Things to do in Utrecht

Our most recommended things to do in Utrecht

Utrecht: City Canal Cruise

1. Utrecht: City Canal Cruise

See the highlights of Utrecht's medieval inner city during a cruise on the Oudegracht canal. Learn about the city's history as you pass centuries-old buildings, canal houses, wharf cellars, and the Dom Tower. Exchange your voucher at the ticket office and collect your audioguide. Then, descend the 21 steps to the waterside to board your boat. Once you are settled, the boat will set off along the Oudegrachtn (Old Canal). Admire the oldest part of the city, which dates back to Roman times. Then, pass the highest church tower in the Netherlands, the Dom Tower. Marvel at other significant historical buildings along the route. After half an hour, arrive at the city's outer moat, a former defensive structure. Learn about the old strongholds and casemates there. Take photos of the beautiful Zocherpark. See the Railway Museum or Hoog Catharijne, the largest mall in the Netherlands, from the water. Return to the Oudegracht canal and watch people enjoying themselves on the wharves. Try and spot the typical wharf cellars. Once back on dry land, you will have a good idea of what you want to visit next.

Utrecht: De Haar Castle and Park Entrance Ticket

2. Utrecht: De Haar Castle and Park Entrance Ticket

Immerse yourself in history at iconic De Haar Castle. Admire its picture book medieval architecture, see its opulent interior, learn about the famous guests who have stayed there, and explore its tranquil grounds. Encounter a medieval fortress with towers and ramparts, moats, gates, and drawbridges. Marvel at the setting as the fairytale-like castle rises majestically from parkland filled with impressive trees, old gardens, and ponds. Take a walk in its tranquil parklands. Visit the Rose Garden or Roman Garden. Discover its ponds and canals, as well as the many bridges, romantic vistas, and impressive avenues ideal for long walks or picnics.

Utrecht: The Monster Mystery Exploration Game

3. Utrecht: The Monster Mystery Exploration Game

Play a real-world quest in Utrecht as a monster hunter who is tasked to find an elusive beast that threatens the city. Solve the clues you receive on your smartphone and save the people of Utrecht. Along the way, you will find new locations and unlock amazing stories. After you buy the quest, you will receive an access code that you can use in the app. The quest will take you from 1 to 2-hours to complete, but there’s no time limit, you can finish it at your own pace. You won’t need a guide, just download the app, go to the starting point and you’re ready to go on a city exploration adventure. As you solve the clues, you'll discover new locations and stories. This game is one of the most unique ways to have fun whilst acquainting yourself with the marvelous city of Utrecht. It's a fantastic game for families and groups of friends. If you are a large group, one person can purchase access for the entire group by selecting the number of people in the group. All group members will be able to play the city game on their smartphone. Alternatively, each person can purchase their own ticket. You can play as a group and solve the clues together as you walk, or you can split into smaller groups/teams and compete against the others. Each person can also play on their own, separate from the group, and meet the group at the end.

Utrecht: City Highlights Exploration Game

4. Utrecht: City Highlights Exploration Game

Discover Utrecht’s fascinating history and attractions while solving clues around the old town. By solving this coming-of-age quest, you’ll fall in love with the city’s unique charming spirit. Each clue will lead you from one place to another by providing you with exact directions, so you won't need a map, GPS, or guide. As you solve the problems and guess the answer, the secret stories of Utrecht slowly become unlocked. The game will take you about 2 hours to complete, but there’s no time limit. You do not need a guide - just download the app, go to the starting point, and begin the adventure. If you are a large group, one person can purchase access for the entire group by selecting the number of people in the group. All group members will be able to play the city game on their smartphones. You can play as a group and solve the clues together as you walk, split into smaller groups and compete against each other, or each person can play on their own.

Utrecht: Silver Betrayal - City Exploration Game

5. Utrecht: Silver Betrayal - City Exploration Game

Dive into a (partly) fictional story of Utrecht in the 17th century. You follow Jan, a hard working family man on a typical day of work in 1622. What starts out as a normal day, soon takes a turn for the worst. Help Jan by finding out what's happening and who's responsible. He needs your help. On your route you'll get a peek in the history of Utrecht and discover sights and buildings that are either gone or repurposed. Utrecht has one of the most beautiful old city centers of europe. With this game the city gets an extra layer thanks to storytelling, gamification, augmented and virtual reality. It’s time to discover the city in a whole new way! You decide when to start and when to take a break. The adventure and flexibility makes this city game one of the best activities for during your stay in Utrecht.

Utrecht: Guided Lumen Walking Tour

6. Utrecht: Guided Lumen Walking Tour

Discover Utrecht's magical nighttime lights on a guided walking tour. Listen to the background behind the light art, learn about the sights you see, and spot subtle messages in the art. Meet your guide at the Academy building on Domsquare and walk together with the guide to explore of Utrecht Lumen's artistic light stimuli. The tour goes through the city centre of Utrecht, for example the ancient Roman Castellum Wall, made out of light. Or Pausedam to enjoy the animated glowing video in the windows, the light and sound display at the St. Jans Church and stop at the hidden Drift Vaults. Head to Near the Ganzenmarkt a Tunnel with illuminating lights gives a beautiful sight of the tunnel. Walk over Utrecht's bridges and marvel at the light playing on them. The tour will finish at the Domsquare.

