After Amsterdam, Utrecht is the city with the second largest number of listed buildings in the Netherlands, but is sometimes referred to as the ‘Dutch second but better’ for a reason: the city has a clearer layout, is more personal, friendly and – with its 2000-year old history – significantly older.

With 300,000 inhabitants, of all the Dutch cities Utrecht has the largest number of cultural treasures per square kilometre, functions as the central shopping city, is a true culinary paradise and is home to the largest and best university in the country.

Utrecht is also home to icons such as Dick Bruna and his Miffy, architect and furniture maker Gerrit Rietveld and the design brand Pastoe.

The old yet innovative city is ready to be explored by anyone who has a taste for the delights of this Dutch ‘Edinburgh’!

Around 47 AD, at what today is the location of the Dom Square, the Romans built a castellum (fortress) as part of the northern border of the Roman Empire.

Dom Toren Utrecht

This was the early beginning of the city. Today, the mainly medieval city centre is dominated by the highest church tower in the Netherlands; the Dom tower, which is the very heart of the bustling city centre with specialty shops, interesting museums, eight medieval churches and unique wharf outdoor cafés all around the corner from one another.

Special theatre or musical events are held almost daily. With its numerous high-quality restaurants specialising in varied cuisines, visitors can eat to their heart’s content in the culinary area as well.

* Exploring the medieval wharves. The four-kilometre long wharf quays and wharf cellars along the canals form a unique medieval harbour complex which is unparalleled anywhere in the world.

* Utrecht is probably best seen from the water. Take a round trip to quickly get a good impression of the city, or hire a canoe or pedal boat.

* The Central Museum with its Dick Bruna house and Rietveld Schröder house (UNESCO World Heritage).

* The National Museum for Mechanical Music – the most musical museum in the Netherlands! Instruments vary from ghost pianos to giant dance organs.

* The Catharijneconvent Museum – with everything about the past and present of Christianity in the Netherlands: a three-star ‘must see’ according to the Michelin guide.

* Dom Square – the heart of the city with the Tourist Information Office and the 112-metre high Dom tower you can climb (a challenging 465 steps!), the impressive Dom Cathedral, the square with the outlines of the central part of the church blown away in a gale and the tranquil court next to the church.

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