28 Photos To Inspire A Visit To Utrecht

The Netherlands is an amazing country full of interesting and diverse cities to explore, with more history, culture and gorgeous architecture than you could throw a cheese wheel at. In fact, it’s so much more than just cheese, clogs and canals. And once you step away from the big city break hotspots, you get a real feel for The Netherlands. One worthy city to venture out to is Utrecht. Smaller than nearby Amsterdam, there are plenty of reasons to visit, and here are just a few photos to inspire a visit to Utrecht.

Tables on the canalside, Utrecht
Utrecht postcard

With a quieter vibe than the big city favourite of Amsterdam, Utrecht is a great alternative for those looking for a quiet, relaxed city break but with the canals and beauty of Amsterdam. Yep, you’ll still find canals in Utrecht! Although not as widespread as the bigger cities, the canals in Utrecht are still just as charming and can be enjoyed from the many cafes and bars that line the canals.

Trees and canals, Utrecht
Shops and Utrecht cathedral in background
Utrecht canal with cafes
Utrecht canal view with heart
Coffee from Stadskasteel Oudaen

Visitors to this charming city won’t find themselves rushing from place to place, but there are still plenty of sights to see in Utrecht to fill your time. The Hoog Catharijne shopping centre is just a stones throw from the train station, with a spacious square to one side of it. Time it right and you’ll find a bustling market filling the square, complete with food stalls, arts and crafts, and even live entertainment. 

Live music and seating area at the market
Plants at Utrecht market
Travel stall at the market
Cheese stall at Utrecht market
Utrecht train station

The Netherlands is such a compact country, so taking a day trip anywhere is relatively quick and easy. Utrecht is an ideal day trip from Amsterdam of Rotterdam, with both being less than an hour by car and less than 45 minutes by train. In fact, the train from Utrecht to Amsterdam is less than 30 minutes!

Utrecht canal view with flowers
Cafes along Utrecht canal
Canalside buildings, Utrecht
Tree lined square
Square in Utrecht
Streetside cafe, Utrecht

A short walk from the hustle and bustle of the shopping centre and Vredenburg square, through charming narrow streets lined with cafes, bars and restaurants, and you’ll find the canals the Dutch are known for. 

Residential street
Street art, Utrecht
Recycled Whale

And of course, cute shop displays in the windows of old, traditionally Dutch, narrow buildings.

And lastly, if you’re looking for a comfortable, quirky place to stay in Utrecht, check out Bunk Hotel. Built in a converted church, it offers both hostel pods and private rooms in an upmarket, stylish setting. Check out what I thought of the centrally located hotel here.


  • travelling_han
    December 5, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    It looks great – I really wanted to visit Utrecht when we went to The Netherlands a few weeks ago, but we had to shorten our trip so didn’t get a chance. I particularly love the shop with all the globes and maps – amazing!

    • Becks
      December 6, 2021 at 12:40 pm

      I’d definitely recommend a visit if you’re in the area again, it feels like a super chilled out version of Amsterdam

  • Rebecca
    December 6, 2021 at 12:19 am

    I’ve heard good things about Utrecht, but never made it over when I visited Amsterdam in 2016. The art scene looks unique, and I’d love to head over should I return to the Netherlands someday!

    • Becks
      December 6, 2021 at 12:42 pm

      I’d never heard of it before I was in Amsterdam and thought oh it’s nearby, I’ll take a look. It’s very charming, and I think I might even prefer it to Amsterdam…

  • Juliette
    December 9, 2021 at 7:04 pm

    Beautiful pictures! 😊 I have never been to Utrecht but it does seem like a typical small dutch town and I love that! When I went to Amsterdam a few years ago I found that it was a bit too busy and touristy (maybe it was a peak time of the year), so I’m pretty sure I would love Utrecht! Thanks for sharing 😊

    • Becks
      December 13, 2021 at 4:52 pm

      Oh you absolutely would if Amsterdam was a bit busy for you! It’s such a charming place, I’d recommend a visit even if just for a day 🙂


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