Utrecht in a Nutshell

Utrecht is a his­toric city with roots in the Mid­dle Ages. In recent decades, how­ev­er, numer­ous new build­ings have been implant­ed, turn­ing Utrecht into a dynam­ic mix of old and new. The city is a lit­tle Ams­ter­dam — with few­er tourists, but pop­u­lat­ed by stu­dents and criss-crossed by an incred­i­bly well-devel­oped cycling infrastructure.

A typo­log­i­cal pecu­liar­i­ty in the city cen­tre are the so-called wer­fkelders: cel­lars that pro­vide direct access to the canals. Today, they make up the spe­cial charm of Utrecht’s old city cen­tre. The old town cen­tre has seen some inter­est­ing trans­for­ma­tion and new con­struc­tion projects in recent decades, includ­ing the Tivoli Vre­den­burg music cen­tre and the for­mer main post office, which has been con­vert­ed into the pub­lic library. Beyond the old city cen­tre, Utrecht boasts the largest rail­way sta­tion in the Nether­lands, includ­ing a bicy­cle garage with 12,000 spaces, and the orig­i­nal res­i­den­tial dis­trict of Wisselspoor.

On this tour, you will expe­ri­ence all facets of the city cen­tre, from old canal hous­es and new pub­lic build­ings to the large-scale devel­op­ments around the cen­tral station.

Pre­vi­ous slide
Next slide

Programme: Utrecht City Centre

  • Cathe­dral square with bell tower

  • Oude­gracht, main canal with mer­chant hous­es and “wer­fkelder” basements

  • Mod­ern canal house Kromme Nieuwe­gracht (Slui­jmer en van Leeuwen, 2002)
  • Pub­lic library in the for­mer main post office (Joseph Crouwel, 1918 / Rijn­boutt, ZECC, 2020)
  • Cathar­i­j­nesin­gel: recon­struc­tion of an urban motor­way into a canal
  • Con­cert hall Tivo­liVre­den­burg (Her­man Hertzberg­er, 1979 / Jo Coenen, Thi­js Assel­bergs, NL Archi­tects, 2014)
  • Main sta­tion Utrecht Cen­traal (Ben­them­Crouwel, 2016)
  • City admin­is­tra­tion high­rise (MVSA, 2014) and Cen­tral Park office high­rise (GroupA, 2021)
  • Won­der­woods res­i­den­tial high­rise with “ver­ti­cal for­est” (Ste­fano Boeri, 2024)