How to Spend 1 Day in Utrecht, Netherlands

Utrecht, Netherlands is a great day trip getaway from Amsterdam. With its quaint historic charm and beautiful canal, take a look at this Utrecht travel guide to discover this adorable Dutch city! #netherlandstravel #utrecht #amsterdamtravel #europetravelguide

While on a trip to the Netherlands, my husband and I stayed in Amsterdam and took day trips to various cities around the country. I love how easy and quick it is to get around the Netherlands by bus and train. The last of our day trips was to Utrecht, which is south of Amsterdam. Although it is much quieter than Amsterdam, there is a lot to see and do in Utrecht, making it a great place for a day trip. Keep reading for my Utrecht, Netherlands travel guide!

Save this post to Pinterest!Utrecht, Netherlands is a great day trip getaway from Amsterdam. With its quaint historic charm and beautiful canal, take a look at this Utrecht travel guide to discover this adorable Dutch city! #netherlandstravel #utrecht #amsterdamtravel #europetravelguide

Utrecht, Netherlands Travel Guide

Getting to Utrecht

Getting to Utrecht from Amsterdam takes less than 20 minutes on the train. It is actually much quicker and more convenient to get to Utrecht by train, because driving takes about 45 minutes.

Explore

Much like Amsterdam and Haarlem, Utrecht is a historic city with cute old buildings and a canal. Wandering around and taking in the sights will always be one of my favourite things to do, especially in European cities.

What to see and do in Utrecht, Netherlands. Utrecht is an easy day trip from Amsterdam and is well worth a visit! | Utrecht Travel Guide #thenetherlands #netherlandstravel #amsterdam #utrecht #europetravelguide

What to see and do in Utrecht, Netherlands. Utrecht is an easy day trip from Amsterdam and is well worth a visit! | Utrecht, Netherlands Travel Guide #thenetherlands #netherlandstravel #amsterdam #utrecht #europetravelguide

What to see and do in Utrecht, Netherlands. Utrecht is an easy day trip from Amsterdam and is well worth a visit! | Utrecht, Netherlands Travel Guide #thenetherlands #netherlandstravel #amsterdam #utrecht #europetravelguide

What to see and do in Utrecht, Netherlands. Utrecht is an easy day trip from Amsterdam and is well worth a visit! | Utrecht, Netherlands Travel Guide #thenetherlands #netherlandstravel #amsterdam #utrecht #europetravelguide

What to see and do in Utrecht, Netherlands. Utrecht is an easy day trip from Amsterdam and is well worth a visit! | Utrecht, Netherlands Travel Guide #thenetherlands #netherlandstravel #amsterdam #utrecht #europetravelguide

What to see and do in Utrecht, Netherlands. Utrecht is an easy day trip from Amsterdam and is well worth a visit! | Utrecht, Netherlands Travel Guide #thenetherlands #netherlandstravel #amsterdam #utrecht #europetravelguide

St. Mary’s Courtyard (Pandhof Sinte Marie)

St. Mary’s Church was built in the 11th century, but it began deteriorating in the 1500s and was demolished in the 1800s. The only part remaining is the cloister. The courtyard is not very big, but it is a nice place to relax with all the greenery and flowers.

What to see and do in Utrecht, Netherlands. Utrecht is an easy day trip from Amsterdam and is well worth a visit! | Utrecht, Netherlands Travel Guide #thenetherlands #netherlandstravel #amsterdam #utrecht #europetravelguide

Dom Tower

Dom Tower is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands! The exterior of the tower is being renovated, but inside remains open for visitors. If you are so inclined, you can walk 465 steps to the top of the tower. (We decided not to make the climb)

The tower can only be visited as part of a guided tour, which takes about an hour. If you are going on a weekend or during high season, you might want to consider buying tickets ahead of time.

What to see and do in Utrecht, Netherlands. Utrecht is an easy day trip from Amsterdam and is well worth a visit! | Utrecht, Netherlands Travel Guide #thenetherlands #netherlandstravel #amsterdam #utrecht #europetravelguide

St. Martin’s Cathedral/Dom Church

St. Martin’s Cathedral, also known as Dom Church, is a Gothic church in Utrecht. Construction of the church began in the early 1200s, and it is full of so much history! The church used to be connected to Dom Tower, but a tornado in 1674 destroyed the nave of the church, separating it from the tower.

St. Martin’s Cathedral was a Catholic church until the Protestant Reformation in 1580. Inside the church, you will see many signs of destruction that took place during the Reformation. Many of the statues were damaged during that time, because of the belief that statues in a church were idolatrous. Many of the lavish parts of the church were also destroyed as an objection to the wealth of the Catholic church.

When to Visit: The church is free to enter, and is open seven days a week. Hours depend on the time of year, so check the church website before you go.

What to see and do in Utrecht, Netherlands. Utrecht is an easy day trip from Amsterdam and is well worth a visit! | Utrecht, Netherlands Travel Guide #thenetherlands #netherlandstravel #amsterdam #utrecht #europetravelguide

What to see and do in Utrecht, Netherlands. Utrecht is an easy day trip from Amsterdam and is well worth a visit! | Utrecht, Netherlands Travel Guide #thenetherlands #netherlandstravel #amsterdam #utrecht #europetravelguide

Dom Church Garden (Pandhof van de Domkerk)

This garden is between the Dom Church and Utrecht University Hall. It is a pretty courtyard with a fountain at the centre, surrounded by greenery and flowers. The garden dates back to the late 14th century/the early 15 century.

