Explore - A tour of Utrecht's forts

A tour of Utrecht’s forts

Century-old forts are scattered all around the city, some of them real gems. Increasingly more of these former defences, built to protect the city from attack, have been given a new lease of life.

Green oasis

Fort aan de Klop

1e Polderweg 2

Although Fort aan de Klop is in the city, it still manages to be a green oasis. This fort is on the Vecht river, bordering the Overvecht district. You can camp in the grounds, spend a night in the inn or simply come to enjoy the peace and quiet. It’s also a great place to spend a sultry summer evening dining on the terrace. Tuesday to Sunday are Summer Barbecue Evenings. You’d better book if you want to guarantee getting a table.


Beer fort

Fort Everdingen

Noodweg 2, Everdingen

By car, Fort Everdingen is about half-an-hour’s drive from Utrecht. You can also get there by public transport, which will take a bit longer: hop on the train to Culemborg and change to the number 146 bus. After a guided tour of the site, sit back and relax on the terrace with a speciality beer; this fort is home to the Duits & Lauret brewery who brew some of their beers from fort water. If you want to stay the night, bring a tent and you can camp in the grounds.


Fort Vechten

Marsdijk 2, Bunnik

Fort Vechten is just a cycle-ride away from Utrecht. It was the second biggest fort in the New Hollandic Water Line, a typical Dutch defence system of adjoining polders that could be flooded to keep enemies at bay. The Waterlinie museum explains exactly how this defence system worked (also in English). And thanks to virtual reality, you can even make a parachute jump across the water line.


Surprising spot

Fort Lunet IV

Oude Liesbosweg 68

On the outskirts of Beatrixpark, between the Hoograven and Lunetten districts, you’ll find Fort Lunet IV. This fort has been restored and renovated into a place which provides work experience for people with learning disabilities. They work in catering, in the bike repair shop and in the grounds of the fort. They also run the De Smaak van Lunet lunch café, which is open from Monday to Saturday for a drink and a bite to eat.


Wine flight

Wijnfort Jutphaas

Fort Jutphaas 3, Nieuwegein

How about a nice glass of wine on the terrace of Wijnfort Jutphaas? It’s just half-an-hour from the city centre by bike, on the outskirts of Nieuwegein. Come and taste one of their 400 wines from Wednesday to Sunday, and if you can’t choose, take a wine flight: three different wines, each made from the same grape variety.


Natural beauty

Fort Rhijnauwen

Vossegatsedijk 3-5, Bunnik

Hidden in the forest between Utrecht and Bunnik, you’ll find Fort Rhijnauwen, the largest fort in the New Hollandic Water Line. The fort was closed to the public for many years and has evolved into a valuable area of natural beauty. It’s home to many species of plants and animals, from rare flowers and unusual toadstools, to badgers, foxes, kingfishers and bats. To protect the flora and fauna, the fort can only be visited with a guide on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. You can buy a ticket at the gate.

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