Located in the heart of the Netherlands, the city of Utrecht boasts a long history, dating back to the Roman Empire. As part of an extensive military building project, the Romans built a fort near the Rhine in 50 AD. This fort, now the location of the central Dom Square, developed into a major centre of religion, learning and culture.
Today, Utrecht is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, as well as the home of Utrecht University, the largest university in the country. Of its 350,000 inhabitants, 60,000 are students, and the city is an important educational and research hub. Utrecht’s historical monuments include the famous gothic tower of the Dom Church, an impressive collection of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque churches, several museums, and the UNESCO world heritage Rietveld Schröder House. The medieval city centre itself, with its unique system of historical canals, wharfs, and bridges, forms the vibrant heart of the city. Many of the majestic city castles have been rebuilt into hotels and restaurants and the old storage areas along the canals are now the place to be for cosy cafés, trendy retail concepts and restaurants offering a broad range of cuisines.
With plenty of sun, early July is the perfect time to visit Utrecht and enjoy the city’s many green areas, as well as the adjacent countryside with its meandering rivers, polders, and woodlands.
The excellent rail connections to Schiphol Amsterdam Airport (30 minutes by train), Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Hague, as well as easy connections to major European cities such as London, Brussels, Paris and Berlin, make Utrecht an ideal location.