Utrecht Neude
Europe Netherlands

5 Reasons Why Utrecht Is Better Than Amsterdam

Whenever I talk with some friends about my life in Netherlands, the first questions they ask me are all about Amsterdam and why, despite the fact that I work in Amsterdam, I decided to live in Utrecht. It seems that many people can just “recognize” Netherlands in Amsterdam. With this post I am going to explain you the reasons why  Utrecht is better than Amsterdam for living, I am  writing about the most important 5,  but I could list much more reasons 😀

1 – The canals.

canals utrecht

Photo credit : Flickr

The canals of Utrecht are the most beautiful in Europe. If happens to be here on a sunny day, just take a walk trough the city centre around the canals and see how awesome it is. Something that Amsterdam definitely does not have are all the restaurants and bars just on the side of the canals. It is amazing enjoying a fresh drink while sitting near by the canals. Seriously if you have never walked there, you are missing one of the most beautiful part of Netherlands.

2 – Utrecht is dutch, Amsterdam not.


Yes, I repeat it loudly, Utrecht is dutch Amsterdam is not. 85% of people living in Amsterdam do not speak dutch. But it’s not only the language, is about the culture and lifestyle. Most of the people in Amsterdam are expat and so the city is pretty much influenced with all the international environment. This does not happens in Utrecht where you can still enjoy the full dutch lifestyle while still being able to be in a very international environment.

3 – Bars, Terraces, Cafe’.

Utrecht Neude

Photo Credit : Flickr

Yes, all of these. Sitting on a terrace in a Bar in Neude is one of my favorite things to do. It resemble the classic European cafe’ culture with car free centre and a lot of terraces and good drinks. (Hint : Try warme wijn in winter :D)

4 – Speaking about the centre, is beautiful.

Leidseplein, Dam Square? They are big and full of tourists, in the evening most of them are drunk or stoned. The city often looks dirty too. The centre of Utrecht is beautiful, historical an easy to do it by walk. There are plenty of small bars where you can enjoy the real dutch atmosphere, sit down with your friends and have a beer. The city is also full of students and so parties are common in many places. Several bars organise expat events and many dutch enjoy hanging out with expats.

5 – Hoog Caterijne and the station.

utrecht station

Photo credit: Flickr

Hoog Caterijne is a huge indoor shopping mall righ in the hearth of the station. And speaking about the station, all the trains “must stop” in Utrecht. Is very easy to move by public transport from Utrecht everywhere in Netherlands. Amsterdam is about 25 minutes by train, several people do this every day to go to work, I do the same. Often the companies here pay the transport if living a certain distance from work, so it won’t cost you money. And when it’s very cold you can stay in the station and shopping!  😀

So, what about you? Have you ever been to Utrecht? What do you think? 😀


You Might Also Like...


  • Reply
    Some guy
    November 26, 2014 at 10:16 am

    You are incorrect! “85% of people living in Amsterdam do not speak dutch.” Not true! 49.3 percent of the people of Amsterdam are dutch, who most certainly speak dutch. And a big share of the rest of the people also speak dutch, like the surinamese people and first and second generation turks and moroccans.

  • Reply
    Melis Eren
    November 26, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Totally agree! Utrecht is a great place to live in. It’s so calm, cool and lovely city with more peace. Today’s Amsterdam is a bit “made” but Utrecht is real.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2014 at 8:53 am

    You could have done a way better job in listing a top 5 for Utrecht, the city deserves better! Using the canals as the number to differentiate Utrecht from Amsterdam is like praising Boston over New York for its Sky scraper sky line, not convincing. Same goes for the other 4. And Hoog Catherijne in the top 5 list?!? are you kidding me?

    And please do not send out false information like “85% of people living in Amsterdam do not speak Dutch”.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2014 at 11:57 am

    The title is wrong. It should say. Why is the centre of Utrecht better than the centre of Amsterdam, because the article, with many flaws, is only about those small parts of both cities.
    And ik think both have their own charm.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    You forgot to mention Utrecht Botanic Gardens at the Utrecht Science Park!

