Sights in Utrecht

UtrechtUtrecht is, looking at the number of inhabitants, the fourth largest city of the Netherlands. The city is located in the middle of the county and is an important hub in different ways. The combination of different factors ensured that Utrecht is the centre of many historical and culture highlights. Besides the beautiful buildings, canals and museums, Utrecht also knows wonderful parks and even forts.

When you say Utrecht, then you will say "Dom", the most important and iconic sight of utrecht is the Dom Toren (Dom Tower). But there are many other sights to be seen in Utrecht. In the centrally located city you will also find museums, fun theme related places and even beautiful nature areas. Here you will read all about these sights in Utrecht.

Getting around

Utrecht knows many ways in which to go from place to place. But the primary mode of transport in Utrecht is going about by bicycle. Utrecht is the bicycle city of the Netherlands, and when you are there you will be amazed by the sheer amount of people riding a bicycle around the busy city. Or take a look at the central railway station, the big bicycle parking will amaze anyone who sees it! Riding a bicycle is not only a lot of fun and a clean way to get around, it is also very convenient. You will get anywhere you want to in the city quite quickly. Another way to get around is by public transport. You can take the train to different places in Utrecht, but it is more common to take the bus to wherever you want to go.

The Dom Toren gives the city its unique appearance

The famous Domtoren is the epicentre of Utrecht and is not to be missed when you visit Utrecht. It is not for nothing that the tower has contributed to the nickname 'Domstad' (which means Domcity). The tower is 112 metres high and you are able to see it from all corners of the city. Visitors can climb the tower, only when they are prepared to climb the countless steps.
The first stone of the Dom as we now know it (a gothic cathedral) was laid in 1254. The construction was only finished in the 16th century however. In the beginning the Domtoren and the Domkerk (Domchurch) were built as one building. A tornado that crossed through the city in 1674 and ensured that the tower was separated from the church. The church is still in use today. All in all we could say it is the one (almost) obligatory sights in Utrecht.


For people that have an interest in history, art and religion the catherijneconvent is to be recommended. This museum namely has the perfect combination of these three subjects. The museum is located really close to the Dom, at the Lange Nieuwestraat, and is housed in an old monestary. The museum knows countless religious works of art. Centrepieces from the middle ages are being showcased in the treasury. The museum is renovated in the 21st century and is better designed for its current day visitors.

Modern and ancient art in the Centraal Museum (Central Museum)

Contrary to the ancient artefacts of the Catherijneconvent, the art showcased in the Centraal Museum is modern. It is only one of the types of art that you can admire in this museum however. You can also find information about the history of the city of Utrecht and older art. Furthermore this museum offers old and modern fashion to be seen, just like applied art.
The museum is housed in the Agnietenklooster on the Nicolaaskerkhof and was last renovated in 1999. In total you can see more than 50.000 works of art here. Because the museum is supplying a lot of art and information about the city of Utrecht, a big role is allowed for local artists such as Gerrit Rietveld. In this museum you can also see the Rietveld Schröderhuis and the Dick Bruna house.

The famous Dutch rabbit in the Dick Bruna house

In the Netherlands everyone is familiar with Nijntje, but also outside of the Netherlands the animated rabbit is well known by the name 'Miffy'. In 2003 Nijntje Pluis (the full Dutch name of the rabbit) even became the face of New York, the fictive animal was then called out to be the ambassador of family tourism of the American city.
The birth of Miffy took place in Utrecht. The Dutchman Dick Bruna was the creator of the fictive character that played the lead role in many children's books. Later on Miffy was also to be seen in an animated tv series. In the Dick Bruna house you can see everything about Miffy and read. The Dick Bruna house is part of the Centraal Museum, the house is located just opposite of the museum. Besides the life of Miffy, you can also learn about all of the other characters that Dick Bruna created.

A detour to another country: the Aboriginal Art Museum

When you are visiting the sights in Utrecht you can also take an outing to another country. Far, far away. In the Aboriginal Art Museum you will namely find everything of the original inhabitants of Australia, the Aboriginals. Every tribe, every people on the earth bring about their own culture, and thus also the Aboriginals. In almost every culture art plays a big role, it says a lot about the identity of a tribe and thus about their culture. In the Aboriginal Art Museum you will get to know everything about the Aboriginals and you can see all different works of art of the Aboriginals in the exhibitions that are showed on three different floors.

Railway Museum (Spoorwegmuseum)

For the real fan of trains you cannot miss a visit to the Railway Museum. Here visitors can enjoy looking at the the first real steam powered locomotives to the most modern trains. The Railway Museum also gives you a nice view into the developments throughout the years on and around the rails. The Railway Museum is found on the Oosterspoorweg in the Maliebaanstation.

Botanical Gardens

The nature lover can be happy to be in Utrecht. You can go and pay a visit to the Botanical gardens (Botanische Tuinen in Dutch). Here you can find a wonderful world of nature that we do not know in the Netherlands. Think about rocky gardens and tropical gardens. The Botanical gardens are close to the university, this is because they are owned by the university of Utrecht (Universiteit Utrecht). Besides being a sight for tourists, the Botanical gardens also serve as research and study materials for the students of the university.

Watching stars in Sterrenwacht Sonnenborgh

Sterrenwacht Sonnenborgh is the place where in 1854 the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut, KNMI) was founded. After the KNMI left to the Bilt (a town close by), the focus of the centre became to observe stars. Now people can go to the museum and the public observatory. The building is already there since 1552 and knows a nice location. Inside the museum you can get to know everything about astronomy and meteorology.

Parks and forts characterise the surroundings of Utrecht

Besides the earlier on discussed sights, Utrecht knows beautiful areas that make the city the city it is. Beautiful parks and impressive forts give the city of Utrecht and its surroundings a rustic character, despite the busyness of which every big city in the Netherlands is dealing with.

Relaxing in one of the many parks in Utrecht

In a busy city it is sometimes a good idea to rest a little. In Utrecht there are a number of parks where you can do this. In the months that the temperature rises, regularly art-, cultural, and/or music festivals are organised in one of the parks. An ideal opportunity to calmly enjoy everything there is to see and hear in the grass. The most famous parks of Utrecht are the Wilhelminapark, the Griftpark, Lepelenburgpark (in the centre), the Juliana park and Park Transwijk(outside of the centre).

Back in time: beautiful forts in the area of the city of Utrecht

It is difficult to imagine that there are still ancient forts standing of many centuries ago. In the city you can not really find these kind of forts, but when you take the bicycle and start to discover the province, then you can see 8 different forts. They are the remains of the Hollandse Waterlinie (Dutch Water Defence).


Article written by: roybor
Times read: 3022x
Added: 13-03-2017 09:57
Last modified: 14-06-2017 10:54

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