Top choice in Utrecht

Years ahead of its time, this small but uniquely conceived house was built in 1924 by celebrated Utrecht designer Gerrit Rietveld. He'd be amazed to find that it's now a Unesco-recognised monument. Visiting feels like walking into a 3D Piet Mondrian abstract, and things get especially interesting when the walls start to move. To see a contextualising video, arrive 20 minutes before your assigned tour time (booking ahead is mandatory; an eight-language audio guide is included).

Book as far ahead as possible: space constraints limit tours to a maximum of 12 visitors per hour. The ticket is also valid for the Centraal Museum, which displays many of Rietveld's trademark chairs. If you start the day at the Centraal Museum they'll give you a map and lend you a bicycle for the 1.8km ride, but you need to return it by 4.45pm. By bus take route 8 to de Hoogstraat from central stops Neude or Janskerkhof.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Utrecht attractions

1. Spoorweg Museum

0.72 MILES

Entered through a gloriously restored 1874 station with magnificent art-nouveau chandeliers, the national railway museum offers countless historic locos,…

2. Sonnenborgh Museum & Observatory


The Sonnenborgh is actually two museums in one: upstairs has an exhibit on the history of astronomy in an 1850 building that was once among the foremost…

3. Universiteitsmuseum

0.91 MILES

Utrecht University's work is highlighted through exhibitions on current research plus past glories evoked through a late-19th-century classroom, historic…

4. Centraal Museum

0.93 MILES

More than half the museum's 10 gallery-rooms feature temporary exhibitions (so check the schedules). Meanwhile the core collection takes a thought…

5. Miffy Museum

0.95 MILES

Designed to delight young children (age two to six), this bold, touch-everything play-museum celebrates beloved cartoon rabbit Miffy (or Nijntje as she's…

6. Museum Catharijneconvent


Museum Catharijneconvent has the finest collection of medieval religious art in the Netherlands – virtually the history of Christianity, in fact – housed…

7. Paushuize

1.05 MILES

You can't usually go inside unless attending a conference here, but it's well worth admiring the exterior of this splendid 500-year-old mansion which was…

8. Pieterskerk

1.07 MILES

His body has gone, but the 1054 sarcophagus of Utrecht's Prince-Bishop Bernold still lies in the crypt of the 1048 Pieterskerk. That's one of four Utrecht…