Welcome to Utrecht
It's hard not to fall in love with Utrecht, one of the Netherlands' oldest urban centres and for centuries its religious heart. Now a vibrant university city, the compact medieval core radiates out from the iconic 15th-century Domtoren, ringed by a loop of very pretty tree-lined canals. Their central sections have distinctive double-level sides inset with what were once medieval warehouses – many now forming fascinating venues to eat, drink, dance or sleep, with terrace-walkways that extend right to the waterside. The brilliant cafe culture goes well beyond the canals – Utrecht's vibrant concert schedules are a big draw and, if the budget stretches, it's worth luxuriating in one of numerous historic mansions that have been turned into indulgent boutique hotels.