Jul 9 – 15, 2017
Victor J. Koningsberger building
Europe/Amsterdam timezone

Touristic Highlights

Touristic highlights

Utrecht is the capital and most populous city in the Dutch province of Utrecht, located in the middle of the Netherlands and the fourth largest city. Due to its central position within the country and its location on the banks of the river Rhine, it is an important transport hub for both rail and road transport, not only nowadays but also in the past. Although there is some evidence of earlier settlement in the region of Utrecht, dating back to the Stone Age (app. 2200 BCE) and settling in the Bronze Age (app. 1800–800 BCE), the founding date of the city is usually related to the construction of a Roman fortification, probably built in around 50 CE. Utrecht became an important trade center, and in 1122 Henry V granted city rights to it.

Utrecht's ancient city centre features many buildings and structures several dating as far back as the High Middle Ages. It has been the religious centre of the Netherlands since the 8th century and hosts today the largest university of the Netherlands.

After Amsterdam, Utrecht has the second highest number of cultural events in the Netherlands. More information about the city, sightseeing highlights or events can be found on websites listed below and on the official websites of the mentioned attractions.

Please note: The following information is taken and/or modified from these sites. Information is checked carefully, but without guarantee.

General information about Utrecht:


Selection of attractions

Dom Church

The gothic Dom Church was built as a cathedral for the bishop of Utrecht and dedicated to St. Maarten. The interior with many lavishly decorated tombs is impressive. The Dom church draws many people daily for a guided tour or a moment of silence and peace. The free Saturday afternoon concerts (3.30 pm) have been a household word in Utrecht for over thirty years.


Dom Tower

Being 112,32 m (369 ft) in height, the Dom Tower is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands. The highest viewpoint is at 95 m. From this platform you have a magnificent panoramic view of the city of Utrecht and its surroundings. During the climb the guide will pause at various levels in the tower for a brief explanation of the tower’s history.

Opening hours: You are only allowed to climb the Dom Tower under the supervision of a guide. The guided tour (starting Monday – Sunday, every hour from 12.00 – 17.00) of the Dom Tower will commence inside the Tourist Information Office (VVV) at the Domplein 9-10. Entrance tickets to the tower are sold inside the Tourist Information Office by RonDom. Guided tours will be conducted in both Dutch and English if necessary. Ask for extra information sheets at our desk. We have sheets available in: German, English, French, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Spanish, Hungarian, and Japanese.

Costs: €9 (adults), €5 kids (5–12years)

Contact info
Email: infodomtoren@toerisme-utrecht.nl
Phone: +31 (0)30 236 00 10
Website: http://www.domtoren.nl


St. Willibrord Church

It is one of the most beautiful neo-gothic churches of the Netherlands, hidden in the historic city centre of Utrecht. The church’s wealth of decorations is unique to The Netherlands, with colourful stained-glass windows, beautiful woodcarvings, lavishly painted walls and ceilings it offers the opportunity to experience a characteristic church atmosphere at the time of the Middle Ages.

Opening hours: for visiting Friday 14:00-17:00, Saturday 11:00-17:00.

Entrance: Free, a contribution to the collection box for the upkeep of the church is appreciated.

Contact info
Email: bestuur@sintwillibrordkerk.nl
Website: http://www.willibrordkerkutrecht.nl/bezoek/​


Canoe rental Utrecht at the canal

Would you like to explore Utrecht in an exciting new way with friends, family or colleagues? Hop on board right in the vibrant city centre, navigate your little boat through the beautiful canals and enjoy the lively terraces or experience the quiet and wonderful nature Utrecht also has to offer. For an unforgettable day out you can combine your adventure on Utrecht's stunning waterways with one of our package deals: have a little bite and some drinks, enjoy a special workshop or a customised program. A sailing map with handy tips and waterproof bag is provided as standard, and life jackets are provided free of charge. Try also the Night Cruise Trajectum Lumen.

Opening hours: 10.00 -20.00h

Costs: Start at a mere €4 an hour per person  

Contact info
Email: info@kanoverhuurutrecht.nl
Phone: 0031 (0)30 236 79 05
Website: http://kanoverhuurutrecht.nl


Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens at Fort Hoofddijk provide an unparalleled collection of plants from all around the world. At the very heart of the province of Utrecht there is a unique natural treasure consisting of thousands of plant species: the Botanic Gardens of Utrecht University. The Gardens are situated at Fort Hoofddijk in the city of Utrecht. Visitors are very welcome in this colourful and fascinating world, where they can discover nature at its best.

Opening hours: from March through November, daily from 10.00 – 16.30

Entrance: €7.50 (adult), kids until 12 free

Contact info
Email: botanische.tuinen@uu.nl
Phone: +31 (0)30 253 54 55
Website: http://www.uu.nl/en/utrecht-botanic-gardens/the-gardens​


Trajectum Lumen

Trajectum Lumen is an exploration after dark, which follows artistically lit locations throughout the historical city centre. When night falls, a trail of light leads from centrally located Vredenburg past a growing number of installations by renowned light artists. Together, they illuminate this city’s past and present in spectacular fashion. Trajectum Lumen artistically lifts buildings, streets, canals and bridges from darkness and tells a very inspiring story about the city.

