While in Utrecht, you surely should go to Domtoren, the highest bell tower in the Netherlands (112 meters). From the top, apart from the whole city, which is one of the largest centers in the country and have a unique history and atmosphere, you can also see Amsterdam and Rotterdam. To the large extent, Utrecht owes its peculiar, artistic and intellectual climate, to one of the oldest universities in the city, the university established in 1623. The hordes of students are passing through the streets and on every corner you can hear the intellectual conversations in different languages.
Aforementioned tower is a part of the Gothic cathedral from the thirteenth century. A separate part - as a result of historical turmoil, the construction took almost 300 years. Then, during the Reformation, it was destroyed and gradually separated from the rest of the cathedral tower. Today it stands alone, a few meters from the building.
However, the city itself is full of clubs and pubs and those, who come here will definitely not complain for the lack of company.
Tourist attractions in Utrecht
Utrecht is located on the Amsterdam-Rhine canal, in the central part of the country. Downtown is pretty intimate, and we may easily get to know it while strolling through the cobbled streets. You can also rent a bike, which is the most popular means of transport in Netherlands, and visit the attractive tourist spots. The history can be felt in every corner of the city. The most beautiful, historic area of Utrecht is surrounded by deep, fourteenth-century canals, and tourists willingly take the cruises to sail through them. Special attention of the visitors draws the Old Channel, with its eye-catching bridges and watersides.
One of the most important monuments of the city is Retvield’s house. Its modern design resembles a large space sculpture. It was built in the 20s of the twentieth century by the idea of Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld, and was inhabited until 1985. In 2000 the House of Retvield was enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a strong confirmation of how extraordinary and valuable that construction is.
Another interesting place is the thirteenth-century St. Martin Cathedral, one of the largest Gothic churches in Netherlands. It is standing next to the aforementioned tower, separated from the building during the historical turmoil as well, and now there are two separate monuments. Both equally worth seeing. The interior of the cathedral is modest - the building is made up of the former canonical monastery, a chancel and a transept.
Polish War Graves
Utrecht doesn’t lack in polish accent either. Tourists from the country of the Vistula may visit located there Polish War Graves – a place of rest of their compatriots who remained in exile after the war, and the soldiers, who fought for the freedom of the Netherlands and died during the Second World War.
Those, who want to move back to the past will surely be attracted by De Haar Castle, located about 12 km from the city center of Utrecht. It’s fourteenth-century neo-gothic castle surrounded by the moat, forest, ponds and old gardens. Something around 100 years ago it was completely renovated, and today it can be visited only in organized groups with a guide. It’s very picturesque, so better take the advantage of such opportunity.
Campsites in the vicinity of Utrecht
A great idea for a trip to Utrecht will be coming here with your own camper. There are few campsites waiting for tourists who value the independence of traveling. Camping De Berekuil (Arienslaan 5, 3573 PT Utrecht) lies approximately 2 km from the city center, and it’s a nice place where for the double occupancy, a place for a vehicle and access to electricity you will pay about 25 €.
Slightly less, because about 17 €, costs a stay at the next campsite - De Boomgaard (Parallelweg 9, 3981 HG Bunnik). It is situated 8 km from Utrecht, it’s opened from April to October, and guests have a washer and laundry dryer at their disposal there. You can also rent a bike or play mini-golf, and what’s more – it’s very popular among kids, there’s a playground and entertainment provided on a daily basis.
Also worth noting is another campsite - Bos Park Bilthoven (Burgemeester van der Borchlaan 7, 3722 GZ Bilthoven). It is opened from March to October, the entire area has the wireless Internet access, there’s on-site bar, and it’s about 1.5 km from the nearest store, and 1.3 km from restaurant. Of course, you can use the dryer and washing machine, young mothers will find a special place for babies, and the toilets are fully adapted for disabled people. Double occupancy, a parking place for a camper and access to electricity costs approximately 28.5 € per day.
No matter if you come to the city by a camper, or as so-called ‘ordinary tourist’, you will be delighted by beauty and atmosphere of Utrecht. Apart from the historic buildings there’s no lack of places where you can spend time with your friends. Shopping fans can indulge themselves in a big shopping mall Hoog Catharijne, and at night you can revel in one of the many clubs - for example, in Tivoli (Oudegracht 245) or in Monza (Potterstraat 16).
Weekend spent in such climatic place will be a weekend you won’t ever forget. That's for sure.