Kasteel de Haar Utrecht
What to do in Utrecht – Castle De Haar Utrecht. Photo: koetshuis de Haar

Castle De Haar Utrecht
Just outside of Utrecht you can find castle De Haar. You’ll travel in time to the 13th century. It’s a bit chilly, but the atmosfeer in the castle will make up for it!

#9 Green: the old hortus


What to do in Utrecht_Oude_Hortus_winter_waterlelies
What to do in Utrecht – the old hortus winter water lelies

The old hortus Utrecht
Water lelies of one and a half meter in diameter, and extremely old Ginkgo biloba’s. You can find them in the old hortus of Utrecht. It’s one of the oldest academic hortus greenhouses of The Netherlands. They’re build in 1906, and still attract many visitors. It doesn’t matter if you feel like a good winter hike or if you just want to get inspired by the wonders of nature.. The old hortus has enough to offer to nature lovers, in all seasons!

#10 Food: Breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner at Instock
What to do in Utrecht - Kom je ook borrelen bij Instock?
What to do in Utrecht – Instock?

Dining at Instock Utrecht
Do you want to have a truly special diner in Utrecht? Then walk or cycle to Lombok; the neighborhood, not the island;-) You’ll find restaurant Instock in the authentic Jaffa building at the Vleutenseweg. Yes.. it’s us! Our kitchen heroes rescue food from being wasted on a daily basis. They make delicious dishes from the rescued surplus food. Square Brussel sprouts might become kimchi for in your burrito, and a brown banana can be turned into banana ice cream. You’re getting hungry already, right?

> Extra fun: live jazz music every last sunday night of the month


What to do in Utrecht?

One thing is clear: you don’t ever have to be bored in Utrecht with all these hotspots! Want to stay updated about Instock? Follow us on Instagram!