Hailed as Holland’s beating heart due to its vivacious atmosphere and colourful canals, Utrecht is a dazzling and delightful destination that captures the irresistible essence of the Netherlands. Hundreds of monuments provide rich reminders of the city’s illustrious past while a prestigious university provides an intellectual and innovative impetus. A truly exceptional architectural array is sure to impress visitors, whether they’re gazing at the sugar spun spire of the Dom tower or the bright facades of the canal houses. Utrecht is certain to seduce and surprise every intrepid traveller that ventures there.
One of the city’s most legendary landmarks is undoubtedly the Stadskasteel Oudaen, a defensive and stolid structure whose origin dates back to the 13th century, when one of the country’s richest families commissioned the construction of the castle. As Utrecht’s tallest building, the tower is excellent for ascending in order to enjoy panoramic city vistas. Those with vertigo can stay at sea level by sampling locally brewed beer at the on-site brewery.
Residents of Utrecht say that the Museum Speelklok is one of the most musical and cheerful in the entire world. Prepare to have your spirits elevated in this melodious collection of carillon clocks, musical boxes and pianolas. Highlights include a fairground organ and a singing nightingale, exhibitions which burst with colour and charisma.
Luxurious and lavish, the rich and decadent decoration of Podium Restaurant perfectly reflects the fine food served in one of Utrecht’s most popular restaurants. The classic meets with the creative and contemporary here, with gourmet dishes subverting culinary conventions with their flavour and flair; critically acclaimed and relentlessly classy, this eatery provides an unmissable epicurean experience for those visiting the city. (Domstraat 4, Utrecht, Netherlands)