Utrecht is second only to Amsterdam when it comes to partying, shopping, chilling and generally hanging out. It makes for a brilliant European getaway. And if you’re in doubt, follow the tourists — they’re always right.
WHERE TO WAKE UP
In green surroundings in Bunnik, this youth hostel, located in an old manor within biking distance from the inner city is cheap but nice. If you want to stay in the city centre, you could sleep at the Apollo Hotel.
SPEND THE MORNING
Depending on whether you’re the sporty or the relaxed type, you could climb the Dom Tower (465 steps, no elevator) or get yourself into an canalboat for a trip through Utrecht’s waters.
WHERE TO LUNCH
Brasserie Domplein offers a fine lunch (sandwiches for about $5) and is also visited by locals. Want to go fancier? Head to Karel V, in an old monastery. It has a Michelin star, and you’ll pay for it, but it’s very nice and accessible in jeans.
SPEND THE AFTERNOON
Shopping and museums
Go shopping in one of the typical Utrecht shopping streets like the Zadelstraat or the Oudkerkhof. If you want to do something cultural visit Museum Catharijneconvent (catharijneconvent.nl) or see trains at Spoorwegmuseum (spoorwegmuseum.nl).
WHERE TO HAVE DINNER
Along the canal
Depending on the afternoon activities, you’ll find yourself starving or not that hungry at all. Alongside the canal there are lots of terraces. If the weather’s nice they’re crowded, but in time you’ll always a place. Just take a walk along the canal and follow your nose.
HOW TO SPEND THE NIGHT
Go dancing at either Filemon or Quignon. Since you are in Holland you might want to try some legal soft drugs. The BlowBoat on the Wittevrouwensingel is a coffeeshop on a boat.