Domtoren bij nacht, Anne Hamers.jpeg

Utrecht, vibrant city ———

The Centraal Museum is located in Utrecht, in the cultural heart of the Netherlands. Surrounding the museum is the vibrant city centre with its Dom Tower, canals, cultural venues and Hoog Catharijne shopping centre. Read more about all there is to see and do around the Centraal Museum.

Back to the Stone Age    ———

Utrecht has a rich history that goes all the way back to the Stone Age. In 2015, archaeologists discovered traces of human habitation here dating back to 11,000 BC. Several thousand years later, in 1122, it became one of the first centres in the Low Countries to be granted city rights. To this day, vestiges of Utrecht's rich history can be seen all over town.

DOMunder, Utrecht

TivoliVredenburg   ———

Utrecht also has a thriving cultural scene. Among other things, it boasts the country's biggest concert venue for everything from pop to classical music, a railway museum (Spoorwegmuseum) with a large collection of historic trains, a musical clock museum (Museum Speelklok) with a treasure trove of mechanical instruments large and small, and a former abbey-turned-museum (Catharijneconvent) devoted to the world's religious art. And of course the Centraal Museum, including the Miffy Museum and suburban Rietveld Schröder House.

TivoliVredenburg, Hertz

Oudegracht fotograaf Jurjen Drenth.jpeg

Dom Tower: sympol of a city ———

Utrecht's Dom Tower is a Gothic structure situated a ten minute's walk from the Centraal Museum. At a dizzying 112 metres, it is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands, and visible from miles around. Built as part of the city's cathedral church between 1321 and 1382, it has been an icon and landmark ever since. Where the nave of the church used to be there is now a large square, Domplein.


Charming canals   ———

Linking the Kromme Rijn and Vecht rivers, the Oudegracht canal is the bustling lifeblood of the city. Utrecht's canals are unique, lined by a network of wharfs and wharf cellars that once supported the city's shipping industry. Originally, they served as warehouses and transshipment points for goods conveyed by water. These days, a myriad of quaint shops and inviting restaurants beckon as you stroll along the canal. Utrecht has even been declared the city with the world's most beautiful canals.

UNESCO City of Literature   ———

Last year, Utrecht was designated by UNESCO as a City of Literature. Over the years, it has been home to famous Dutch authors and poets like Arthur Japin, Ronald Giphart, Esther Jansma and Ingmar Heytze. And to Dick Bruna, whose books are still teaching millions of children around the world to read.

Missal, circa 1500, inventory number 1020

Central Station and Hoog Catharijne   ———

Utrecht's Central Station is a major hub in the country's rail network. Adjoining it is Hoog Catharijne, a shopping centre that opens onto the Jaarbeurs square at one end and Vredenburg at the other. The old complex, opened by Queen Beatrix in 1973, is now in the midst of a full-scale transformation into a world-class retail and entertainment centre.

New Dutch Waterline   ———

In the wider province of Utrecht you can visit the historic forts of the New Dutch Waterline, harking back to the country's rich tradition of water defence works. Stretching along some 85 km, the waterline consists of 45 forts, two castles and six strongholds, all linked by scenic hiking, cycling and boating routes

Waterliniemuseum Fort bij Vechten

Partnerships in the city   ———

The Centraal Museum works closely with municipal bodies to realise artworks in public spaces and conserve works in the museum's storage facilities, among other things. It also regularly contributes to the cultural Sundays organised by the city five times a year, featuring cultural activities centred in specific neighbourhoods.

Enjoy a day out in Utrecht

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