Wandering in an Almost Empty Utrecht [The Netherlands]

It is widely known that Utrecht is the alternative to Amsterdam, should you want to explore an emptier canal city. However, due to the restrictions imposed by the current situation Amsterdam is pretty empty, so Utrecht felt reaaaaally empty. And also, the local authorities took this time to restore its Old Town so this was not the experience I thought it might be. But, suffice to say, Utrecht is still beautiful.

Getting to Utrecht is quite straightforward: just take the train from Amsterdam Central and in 20 minutes you are here. From the Utrecht train station it’s very easy to reach the Old Town. Just keep walking straight until you reach the smell of coffee 😀

Or better yet, don’t stop until you reach Oudegracht , the city’s main canal and considered the oldest one in the Netherlands. If you are brave enough you can ejoy a boat trip on the canal or you can use it as a guide for your stroll. If you are really brave you can rent a bike. Be careful though as there are so many bikers in Utrecht. They say that there are more bikes than inhabitants in this city.

If there was one thing that I was really looking forward was seeing the Dom Tower because this was how I imagined this city to look like (almost every photo I saw of Utrecht had it in the foreground or the background). However, the tower was under a massive reconstruction so that put me a bit off balance but it’s safe to say that this will give me the reason to go back sooner than expected.

But, the Cathedral of St. Martin is still opened for visits. It was interesting to learn that the Dom Tower and the Cathedral used to be part of the same building. But, in 1674 the building was hit by a tornado that passed through the city and destroyed part of the cathedral. In the 20th century, the Cathedral underwent a huge renovation however its main aspect was not changed.

I personally heard of Utrecht as being the country’s most important education center. And this is actually very visible. There are young people everywhere and the city exudes a vibrant atmosphere. I will not even mention that my favorite place was the garden of the Conservatory. I sat on a bench reading my book while the students were rehearsing their music. And that installed a mood that did not leave me for the rest of the day!

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