Opening hours: 7 nights a week from sunset to midnight

Entrance: Walks are available free of charge. Download the interactive app for Iphone or Android smartphones or get a free map at the Tourist information Office Utrecht (Domplein 9) or at the Apollo Hotel City Centre (Vredenburg 14)

. Or download the map via www.trajectumlumen.com.

Contact info
Email: infovvv@toerisme-utrecht.nl
Phone: +31 (0)900 128 87 32
Fax: +31 (0)30 236 00 37
Website: http://www.trajectumlumen.com/portal


Papal house

Paushuize is the second oldest historic building located in the city centre of Utrecht and made in commence of the only Dutch Pope Adrianus VI. Pope Adrianus VI had the house built before he became a Pope, when he was attached to the court of Charles in Spain. He hoped to return to Utrecht someday. In 1522, he was elected Pope and died one year later in Rome, so he never got to live in his house in Utrecht. Paushuize has a magnificent interior which proves it once functioned as a palace.
In the 19th century, the building became the residence of the Royal Commissioner. Today, parts of the building can be hired for events. 

Contact info
Phone: +31 (0)30 231 23 81
Website: http://www.paushuize.nl


Rietveld Schröder House

The Rietveld Schröder House is the masterpiece by Gerrit Rietveld and highlight of ‘De Stijl’, icon of the city of Utrecht and monument on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Utrecht architect Gerrit Rietveld (1888-1964) built it for Truus Schröder. This house is the only building ever to have been realized according to the architectonic principles of artistic trend De Stijl. The typical Stijl colours red, blue and yellow, combined with black, white, grey and the relation between interior and exterior and the unity between separate furniture and fixed components in the design are typical. A visit to the meticulously devised Rietveld Schröder House is a true discovery where each part of the house tells its own story. Visits include an audio tour.

Opening hours: Guided tours on Tuesday – Sunday, every hour from 11.00 to 16.00. Reservations required. Book via the link on the website. On the day itself: Ticket Office. Direct sales at the visitor centre at Erasmuslaan 5.

Entrance: €15.50 (adults), €3 kids until 12

Contact info
Email: info@centraalmuseum.nl
Phone: +31 (0)30 236 23 10
Website: http://centraalmuseum.nl/en/visit/locations/rietveld-schroder-house/


The Dutch Railway Museum

This museum can offer you a lot more then only a big collection of trains. This is an experience!

When in the museum, you can start off with ‘The Great Discovery’. Here you can visit an English miners’ village from the year 1839. In this part of the museum you can also see the first Dutch steam locomotive: ‘De Arend’.
You can continue your visit to the museum in ‘Dream Journeys’. In a Far East style theatre you can listen to Orient Express travelers telling about their experiences. A rollercoaster ride in which you pass enormous traines and locomotives? ‘Steel Monsters’ is thrilling and exciting. The latest attraction in The Dutch Railway Museum is ‘The Fire Test’. In this ride you can experience the full story behind almost two centuries of railways, ending in a spectacular train ride.

Opening hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 10.00 - 17.00

Entrance: €16 (kids under 4 years are free)

Contact info
Email: info@spoorwegmuseum.nl
Phone: +31 (0)30 230 62 06
Website: http://www.spoorwegmuseum.nl/home.html


Town Castle Oudaen

Stadskasteel Oudaen is a monumental town castle built in 1296. It nowadays has a grand-café, à la carte restaurant and own brewery.

Stadskasteel Oudaen, a historical and monumental premise, is without doubt and with its 20 years of experience an exclusive and high-quality catering industry location. This special building, which was built in 1296 in the heart of Utrecht’s city centre, is at walking distance of the Central train station. The Stadskasteel disposes not only of the grand-café Room of taste but also of various attractive halls: an à la carte Restaurant, a Theatre and an own Brewery. Situated alongside the Oudegracht it has moreover two pleasant terraces. 

Contact info
Email: info@oudaen.nl
Phone: +31 (0)30 231 18 64
Website: www.oudaen.nl


Winkel van Sinkel

In 1839, Anton Sinkel's ultramodern department store at the Oudegracht was opened. The Winkel van Sinkel was the very first shop gallery in the Netherlands and runs to the vinkenburgstraat via a passage. Architect P. Adams designed a large neo-classical building, the most remarkable interior is illuminated by a large skylight. Today, this is a grand café and festival palace, the façade of which was repainted in the original colours in 2006. The Conference Dinner will be held at the Winkel van Sinkel.

Contact info
Email: info@dewinkelvansinkel.nl
Phone: +31 (0)30 230 30 30
Website: http://www.dewinkelvansinkel.nl


Castle de Haar

Castle de Haar is the largest and most fairytale-like castle in the Netherlands. A visit to De Haar is a journey of discovery to a marvelous world. There are only a few castles in Europe that have the same ideal image of a medieval fortress with towers and ramparts, with canals, gates and drawbridges. The castle was entirely restored and partially rebuilt in the late 19th century and it rises like a fairy-tale castle from a park with impressive trees, surrounded by old gardens and ponds.

