Utrecht’s historic town centre was built upon the ruins of an even older Roman settlement. Since then many monumental buildings have been constructed in Utrecht, including the iconic Dom Tower which was completed between 1321 and 1382.
For centuries, the tower was the tallest building in Utrecht and it is possible to see Amsterdam from its highest point on clear days.
There are many other amazing historical sights around the Dom Tower, such as this tranquil monastery garden known as Pandhof.
Or St. Martin’s Church, which was once attached to the Dom Tower before an enormous storm cleaved the two buildings apart.
Oudegracht Canal runs southwards through Utrecht’s centre and passes by many delightfully narrow townhouses that were built on the banks of this ancient waterway.
Oudegracht is among the oldest canals in the Netherlands and was dug out during the Medieval period. A system of underground wharfs eventually developed along its edges – many of which have since been converted into cafés, stores or homes.
There are some pretty awesome secondhand stores along Oudegracht such as Dutch vintage fashion shop, Episode.
And many chilled hangouts like ‘t Koffieboontje.
Oudegracht eventually turns into Stadsbuitengracht, another historic canal that forms a moat around Utrecht’s eastern old town walls.
This canal is surrounded by green spaces and runs past several parks including Zocherpark.
Sonnenborg Observatory is located along this beautiful stretch of water and welcomes eager stargazers all year round.
And the view only gets better inside.
There are many other architectural gems hidden around Utrecht like Janskerk, which has stood in the city since 1040.
Or Utrecht University’s City Centre Library which is housed within a former palace built by Louis Napoléon Bonaparte whilst he reigned as King of the Netherlands.
Many famous Dutch figures have lived in Utrecht over the years, including Dick Bruna whose Miffy (Nijntje in Dutch) books are beloved worldwide. There are several tributes to Bruna and Miffy around the city such as this super cute traffic light on St Jacobsstraat.
And this equally adorable statue on Nijntje Pleintje (Miffy Square).
Music lovers should definitely check out Utrecht’s largest venue, TivoliVredenburg, as this multi-storey media palace features five separate concert halls which were designed to accommodate specific genres and styles.
TivoliVredenburg is also one of the tallest buildings in Utrecht and features several epic observation areas on its higher floors.