  • Reply
    November 27, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    this story is full of errors and lies. it is badly written, and loaded with typos and common mistakes.

    the canals are beautiful indeed, but the 4 other reasons don’t make sense. especially considering that those arguments are just as valid for amsterdam. and, since when is Hoog Catharijne is a plus???

    bet this is a joke and the writer is actually from amsterdam. he’s not doing utrecht a favor with this piece of…

    • Reply
      November 28, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Hi Remco,

      thanks for your comment. We understand and respect your point of view, but please do not offend the author.
      On our website we give expats the freedom to write and express their opinion, but we do not accept verbal offences.
      If you want, you can write an article in response and list your reasons. Feel free to contact us 🙂
      We will check the percentage listed in the article and correct it if they are wrong, thanks for pointing out.

      • Reply
        February 24, 2016 at 2:38 am

        I read: *If you want, you can write an article* For sure I would like to write an article but can’t find the option to do so. 🙁 By the way:Recently I wrote 3 blogs on ‘living in the Philippines’. fransvanliempt.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    November 28, 2014 at 1:52 am

    Not in a million years! Amsterdam is way better! 500 reasons in stead of 5!

  • Reply
    November 28, 2014 at 8:17 am

    who ever wrote this lives in Utrecht 😉

  • Reply
    November 28, 2014 at 8:27 am

    This is truly ridiculous. Despite the fact that Utrecht is a nice city, Amsterdam isn’t inhabited by mostly expats. Far from, i would say. And for all the expats from countries that are bigger than Holland, If Amsterdam feels like a town. Utrecht is a village… @Some Guy: we consider the Surinam and Turkish and Moroccan people to be Dutch nationals, btw. So a small advice, don’t show you are surprised if they speak Dutch. 😉

  • Reply
    November 28, 2014 at 11:58 am

    OK, let’s switch in English because the article “ 5 reasons Why Utrecht is Better than Amsterdam” is in English language. I don’t have any doubts about what are you writing inherent Utrecht; I love Utrecht! The problem is the way to approach this issue! In my opinion, it is always wrong to compare two beautiful cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht and try to make one much better than the other one!!!
    It is like if I were in Tuscany and writing: “Florence is much better than Siena, especially if you are an expat looking for settle down in Italy.” This is not the way to compare two beautiful cities in Italy, neither in The Netherlands.
    It is better than the author of the post “ 5 reasons Why Utrecht is Better than Amsterdam” is going to open a little bit more his provincial mentality that pushed him to write this article, and try to be positive about two beautiful cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht. There is no competition! They are both beautiful with advantages and disadvantages!!! 😉

    • Reply
      November 28, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      The website is in english, all the articles are in english, but not all the authors are native english speakers.
      This is the point of view of the author, as we host different authors we respect their opinion and let them write as long as there are no offences or political standings. We reviewed it and we think is it ok to publish it, there are no offences. We would do the same if the article was about Amsterdam and not Utrecht.
      Expats don’t have a “provincial mentality” otherwise they would not live abroad 😀

  • Reply
    November 29, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Ow, how easily the Amsterdam people are offended. This is just the opinion of the author. I live in Utrecht and I totally agree with him/her. People in Amsterdam could probably name five reasons why Amsterdam is better than Utrecht. Big deal.

  • Reply
    November 30, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Its been mentioned many times already but the facts are wrong. Perhaps better to find a job in Utrecht so you dont have to bother coming to Amsterdam. But you’ll miss out on the daycare center for drugdealers called Hoog Caterijne. Anyway, good luck with that, there are many things about Utrecht that deserve a higher ranking, but thanks for the article.

  • Reply
    December 4, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    My mother was born in Amsterdam…my father was born in Utrecht. ..went to shool in both worked in both and met my wifes in both haha……I had the best of both….. Im born and raised in Utrecht and proud of both.

  • Reply
    January 1, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Rotterdam and The Hague ore probaly better options for excellium patrimonium people not only for english speaking also for french, spanish and portuguese speaking excellium patrimonium people.

  • Reply
    10 Things Only People Living In Netherlands Will Understand
    January 14, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    […] 5 Reasons Why Utrecht Is Better Than Amsterdam […]

  • Reply
    May 13, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    UUUUUUUUUUU me stadsie

  • Reply
    June 3, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Sorry, but if someone says “85% of people living in Amsterdam do not speak dutch” and expects to be taken seriously, than s/he has a problem. Not even close to 85% of Amsterdammers are expats, let aloen that they do not speak any Dutch. Uttereg is een mooi stadtje, but Amsterdam has definitely more to offer. Personally, I like Rotterdam best, though, it has the allure of a huge city with dangers lurking along the 40 km of its docks and stuff.

Leave a Reply