Utrecht Gay City Trip: Our Weekend in the heart of The Netherlands
A Gay Couple City Weekend Utrecht – Next stop on our Dutch City Tour was Utrecht, the heart of the Netherlands. Or how the patriotic inhabitants of the so-called new Amsterdam like to say, the little sister of the Dutch capital. The charming city with its historical and simply beautiful Grachten center, great food spots, shops, and museums was great to visit in Winter time but is even more “gezellig” (Dutch word for cozy) in Summer. As you can imagine, one weekend is not enough to see all the best spots and highlights of the city of Utrecht in the center of the Netherlands.
But we as gay travel blogger gave it a try to show you our favorite places for a Gay Couple City Weekend Utrecht. Sunny or rainy, take a bike and do it like the Dutch people do and go by bike around the city. Have lunch at GYS and Dinner at The Village Coffee, get the best view over the city on the Tower Dom Toren, explore Utrecht’s hip shops with the Puha Shopping Route and learn about the history of the trains and tracks of the Netherlands during a visit of the “Spoorwegmuseum”. Enjoy our Utrecht Gay City Trip through a couple of men‘s eyes!
Het Spoorwegmuseum | Restaurant GYS | Dom Tower | Puha Shop Guide | The Village Coffee & Music | Gay Night Out
Our Utrecht Gay Couple City Trip
The fourth biggest city in the Netherlands welcomed us with blue sky and a warming Winter sun. We can truly say, it is a beautiful city. Especially when walking along the Grachten with its variety of small shops, restaurants, and cafés. As the Dutch people would probably say: the city’s feeling is ‘gezellig‘ (Dutch for cozy, pleasant). Utrecht was the cultural center and most important city in the Netherlands until the 17th century when Amsterdam took over its position as center and capital of the Netherlands later on. Nevertheless, nowadays Utrecht has a unique atmosphere, relaxed lifestyle and very open-minded and friendly inhabitants, at least, that’s how we experienced it on our Gay Couple City Weekend Utrecht.
CNN: UTRECHT is “The New Amsterdam”
… or simply Utrecht? A city doesn’t have to become necessarily like any other one, just be itself. Comparison to Amsterdam or any other city in the Netherlands is indispensable: in our eyes, every city is matchless and worth a visit for its special reasons. The Dom Tower, the Dutch Train Museum, the architecture, flair, exhibitions, and museums: Utrecht is Utrecht – the best and only compliment you should make.
Dutch Train Museum – Het Spoorwegmuseum
A train museum, why a train museum? Because it is the only one of its kind in the Netherlands, established already in 1927. The so-called Spoorwegmuseum is an interactive museum with two dark rides (one explaining the history of trains, one the so-called driver’s license), a load of information about trains for children and grown-ups and a beautifully themed environment in every detail. We entered the museum through a disused station building, like real passengers in back in time. Wonderfully restored locomotives, enough space, and places for children to discover the world of engines. The interesting facts about how the railway opened up the world of travel, not only before the airplanes conquered the travel world are fascinating. Take your time for your train trip. Tickets and Infos about the Dutch Spoorwegmuseum >
Dark Ride – “De Vuurproef” (Driver’s License)
Very special and very new is the dark ride Vuurproef. After a short waiting time, the visitors will enjoy an interactive experience “learning” to ride a train. Very detailed theming and especially interesting for children and children like us. Don’t forget to smile when the camera takes a free picture!
Lunch Break at GYS: Perfect for lunch (and dinner) and the connection between a visit of the Utrecht Shouwburg, the Utrecht Janskerk and the starting point of the Puha Shopping route! Enjoy vegetarian, vegan and meat meals in a cozy and hip atmosphere with friendly staff and a Ginger Beer.
