National Geographic Traveller (UK)




Be up before the city wakes to have the Oudegracht to yourself. The oldest of Utrecht’s two inner-city canals is its main social artery, but in the morning you can cycle along the waterside streets uninterrup­ted, admiring the gabled houses and pausing to fuel up at retro coffee shop Cafca. Afterwards, peruse some of the Saturday markets.

The country’s largest and oldest gathering of fabric vendors, Lapjesmark­t has been a weekly fixture for over 400 years. Only a few streets away, you’ll find more colour at the Flower Market on Janskerkho­f Square. Stop for lunch at nearby Ruby Rose, a restaurant set in a former flower shop, or try Streetfood Club, next door, which serves bites from around the world.


Walk off lunch on your way to Domplein, a city square at the heart of the city’s medieval centre. To find it, look up and head for the Domtoren: at 368ft, the country’s highest church tower has served as an urban compass for almost

700 years. Make your way up its

495 steps for sprawling views all the way to Amsterdam, if the sky is clear. Then, descend undergroun­d for DOMunder, an immersive archaeolog­ical site that takes you through Domplein’s tumultuous 2,000-year history. The other must-see in this square is gothic St Martin’s Cathedral, which used to be joined to the Domtoren until a storm destroyed its nave in 1674 — don’t leave without taking a stroll around its 15th-century courtyard.


While it’s only a 15-minute bike ride from the centre, getting to Stadsjochi­es feels like an escape to the countrysid­e. When this urban farm opened a restaurant in 2021, it designed a menu where the cress, edible flowers and herbs grown on site take centre stage. Arrive for 6pm for the full evening experience: a tour of the grounds, from the permafrost plot to the vertical garden, followed by a multi-course dinner in the greenhouse. If you’re not ready to call it a night, head back to the city centre to catch a performanc­e at TivoliVred­enburg. Built around the 1970s Symphony Hall, this huge arts venue has five halls, each designed for a different music genre, and looks striking when lit up after dark. stadsjochi­ tivolivred­

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom