Plenty of people visit the Netherlands for Amsterdam - but beautiful cities, villages, and towns are less than an hour away.
Utrecht, one of the oldest and most important cities in the country, is only 30 minutes by train. If you're looking for a day trip, or a cheaper place to stay and a central location from which to explore the rest of the Netherlands, Utrecht is your best choice.
Here's my pick of five things to do if you're a first time visitor. (If you go, make sure to check out TRVL's selection of hotels in Utrecht).
Dom van Utrecht
The Dom van Utrecht is the most iconic building in the city. The church, which was built in 1254, has a tower that can be spotted from miles away (just check out the photo above).
At 112 meters it’s the tallest building in Utrecht; take a tour and get an awesome view of the city from the top of the tower.
A museum dedicated to the work of Dick Bruna, the man famous for the creation of the cartoon character Miffy. Known as Nijntje in Dutch, the museum is perfect for kids and adults will get a kick out of it too.
Utrecht, like Amsterdam, still has an active canal network. Take a stroll through the center of the city and enjoy the old, protected canals and the historic buildings surrounding them.
If you’re into sport, check out a game at FC Utrecht, the city’s soccer team. They play every other weekend in the Stadion Galgenwaard, and tickets aren’t expensive. It’s the perfect way to let off some steam and meet a bunch of locals.
In the Spoorwegmuseum you'll find a whole load of interesting stuff about trains that you both never knew and didn’t know that you wanted to know. In the center of the city, it's in a beautiful, old building and - as well as lots of weirdly cool train factoids - has plenty of actual trains as well.