The Netherlands’ central region is home to one of its oldest cities. Naturally, I bring up Utrecht. It is the ideal city for a walk because of its secret gardens, hidden courts, small lanes, green canals and city parks. I’ll expand on the eight undiscovered treasures in Utrecht today.
1. Pandhof Domkerk
One of Holland’s most well-known (and historic) churches is undoubtedly the Dom Church. The “Pandhof,” which is a bad translation for “Building Court,” sits close to the church and is a haven of tranquillity, greenery, and repose. It is a good area to sit on a bench and read a book, and is free to enter.
2. Singel and grachten (canals)
You will see canals and walls all across the city of Utrecht because it was formerly a fortified settlement. It dates back to a time when it was necessary to defend Utrecht residents from external threats.
These days, the city centre can be traversed on foot because there are numerous bridges. However, it’s unique and distinctive to see, and the city’s canals’ edges are also incredibly green.
Additionally, certain city parks, like Lepelenburg or Zocherpark, are located near the city waterways. You may see the “Bevrijdingsboom” (Tree of Freedom) in the shot above. After the Second World War ended in 1945, this tree was planted.
Park Lepelenburg and ‘Bevrijdingsboom’ are both close to Bruntenhof. It’s a charming courtyard with nice tiny buildings that still have residents inside.
4. Courtyard Nicolaikerk (Nicolaichurch)
Despite the fact that De Dom is Utrecht’s most well-known church, I also think the Nicolaichurch is really beautiful. It’s a hidden gem with its own courtyard.
The Court Yard NicolaiKerk is a great spot to hang out for leisure, food, museum visits, and church visits because of its contemporary colours and furniture designs, grass for kids to play on or to sit and rest on, and a nearby café.
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This courtyard or small square is quite populated and “normal.” The residents of Utrecht live in a beautiful square and street. Even if it doesn’t have the same history as places like the Dorstige Hartsteeg or the Pandhof Dom Church, it’s nevertheless fascinating to observe how Dutch people used to live in the past—in beautiful old homes that were frequently quite small and had bicycles everywhere.
You may find Andreashof, another undiscovered gem, nearby Oudegracht with its bicycles and boats, eateries and old trees, bustling hotspots and tranquil places.
7. Abraham Dolehof
The Sint Ursula Monastery includes the Abraham Dolehof and the adjacent Abraham Dolesteeg (“Abraham Dole-alley”). The majority of the former monastery buildings have since been demolished, but the historic chapel, which has been used as Luther Church since 1745 and is reachable by Hamburgerstreet 9, is still standing.
The magnificent large three in the centre of the hidden courtyard square on the Abraham Dolehof is also not to be missed. The Abraham Dolehof is one of Utrecht’s hidden jewels, in my opinion. Also, if you go around the city, you won’t have any trouble finding it. Only insiders are aware of it, but now you are as well.
8. Pandhof St. Marie
The Pandhof St. Marie is last but not least. The Pandhof St. Marie is located adjacent to the Conservatorium and the vibrant Mariaplaats with all of its eateries and cafés.
It is a tranquil haven in the city and is reachable via Mariahoek Street. It’s arguably the best location for plant and flower enthusiasts on our list. Bring a book, some takeout coffee or ice cream, sit on a bench and watch the birds, have a hearty conversation with a special someone, or just daydream.
This Pandhof closes for security concerns in the summer at about 8 p.m. and in the winter at around 6 p.m. It opens every day at 8 a.m.