Book a train to Utrecht today and experience one of Europe's most beloved university cities with beautiful canals and booming nightlife. Found in the heart of the Netherlands, Utrecht is one of the country's 'hidden gems'. With plenty to see and do within the city and the surrounding areas, taking the train to Utrecht is a great way to experience the country outside of Amsterdam. Find out more about things to do in Utrecht, as well as train times and information about Utrecht Centraal station.

Visiting Utrecht

You can travel by train journey from London to Utrecht in 4 hours 40 minutes on average, with the fastest journey taking only 3 hours 50 minutes. Depending on which route you choose, you will need to change trains at least once, because there is no direct train from London to Utrecht Centraal. Departing from a London station, the journey will take you across the English Channel, bypass France and Belgium, before reaching Utrecht Centraal station.

For visitors who are not pressed for time, consider stopping at multiple cities on the route such as Lille (France), Brussels, Antwerp (Belgium) and Rotterdam (Netherlands). During the holidays and weekends, trains can get busy and travel time may get slower. However, the advantage of travelling by train is that you get to enjoy the splendid scenery from the carriage window. Utrecht Centraal station is conveniently located in the heart of the city centre so when you step out of the station you can often reach your final destination on foot. Utrecht is quite compact, compared to other cities in the Netherlands and usually, most points of interest are within walking distance of one another.

Top 5 destinations in Utrecht

  1. De Haar Castle: If you are a fan of castles do not miss De Haar Castle, a neo-Gothic fortification located on the northern outskirts of the city. The castle is surrounded by water, originally used to protect its inhabitants against intruders.
  2. The Dom Tower: Standing at the heart of the city centre, the cathedral tower has a history dating back to the 14th century. The DOMunder tour, which takes place just underneath the free-standing tower, is highly recommended for families with children.
  3. TivoliVredenburg: Utrecht's biggest avenue houses 6 music concert halls in a dramatic example of contemporary architecture. Completed in 2014 the venue is part of the cities CU2030 redevelopment project and is within easy reach of Utrecht Centraal station.
  4. Utrecht's Centraal Museum: This museum houses a significant collection of historic art from the region as well as a changing programme of contemporary work.
  5. Oudegracht: Utrecht is famous for its canals and Oudegracht, or the Old Canal, runs through its heart. Many of the wharves have now been converted into popular bars and restaurants.


Train stations in Utrecht

Utrecht Centraal is the only train station in Utrecht. It's the largest and busiest train station in the Netherlands and has 16 platforms where more than 900 trains depart daily for various local and international destinations. There are two bus stations near the station, one of which is located on the city centre side of the station and the other on the western side, together with a tram stop. Next to the station, visitors can make use of the world's largest bicycle parking facility, which can house about 12,500 bikes. From Utrecht Centraal station there are trains to Amsterdam and Schiphol airport which take only 30 minutes. There are high-speed trains to Frankfurt, Cologne and Basel departing daily. Nightly trains to Zurich, Warsaw, Copenhagen, Berlin and Munich are operated by CityNightline or Euronight. Tickets can be bought in advance on Trainline if you want to save money.

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