With deep canals, narrow streets, and steep bridges, Utrecht doesn’t lack when it comes to traditional Dutch architecture! Some even call it “the mini Amsterdam”.
Places to explore in Utrecht
If you haven’t been to Utrecht recently, you should definitely go!
Don’t be surprised if you hop off the train and ask yourself if you’ve gotten off at the right stop — as there are so many different places to explore in Utrecht!
Utrecht has changed immensely in the last few years and is continually changing every day. The station and its surroundings have gone from looking like something dull from the 1970s to today’s modern city scenery!
The shopping mall near the station, Hoog Catharijne, is full of fabulous and chic stores. It’s a sea of shopping opportunities with upscale modern surroundings.
There are hospitality joints popping up all over the place too. You are sure to be surprised by this flashy part of the city.
This is all lovely, but what if you feel like exploring the city a bit away from the centre? If you want to discover Utrecht like a local, here are some other streets in Utrecht to discover.
Rotsoord is a spot not to be missed when visiting Utrecht. It’s filled with a long stretch of hospitality delights, all located along a beautiful canal.
On the Rotsoord, you can find the gorgeous restaurant, LE:EN (which just so happens to be my favourite one 😉).
Here, you can enjoy Asian cuisine while being surrounded by an old warehouse turned into a colourful, cheerful and cool setting.
The terrace is lovely and perfect for enjoying a nice cold gin and tonic combined with elderflowers in the sun!
If you are looking for something earlier in the day, De Zagerij serves fresh coffee and a good eggs Florentine!
Or, if you’re up for some fresh beer, there are more than a few places to try out within close proximity to each other. A little terrace hopping never hurt anybody!
Prefer trying more high-end cuisine? Then Rotsoord can cater for you too! WT Urban Kitchen was a water tower, which has now been turned into a restaurant.
There, you can eat up high in style, enjoying the best views over Utrecht. But, if you have a fear of heights, then Het Ketelhuis is another fantastic option.
It’s located in an incredible old warehouse turned into a stylish restaurant. Rotsoord is fantastic if you’re looking for indulging while surrounded by a cool and hip environment.
The Twijnstraat is one of my favourite streets to visit. I love popping into all the little shops and getting inspired by all of their different products.
Ekoplaza has all sorts of fresh and organic things. I love the spelt pasta, freshly made spelt brownies and all the different types of sprouts!
The cheese store is brilliant too, but just be careful when you walk in, the smell can be quite overwhelming for some. The best part is the samples of cheese hidden around the store, try before you buy!
For a real Dutch bar experience, visit Cafe Lijn 4 and enjoy the wide selection of beers. I love sitting at the table right by the window with the house cat and watching people stroll by!
There are also plenty of places to shop, including many cool second-hand stores. My favourite is the one that sells second-hand clothing for children.
It’s so much fun to go through all the piles and find yourself a bargain (though, make sure you can fit in the small sizes 🙈).
The Voorstraat is very close to the station, but I wanted to mention it anyway, so you don’t miss it!
This street is bustling and filled with many delights to explore. If you feel like some Aussie love, then head to De Rode Vosch. They serve a spectacular Tim Tam cheesecake and other Aussie specialities.
If you prefer something more hearty, then get yourself a hot dog at Dogma Hotdogs. They even have vegetarian and vegan options- hooray!
Amsterdamsestraatweg is on the other side of Utrecht from where I live, but from what I hear, it is up and coming.
Lots of new hot spots to explore. The street is going through a change. The transition from going a bit average to hip is worth a look.
There is a beer speciality store which is nice to visit. So many choices of beer- yes, please! I won’t mention much more because I am not too familiar with this street, but hope you enjoy exploring it!
Europalaan is maybe strange to mention for some, but actually, it’s pretty awesome! There are lots of cool things to visit, and they are found in a unique way!
The staff there are really knowledgeable about their products. They will give you a detailed description and tasting before you have to make your big decision!
The stadstuin is also a nice spot for a hangout. They often have some groovy events happening which are worth a look. I went to a vintage market there, and loved it. 😍
Kanaalstraat is my nearby my old neighbourhood and is lovely. It is full of tasty smells and a nice amount of hustle and bustle.
If you are searching for brunch try the Kebap Factory. They serve a splendid array of food which is sure to keep you happy till dinner time!
If you need fresh fruit and vegetables, then visit Kanaalstraat. They have a good selection and try the bakeries too- yum!
So there you are! A Guide to 6 places to explore in Utrecht (that you maybe didn’t know about if you are from out of town). Happy days exploring this beautiful city!
Have you ever visited Utrecht? How was it? Tell us in the comments below!
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in July 2018 and was fully updated in July 2022 for your reading pleasure.