Welcome to my ‘recommendations of Utrecht’ page! Here you can find all my ‘must sees’ in Utrecht. These tips are diverse, there is something for everybody, whether you are here for a short stay, a long one or even if you are born and raised in Utrecht.
I have a great passion for the history of this beautiful city, and I will do more than my best to convey some of this passion to you. People describe me as a very enthusiastic person, so I’m sure you will leave the tour satisfied, and with a smile on your face.
I hope you enjoy my tips that are based on my own experience and that you will have a great time here in Utrecht!
P.S. just to be clear. These are my own recommendations. I do not have any shares in these nice bars/restaurants (unfortunately). These recommendations are just my own opinion.
Tip: Probably you know it already, but places that are called ‘coffeeshops’ in the Netherlands are not places where you go for coffee. If you just want a good coffee/tea with a nice brownie or Dutch apple tart you can go to one of these places:
This is a nice and chill place, where I often meet here with friends or read a book.
The best Dutch Apple Tart (apple pie) in town (they also have a vegan version). The apples they are using are coming from ‘landgoed Marienweerd’, which is located within the province of Utrecht. This lunchroom can be found in the shadow of the Dom Tower.
Tip: Don’t forget to order ‘bitterballen’ next to your drinks. They are lovely. Standard bitter balls are filled with meat, but the vegetarian bitterballs are as delicious as well.
Am I allowed to say it? No, I’m not allowed to say it, but we have our own Cavern club in Utrecht. A very nice cosy bar in a werfkelder (cellar). Often, they play live music.
Of course, the best bar in Utrecht!!
An old bar with a nice quiet terrace and the only place where you can catch sun in the evening.
here you can play the French game ‘jeu de boules’ while enjoying some drinks. Don’t forget to make a reservation, it is often busy. https://jeudeboulesbar.nl/en/book/
This is a political-cultural centre. It often hosts concerts by alternative bands, it also has a vegan eatery.
Often nice parties, and all different kinds of concerts. Located next to the train station. For their agenda check: www.tivolivredenburg.nl/agenda/
A bit outside of the city center at an old industrial estate. Here you can find a bar where you can play table tennis and many board games. You can also eat there. On the menu, there is a diverse range of Arabic and Mediterranean mezze.
If you want to find me on the weekends, go to this bar at Neude square. Here you will find many newspapers and magazines from all around the world.
If you want to go to an LGBTQ+ bar you can go to Café Kalff for a drink or to Bodytalk for a dance and drink.
If you are a young student than you can enjoy some good parties at: De Beurs on Neude square or Feestcafé ´t Pakhuis at Janskerkhof square are the places to be.
A very nice hip restaurant, with delicious food and a young public, please come early or make a reservation, it can be busy on Friday and Saturday evening.
If you want a fancy dinner: go to this restaurant. This beautiful medieval former city castle is also very beautiful from the inside. In their ‘werfkelder’ (cellar) they brow their own beer. It is located between the Neude square and the train station. In addition, this restaurant was also hit by canons of the castle Vredenburg.
The best burger bar in Utrecht. High-quality burgers for a decent price. When our former mayor Jan van Zanen left the city, they honored him with a burger. They are located at several places throughout the city.
The best Chinese restaurant of town. They serve dim sum (Yum cha), small plates of dumplings, and other snack dishes accompanied by tea. It is in the shopping mall next to the train station.
Approved by the pickiest of Italians, the best pizza of Utrecht! They have several locations in Utrecht.
Well known for their nice sandwiches. You can buy at the stand and eat in one of the many courtyards of Utrecht.
Believe it or not, when it is not that cloudy, you can see Amsterdam from the top.
Every Saturday, a flower market is held at Janskerkhof square. After a visit to the market, you can enjoy a nice drink at the terrace of Hofmann. In the evening you can enjoy a dance a hofmann as well.
The Dutch are not famous for their cuisine. However, we have some good snacks, which you can buy at the market. On Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, there is a market at Vredenburg square. Here you will find all kinds of different food. Some typically Dutch recommendations: fresh stroopwafels (way better than in the supermarket), haring, or oliebollen (only during the winter).
Foreign movies are not dubbed, so there are plenty of English movies to see in this very cozy cinema.
Only on Wednesday evenings. If you want to meet more internationals and locals and you want to learn another language (for example Dutch) or speak in your mother tongue, you may want to visit the Language Café. This presents a nice opportunity to practice a language and meet other people while having a nice glass of beer or wine. See for more info: www.facebook.com/LanguageCafeUtrecht
There are two places where you rent a canoe: Close to Amelisweerd and in the city centre. The one in the city centre is www.kanoverhuurutrecht.nl/homepage. If you prefer to see more nature you can go to www.rijnstroom.nl/en which is close to Amelisweerd.
One very nice place is Kasteel de Haar: a beautiful fairy-tale castle. Beautiful from the inside but also very nice to walk through the gardens.
Or if you prefer nature you can go to ‘Oud Amelisweerd’. If you search well, you might find your guide here; this is the place where I make my daily walk. To finish your day, you may want to eat a delicious Dutch Pancake at Theehuis Rhijnauwen.