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Utrecht

Culture & History

Our most recommended Utrecht Culture & History

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 14 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 and 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

Silver Betrayal is one of the best-rated city games of Utrecht. Prepare to solve riddles, answer questions, and unlock hidden augmented and virtual reality elements. In just 1 hour, you'll get a peek into the history of this beautiful 900-year-old city. The story begins with you following a hard-working family man during a typical working day in the 17th century. But what starts out as a normal day, soon takes a turn for the worst. Help find out what's happening and who's responsible before it's too late. Choose to play with 1-3 players or in several smaller groups to compete against each other. You can stick together as a group because you'll walk the same route. You decide when to start and when to take a break. The mix of freedom and adventure makes this city game the perfect outing during your city trip.

Utrecht: De Haar Castle Gardens Entrance Ticket

6. 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: Private or Public Off-The-Beaten Path Walking Tour

7. Utrecht: Private or Public Off-The-Beaten Path Walking Tour

Join a walking tour of Utrecht and its iconic Dom Tower, churchyards, the medieval city center, and more. Explore some of the most beautiful tree-lined canals of Europe with a local guide from a multiple award-winning tour operator. Meet your guide at Domplein, the city's main square in the heart of the city center. Embark on a walking tour through the old city center with your private party or, a maximum of 5 other travelers if you choose the small-group public walking tour. Learn about the city’s history that started around 2,000 years ago when Utrecht was part of the Limes, the Roman Empire’s northern border. Follow cobbled streets and churchyards, all leading to what has been the city’s main artery for centuries, the 1.5-mile-long old canal or Oudegracht. See the string of cafes and restaurants nearby. Make way to the Gothic Dom Church that with its dominating tower that is Utrecht's pride and joy and the last stop of your tour. Listen to interesting stories about the gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral before saying goodbye to your guide. After the tour, you can climb up the 495 steps or take the lift to the tower's top to experience an amazing bird’s eye view of the city. Click 'book' now to see both the private and public option!

Utrecht: Centraal Museum Entrance Ticket

8. Utrecht: Centraal Museum Entrance Ticket

Discover art, design, fashion, and city history in the Centraal Museum Utrecht, the oldest municipal museum in the Netherlands. The museum aims to expand your mind by offering different perspectives on the present and the past and through special events and activities. Immerse yourself in fashion as you walk through exhibits that display important garments from the last hundred years. There are famous items on display by world-renowned designers such as Jan Taminiau and Iris van Herpen. Get a real feel for the graphic designer, visual artist, and children’s book author Dick Bruna and see his faithfully reconstructed studio inside the museum. His best-known creation is Miffy (or, in Dutch: nijntje).  Marvel at the skillful use of color and the intriguing themes of the internationally renowned Caravaggisti painters of Utrecht, including Dirck van Baburen, Gerard van Honthorst, and Hendrick ter Brugghen. Visit the contemporary art stages inside and outside the museum displaying contemporary artists and their artwork on topical issues in today’s society. The Expo 10, named ‘Utrecht Lokaal’, is devoted to presenting both exciting new talents and established artists from the city of Utrecht. The design collection includes the renowned (and the world’s largest) Rietveld collection. In addition to the world-famous Red and Blue Chair, you can view a diverse selection of works by this versatile designer and architect. Centraal Museum also has an impressive collection of modern art from 1850 - 1950, with works by famous artists such as Gustave Courbet, along with Utrecht artists including the surrealist Joop Moesman and magic realist Pyke Koch.  Learn more about the city of Utrecht, with its rich history and varied population. There are portraits of Utrecht’s citizenry throughout the ages and also the remnants of a huge medieval barge.

Utrecht: A Secret Crusade City Exploration Phone Game

9. Utrecht: A Secret Crusade City Exploration Phone Game

A Secret Crusade is one of the funnest experiences in Utrecht! You solve riddles, answer questions and unlock hidden augmented- and virtual reality elements. In about 1 hour you'll get a peek into the history of this beautiful 900-year-old city. Discover the most beautiful sights in the most adventurous way. During this game you'll follow the story of Pope Adrianus VI. The only Dutch pope in history, died in 1523 after having reigned for only one year. His death was reported to be the result of a fatal illness. However, things are not always as they seem... The game starts at Kromme Nieuwgracht 49, Utrecht and also ends near this location. Take breaks in between challenges to have some drinks or food. The mix of freedom and adventure makes this city exploration game the perfect outing during your city trip!

Amsterdam Castle & Utrecht City - Private Day Tour

10. Amsterdam Castle & Utrecht City - Private Day Tour

After being collected from your accommodation, your private guide will drive you directly to the Muiderslot, also known as “Amsterdam Castle”. Your professional and certified guide will take you around through this beautiful castle with its unique collection. They will inform you of its impressive history and strategic importance, as you observe the castle and its gardens. Following the castle visit, your guide will drive through the idyllic countryside beside rivers, passing country mansions, windmills, and farmland in the direction of Utrecht. In this graceful city your guide will show you the highlights of the city center throughout a walking tour. On your walking tour you will get to see the highlights of Utrecht, such as the massive Domtoren, the unique canals, the Pope House, and hidden cloisters. Throughout the duration of your tour you will also learn a lot about the interesting history of the Netherlands and Europe. Depending on the opening hours of The Muiderslot, the tour can begin in Utrecht instead. Following this inspiring journey, your guides will happily drop you off at your hotel, the boat pier, or Schiphol Airport.

Frequently asked questions about Utrecht Culture & History

What are other things to do than Culture & History that are worth visiting in Utrecht?

The other unmissable things to do in Utrecht are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Utrecht

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What people are saying about Utrecht

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 58 reviews

The venue is fabulous. The castle is truly an amazing place to visit, fully furnished. Convenient and very close car parking. Efficient and clean facility. Really recommended to spend a few hours in a timeless place.

If you want to hear interesting facts about Utrecht, take a boat trip. As a real Utrechter I experienced it as super fun to hear things from the water that I didn't know about Utrecht yet

The castle and grounds were lovely. The staff were very helpful. Was a lovely day out.

It was a nice boat trip, which I find interesting that there are different trips

We had a lot of fun following this virtual game through Utrecht.