Europe’s Most Beautiful Canals Are in Utrecht

Paddling Down the OudegrachtAccording to the travel search engine, GoEuro, Utrecht’s canals are the most beautiful in Europe. Although Venice has long held the imagination and romance, it seems that the overwhelming tourism is causing the city to lose some of its lustre. (Though, personally, I think if you go in the off season, the stunning beauty of Venice is still quite evident.)TerraceBut I’m not going to argue with Utrecht taking top ranking. We’ve got some truly picturesque canals, and the long stretches of wharves running along the Oudegracht and Nieuwegracht really do set them apart from most other cities. Spring's Late ArrivalNo matter the size and no matter the season, there’s always something to enjoy about Utrecht’s canals. The city’s beautiful buildings are often reflected in the water, and at night, many of the canals and bridges and lit up as part of the Trajectum Lumen light show. But even the small, quiet neighborhood canals offer a tranquil spot to pause and simply enjoy the scenery.

So yes, I think Utrecht certainly earns top spot when it comes to beautiful canal cities!

ETA: GoEuro now has the article up on their site.

Boulevard Canal
ZwartewaterOpenThe BucketGolden DriftDrift at NightGolden ReflectionAlways the DomtorenAlong the CanalOudegracht/VismarktBotenAlong LucasbolwerkKromme Nieuwegracht Reflection  13|365

Sunday in Utrecht

Green Canopy
There’s a “Sundays in My City” blog theme that one of my fellow expats participates in each week. I thought I’d do one too this week. We had originally planned on going to a special autumn market taking place this weekend, but when Pippo realized we were going out, he thought he was going with us, as he has the past few weeks. In the end, we felt guilty, so we scrapped the market plan and took Pippo for a long walk instead. Well, it wasn’t as long as we originally planned. Although we started out the walk in bright, glorious sunshine (I even had my sunglasses with me), we ended the walk getting rained on most of the way home. Typical autumn weather, really.

We walked down Breedstraat toward the Oudegracht, and along the way, I saw a window with this street sign that caught my eye:
Broadway on Breedstraat
Please note that the photo is so washed out, because the sun was shining so blindingly through the trees at that point. Things soon changed once we got to Zwartewater, the area we decided to head to today. As you can see, the clouds were moving in quickly.
Cloud Cover
I managed to get a few photos of the spot I wanted to revisit.
Zwartewater Revisited
Then, as I tried to get a few photos on the other side of the bridge, the rain drops started to fall.
Zwartewater
Reflections in Blue
We headed back home along the Zwartewater canal and saw a few more lovely spots along the way.
Two Paths

Rise and Fall
By then, the rain was really starting to come down. Perfect timing, since my batteries were also dead at that point. Typically, though, by the time we returned home, the sun was coming back out and it ended up being a lovely, sunny afternoon. I hope you’ve been enjoying your own Sunday, wherever you may be!

Foto Vrijdag 1.1


A picturesque canal and quiet street toward the northwest part of the city center. It is evocatively called Zwartewater (Blackwater), although the area is nowhere near as ominous as the name. It’s one of those charming little streets/canals that make you stop and admire the view. The inclusion of the bicycle in the little rest area put the Dutchness of the scene into overload, you could say.

And here’s a closeup of the black (and green and gold) water. I loved the ripples and reflections.