Gezelligheid in Utrecht

Oudegracht, Utrecht, the Netherlands

“Forget the flash, in which you may exist, the world is your map.”
-From the Letters of Utrecht 

Utrecht is similar to Amsterdam in feel with its beatiful canals and beautiful people biking up and down its canals. But it’s smaller and less touristy which might make it better. We’ll see…
Sunset in Utrecht, the Netherlands

Dom Tower, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Oudegracht

We stayed in a great apartment up the steepest, most terrifying, most Dutch flight of stairs we’ve ever seen, let alone climbed/descended. It was on an awesome street, Twijnstraat, which is what one side of the famous Oudegracht turns into when it stops winding with the canal. It was really hot during our time in Utrecht, so we spent most of our time slowly meandering up and down Oudegracht and the other streets looking at the canals and interesting buildings (Utrecht has diverse architecture).
Oudegracht, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Oudegracht, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Nieuwegracht, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Nieuwegracht 87, Wijkgebouw Nicolaikerk, art nouveau, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Paushuize, Pope Adrian VI, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Utrecht, the Netherlands

The unique thing about the canals in Utrecht is that they have space to walk or sit or dine level with the water.
Oudegracht, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Oudegracht, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Oudegracht, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Everyone in Utrecht just seemed so happy and enjoying their city: biking (everywhere), grilling in the park, and riding in boats up and down Oudegracht while eating and drinking quite a bit.
Oudegracht, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Dom Tower, Oudegracht, Utrecht, the Netherlands

This includes numerous bachelorette parties.
Bachelorette parties, Oudegracht, Utrecht, the Netherlands

DOMUnder

We did do one touristy/sightsee-y thing. With discount coupons given to us by my new friend Afra (thanks!), we went to DOMUnder, an archaeological site underneath the Domplein Square. We learned about the history of Utrecht and saw ruins and archaeological finds dating back to when Utrecht was part of the Roman Empire. Dom Tower is the tallest church in the Netherlands. It was once connected to Dom Church (aka St Martin’s Church) by a massive nave, but in 1674, a hurricane-like storm blew it down and it was never rebuilt. The people of Utrecht were so upset, they didn’t clean up the wreckage for 100 years.
Dom Tower, Graaf Jan Van Nassau, Utrecht, the Netherlands

St Martin's Cathedral, Dom Church, Utrecht, the Netherlands

St Martin's Cathedral, Dom Church, Utrecht, the Netherlands

DOMUnder, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Letters of Utrecht

We thought we were doing another touristy thing, only to find we were among the only ones there. Along a few blocks of the Oudegracht, there’s a never-ending poem called the Letters of Utrecht. Every Saturday at 1pm, a new letter is carved and added. The project is supported by the people of Utrecht through donations for each letter. We were so excited to be in Utrecht on a Saturday! Of course, the only other people who went to witness such a momentous occasion were the benefactors of the week’s letter. Click here to read an English translation of the poem to-date.
Letters of Utrecht, the Netherlands

Letters of Utrecht, the Netherlands

Letters of Utrecht, August 27, 2016, the Netherlands

Day-trip to Den Bosch

We took one day trip to ‘s-Hertogenbosch (aka Den Bosch) to meet Sarah’s LAM sister, Ine, and her husband Ruud. They generously took us on a really unique boat tour of the Binnendieze, canals that wind through and under the city.
Binnendieze boat tour, Den Bosch, the Netherlands

Binnendieze boat tour, Den Bosch, the Netherlands

Binnendieze boat tour, Den Bosch, the Netherlands

 

Frog, Binnendieze boat tour, Den Bosch, the Netherlands

Den Bosch, the Netherlands

Eats and drinks

We cooked a lot because Twijnstraat had everything you could want: Albert Heijn (the best supermarket ever, and we know supermarkets), middle eastern grocery, bio-markt, bakery, butcher, fishmonger, cheesemonger (with the biggest selection of cheese in Utrecht), wine stores, beer store (which opened during our stay like they knew we would be there or something), ice cream shop, and many cafes. Two notable spots we found just off the main street…

  • We ordered take-out Thai from Saowapa. The food was so fresh and light as compared to New York take-out Thai. It was perfect for the hottest night we were there when cooking was just not an option.
  • You could probably go into any bar in Utrecht and be happy with the beer selection and the environment. Our favorite was Cafe Derat (which Justin found on a run). It has a ridiculous selection of beers from the Netherlands and 2 cats. We hung out with one and it made our pub-going experience all the better.

Cafe Derat, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Cat, Cafe Derat, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Cat, Cafe Derat, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Utrecht is a must-visit on a trip to the Netherlands. Doing it as a day-trip from Amsterdam is easy, but that might result in the city feeling like Amsterdam-light and that just wouldn’t do it justice. We highly recommend spending more time getting to know the place.

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3 Replies to “Gezelligheid in Utrecht”

  1. denise sturm says:

    Just beautiful…keep these pictures coming!!!!

  2. The Letters of Utrecht sounds so cool! That’s something I would love to see.

  3. Great photos. The Netherlands is on my bucket list but not expecting that to happen. 🙁

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