Travel Stories

THE NETHERLANDS: Utrecht, Sustainability in the City

Utrecht. I like it! I spent a few days in the sustainable city, researching a feature for Homes & Antiques magazine (and eating one of the best pastel de natas of my life). The article will be published in Spring, so I can’t give too much away yet, but here are some photos and a few favourite places that I don’t think you should miss!

Climb the Dom Tower. Why? It’s really tall, has beautiful stained glass, and in the crypt there’s a roman roof tile with cats paw print in the clay!

Take a walk along the Catharijnesingel. Why? It was a canal, then it was a motorway, and now it’s a canal again!

Visit Neude Library. Why? It’s an architectural wonder! The arched glass ceiling, the huge stone carvings, the tiles shaped like pigeons in flight!

Catch a tram to Hof van Cartesius. Why? It’s a whole complex of business spaces built from reclaimed materials. And there’s a nice cafe restaurant too.

Have a drink in Café Olivier. Why? It’s a Belgian beer cafe in an old hidden church, and it’s beautiful. 

Winkel van Sinkel. Why? It’s a striking building with a great history as the first department store in The Netherlands, now it’s a grand cafe-restaurant with a lovely interior.

Take the Vegan Food Tour. Why? No arguing, just do it! You’ll learn lots about Utrecht as you go, and you’ll get to experience some of the best foodie spots in the city. Also, pastel de nata.            

Top it all off with a night at Grand Hotel Karel V. Why? You’ll sleep well knowing that dozens of monks slept here too.


I was a guest of, and travelled with, Visit Netherlands, along with a small group of lovely journalists. As always, my opinions are my own (but my knowledge of pastel de nata eating competitions is limited, so hook me up!)

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