Utrecht, The Hidden Gem

It seems that with the upcoming start of the Tour de France in July and Nijntje/Miffy celebrating her 60th birthday this year, Utrecht is starting to get a bit more international attention. The latest article to make the rounds is from the Washington Post, which calls Utrecht a hidden gem in Amsterdam’s shadow. Of course, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll think this is old news. You’re all cutting edge, avant garde, and in the know. Well done!

Anyway, it’s a nice article that covers some interesting spots and businesses that make Utrecht so vibrant and interesting. The article only scratches the surface. Speaking of businesses, our Vino Veritas is starting to really pick up some steam. A big thanks to everyone who has been coming in recent weeks. And if you’re going to be visiting in July for the Tour de France, don’t forget that we’re located on Biltstraat, where part of the race will take place. Feel free to stop in for some wine and food and say hi!

But back to the article … I’m glad the author included the great story about Utca’s Finest. They do have some very cool stuff, along with some great chutzpah! The other part that stood out to me is such a small thing, but it’s often something small that can be the most entertaining. At the end of the article, there’s a list of places to stay, eat, visit, etc., and it includes the new Mother Goose Hotel. (If you can get a room with a view out of the front of the building, you’ll have a spectacular view of the Domtoren and the city hall.) The part that entertained me, in a local-knowledge kind of way, was the description of the building as a former mattress factory. This is absolutely accurate, but doesn’t begin to cover why this building is so interesting. It hasn’t been a mattress factory for more than 20 years. It’s the building’s history with squatters since then that is much more fascinating.

I wrote about the building and its history back in 2013 as the squatters were being forced out. It’s worth revisiting. There were concerns at the time that the building’s owner wouldn’t actually follow through with the developers who were looking to turn the building into a hotel. I guess the owner faced enough pressure that he had no choice, as Mother Goose opened last year.

Still, I do miss the old paintwork on the façade. The square just isn’t the same without that backbone!
Sitters or Squatters?

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6 thoughts on “Utrecht, The Hidden Gem

  1. As much as I love Utrecht and want everyone else to love it too, my selfish side wants it to remain a bit secret so as not to soon be facing huge crowds like in Amsterdam!

  2. I know what you both mean. I’m always torn about wanting to promote the city. On one hand, it’s frustrating that Utrecht and other cities don’t get more international attention. On the other hand, maybe it’s better to let everyone go to Amsterdam and make it a tourist nightmare so that the rest of us can enjoy the rest of the country. 😉 I’m sure this summer will get a big tourist influx due to the Tour de France, but hopefully it goes back to normal after that. Best of both?

  3. I don’t get out to Utrecht as much as I probably should. In fact I’m ashamed to admit that I could probably count the amount of times I have been there on one hand. It’s a great place thought from what I have seen of it.

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