Opening hours: The castle can only be visited on guided tours led by one of our expert guides (every hour from 11.00 to 17.00). During the tour, you will learn everything you need to know about the castle’s architectural history, its interior and collection and about the special relationship with the Van Zuylen and Rothschild families. The castle has a cosmopolitan grandeur unique to the Netherlands.Yet this enchanting oasis of harmony and peace is not far from the daily bustle of the city of Utrecht. The unique complex has something to offer for everyone: young and old, the knowledgeable art lover and the casual visitor. De Haar is an unusual and fascinating mixture of the medieval and the modern comforts of the late 19th century.

Entrance: €16 (adults), €10.50 kids (4-12years)

Contact info
Email: informatie@kasteeldehaar.nl
Phone: +31 (0)30 677 85 15
Website: www.kasteeldehaar.nl


Flora’s Hof garden

The small garden next to the Dom tower is a remnant of the Flora’s Hof nursery. In 1803, after demolition of the Episcopal palace, Hendrik van Lunteren started a plan trade here that lasted until 1943. There are reliefs against the walls of the current inner courtyard with depictions from the life of Saint Martin, patron saint of the Dom and city. It was provided with its current design in 2008, inspired by the 19th century garden style.

Opening hours: Daily from noon until 4.30 pm.

Website: http://www.visit-utrecht.com/locations/4057868425/flora-s-hof


Oudegracht with wharfs

The Utrecht canals with their wharves and wharf cellars are unique in the world. Today, the canals and wharves are a singular entertainment area. De Oude–gracht developed in the 12th century by digging out arts of an Oude Rijnloop. As a result of the connection with the canalized Vecht (north) and Vaartsche Rijn (south), the Oudegracht received the function of an elongated harbor along which large city castles were erected. In the 13th century, wharves were built as a second street on water level, the deep cellars of which served as a storage place under the houses. Nowadays they form part of the city's bustling heart. No other city in the world has comparable pedestrian quays along the water with many outdoor cafés and restaurants and boutiques located in wharf cellar houses.


De Gondelier van Utrecht

Experience Utrecht in a very special way? Step on board of our authentic Venetian gondola with a real gondolier! The gondolier takes you to the typical yard cellars with its cosy terraces. The gondola smoothly glides underneath the ancient bridges and passes it’s stately buildings along the canal. There is no better way to see the old city than from the gondola!

Opening hours: Between March and November from 11:00 until 18:00  on each hour and on each halve hour, depending on the weather conditions, availability, if other people hired the gondola for a private tour or other circumstances. Check for more information here at the Tourist Information Point or at the Oudegracht number 177 down by the canal.

Costs: You can step on board for a tour of 30 minutes for only € 10,00 per person! We take a maximum of six persons on board. Are you with more people? Than ask for other options at our boarding place of The Gondolier of Utrecht. Also a small Prosecco can be ordered to make the tour complete!

Contact Info: You find us from a small distance from the Tourist Information Point, at the Oudegracht number 177, down by the canal. We accept cash and also accept Visa/Master. If you wish to hire the gondola for a longer and private tour? Ask for the several arrangements we offer or check our website (http://degondeliervanutrecht.nl/). You can find us also on Facebook!


University Hall

This neo-Renaissance university building dates from 1892 and is the representative and ceremonial heart of Utrecht University. It was a gift from the citizens and the province of Utrecht to the University of Utrecht for their 250th anniversary in 1886. It took 5 years before construction actually began, due to disagreements about the style of the academy building. The architect Eugen Gugel was eventually built the academy building in the neo- Renaissance style. Visit the “Senaatszaal” where Utrecht University celebrates PhD theses defenses and professors deliver their inaugural lectures.

Website: http://www.uu.nl/en/organisation/utrecht-university-hall/about-the-university-hall/history


University Museum

Have you ever seen a cone roll upward? Seen a piece of aluminium float? It is all possible in the science museum of the Central Netherlands. Amazement and admiration go hand in glove at the University Museum. You can also work in the Knowledge Laboratory or Youth Laboratory, or explore the Oude Hortus museum garden.

Opening hours: Daily from 10.00 until 17.00

Entrence: €8 adults, €4.50 kids from 4-18

Contact info
Email: info@museum.uu.nl
Phone: 0031 (0)30 253 80 08
Website: http://www.universiteitsmuseum.nl/english


Sonnenborgh Museum and Observatory

Explore the secrets of the bastion Sonnenborgh or climb the steps to the star cupolas, where telescopes bring the universe and stars really up close. Unearth the secrets of Sonnenborgh. Look for cannon emplacements behind the extremely thick walls of the 16th-century fortification. Climb the stairs to the 19th-century observatory domes and gaze at the stars and planets after nightfall. Make a weather forecast or take a closer look at the sun using a special solar telescope. Sonnenborgh; from bastion to meteorological institute and observatory.

Opening hours: Tuesday - Friday: 11.00 – 17.00, Sunday: 13.00 - 17.00

Entrance: €7 (adults), €4,50 (kids until 12years)

Contact info
Email: info@sonnenborgh.nl
Phone: 0031 (0)30 820 14 20
Website: http://www.sonnenborgh.nl/page=site.home