Weekend Breaks to Utrecht
Planning a short break to Utrecht? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Utrecht. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Utrecht. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.
Top 10 Things in Utrecht on a Short Break
Domplein 9, Utrecht. The Dom Tower is more than 600 years old and is 112-meter-high . It is the symbol of the city and stands on Dom Square, the spot where Utrecht originated 2000 years ago.
The Gothic belfry, built between 1321 and 1382, was separated from the main nave of the Dom Church when the nave collapsed in 1674, after a hurricane blew away most of the city. The tower was used as the private chapel of the Archbishop as well as a watchtower and house for the tower guard.
You can climb the 465 steps to the top of the Dom Tower, with a guide any day of the year. It is however essential to make a booking for a tour on weekdays. On your way up, the guide will stop a few times to give you some interesting information on the chapel. On a clear day you will be able to see the surrounding areas (up to a radius of 30 km) clearly.
Admission for adults is EUR6,80 and children up to 12 years old pay EUR4.
For more information visit - ww.utrecht-museumkwartier.nl
Mariaplaats 1, Utrecht. This unique book shop has been one of the most well known esoteric book shops since the mid 80s. Here you will find books on various subjects regarding spirituality. Besides its collection from the Netherlands it also boasts a wide collection of American and Indian books. In a separate shop on Donkerstraat you will find a collection of gem stones, meditation cushions, incense and other eastern parafinalia. De Wijze Kater specialises in anthropology, yoga, astrology, dreams, psychology, eastern philosophy etc.
Twijnstraat 41, Utrecht. This beer shop, which can also be called a beer museum, started as a hobby. When Bert de Ruyter started collecting different makes of beer he had 150 which has now grown to 800 different makes. This is the ideal shop for the real beer lover who is looking for that one special beer that he's never tasted before. You'll probably find the perfect present for your best friend and fellow beer lover in this shop. Bert's also has beer tasting on occasion. So ask about that when you visit. Open on Monday to Tuesday from 1 am to 6 am, Thursday from 1 am to 9 am and Friday and Saturday from 10 pm to 6 am.
Oudegracht 158, Utrecht. For a variety of entertainment and an evening of fun visit De Winkel van Sinkel. It has three separate entertainment areas, The Grandcafe for lunch, dinner or just a few drinks, The Nachtwinkel which is a disco and the Nachtrestaurant for tapas. The Grandcafe, previously a bank, now has a tropical atmosphere and serves wonderful lunches and dinners. The Nachtwinkel which is open until late, caters for those who love to dance the night away to underground house and techno. The nachrestaurant is open daily from 6 am until late and serves cold and hot tapas. If weather permits the terras is open from 12 pm Tuesdays to Sundays.
For more info on this and other clubs in Utrecht go to www.inutrechtuit.nl/discos/discos_frame.html.
Maliestraat 2, Utrecht. The hotel is situated among the tree-lined avenues off the stately Maliebaan, behind a stylish 19th century facade. The building which dates from 1886, was changed into a hotel in the 60s and has been known as the Malie Hotel since 1986. Although it's situated within walking distance of the city centre, it is the very quiet and peaceful. During summer you can relax in the beautiful garden and terrace. The hotel has only 45 rooms and is therefore "small enough to care", which is the motto of this hotel where personal attention is of the utmost importance. Old-fashioned hospitality, modern comfort and a unique location is what makes this hotel the perfect choice for your stay in Utrecht.
For more information on this and other hotels in Utrecht got to www.inutrechtuit.nl/hotels/hotelsframe.html
Oudegracht aan de Werf 125, Utrecht. De Beleving is situated in one of the cellars on the Oude Gracht in the heart of Utrecht. Dinner at this restaurant is much more than just your average evening out, it's an experience. Over and above the fantastic food, the restaurant offers live entertainment, but not just any live entertainment. You will be entertained by the team of waiters and waitresses all night long while serving you. The style of the menu is an mix between classics and something with a modern touch. With a wide choice of various meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, they cater for all tastes and choices. On Saturdays after 11 am the "Late Night Show" offers varied entertainment from stand up comedians and DJ's playing well known dance numbers from the 60s and 90s. Open on Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday from 6 am to 12 am and of Friday and Saturday from 6 am to 2 pm.
For more information on restaurants in Utrecht got to www.inutrechtuit.nl/restaurants/restaurantframes.html
Flampijpstraat 79, Utrecht. This is kids paradise for children up to the age of 12. Some of the activities include go-carting, laser games and sliding down a giant slide. The distorting mirror will keep them entertained and amused for some time. The climbing castle with real battlements will prove quite a challenge for little daredevils. It is an eight meter climb to the top which should get rid of some cropped up energy. There is also a circus tent, a climbing maze and dodgem cars. For the little ones there is the Baby and Toddler Corner where they can go for a ride on a the animal train. Parents can relax and watch the children from an elevated platform. Admission for adults is EUR8 and admission for children up to 3 years is free.
The New Dutch Waterlinie was constructed between 1815 and 1885 as a defense line. The main part of this defense line lies in the province of Utrecht and around the city of Utrecht. Consisting of 46 fortresses and over 900 hydraulic engineering works, this area could be flooded to stop the enemy when war threatened. The fortresses lost their military purpose after WWII and the surrounding areas developed into scenes of beauty and magnificence. Each September, during National Fortress Month, fortresses which are usually closed are opened to the public. During this period you can explore all the fortresses, enjoy art exhibitions and guided tours, stay overnight and be treated to a hearty breakfast in the morning. During the other months the following fortresses are open to the public, Fortress De Bilt (Biltsestraatweg 160, Utrecht), Fortress De Gagel (Gageldijk 163, Utrecht) and Fortress Hoofddijk (Budapestlaan 17, Utrecht).
The museum has lots of fun things to do for both adults and children. The old railway station, now a museum, is dedicated to the history of the Dutch railways. You are bound to find something of interest between the exhibitions of the old tow barges and state of the art high speed trains of today. You can admire huge engines with their historical carriages or ride on the special excursion train. The Jumbo Express is reserved for children only, but adults can join in by turning and changing switches. The whole museum is filled with model trains riding around on different levels. This is a fun and educational outing for the whole family.
The canals in Utrecht could well be the highlight of your visit. They are a unique attraction because no where else in the world are quaysides located directly on the water. The lively atmosphere of Utrecht is partly due to its beautiful canals. You can view the city from a canal boat, canoe or water bike or enjoy a meal in one of the wonderful restaurants.
The city developed into a flourishing trading center in the 12th century because of its location on a numerous waterways. Lovely mansions were built by prosperous merchants and craftsmen and markets and trading centers developed. The canals and quaysides date from this period. The quaysides were constructed centuries ago to allow access to the cellars situated underneath the canal houses.
These days a number of these former cellars house restaurants and boutiques.
You can enjoy a drink and a meal at these waterfront quaysides while enjoying the sunshine and the interesting sites of Utrecht.
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