Utrecht: National Railway Museum Admission Ticket

7. Utrecht: National Railway Museum Admission Ticket

The Dutch Railway Museum, also known as the Het Spoorwegmuseum, is your chance to explore the wonderful world of trains. Explore the museum's extensive collection of locomotives, carriages, scale models, steam engines, paintings, and railway material and objects. Visitors to the Railway Museum enter through the fully restored historic Maliebaan Station built-in 1874. While in the museum, you can see the impressive SS 13, also known as De Bril. While you're at the Railway Museum, visit its 3 saloon coaches and the authentic Royal waiting room. Take a behind-the-scenes look at a railway yard throughout the age of steam. Walk along with the Maliebaan Station platform and visit the Model Stockroom, which is filled with a collection of railway models. Take a ride on the Steel Monster and explore under, between, and above steam engines. Visit the Techlab while at the Railway Museum and learn everything there is to know about electric trains.

From Amsterdam: Private Day Trip to the Dutch Castles

8. From Amsterdam: Private Day Trip to the Dutch Castles

Get picked up from your accommodation by your professional guide and head first to Muiden Castle. Commissioned by Count Floris V in 1280, this 13th-century castle is one of the oldest in The Netherlands. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Muiden Castle is a quintessential medieval castle accessible only by drawbridge and featured in a number of shows and films set in the Middle Ages. Next up is De Haar Castle, the largest castle in the Netherlands once privately owned by the van Zuylen family. Learn about the fascinating history of the castle while you tour the exhibitions in its interior as well as the park and beautiful gardens surrounding it. Get driven back to your accommodation after the tour.

Utrecht: De Haar Castle Gardens Entrance Ticket

9. Utrecht: De Haar Castle Gardens Entrance Ticket

Visit the tranquil landscaped parklands of the famous De Haar Castle. Discover its ponds and canals, as well as the many bridges, romantic vistas, and impressive avenues ideal for long walks or picnics. Explore castle grounds which are over 55 hectares in size. Encounter calming areas like the park forest and the former menagerie, ideal for an attractive private walk. Explore features like the maze, the large deer park, the romantic covered bridge, and the picnic meadow. Walk amongst some 7,000 trees, some of which are up to 140 years old. Visit areas like the Roman Garden, with its Ha Ha rampart, or see the Rose Garden, containing over 1,200 roses in 79 different varieties which bloom beautifully every summer.

Utrecht: Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Audio Tour

10. Utrecht: Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt & Audio Tour

Get to know Utrecht at your own pace on this interactive scavenger hunt walking tour played on your phone. Decipher riddles, interact with the most important attractions of the city, and unlock interesting facts. After downloading the scavenger hunt tour on your mobile device (via a link and login credentials received upon booking), use the mobile app and integrated maps to reach 10 of Utrecht’s most important attractions on foot. At each stop, learn about the attraction and solve a location-based riddle that can only be solved if you reach the specific location. Use logic, imagination, observation, and team spirit to unlock the correct code and reveal the next destination of the tour. Start the activity whenever you like and enjoy the flexibility to pause your game at any time to take a break, snap the perfect photos, stop for lunch, or visit a museum. Choose to continue the tour later or save the rest for another day. In the history-filled city of Utrecht you will first visit the beautiful Oude Mannen En Vrouwenhuis. Then the unique Museum Speelklok and then the irreplaceable Oudegracht. This wonderful route continues to the Utrecht University Hall. As a fifth stop you will find the Dom Tower. As you continue your walk through the city you will find the interesting St Martin's Cathedral. Of course, the Pieterskerk could not be missing from this tour. In addition, you will also admire the Park Lepelenburg. The penultimate destination is the enviable Joods Monument. While the icing on the cake of this unique tour could not be other than the Railway Museum. Download the ‘’World City Trail ‘’ app from the store. You will receive a serial key via SMS , What’s app and email in order to login. Then start your tour and enjoy!

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What people are saying about Utrecht

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 554 reviews

It was a lovely autumn day so great time for the boat tour & to get out in the country. Pick up and drop off were good for us. Only difficulty for us was access on & off boat. Also, we would suggest option of some photo ops in small towns instead of the lunch.

Great tour, informative, our Captain was friendly and funny and the boat ride was comfortable. Only 4 people on board so he went out of his way to make the experience more personal for us

Great little boat trip. Very picturesque and really informative. Great value for money, would definitely recommend

Good to go for the first boat trip of the day, good to get an idea of Utrecht before exploring on foot.

The best tour we’ve had so far! So informative. It’s a must for getting to know the city!