Here’s Your Local Guide to Hidden Gems and Local Treasures

What to do in Utrecht


Thinking of moving to Utrecht? We’re here to tell you all about its hidden gems and why it’s such a wonderful city. Built around the Dom tower which peaks above the city from any standpoint, Utrecht is a town steeped in history with fascinating architecture but also great little coffee spots, wine bars, clubs, museums and more. In this blog we’ll share our favourite places and why we believe Utrecht is a great city for student living. Let’s get started!

Great coffee spots in Utrecht

What better way to start the day than with a delicious breakfast and a cup of specialty coffee? If you’re a sucker for great coffee, Utrecht’s the place to be. The city offers many places where you can get that ‘caffeine fix’ so check out the following list of some of the best spots to get properly brewed and heavenly coffee:

Coffeebar Ludwig is definitely the place for both a great cup of coffee and a variety of different cakes to pair with it. The coffee bar is located at the heart of the Universiteitskwartier, so get yourself an excellent cup of cortado, cappuccino or caffe latte in between classes. Who would say no to that?

De Ontdekking translates to ‘the discovery’ and there’s no better way to describe this hidden gem in Utrecht. De Ontdekking has got many cute seats, corners and study spots. Be careful: you can get lost very easily at De Ontdekking. Here’s a little map: take a right at the bar and there’s Europe. From Europe you can either go up, to Asia, or down to Africa. The stairs at the bar take you to South America.

‘T Koffieboontje was established by three friends and this coffee bar has a very friendly character. Coffee enthusiasts can enjoy various coffee workshops but it’s also a place to chat, study, read a book, and so much more.

30ml serves specialty coffee and all-day brunch, music to our ‘foodie’ ears. They have their own coffee roastery which gives them full control on the production process so if you’re a self-respecting home-brewed coffee lover, buy a bag of their roasts and enjoy a great cup at home too.

Must-visit Museums in Utrecht

If you describe your perfect Sunday, are museums on your to-do list? They should be if you’re living in Utrecht! Whether you love arts or architecture, Utrecht is the ideal place to stimulate your soul. Utrecht’s got a variety of different museums and we’ve picked out some of our must-visits:

Huis Doorn is a manor house and national museum in Doorn, in the province of Utrecht. It was built in the 9th century and then rebuilt twice in the 14th and 19th centuries. The gardens were also created in the 19th century and are particularly beautiful in the Summer months. Looking for some regal interior inspiration? The residence is arranged with an early 20th century interior from the time when former German emperor Wilhelm II lived there.

Utrecht University Botanical Gardens are open between 1st March – 30th November and hold a beautiful tropical butterfly festival. The botanical gardens are located near the Utrecht Science Park, so it’s a perfect get-away to visit in-between classes.

Centraal Museum is the city’s hub for breathtaking art, design, fashion and history. It offers just about everything a museum-enthusiast could wish for and there’s a nice bonus: the museum also contains the personal studio of Dick Bruna, the creator of ‘Nijntje’, better known as ‘Miffy’. In addition to that, the museum also has the record of oldest city collection in the Netherlands.

The Domtoren is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands and stands at the spot where the city originated almost 2,000 years ago. It can be viewed from about every standpoint throughout the city but if you’re feeling extra energetic, you could also climb the stairs to the very top. The breathtaking views are well worth it.


The best restaurants for students in Utrecht

Are toasties haute cuisine? Probably. But Utrecht’s so much more than that! Utrecht’s offering in restaurants for students is *chef’s kiss*. The restaurants that made this list not only offer great food, but also a good atmosphere and most importantly they won’t break the bank. Bon appetite…

The Streetfood Club is a hip, eclectic restaurant serving Asian and Peruvian street foods with great all-day brunch options and unique cocktails. Alongside the luxury interior, The Streetfood Club serves up old-school hip-hop music so you can enjoy all the greats whilst sipping on gin and juice.

Spaghetteria Wittevrouwensingel: say buongiorno to your new favourite restaurant! If you’re a pasta enthusiast, this’ll be a weekly visit. Fresh pasta and traditional cooking are playfully combined in this vibrant environment. Have a seat at one of the large tables to have a chat with whomever you please. Benvenuto!

Orloff aan de kade is not only a great place to get some interior inspiration, but also to get breakfast, lunch and dinner. With a great view of Utrecht’s cute canals and super friendly staff, this is a cosy hideaway not to be missed and is the perfect place to visit in summer or winter. Enjoy rays of sunshine, tasty beers and fingerlicking food.

Spice Monkey is the spot to look out for when you’re in the mood for some delicious rendang. The Indonesian food scene is simply awesome, and you’ll be spoilt for choice in the inviting space of Spice Monkey. There’s also a variety of vegan and vegetarian options to enjoy.


Utrecht nightlife is #life

Jump into the best of Utrecht nightlife with cool music venues and dance scenes. Whether you’re into alternative music, techno or some good old ‘gezelligheid’ in cafes, bars and clubs, Utrecht nightlife offers something for everyone. There are plenty of fun things to do in Utrecht at night and we’ve listed out some of our favourite hot spots:

The Nobelstraat is a street filled with bars, cafes and fun. De Vrienden, Otje or de Kneus are all fantastic places to socialise on any day of the week but Thursday nights are our favourite.. maybe we just get that Friday feeling early!

Tivoli is the place for more ‘serious’ nights out. It’s a popular music and cultural centre in the Netherlands and you can enjoy plenty of food options whilst listening to indie, jazz, pop or (neo)classical music (and everything in between!) Look out for performances from your favourite bands.

Club Poema always provides an unforgettable night out and is remarkably popular amongst students. Whether you’re looking for a chilled catch up with friends or a big night out, Club Poema is always on fire. Cheers!

BASIS is located at a unique venue at the romantic canals of Utrecht and features several bars, a VOID acoustics sound system and a minimalistic lightshow. Looking to party from dusk til dawn? Check out this party hot spot.

Utrecht is a unique city full of culture, lively bars, cafes and restaurants with the opportunity to explore further easily accessible. Don’t forget to tag us in on Instagram at @canvas_utrecht with your favourite moments in the city – we love hearing all about what our residents are up to.


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