Take family Juliana Park Julianapark

One of Utrecht’s Oldest Parks Includes a Fun Animal Sanctuary!

From Family Farm to Public Park

The history of Juliana Park starts with the wealthy Kol family’s estate in Utrecht in the late 1800s. By the turn of the century they had commissioned the Louis Copijn Architects to turn the area around their farm into an English walking garden. Soon everyone knew the area as ‘Kol’s Garden’, a sanctuary where the town’s elite could stroll in peace. Two decades later in 1928, the family sold the land to the municipality on the condition that it would stay a park for at least 100 years. The city made the 25 acres a public space in 1935, and named it after a visit by Queen Juliana.

Since then the Antje Drijver Pavillion has been constructed and the property has become a registered animal sanctuary – with deer, alpacas, goats, pigs, and waterfowl in attendance. Moreover, the park is locally famous for the many arrogant free-range chickens wandering about, with fresh eggs you can buy in season when available.

Long Nights without Lights

The park’s operating times change throughout the year, but generally the facility is open from ‘dawn to dusk’ on most days. This is because there is no public lighting available inside and therefore the park cannot be open safely for too long after dark. Luckily, officials do a sweep after dark to make sure visitors are not locked in for the night. Moreover, the many farm animals in residence also appreciate these flexible hours, so their biological clock may adjust accordingly.

In October 2014, Juliana Park joined three other Utrecht parks as a national monument with a protected status – ensuring its survival for another 100 years! Julianapark stands as a testament to ecological stewardship, historical continuity, and communal well-being—a living laboratory where nature and urban life intersect.

Kol Family uttecht
KOL FAMILY CREST - QUEEN JULIANA 1935 - JAN KOL III
Free range chickens in Juliana park
ENTITLED NATIVE CHICKENS HAVE INVADED THE PARK
JP5 SIGN BEST 3
PARK SIGN WITH SEASONAL HOURS
Nijnjte in Juliana park
NIJNTJE PLAYGROUND INAUGURATION 2024
RETAINING POND WITH ROCK FORMATIONS

Nijntje Makes a Surprise Appearance

In the spring of 2024 Utrecht’s most famous face, Nijntje (or Miffy in English) found her way to Julianapark to celebrate the construction of a new Miffy-themed playground for young children. This municipality commissioned a local firm to design and create the equipment based on famous characters, stories, and props from her popular books and TV series. The result is the largest Nijntje playground in Holland, a treat for fans of all ages!

Visiting Julianapark

Juliana Park is not very close to central Utrecht, and a half-hour walk from Leidsche Rijn, the closest train station. Perhaps the city bus is the best option as it’s just an 8-minute ride. Take the number 3 bus from platform A2 to Sint Josephlaan and the park is on the left. If you decide to hoof it, simply head northwest up Amsterdamsestraatweg from Centraal Station for about 25 minutes – it’s about 2 miles on foot. You could also bike it in half that time, but remember you’ll be cycling back as well.

Basic Map of Juliana Park

Juliana Park Videos

The video above is a musical montage of Juliana Park

Inspiring aerial drone shots of the park

The video above is a musical montage of Juliana Park

Inspiring aerial drone shots of the park