When to Visit: The garden is free to enter and is open Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What to see and do in Utrecht, Netherlands. Utrecht is an easy day trip from Amsterdam and is well worth a visit! | Utrecht, Netherlands Travel Guide #thenetherlands #netherlandstravel #amsterdam #utrecht #europetravelguide

What to see and do in Utrecht, Netherlands. Utrecht is an easy day trip from Amsterdam and is well worth a visit! | Utrecht, Netherlands Travel Guide #thenetherlands #netherlandstravel #amsterdam #utrecht #europetravelguide

Lunch

We stopped for lunch at Vis ‘n Friet for some Dutch fish and chips. Battered fish in the Netherlands is called kibbeling, which are small chunks of fish. It is delicious!

Fish and chips at Vis 'n Frites is the perfect lunch in Utrecht, Netherlands

Fish and chips at Vis 'n Frites is the perfect lunch in Utrecht, Netherlands

Kayaking

Renting a kayak and paddling down the canal in Utrecht is a great way to see the city. Since the Utrecht canal is so far down from the road, you really do get a whole new perspective from the water. It’s also amazing to see how many people live in apartments under the road along the canal. They look so cute!

Along the canal is also where you’ll find lots of restaurants. Paddling along the canal is a great way to scope them out, as long as you remember where they were!

It can get wet inside the kayak, but they do give you a waterproof bag to put your stuff in, which is super helpful.

Tip: We had not planned to rent a kayak and just showed up. Luckily there was one left, but I would recommend booking in advance if possible. This is not an activity you’ll want to miss out on! We rented one for an hour, and to do the whole circuit it took us just over an hour.

Kayaking down the canal in Utrecht, Netherlands is a great way to see the city!

Kayaking down the canal in Utrecht, Netherlands is a great way to see the city!

Kayaking down the canal in Utrecht, Netherlands is a great way to see the city!

Kayaking down the canal in Utrecht, Netherlands is a great way to see the city!

I created this custom map, which includes everything I mentioned in this post, along with the train station, Utrecht Centraal.

Save this post to Pinterest!

Utrecht, Netherlands is a great day trip getaway from Amsterdam. With its quaint historic charm and beautiful canal, take a look at this Utrecht travel guide to discover this adorable Dutch city! #netherlandstravel #utrecht #amsterdamtravel #europetravelguide

Thank you for reading this Utrecht, Netherlands travel guide!

Check out these posts next:

How to Spend 1 Day in Haarlem, Netherlands

Guide to Spending 1 Day in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Day Trip to Zaanse Schans: Holland Windmills

Amsterdam, Netherlands Travel Guide

xo,
Andrea

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27 Replies to “How to Spend 1 Day in Utrecht, Netherlands”

  1. Utrecht looks so pleasant to explore in the summertime with all that greenery and flowers around! I love that you managed to go kayaking too! It’s awesome that you can do the whole circuit within a single hour! I would have been tempted to stay for longer to see far I could paddle!

    p.s. that fish and chip looks sooo good!

    1. It was such a beautiful place to wander around in the summer! Haha I absolutely loved kayaking, but it was the perfect amount of time for me! 🙂

  2. This looks like such a lovely city in the Netherlands. It’s one I haven’t considered before, so adding it to the list.

    1. Definitely worth adding to the list! 🙂

  3. Oh my word, so much more beautiful from a personal perspective, not to mention it’s been on my bucket list for quite some time!

    1. Ooh I hope you get to visit soon! 🙂

  4. Utrecht is on my bucket list! It looks like I need to get there sooner rather than later, as there are so many great things to do. I cannot wait to explore Utrecht – the architecture is gorgeous!

    1. It’s such a beautiful town! So fun to explore more of the Netherlands too 🙂

  5. Great post! Thanks for sharing because I’ve never heard of this place before! We actually visit The Netherlands next year and I’m determined to get out of Amsterdam!

    1. Oh you will have so much fun in the Netherlands!! There are so many amazing day trips you can take from Amsterdam! 🙂

  6. Lovely guide! I’m thinking of going to Amsterdam and I’ll try to include Utrecht in my trip because it looks very nice! Thanks for the tips 🙂

    1. Amsterdam is one of my favourite cities I’ve been to by far! And there are so many cute towns you can visit nearby!

  7. Utrecht looks so beautiful! And that fish & chips made me super hungry. Yum! I love that you managed to go kayaking as well. Such a cool way to see the city 🙂

    1. Kayaking really did give such a neat perspective of the city! And yes, the fish & chips were amazing!!

      1. Omg! Super excited, visiting soon and going to use all these tips 😍

  8. Utrecht is one of my top destinations in the Netherlands. Such a great guide to help me with my planning. Thanks. 🙂

    1. Glad I could help!! 🙂

  9. I’ve never heard of Utrecht but it looks really pretty! It’s nice to read about something else than Amsterdam. Lovely post thank you for sharing it!

    1. Amsterdam is amazing, but there really is so much more to see in the Netherlands! Thanks for reading!

  10. Utrecht looks great. We’ve recently started exploring Netherlands for our holidays, so glad for any new ideas of what to see. Thanks for the suggestions

    1. Have fun exploring! The Netherlands is such a beautiful country 🙂

  11. I would love to go back and explore more of the Netherlands including Utrecht one day. I especially love the idea of kayaking in Utrecht through the canals!

    1. It was such a fun way to see the city!

  12. I’ve only visited Amsterdam but Utrecht looks beautiful and worth a visit! I’m not familiar with other towns in the Netherlands and this was a great post highlighting the wonderful things to do!

    1. You’ll have to explore more of the nearby cities on your next visit!

  13. My maiden name is Dutch and I would love to visit the Netherlands one day to learn more about my heritage! Pinning this guide for future reference. Love the kayaking!

    1. Oh yes, you must, especially with your connection to the Netherlands! 🙂

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