A Walking Tour of Utrecht for New Visitors (Part 2)

We’re on a journey by foot exploring some of what Utrecht has to offer. If you missed Part 1 of the journey where we made our way from Utrecht Centraal to Griftpark, you can catch up on the route here. Now let’s head onwards!

Griftpark to Park Lepelenburg (Distance: 1.3km)

Yes, there’s going to be a lot of parks because that’s just the way I like it. But really, after seeing how well-kept and gorgeous they are, I’m sure you’d enjoy it as much as I do too. From Griftpark, we’ll walk towards the Jeugdtheaterschool (Youth Theater School) and Stadsschouwburg (Municipal Theatre Utrecht), the largest theater building in the city where performing arts, music and dance acts take place.

This is another thing about Utrecht I love. The arts and creative scene here is absolutely alive and thriving! With venues such as these, along with the festivals, schools, events and communities that exist in the city, it’s an absolute haven.

Just about 100 meters away is Kelly’s Expat Shopping where I go to find British and American groceries. Stuff that you may not necessarily be able to find that easily elsewhere in the city like clotted cream, white pudding, sticky toffee puddings, crumpets and more.

Villa Orloff’s Terrace

Perhaps at this point in the journey you’ve gotten rather thirsty, so we’ll make a stop at Villa Orloff, just by the entrance of Park Lepelenburg. It’s got a really nice outdoor terrace under some trees, with a comfy couch making it a great place nice to grab a drink and some bitterballen when the weather is forgiving.

Park Lepelenburg, proximity aside, is my favorite park around the area. Watching it transform as the seasons transition is something I thoroughly enjoy and it also gets really lively frequently with stages set up for festivals, barbeques, the occasional ice-cream man making his rounds, people doing yoga, reading a book or simply enjoying the sun. And about 5 minutes away, you’ll find the Het Spoorwegmuseum (Train Museum) which often draws many curious visitors interested in the heritage of the Dutch railways.

Park Lepelenburg to Twijnstraat (Distance: 1km)

Park Servaasbolwerk is a small park that comes after but also has a few interesting things to take note of. For instance, the Sonnenborgh Observatory which is an astronomical observatory and museum open to the public. You may also notice the Old City Wall of Utrecht nearby which dates back to the 13th and 14th century.

A walk through Park Servaasbolwerk

I recall fondly walking through this park one day to find several painters along the park, painting different spots and sceneries. They say inspiration can come from anywhere, I say inspiration definitely comes in this park. I’ll be sure to purchase a painting if I see them next!

If you’re interested in more museums, the Centraal Museum (the oldest municipal museum in the Netherlands dating back to 1830) and Nijnte Museum (if you’ve seen the world-famous little Miffy bunny around, Utrecht is where its creator, Dick Bruna is from) are located 5 minutes away from the park.

Heading into Twijnstraat from Louis Hartlooper Complex

As we make our way through the park, we’ll exit at the entrance of Twijnstraat – Utrecht’s oldest shopping street with almost everything you’d need! There’s a film theater called Louis Hartlooper Complex, a butcher, a fish shop, grocery stores, supermarkets, bakeries, a pharmacy, a stationary shop, specialty shops, boutiques, hair salons, a cat café and more. I’d recommend checking out the authentic Spanish grocer ‘Mimbre’ and if you’re feeling a little hungry by now, Papi’s Comfort Kitchen for some scrumptious American-inspired brunch. 

Where to next, you ask? Well, it’s the last leg of our walking journey and we’ll make our way back to Utrecht Centraal through Twijnstraat and Oudegracht. You can find that on Part 3 of this Utrecht Walking Tour!

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