The beautiful Utrecht, capital of the smallest of the Dutch provinces and located in the centre of the country, is a place full of charm and magic, which oozes history on all four sides, being the origin of what we know today as Holland.
Utrecht: crossroads, crossroads of canals
Just 50 kilometres from the capital,how to get from Amsterdam to Utrecht is one of the easiest missions. This is because both cities are less than half an hour away by train, thanks to the Dutch Intercity train from Amsterdam Centraal station arriving at the Utrecht equivalent. If you want to go directly from Schiphol airport, there is no problem, as the train leaves from Schiphol airport, with a journey time of 44 minutes.
The decision to visit this ancient enclave is one of the best ways to get to know the real Netherlands, as the canals of Utrecht are very different from those found in other towns, due to their curious construction: with kilometres of restaurants and terraces on both sides, the Oudegrachtor "Old Canal" makes it the only city in the world with docks on two levels and cellars in full activity. So much unexpected beauty and so many magnificent sights are discovered that it is natural to wonder where to go and what to see in Utrecht.
Must-see places in Utrecht
The almost two millennia of the Roman Ultra Trajectum have left their mark on its many sites, which have been shaped by the passing of time.
The Dompleinand the Domtoren
A 10-minute walk from Utrecht Centraal station and crossing the Oudegrachtat a certain point, you can see the symbol and pride of the city: the Domtoren, the great tower of St. Martin's Cathedral. When you reach the foot of this imposing monument, you can see that between it and the cathedral (the Domkerk) there is a space that occupies most of the former central nave, which was converted into a square after the collapse of 1674, separating the two buildings forever.
The Academiegebouwand the Pandhof
In one corner of the square stands the Academy Building, the main seat of the university and witness to the famous Union of Utrecht of 1579, in which several Dutch regions united against the government of Emperor Charles V. On the other hand, if you continue to the back of the cathedral, a beautiful gate leads to the cloister or Pandhof, a peaceful garden where you can relax.
The Museumkwartierand Twijnstraat
Utrecht's Old Town is a fantastic area to lose yourself in and discover hidden places such as old houses, courtyards, shops, and museums, all with a very traditional feel. It is also home to the historic Twijnstraat, the oldest shopping street in the county.
Beautiful and interesting museums
As in any large urban centre, you can visit a wide variety of museums, such as the Sterrenwacht Sonnenborgh, an astronomical observatory inside a beautiful park of the same name; the Centraal Museum, which exhibits works of art and deals with the history of Utrecht; or other interactive museums such as the Railway Museum or the DOMunder, built under the cathedral and whereyou can feel like a real archaeologist exploring the secrets hidden underground with a digging torch.
Utrechtis a city to fall in love with life and its possibilities, a village where you can enjoy the grandiose architecture of the Dutch masters of the past while merging with the air of the present. A paradise for the observer, the traveller, and the philosopher, and a patient seductress that embraces with its canals the true essence of Holland.