With more than 270 historic places, the province of Utrecht has a lot of history and beautiful monumental buildings and castles to offer. In addition, this smallest province of the Netherlands is also located in the ‘Green Heart’ of the country. Cities such as Utrecht, Woerden and Vianen are often equipped with canals that give the appearance a lot of advantage. Many holidaymakers visit the places around the Loosdrechtse Plassen and Vinkeveense Plassen. Here you will find a lot of entertainment in and around the water and the woods. The city of Utrecht in itself is worth a visit. The cozy and atmospheric city center has nice squares and canals where you can relax on one of the many terraces in the city.
Top 10 sights of the province of Utrecht
#1. Dom of Utrecht
According to Acronym Monster, the Gothic Dom Church in the heart of Utrecht is a symbol of the city. The Dom was built in 1254 and has since undergone many restorations and renovations. With a height of more than 112 meters, the Domtoren is the highest church tower in the Netherlands. The inside is also remarkable. A mosaic floor from the thirteenth century or wall paintings from 1430 are no exceptions. If you want to enjoy a spectacular view, you should definitely climb the tower or book a ticket to go up with the elevator.
#2. Loosdrecht Lakes
Together with the Vinkeveense Plassen, the Loosdrechtse Plassen are excellent waters for all kinds of water sports. For example to dive. The water would be of such a quality that you have good visibility under water. But also the sailing and water ski schools are doing very well. The largest day recreation area is located at De Stook. Here you can, for example, rent canoes or rowing boats or laze on the beach.
#3. Utrecht Hill Ridge
The recreation area around the Utrechtse Heuvelrug has a lot to offer. There is plenty of variety in terms of both sport and relaxation. For example, there is a Tobacco Museum in Amerongen. Near Rhenen you will find the Ouwehands Zoo and near Doorn there are many play opportunities for the little ones at the Rosarium. The De Ruiterberg estate is located in the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park. The park is ideal for walking and cycling routes. Heathland, grasslands, fens and forests alternate and here and there you come across a country house or castle.
The picturesque Oudewateris seen as one of the most beautiful small towns in Utrecht. This traditional Dutch town was once known for its rope industry and its honest inhabitants. In the Middle Ages, it had a reputation for fair weighting and rounding in trade. Much of that time can be found in the city’s large numbers of historical secrets. Old stepped gables and small canals take you past old to very old houses that once served as patrician houses. An old special landmark can be found at the Waag. This is where the original ‘witch weighing house’ is located, where people were weighed to prove they were witches. It is still in use today. In the rope museum ‘De Baanschuur’ you can find a lot of history about the city and its people.
#5. Duurstede Castle
A beautiful place in Utrecht is Duurstede Castle. This medieval castle was created next to the residential tower that was built around 1270. Castle Duurstede was built not much later. This makes this castle one of the oldest castle ruins in the Netherlands. A beautiful and well-maintained park surrounds the castle. Due to its special and romantic location, the castle is nowadays a much sought-after location for weddings and/or parties. The different areas offer many opportunities for various activities. For example, it has regularly acted on television as a backdrop for, among others, Bassie and Adriaan or in the Sinterklaas film. In the summer months you can visit Kasteel Duurstede when there is no event taking place.
#6. Central Museum
The Centraal Museum is a popular cultural attraction in the city of Utrecht. Art and culture are central to this museum. Both old and modern art are combined here in a special way. Also in terms of costumes, old and new are intertwined. In addition to the 18th century costumes, you can also find creations by the fashion duo Victor & Rolf. With a visit to this museum you get a great picture of the city of Utrecht and its history. The Miffy Museum and the Rietveld Schröder House are part of the Central Museum.
#7. Ouwehands Zoo
The beautifully landscaped Ouwehands Dierenpark is located in the town of Rhenen. In 1919 Mr. Cor Ouwehand started a chicken farm at this location. Soon animals such as pheasants, peacocks and raccoons were added. And so slowly the idea of a zoo was born. Today, the surface has expanded to over twenty hectares and attracts thousands of visitors every year. The giant pandas Xing Ya and Wu Wen can be regarded as major crowd pullers of this fascinating animal park. For some of the visitors, these rare, beautiful animals are the reason to specifically come to Ouwehand.
#8. Railway Museum
The city of Utrecht has been an important rail hub within the Netherlands for many years. It is even so bad that if Utrecht Central Station has problems, train traffic in a large part of the country will be disrupted. It is almost self-evident that in a city like Utrecht there is a museum that shows the history of the railways and trains in the Netherlands. The Railway Museumis now located in and around the former Maliebaan station. It is a broadly oriented museum in which all facets of railways and trains are reviewed. Of course you can see different train sets here in real life, such as various steam locomotives from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and electric trains including the Hondekop and the Sprinter.
Nowadays you can reach the Railway Museum by train. This is possible via a special shuttle service that runs from Utrecht Central Station to Utrecht Maliebaan. This happens every hour, during the opening hours of the Railway Museum. You no longer need to buy a special ticket for this. Since Utrecht Maliebaan is a regular rate point, you can pay for the journey via your public transport card.
#9. Slot Zeist
Slot Zeist is one of the most beautiful castle complexes in the Netherlands. For a glimpse into life during the ‘Golden Age’ you really have to visit this beautiful castle. The long driveway is a harbinger of what lies beyond. The rooms are fully equipped in style as it must have been around the 17th century. In the past, there were still exhibitions to admire. Nowadays you can visit Slot Zeist as a hotel guest, conference visitor or catering guest. The adjoining garden and water feature are a feast for the eyes.
#10. Fort near Vechten
The Fort near Vechten dates back to 1869 and covers an area of 17 hectares. The fort consists of about twenty-two buildings including guard buildings, a bombproof barracks and an outer fort. It is part of the New Dutch Waterline. This is a kind of water wreath that used to be often placed around important cities for protection.