A definitive guide to find accommodation, as told by locals
Last updated: November 2017
How to rent a place in Utrecht
Living and studying in the city of Utrecht is absolutely amazing. Before getting ready to move to Netherlands’ second best city, here we provide you with some useful tips. To make you the best temporarily ‘Utrechter’ possible. This is definitely a city you will not get bored of easily. There are plenty of daily student activities. You can think of comedy nights, trips and of course student parties! Unfortunately, it is somewhat difficult to find a place to live. The city is very popular among expats, students and families. It is strongly advised to start searching for accommodation as soon as possible. We are here to simplify your accommodation search in a secure way. So that you only have to worry about packing. Feel free to check the available rooms at Housing Anywhere. We hope to welcome you very soon!
Hi everyone! My name is Giuditta and on this page I'll give you some insights into Utrecht. I was born in Italy and I have studied my Master’s degree in Foreign Languages and Literature at the Rijksuniversiteit of Groningen. I lived in Belgium, Denmark and France. Living in a new city is a unique experience and I know how difficult it could be at first. It is about finding your way in a complete different surrounding. But no worries, I am here to help you find the best neighborhoods to live, the best food to eat and the places to be. Read this simple “guide” and after that enjoy your stay in the magical city of Utrecht and... embrace the Change!
Living in Utrecht and its neighbourhoods
When moving to The Netherlands bring an open-minded attitude and make sure your time management is up-to-date, as they are extremely punctual. Dutchies are hard-working, straightforward and are known for their parties. It’s not a surprise that one of our best export products are our internationally known Dutch DJs.
Don’t shy away from learning some basic Dutch. The Dutch, greatly value your efforts and will help you where possible.
Checking out our country you probably noticed that we are tiny. Don’t be fooled, we do great things:
-We have the tallest people in the world
-The Dutch eat approximately 2kg of licorice annually
-70% of bacon comes from The Netherlands
-And probably the coolest one; we eat bread with chocolate sprinkles for breakfast (yes we do!)
Keep the night on
The city of Utrecht has a lot to offer nightlife-wise. Mentioning them all will take a few days. Here are some you probably want to check out. All other places you will most definitely find them as you go. Tivoli Vredenburg: Known by almost everyone in The Netherlands, is Tivoli Vredenburg. With 5 different venues it is the music-home for everyone. From the average Dutch guy or girl to the international visitor. It offers a huge variety of music performances. Such as: pop, dance, jazz and everything in-between. Check out their website for all upcoming music performances. Let the music play on!
Next one is "Nachtwinkel": One of the best places to party, located in the heart of the city center. The Saturday’s at ‘De Nachtwinkel’ are known for their weekly changing themes and sound. Also try "De Kneus": This is where you will find the students who know how to party. De Kneus is open everyday from 20.00 till 05.00. No matter which day, it’s a guaranteed party. "Olivier": Looking for a place to relax and enjoy? Try Olivier, this pub is located in an old basement. They are specialised in Belgian craft beers and serves great food as well. It’s definitely worth a visit (or two).
All I want to do is ride my bicycle
Making your way around Utrecht is easy. The most import form of public transportation in Utrecht is by bus and train. The bus easily connects you to every district in Utrecht. Whereas, the train gives you the opportunity to travel to other cities. The only thing you have left to do is figure out your route with the ov9292 app, validate your OV-chipcard and you are off. However, the most popular and easiest form of transport is by bike. On average every Dutch person owns 2 bikes, that’s over 19 million bikes! Check out online marketplaces to buy your (second hand) bike and discover transportation Dutch style.
Fun Utrecht facts
Crazy, funky facts
To get you going, here you will find some interesting Utrecht facts to impress your friends.
- Utrecht is voted to have the most beautiful canals, leaving behind Amsterdam and Venice!
- The Dom Tower is the highest church tower in The Netherlands
- It’s the city where Dick Bruna created the world famous Miffy
- It was the Dutch capital for 6 months in 1808
- Utrecht has the biggest and busiest Dutch Central Station
- They are developing world’s biggest bike park (yes a parking lot for your bike) expected to be completed mid-2017
Charming and energetic
The city center is the vibrant heart of Utrecht. It consists of five districts, each with its own character, vibe and historic ambiance. Here you can really get to know Utrecht as the locals know it. The charming streets and medieval alleys are filled with a wide range of different bars, restaurants, shops and much more. Definitely check out ‘De Neude’ square it’s filled with pubs, restaurants and wine bars. During summertime, this is one of the best places to be. Without a doubt the city center is a popular location to find accommodation. Who doesn’t want to roll out of bed and at the same time step into your new favourite bar? Unfortunately, finding a place in the city center is quite difficult. As there are long waiting lists and it can be somewhat expensive.
Popular among students
A perfect alternative to the city center is the ‘oost’ (east) neighborhood. Here you will find a lively and young community. Students mark this as the most popular location to live in Utrecht. It is just outside the center and at the same time provides a relaxed place to study. Oost is also where you can find the Utrecht Science Park. It’s not only known as the biggest science park in The Netherlands. It also organizes its own festival and marathon every year.
An attractive neighbourhood buzzing with energy
The university district - Universiteitskwartier - is particularly lively: here it is easy to find small restaurants, fun and creative bars, young atmosphere.
If you happen to Utrecht on Saturday, do not miss the usual Bloemenmarkt, the flower market, which fills the Janskerkhof square from 7.00 and 17.00.
If you want to buy some souvenir, do not forget to take a look at Lapjesmarkt, the tissue market, which always takes place on Saturday, between 8.00 and 13.00, on Breedstraat. For shopping Voorstraat and Biltstraat are very recommended, here you can find vintage clothing shops and creations of young designers.
The Utrecht’s secret
In the beautiful Stadhuiskwartier there is the largest offer in terms of shopping and accommodations. The inhabitants call it the neighborhood that well preserves secretly many shops. Behind the distinctive façade, they hide rich style boutique. Here you can find exclusive items, unique jewelry and fabulous accessories, as well as rare objects of design and outstanding culinary delights.
Of course, there restaurants and bars, offering contemporary cuisine and traditional dishes. In the back streets, very trendy wine bar and outdoor terraces are also suitable for a short break. And do not forget to check out the square De Neude, the central meeting place of the city: there may be a surprising event.
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