A Day Trip to Utrecht

If you find yourself in the Netherlands, Utrecht is a lovely town to spend a cold winter Saturday, which is exactly what I did a few weeks ago.

This old old city is the fourth largest in the country and, with a population of just over 300,000, it’s the perfect size to walk around in a day and go back home feeling like you got to know it a little bit.

Start the day with a stroll around the beautifully preserved old town and get lost in its narrow streets. Make your way to the Domplein (literally, the cathedral square) and enjoy a traditional pea soup and a sandwich while looking at the square through the huge windows of the Brasserie Domplein.
Although the cathedral itself is nothing spectacular, its gardens are definitely worth a visit.

How about a walk along the canal in the afternoon? Head back to Oudegracht, where you will also find a variety of shops and cafés to keep you entertained and caffeinated.
Too cold to be outside for too long? Warm up browsing books at Boekhandel De Slegte‘s several floors.

Before you head back home, make a pit-stop at Graaf Floris to savor one of their delicately prepared Irish coffees.

How to get there
My favorite means of transport in the Netherlands is the train. From Amsterdam Centraal, the train ride is about 30 minutes, and around 40 from Den Haag Centraal.

View of the canal from a bridge

Things you can find when you explore Utrecht's old, narrow streets

Lunch

Bikes and canals: proof that you are in the Netherlands

The gardens of the cathedral

Nothing like an Irish coffee to warm up