Utrecht is the capital and most populous city in the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation and is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands with a population of 330,772 in 2014, about 50,000 of which are students.

Utrecht’s ancient city centre features many buildings and structures several dating as far back as the High Middle Ages. It has been the religious centre of the Netherlands since the 8th century. It lost the status of prince-bishopric but remains the main religious center in the country. Utrecht was the most important city in the Netherlands until the Dutch Golden Age, when it was succeeded by Amsterdam as the country’s cultural centre and most populous city.

Utrecht is host to Utrecht University, the largest university in the Netherlands, as well as several other institutes for higher education. Due to its central position within the country, it is an important transport hub for both rail and road transport.

Utrecht is the beating heart of the Netherlands; a city with an unparalleled vitality. Its medieval city center is small enough to explore on foot but large enough to enjoy world class festivals, modern architecture, trendy shops and interesting museums. Utrecht has a wealth of culture and history. Utrecht hosts an extensive number of cultural events, the second highest number after Amsterdam, and boasts plenty of friendly outdoor cafés and restaurants and hospitable hotels. Utrecht has it all. In 2012, Lonely Planet included Utrecht in the top 10 of the world’s unsung places.

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