Utrecht Domtoren – Utrecht Dom Tower
You know it already, for sure! Yes, we found our perfect spot to see the whole city from above. The highest and best place to have a view over Utrecht is the hallmark of the city at 95 meters height, the gallery of the Dom Tower of Saint Martinus (or in Dutch: Dom Toren). Good to know: The Domtoren of Utrecht is with 112 meters the highest steeple of the Netherlands. You have to take 465 steps upstairs (no lift available) to reach the top of the tower. On your way up the guide tells us about the long history of the church in Utrecht with a longer stop to see the historic bells and even higher to discover the 17th-century Hemony carillon. Here is how you climb the Dom Tower>
Puha Shop Route – Utrecht by Locals
Of course, it was not our first time in Utrecht, as we are living in Amsterdam, just a 20 minutes train ride from Utrecht. But this time, we tried to discover some special places in an otherwise familiar city. While talking to some locals beforehand, we got the tip to try the so-called Puha Shop Route, a designers guide to Utrecht founded in 2012. The very handy, free App and a small but detailed foldable booklet map guided us through all the cool, hip and independent places for design, food, drinks, art and more around Utrecht. Create your own walkthrough of the city by using the different filter options but keep your eyes open for the small treasures beside your route. All you need to know about the Puha Shop Route >
Our favorite Shops of & off Puha
Breakfast at “De Keuken van Keek”
Begin your day with a delicious, biological breakfast and good, hot cup of The Golden Coffee Box coffee at “De Keuken van KEEK”. The friendly and bright small shop provide some chairs by the window to enjoy the intense taste of the fresh handmade food. More about De Keuken van KEEK >
Design Furniture at Combo aan de Gracht
New, stylish and located in the vault of an old Grachten basement: the hip store Combo aan de Gracht truly gave us the feeling of shopping furniture deep down under the Grachten. Although we discovered this store aside from the route, it was worth the inspirational visit. More about the Combo aan de Gracht >
Hidden Magical Dom-Garden
After passing by the Dom Square, the place where before the storm in 1674 the original main part of the Dom combined the Dom tower with the rest of the church, you can enter the magical hidden cloistered courtyard. Don’t be afraid to go through the huge and impressive wooden door into a truly magical oasis of Utrecht.
Design Furniture at “Bij den Dom”
We walked towards the Janskerk. On the left-hand-side, we spotted another Design store. Special about this one: the fully equipped and well-designed example flat on the first floor and the beautiful lamps. All about the Design at Bij den Dom >
Music at Swordfish & Friend
The time for the oversized, black records seemed over a long time ago already. But to be honest, we love the crunching of the vinyl. And we are not the only ones. Good to know about the small shop Swordfish & Friend. Music from Swordfish & friend here >
Atmosphere at “Live Today – Sfeermakers”
We discovered this tiny interior shop just around the corner in the “Stadskwartier” of Utrecht. Smaller and bigger treasures from all over the world are waiting for you to finally get a new home. Take your time for a chat with the heartful friendly owner and his interesting stories. More about the interior store >
Coffee & Bread at “The Village Coffee & Music”
What about a very special, hip and Utrecht-place for a lunch, a snack or coffee? Then you should not miss the chance to get coffee-advice from the baristas while the beans are getting roasted, to smell the fresh bread out of the oven and to enjoy the very very relaxed, chill and “gezellige” atmosphere in this old former prison building it the Wolvenplein (Wolven square) not far from the city centre. The coffee and the snacks are simply amazing delicious. Coffee, Bread and more at Wolvenplein here > And if you are up for an Escape Room Experience in Utrecht, don’t hesitate to book your breakout from the Escape Room Gajes in de Bajes.
Gay & Night Drinks & Dance in Utrecht
Café Kalff: An institution for drinks on every day! Really busy in the evening hours and during drag shows and relaxed during the time in between. This “Café” is perfectly located on the Oudegracht with a terrace, “openness and friendliness” and the best in liquors, beers, sodas, and cocktails for the night!
Body Talk: A name and a motto! People from young to senior, male or female are welcome to spend a funny and relaxed time in this well-known place, that just celebrates its 29th anniversary this year. Located just on the opposite side of the Oudegracht, a switch to Café Kalff and back is always possible!
More Dutch City Trips:
Our Utrecht Utrecht Gay City Trip to the little sister of Amsterdam
After our Gay Couple city trips to Eindhoven, Groningen and Den Hague we enjoyed the over viewable but very charming city of Utrecht. It was a trip that started in the sun and ended in rain, typical for a winter weekend in the Netherlands in this time of year. We felt comfortable being around openly gay with helpful locals and a lot of tourists in the center. We will come back to see more of the warm and beating heart of the Netherlands and are already excited about showing you “the new Amsterdam” during summertime.
See you around the world!
Karl & Daan.
Do you wanna know and see more of us gay couple travel bloggers? Stay tuned on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook! See you around in Utrecht, The Netherlands and on one of our next gay pride trips around the world!