18 Things to See, Do, Taste, and Experience in Utrecht

klmmapI’m always singing the praises of Utrecht and encouraging people to visit this beautiful, historic, and vibrant city, so it only seems right that I make a handy map of some of the places and things visitors should see. So here’s a map of 18 places in Utrecht that you should see, including museums, sculptures, parks, restaurants (which, of course, includes Vino Veritas), and historic points of interest. It is, by no means, a complete listing and hopefully I’ll be able to add on to it as the spirit moves me. Did I leave out one of your favorite must-see spots in Utrecht? Tell me what you think is a must-see.

Thanks to KLM for doing the technical creation of this map for me, while letting me use my own words and photos. They were kind enough to let me focus on Utrecht, instead of Amsterdam, after I pointed out how quick and easy it is to get to Utrecht from Amsterdam. Fly into Schipol Airport with KLM and hop on one of the many trains to Utrecht. You’ll be here in just half an hour!

Mapping Utrecht With Tourists and Locals

Locals and Tourists #50 (GTWA #145): Utrecht
(Map by Eric Fischer)

By now, you’ve probably come across self-proclaimed map geek Eric Fischer and his series of maps that explore everything from race to social media usage. Even if you don’t recognize his name, you may well recognize the maps themselves. Using data from sites such as Flickr and Twitter, as well as Census data, Fischer creates maps of individual cities so that the information creates patterns that are both new and recognizable.

His most popular series is Locals and Tourists, which was even included in a Museum of Modern Art exhibition in 2010. In the past, when I’d looked at some of the images, the list of cities was limited, although they do cover cities around the world. However, today I came across the full set and discovered that Utrecht was included! In this case, as you can see from the image above, he’s included the whole region of Utrecht, not just the city. In fact, the city is that small, colourful section on the bottom left. If you click through to see the large or original sizes and focus in on Utrecht, you can begin to easily recognize the inherent map of the city.

The red dots are photos taken by tourists, while the blue dots are taken by locals. I like to think I’ve contributed quite a few of those blue dots! Not surprisingly, the areas most heavily marked by the red tourist dots follow the path of the Oudegracht, with one of the other heavily marked tourist areas being the train station and convention center.

If you’d like to read more about Fischer, I found this article to be interesting and informative. I also recommend simply going through the various sets in his Flickr account.