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Tuesday, 26 January 2021
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Home City Guide Things to do A field guide to getting lost in Utrecht

A field guide to getting lost in Utrecht

Last updated 2 months ago by Michael Darmanin

As all of us know, we are in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic now. With the number of infections going up rapidly, government had to decide on another round of luckdown. There are so many international students and expats living in the Netherlands, especially in big cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht. Every possible place to meet people and hangout with them is closed and only supermarkets and takeaways are available.

However, getting locked at home for a long time might be not a really healthy option. Our cities are quiet, but still beautiful and welcoming. If we be careful and take all the precautions, then it is possible to turn this lockdown phase to our personal exploration of the city. It’s autumn after all and it’s breathtakingly beautiful!

Utrecht, being the fourth big city in the Netherlands, offers so many possibilities to sightseers and wanderers. There is no social activity going on? Fine. Jump on your bike and get lost in the generous city. This is especially for you if you are a new international in Utrecht and have not explored the city yet.

Beatrix park in Utrecht, photo by Margot Polinder on Unsplash.com

Here are some ideas about the streets and places which might be appealing to spend time in alone:

The old town: The city center of the Utrecht is quite cozy and walkable. Smaller than Amsterdam centrum, it is the place where tourists go to hang out. Now, in the absence of tourists, it is the best time to lock your bike somewhere and start walking alongside one of the canals to see where the city will guide you. Try to focus on the water, architecture and the small lights reminding us of upcoming christmas. Besides, watching people buying their coffee-to-goes will make you feel more alive.

Parks and natural attractions: Green areas are another option available now. Happily, Utrecht has a handful of them:

Stop by the griftpark just outside the city center to enjoy nature and also use the skate field, football cage and petting zoo. If you prefer to get lost in a older, greener city park, Julianapark is your option. Being one of the oldest city parks in Utrecht, Julianapark is located in Zuilen district. It is famous for the rich plants and green fields it offers. Plus, there is a farm inside and children can go play with the farm animals there. Cycling towards the north of Utrecht, you can visit Noorderpark Ruigenhoek. It offers a beautiful nature and a playground and there are forts and bunkers around which are perfect for a curious mind.

Street art: Museums and galleries are closed, but streets are still open. Apart from the magnificent architecture and nature, Utrecht offers colorful street art and murals. If you walk passed De Strakke Hand, you will notice the largest mural in Utrecht. The art work is thirty meters high and ten meters wide. Another street art, dating back to the 1978, can be found on Adelaarsstraat. ‘Ducdalf with ships‘ is the artwork which covers a big wall on the neighborhood and depicts a marine scene.

Of course, so many other samples of street art can be found in Utrecht. If you are interested to know more, check this out:

Shabnam Shirzadi
Shabnam Shirzadi
Shabnam Shirzadi is a dramatic writer and researcher based in Amsterdam. She has currently graduated in Theatre Studies from the University of Amsterdam. As a writer, she had experienced with different forms of integrating fact and fiction in her previous works to create an alternate history in our imaginations. Currently, museums, castles, and remnants of old architecture and civilization inspire her. At the same time, she tries to find her way in mythology, fiction, and drama by reading and writing about them. For her, writing is the only vehicle through which she can travel in times and spaces.

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