Utrecht, The Netherlands alternative city break

Everyone talk about Amsterdam when someone mention Holland. No one thing about traveling to some other place, maybe Eindhoven because of the cheap flights or Rotherdam because is the biggest port in Holland. But there is one place that is equal lovely as Amsterdam- Utrecht.

Few years ago when i was thinking to travel to Holland, was searching for alternative city breaks . Didnt have much time so visiting a less was logical option.  Beside obvious choice to visit Amsterdam i come across another lovely place, thats was Utrecht.

Start checking around internet and found out many interesting thing to see and visit there. So this is my story and suggestion for you if you traveling to Holland and dont have much time. Visit this unique and wonderful city .

Utrecht is a city in the central Netherlands that has been a religious center for centuries. It has a medieval old town, canals, Christian monuments and a venerable university. The iconic Domtoren, a 14th-century bell tower with city views, stands opposite the Gothic Cathedral of St. Martin on central Domplein square. The Museum Catharijneconvent shows religious art and artifacts in a former monastery.

Things to do in Utrecht

CANALS AREA

We visited in early April. The weather was beautiful. There are plenty of canals to stroll along and many restaurant and cafes canal level.
This is a beautiful area, very clean, with a lovely relaxed and cosmopolitan atmosphere. In a short walk you could eat at Indian, Chinese, Spanish, Italian or fish restaurants.
The prices are not too expensive, there are plenty of shops too, the shopping centre has just expanded.
The train station is a couple minutes walk from the beauty of the Utrecht canals.
Get a city map and prepare for a lovely long walk around the city, finishing with dinner and drinks canal side.

canal utrecht

DOMTOREN

A remnant of Utrecht’s original 14th-century cathedral, this tower is 112m high, with 50 bells. It’s worth the 465-step climb to the top for unbeatable city views; on a clear day you can see Amsterdam. Visit is by guided tour only, departing on the hour. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Tourist Office across the square.

The cathedral and its tower are the city’s most striking medieval landmarks. Following almost 300 years’ construction, in 1674 hurricane-force winds blew down the nave, leaving only the tower, transept and chancel that we see today.

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St. Martin’s Cathedral

In the heart of Utrecht lies Cathedral Square, the Domplein, where you’ll find St. Martin’s Cathedral (Domkerk), one of the most important churches in the Netherlands. Begun in 1254 on the site of an earlier Romanesque church, the cathedral today consists of the 14th-century choir, the 15th-century transepts, and two chapels. The original much larger structure incorporated the massive nearby Domtoren,

The tower that became separated after the destruction of the nave during a thunderstorm in 1674. The ruins were only cleared away in 1826 when the Domplein was laid out, with restoration finally completed in 1988. Highlights include old tombs and a crypt known to contain the internal organs of Emperors Conrad II and Henry IV, who died in Utrecht. Of particular note is the picturesque 14th-century cloister linking the cathedral with the university: above its windows are scenes from the life of St. Martin, the patron saint, while in the center of the beautiful Cloister Garden is a fountain with a bronze figure of a monk.

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CASTLE DE HAAR

Built by Dutch architect PJH Cuypers, Kasteel De Haar is not only the largest castle in the Netherlands, it’s widely considered to be the most attractive thanks to its fairytale good looks. It is so large that when it was built in 1822, the whole village of Haarzuilens had to be moved.

Highlights of a visit – the castle is just 16 kilometers west of Utrecht – are its large collection of antiquities, furniture, paintings, and tapestries, along with its rich décor including ornate wood carvings and tableware and a rare Japanese coach especially designed for women.

The grounds, too, are wonderful to explore, and comprise some 250 treed-acres, along with fountains and a lovely formal garden.

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DICK BRUNA MUSEUM

Thanks to the original furniture and personal items, visitors will come up close and personal with the personality of Dick Bruna (Utrecht 1927 – 2017 Utrecht) and his working method. The studio in the museum will have the same arrangement as the original studio: a drawing and writing table, a place for rest and inspiration, a meeting place and bookshelves. As the renewed dick bruna huis mainly concentrates on Bruna’s work for children, the studio will also present his ‘work for adults’. This will be done in the form of changing, thematic presentations, demonstrating the diversity of Bruna’s work.

City is especially beautifully at the night with all those lights on. Walking around the city is must. Lot of museums and all kind of other things are always good to visit them. Parks are also pretty much everywhere. Utrecht as a  city has less tourist but has same beauty as Amsterdam

ACCOMMODATION

Plenty of hostels and hotels around the city. They range from 15 euro to 25 euro hostels and from 25 up to 180 euro for Hotels. Also airbnb is a very popular way.