The hidden gems of Utrecht

Dieuwke de Boer
Share:

 Utrecht is full of hidden gems. Dieuwke, Chief Editor of the MAG Utrecht, tells you all about it. 

EXtuin is a great outdoor art initiative, thought up by the people behind EXbunker (a tiny gallery located in a former World War II bunker in Wilhelminapark) and EXboot (another tiny gallery in a former brothel boat on Nijverheid). As long as the doors of these two galleries are still shut, they’re giving up-and-coming artists the chance to exhibit new work in Utrecht front gardens along popular walks. Perfect for an arty, COVID-proof afternoon walk!

Roman fort

Another good tip is Castellum Hoge Woerd in Leidsche Rijn. It’s a modern renovation of the Roman fort that stood here between 40 and 400 AD. The walls of the fort, the roads you walk along, the bathhouse, the river course are all in exactly the same place, and are exactly the same size, as the originals. You can also check out the gardens and nature playground of urban farm Steede Hoge Woerd while you’re there. The CastellumCafé is open for a coffee to go.

Green oasis

Although Fort aan de Klop is still in town, it’s a beautiful green oasis. The fort was built on the River Vecht, close to the Overvecht district. You can camp in the grounds, spend a night in the inn or just come and enjoy the natural peace and tranquillity. Above all, it’s the perfect spot to spend a sunny afternoon enjoying a drink and a bite to eat on the large outdoor terrace.

Hop on your bike

Talking about forts: a staggering 16 forts stand proudly in two semi-circles to the north, east and south of Utrecht. There are so many because it was tricky to flood the area around the city to keep enemies at bay. You can discover these forts by hopping on your bike. The shortest cycle route )16 kilometres) takes you from the city centre via Fort Blauwkapel to Noorderpark Ruigenhoek, where you will see Fort de Gagel and Fort Ruigenhoek. The park itself is a great place for a walk.

The show must go on

The mantra of dB’s throughout this pandemic has always been: the show must go on. They regularly stream live shows or an online DJ event. So switch on that laptop, get yourself a cold beer and tune in! And the good news is that their spacious outdoor terrace is open again. The beer selection is great and Roots Rock Kitchen will provide you with snacks. That’s your afternoon sorted then!

My tips

  • EXbunker

    Sights

    "EXtuin is a great outdoor art initiative, thought up by the people behind EXbunker."

  • "It’s a modern renovation of the Roman fort that stood here between 40 and 400 AD."

  • "Although Fort aan de Klop is still in town, it’s a beautiful green oasis."

  • "A staggering 16 forts stand proudly in two semi-circles to the north, east and south of Utrecht."