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Utrecht

The beating heart of the Netherlands

Utrecht is the most centrally located city in the Netherlands. The vibrant medieval centre is famed for its ancient canals, small boutiques and historical buildings, as well as the many fine cafe terraces in the summer. Join iFly Magazine as we explore the best places to visit in this beating heart of the Netherlands.

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Utrecht’s high point

Follow the guide up the 465 steps of the Dom Tower (Domtoren) to reach the high point of the city. At 112 metres, the 600-year old cathedral has the highest tower in the city, offering phenomenal views over Utrecht. Miraculously the Dom Tower has survived WWII and a hurricane that took the city by storm in the 17th century. It was and remains the symbol and pride of the city’s residents.

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Luxury dining and rooms

Right in the heart of Utrecht is a medieval cloister that has been converted into the prestigious five-star Karel V hotel. Combining a centuries-old historic setting with modern amenities, the hotel offers luxurious accommodation as well as two excellent restaurants, brasserie Goeie Louisa and the Michelin-star Grand Restaurant Karel V where the chef and his team guarantee an afternoon or evening of culinary delights. 

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Artistic exploration

As soon as the sun sets on Utrecht, the Trajectum Lumen comes to life. Follow the beautifully illuminated artworks in the city centre, where a variety of designers have shined their creative light on the city’s churches, streets and bridges. These unique creations are connected via a trail of lights, the Trajectum Lumen, which can be admired every day from sunset to midnight. Download a free map or smartphone app.

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Paradise for shopaholics

With its picturesque streets and old canals, Utrecht is the most charming shopping city in the Netherlands. Small boutiques and large department stores offer quality products ranging from shoes and clothing to designer furniture. In summer the terraces on the Neude square or along the canals are ideal for taking a refuelling break. If it rains head into the Hoog Catharijne shopping centre where some 150 shops will surely satisfy any further need for retail therapy. Download a free map or smartphone app.

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Architectonic masterpiece

It is no wonder that the Rietveld Schröder House, designed by architect and furniture designer Gerrit Rietveld, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The architectonic masterpiece from 1924 shows that Rietveld was way ahead of his time, with his use of sleek designs, primary colours and fluid transitions between indoor and outdoor spaces. The house was built for Truus Schröder who wanted a home where she could live life to the max. One of its unique features is the living room, which can be divided into various spaces by means of sliding walls.