Agnes Weber (23), originally from Austria, is studying Creative Business at Hogeschool Utrecht. She’s been living here for two and a half years, after working in the United States as an au pair. How did she end up here? ‘I stumbled upon Utrecht as I was randomly looking for a study in English. I had never heard of the city but my inner-voice said: “Hey lady, you have to check this out!” So I trusted my gut and decide to take a leap of faith. It turned out to be a fantastic choice. (Kudos to that voice in my head.) Utrecht has this reputation of being the little sister of Amsterdam, but that doesn’t do it justice at all. My mission is to showcase the unique spirit of the city.’

Photo by Juri Hiensch

by Dieuwke de Boer

‘I live in the Lombok district, which also happens to be my favourite part of town. It’s a very diverse neighbourhood and a perfect place to do your grocery shopping with all the fresh fruit and veg shops on Kanaalstraat. After stocking up on veggies, I often like to go to Molen de Ster (Molenpark 3). It’s such a versatile place, because you can go there for live concerts, poem recitals, DJs, a cup of coffee or to pet the animals in the adjacent park.’

Unbeatable view
‘EKKO is one of the go-to places of me and my friends. And as an international student, I feel naturally drawn to TivoliVredenburg, as it offers lots of concerts and engaging international events such as Le Guess Who. And the view from the outside terrace of Winkel van Sinkel can’t be beaten. It’s great to enjoy it while drinking a glass of wine.’

Food rescuers
I’ve only recently discovered it, but I’m dying to go back to Instock (Vleutenseweg 382). It’s a restaurant with a mission: to fight food waste. They cook with the unsold products that would otherwise be discarded.’

Second living room
‘There are many good coffee spots in town, but Rocking Chair (Willem van Noortstraat 88) definitely is my favourite. The vibe is great; it feels like a second living room. Working there for the last six months was a good springboard to try out my Dutch and practice some latte art at the same time. Also, the place oozes history. The building used to be a bank and the interior still features some original details: for instance, the former vault now is a kids corner.’

Beloved bench
‘If you’re looking for a really quiet and calm spot, I would recommend finding one specific bench looking out over the water, just across from the house on Billitonkade 9. We all live our lives at a dizzying speed, so it’s good to take a moment to let your mind wander once in a while. This bench is the perfect spot to do just that.’

Agnes is one of the ambassadors of Thirty030, with which Utrecht shows its young, creative side: 30 enthusiastic ambassadors under the age of 30 will be representing the city together.