24 hours in town


24 hours in town

If those who want to see and experience all they can in as short a time as possible, we’ve lined up a few must-sees and must-dos for a fabulous day (and night) on the town.

By Dieuwke de Boer


After cold, clear winter’s night, the early risers among us would enjoy morning stroll to Amelisweerd, which is about 5 kilometres. Starting in the centre of town, take Oudegracht to Ledig Erf and then follow Krommerijn. You leave the city and follow a windy towpath along the Kromme Rijn until you reach the Amelisweerd estate. If you’re lucky (and early enough), you’ll still be able to see rags of mist over the water and frost on the leaves. Breakfast and coffee with delicious homemade cakes are served in De Veldkeuken (Koningslaan 11A). Another option is to turn right opposite the Oud-Amelisweerd country house and walk towards the main road. Vroeg restaurant and bakery at the crossroads opposite (Achterdijk 1, Bunnik) is a great spot for an early breakfast with freshly baked bread. Afterwards, you can take the bus back into town from the bus stop on the main road.


Art-lovers can eat their hearts out in one of the numerous galleries scattered around the city. SANAA (Jansdam 2), Kunstliefde (Nobelstraat 12A) and KuuB (Pieterstraat 3) are in walking distance from each other, so even if you don’t have a lot of time you’ll still be able to visit them all. After checking out the art, it’s time for a lunch. If you’re looking for a serious lunch, go Syr (Lange Nieuwstraat 71), where refugees are capitalising on their talents and learning about Dutch language and culture along the way. In this welcoming restaurant, you can eat Syrian dishes with a European twist. And The Colour Kitchen (Oudegracht 214) provides work placements, training or a job in one of their restaurants to people having difficulty finding employment. Just thinking about it makes the food taste good!


At the end of the afternoon, walk along Oudegracht towards Ledig Erf. In Twijnstraat, you’ll find all kinds of speciality shops, funky clothes shops and cosy home furniture and accessories stores. Walk along Oosterkade and under Vaartsche Rijn station to Rotsoord, a creative and cultural hotspot amidst the industrial heritage. Have a quick drink at STAEL (Twijnstraat 9) or Café Lijn 4 (Twijnstraat 3), before continuing to Yum Saap (Twijnstraat 40) for Asian street food, or proper wood oven pizza’s at Da Portare Via (Twijnstraat 65). In a hurry? Then head to the tiny Saowapa (Nicolaastraat 1, just off Twijnstraat), where you can eat delicious Thai food.


Utrecht is bursting with bars providing live music. Café Stathe (Rozenstraat 15) is a great place to discover new music. They have live bands nearly every Friday and Saturday, and twice a month on Wednesdays, they have a Stathe Session. You pay € 5 to get in and see up-and-coming acts from the Netherlands and abroad. Are you more of a classical music fan? If so, go to Het Muzieklokaal (Bemuurde Weerd Oz 13), the first tasting room in the Netherlands that revolves around classical music. It’s a great place for sitting back on the vintage furniture and listening to a symphony while sipping a glass of wine. On Thursday night, you’ll get to listen to new classical talent from the HKU University of the Arts. To end the day with something really special, go to the cocktail bar Behind Bars (Hamburgerstraat 14). This is the only real cocktail bar in Utrecht and one of the best five in the Netherlands. They also have an extensive selection of rums and Japanese whiskey’s.

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