Utrecht is a city located in central Netherlands and a great city trip for a leisure weekend or in combination with a business trip. I visited Utrecht recently with my daughter and we enjoyed our time together a lot. Most of my trips I had done with my son but he is going to the next school so it’s my daughters turn the coming two years while she is still in primary school. We stayed a night at the Eye Hotel (review) which is one of the best boutique hotels I have ever stayed at. What we did in Utrecht I will share with you! One thing for sure, we enjoyed Utrecht a lot and hope you will do too!
A city walk in Utrecht
Utrecht is best explored on foot as all the places of interested are in the central area. We arrived to the hotel in the morning and went exploring the city on foot. This is a great way to spend a full day in Utrecht. We walked past the university library (located on the corner of the Drift and Wittevrouwenstraat) and onwards along a small canal along the Drift towards Janskerkof with the Janskerk. The church was unfortunately closed when we were there.
From the Janskerk we walked towards the old post office building, a great example of Art Deco architecture. By that time it was 1PM and time for lunch which we did at the famous Stairways to Heaven bar & restaurant. It was not that busy as it’s a place more for nightlife. From there we walked past the old canal towards the Dom church. We explored first the gardens next to the Dom which are a beautiful example of an old cloister garden.
After the cloister garden we wanted to see the underground museum called Domunder but unfortunately this museum only allows 20 visitors per hour and you need to reserve it. We of course did not do that so we had to skip it and see it another day. On the opposite of the church you find the Dom tower which you can climb to the top if you want. As we did this before we didn’t do that now again. It was already getting close to 4PM so the rest of the day we wandered along the old canals with its many cellars which house now restaurants. There are many churches also and if you are interested you can visit them. We had a drink on two terraces with nice views but for dinner these tourist restaurants are not the best. Just on the edge of the center you find the restaurant called de Goedheyd which has great food at an affordable price. After dinner our day ended and we went back to the Eye Hotel for a good night of rest.
Railway Museum Utrecht
A new day started, which would again be full of activities. We picked up the car and we drove to the nearby Railway Museum to park our car. When you arrive at the Railway Museum you probably pass the Maliebaan which has the oldest bicycle road of the Netherlands. It is also the place where the Tour de France started in 2015. We off course had to make a 5 minute stop to just look at it.
TIP! Park your car early morning at the Railway Museum if you will visit it. You pay a very small fee for the day compared to the rest of Utrecht. In 10 minutes you walk to the city center from there.
The Dutch Railway Museum is full of activities for kids but houses also an extensive collection of old trains. It’s fun for young and old. We got there in the morning and went to see all the old trains and activities. It is very interactive and fun. Every second weekend of the month an old train runs from Utrecht to Amersfoort and back. You can take this ride from the museum and it takes 50 minutes. This ride is spectacular and each month one of the other old trains rides. My daughter enjoyed the ride through the Dutch country side a lot. She could even punch her own ticket when they checked us. When we returned back to the museum we went to have lunch at the restaurant called Mas, it’s about a 5 minute walk. Just leave your car at the museum; you pay for the full day anyway.
Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht
After lunch we picked up our car and drove (you can walk it too) to the Rietveld Schröder House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The house today still looks quite futuristic knowing it was built in 1924! I like the style a lot, but of course the inside is pretty much dated if it comes to facilities. The house is designed by architect Gerrit Rietveld for Mrs. Truus Schröder-Schräder. She lived in the house till her death in 1985. The house is a UNESCO site since 2000. We explored first the outside which is free accessible and we took a tour inside afterwards. The outside, still today, is in great contrast with the surrounding buildings! Note that the motorway was built only many years after the house and before the view was over the grasslands.
TIP! For the Rietveld-Schröder House in Utrecht it is recommended to buy tickets in advance online as they do sell out.
The interior design of the Rietveld house is just amazing. All lines go from the outside to the inside completely breaking with the traditional architecture of that time. There are only two stories and the house is actually pretty small as the initial budget was only 6000 guilders at that time (which today would be about 2500 euro). The audio tour explains every room in detail and a demonstration is given of the moving walls on the upper floor. The lower floor is quite traditional as for the rooms, but the furniture and decoration is totally different with many lines and colors. The top floor is the most interesting as it’s a complete open space where walls can be moved in to divide it into rooms if one needs privacy. This is so unique! I would love to have a modern automated version of such a house! Everything painted in the primary colors make it very abstract. Just look the pictures in the gallery below, it’s beautiful!
After we finished our tour at the Rietveld-Schröder House we walked to the end of the street to the Wilhelmina Park to relax a bit in the sunshine! If you have more time in Utrecht you can take dinner in the restaurant with the same name there. We had to drive home unfortunately after this great Utrecht city trip.
Did you visit this place or do you have questions? Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Love to hear from you!
Gallery Utrecht city trip
Check the gallery for more photos taken during this trip. If you like to use any photo for commercial, private or editorial use please contact first for permission and/or pricing.