In my opinion, the museum quarter is the most charming little section of Utrecht. With its hidden courtyards, medieval houses, museums, gorgeous stretches along the canals, and tons of specialty shops, what more could you want?! In no particular order, today I’m sharing some of my favourite things to do, see, and eat & drink in this neighbourhood.
Perhaps this is cliché, but I love just getting lost in this neighbourhood – weaving in and out of quaint streets and just admiring my surroundings. Agnietenstraat is of course perfect for this: those 17th century homes are too lovely to ignore! The streets around the Geerte church are also lovely. And there’s no better place to take a walk than along the singel. Just head down from Ledig Erf (perchance after a refreshing drink on the terrace?), past the Sonnenborgh observatory and Lepelenburg park. Your mind will be clearer in no time.
As the oldest shopping street in the city, Twijnstraat has lots to offer in terms of shops. Like Mooi & Belle for all of your décor needs and inspiration, Livstores for beautiful, unique clothing by Dutch designers, and Vollers386 for gifts. Perhaps my favourite of all is De Korenschoof florist. They sell the most beautiful blooms and floral arrangements, and they always decorate according to the season or occasion. I could spend hours (and far too much money) in there!
When I picture my ideal (eating) day in the city, Twijnstraat features prominently. Whenever I get a craving for a really good chocolate or macaron, I head straight to Sector 3. And I also love the awesome specialty shops here – like Stalenhoef, for all of your cheese needs and desires, and perchance a great bottle of port to go with it 😉 Or the Bier Verteller, for a dizzying array of specialty beers, including lots of local picks.
Another favourite is that unassuming little grocery store Persepolis, where you can buy tons of inexpensive fresh herbs and spices, and ingredients that you wouldn’t be able to buy at the Albert Heijn – a real lifesaver if you love to experiment in the kitchen! But for an easy and delicious meal out, I’m also a big fan of Saowapa – Thai street food bursting with flavour and colour – and, of course, the classic Meneer Smakers for (veggie) burgers. And then you’re just a hop and a skip away from Zies for some excellent wine!
Of course, the museum quarter is a logical place to head to for a good dose of culture. Right off the canal is the Centraal Museum, home to a huge collection (55,000+ objects!) and host to a number of cool exhibitions. A bit further away, there’s also the Spoorwegmuseum (railroad museum), which is perfect for kids and adults alike and is sure to transport you to another time.
For classical music fans, the Nicolaï church often puts on concerts on weekends, so definitely check out their schedule here. And for those who love film, then there’s of course the Louis Hartlooper complex – they have a great and varied selection of movies, from more mainstream styles to art house films.