If you’re planning a city trip on the weekends, we can definitely recommend Utrecht. What to do in three days, we’ll tell you now!
Utrecht has only 300,000 inhabitants and is also characterised by many students, including international students. But it is precisely because it is so small and international that the city is so exciting. You can discover and experience a lot in only one weekend.
Arrival and parking
We decided to travel by car. From Frankfurt you need about 3-4 hours. Alternatively, there are also direct train connections.
Parking is possible in Utrecht, but expensive. Therefore you should ask in advance where you can park your car.
Usually you can park on the streets of Utrecht. Here are public parking machines where you can buy a ticket for about 20,00 €/day. Of course, hourly parking is also possible here. But beware! Even if there is no road sign in sight, which allows parking, you should take a ticket. Because parking without a ticket is punished in the Netherlands with approx. 65.00 €. So don’t take any chances.
You can also use the P+R parking facilities. Here I already paid 3,00 € for three days instead of 72,00 € in Amsterdam. In Utrecht a day ticket costs about 5,00 €. You can then have your ticket stamped and take public transport to the city in just a few minutes.
We have decided once again for an Airbnb. It was important to us that we can reach everything on foot, as it is simply no fun to tour around Utrecht by car. Of course, it should be clean, too. Otherwise you are hardly in the apartment anyway, which is why we chose something simple, a private room in a family house. Monique, the hostess, was super friendly, gave us a warm welcome, gave us sightseeing tips and was always on call if something should happen. The room was very nicely furnished, with everything you needed. Here you can have a look at the Airbnb.
Alternatively, there are super cute boutique hotels that you can book.
Food Spots in Utrecht
Now to the most important chapter of this post… FOOOOOD. Everybody knows, in the Netherlands you just find great food. Wherever you go or look, EVERYTHING looks delicious. So it’s hard to list all the restaurants/bars/cafés, believe me, you’ll find them. But I would like to give you some impressions about the restaurants and cafés we visited.
Definitely one of my favorites in Utrecht. The interior and the food were just so convincing. We walked by that place and we knew we had to go in there.
is a chain in the Netherlands. Here you can have super tasty brunches. But it was rather an emergency solution on the last day, because it was on the way and we didn’t want to walk into the city anymore. Otherwise we would have picked a local store on Tripadvisor. Still nice!
Restaurants at the canal
Along the canal you will find delicious restaurants. We were here a little snack and in the evening still with a very nice Italian “La Fontana”. Here you will find really great restaurants, which are located in a vaulted cellar. You definitely need to see this!
was also one of my absolute favorite dinner locations on the canal. This is especially for meat lovers. Here you can find everything from steaks to burgers, BBQ and and and…
Sightseeing in Utrecht
The cathedral church of Utrecht is very nice to look at from the outside and inside. Inside there is a beautiful garden to relax and unwind.
The canals of Utrecht
As just mentioned, you can enjoy wonderful food and wine along the canal. But in addition to the culinary discoveries, there are wonderful photo spots here. Why don’t you just rent a boat and go for a ride? We paid around 8,00 € per person for one hour for our pedal boat. Take a jukebox and two beers and I promise you’ll have a great time. It was simply mega nice to be on the water in the best weather.
The Botanical Garden
Utrecht University has realized projects in the Botanical Garden. It is therefore worth taking your student card with you. With your ID you only pay 2,00 € entrance fee, without 7,50 €. Nice to look at, but less interesting for those who are not interested in botany. I definitely captured the most beautiful spot.
Shopping and supermarket
Along the canal you can shop really well! Beside my clothing yield I was also mega enthusiastic about the presentation of the supermarkets. In the Netherlands you can get American goods and a lot of fresh food. A course is worthwhile itself thus!
A day trip to Amsterdam
Amsterdam is only 30 minutes away by public transport. So if you should go over a long weekend, you have the possibility to make a day trip to Amsterdam or just go there in the evening to celebrate.
If you ask me, Utrecht is a great alternative to tourist Amsterdam. Super many friendly young people. Lots of students. Many bars and restaurants. Just relaxed to take a spontaneous short trip with friends.