Located in the heart of the Netherlands, Utrecht Province sprawls between Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Arnhem. It centres around the canal-lined city of Utrecht, which was established as a bishopric in 695 AD. Surrounding this bustling urban hub are meadows, rivers and large lakes that were formed by the digging of peat.
Things to do in Utrecht
Whether you want to admire Utrecht’s medieval monuments, tour a fairytale-style castle or experience life for the last German Emperor, Utrecht Province is sure to enchant.
Explore the medieval streets of Utrecht. Serving as the capital of Utrecht Province, this canal-carved city is best viewed from the 14th-century bell tower of St. Martin's Cathedral. You can venture beneath Utrecht’s Gothic cathedral on the self-guided DOMUnder tour before getting up close to religious artwork and treasures at St. Catherine’s Convent Museum. Sightseeing cruises on the Oudegracht are one of the most leisurely ways to explore Utrecht.
Visit De Haar Castle. On the outskirts of Utrecht is the largest castle in the Netherlands, De Haar, a fairytale-like monument housing an impressive collection of antiquities, paintings and tapestries. Its 19th-century rooms are decorated with ornate wood carvings while the formal gardens are home to several fountains. Don’t miss De Haar Castle’s 18th-century Japanese palanquin, which once belonged to the wife of a shogun.
Experience royal living at Huis Doorn. In the charming town of Doorn is this impressive manor home where Kaiser Wilhelm II lived until his death in 1941. Set within a beautiful park, it has been preserved as it was during his time here, with original furnishings and personal belongings on display. Admire the collection of snuff boxes once belonging to Frederick the Great, then enjoy high tea in the Orangery.
Getting around Utrecht
Utrecht is around 40 minutes’ drive from the centre of Amsterdam and 45 minutes from Schiphol Airport. Rotterdam The Hague Airport is about an hour away. Regular trains connect to the Utrecht Centraal railway station, as well as serving towns and villages throughout the province. Renting a car gives you greater freedom to explore the region.