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Utrecht is in the centre of the Netherlands. All the iconic Dutch sights and popular cities can be reached from here in around an hour. Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. Due to its long history, Utrecht has an important historical centre, most of which is still surrounded by a canal.

Utrecht's historical centre

Utrecht has the largest number of national monuments after Amsterdam and Maastricht. The most distinctive building is the 112-metre-high Domtoren (Cathedral Tower), which gives Utrecht the name Cathedral City. From the top of the Domtoren you have a fabulous view over Utrecht and its surroundings. Another important feature of the city centre are the picturesque canals. The Oudegracht and Nieuwegracht canals run from north to south. A unique attraction of these very old canals is the quays and wharf cellars that run along them at water level.

Shopping in Utrecht

In the atmospheric narrow streets you can find little boutiques as well as big department stores. The great things about shopping in Utrecht are that the centre is very compact, shops are open seven days a week, and you can enjoy shopping even in bad weather. Hoog Catharijne is the biggest shopping centre in the Netherlands, with more than 150 shops.

Utrecht Central Station

Waiting for a train in Utrecht is never boring. With 57 million travellers a year, Utrecht Central Station is the largest and busiest station in the Netherlands. It also merges seamlessly with Hoog Catharijne and you can find numerous places for lunch, coffee shops and fresh take away restaurants. The station area is undergoing a facelift in order to make the station and the ancient heart of the city into a harmonious whole. Apollo Hotel Utrecht City Centre is right between the Central Station and the old city centre.

Going out in Utrecht

There are many young people in Utrecht. More than 64,000 students study at one of the universities or other institutions of higher education. During the week, you will often meet these students in the city’s pubs. At weekends the dance floor is open to everyone and the fun goes on into the wee hours. The centre is full of pubs and cafés, but for a special event you should go to the TivoliVredenburg contemporary music complex. This striking building on the Vredenburg is the centre for music in Utrecht, with the best parties, concerts and festivals.

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