Is Utrecht underestimated?

According to the popular travel guide Lonely Planet, Utrecht ranks between Meknès in Morocco and Aberdeen in Scotland as the planet's 6th most underappreciated gem.

It proposes that Utrecht's proximity to Amsterdam is to blame for its lack of visitors. But whatever the reason for the city's misfortune, the guide strongly praises the historical town centre of Utrecht and its lively atmosphere: "this graceful city is bizarrely under-visited.

Its old town is encircled by a medieval canal, and you can hop on a boat tour to visit the city’s bustling, vibrant wharves. Built to connect the canalside with Utrecht’s impressive townhouses, today these unique spaces are filled with bohemian cafes, shops, restaurants and bars."

Utrecht also benefits from a youthful population, and a generous serving of major festival events: "In summer, Utrecht is Festival City, hosting various jazz events (you’ll see musicians on every corner) and the Netherlands Film Festival in September.

"Added to that, the city’s student community of 40.000 is the largest in the country, making it one very infectious place."

James Shaw


James Shaw

James is an assistant editor at IamExpat, and is the newest member of the team. Interests include travelling, parties, and his beloved Manchester United. From Manchester, UK, but now living...

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