Utrecht is a city in the Netherlands located in the province of Utrecht on the Amsterdam-Rhine canal. Known as a university city. The University of Utrecht is located here which is one of the most important universities in the country (12 of the graduate won Nobel prize).

What else distinguishes Utrecht from other European cities is a well-developed infrastructure favorable to cyclists. This means that almost every resident (about 97%) owns at least one bicycle. A city with a population of around 350,000 and around 130,000 bicycles pass through the city center daily. It is the most frequently used means of transport because as many as 47% of people use it for commuting where the share of cars is within 20%. Thanks to the infrastructure and restrictions for cars, riding a bicycle around the city you get the impression that people are the most

important, not machines. The idea is that only people on foot or by bike and public transport have access to the city center. Bikes are so popular and well-liked that almost 50% of people own 3 or more of them.

Over the years many city streets, even the 4-lane ones have been replaced by bicycle paths and footpaths. Trees were planted and recreational areas were built. Bicycle paths are integrated with parks, metro stations, public buildings and schools. Due to the large number of bicycles and not enough space to build new bicycle paths, architects have to make bold solutions. For example, when crossing the Dafne Schippers bicycle bridge we go to the roof of the school and then go down to the entrance. A large number of parking lots, including underground ones for tens of thousands of bicycles. There are also guarded parkings e.g. at the metro station, where you can leave your bike and go to another city without worrie. When we want to go shopping in the city center, we have smaller parking lots in buildings, this is to reduce the number of bikes left on the sidewalks.

Limiting car movements in favor of bicycles and public transport makes the air much cleaner. Even the bicycle paths are made of bricks that reduce the noise of a passing bicycle. We will not hear the sound of working engines or horns too often, but people’s conversations and bicycle bells.

Although Utrecht is not famous for tourism, riding a bicycle we can find many interesting sights here:

Cathedral of St. Martin in Utrecht (Sint-Maarten Domkerk van Utrecht). Historic cathedral church. One of the largest Gothic churches in the Netherlands.

Cathedral of St. Gertrude in Utrecht. The temple is a symbol of Old Catholicism. Its origins date back to 1634.

University of Utrecht. The oldest university in Utrecht, founded in 1636.

Rietveld’s house in Utrecht (Rietveld Schröderhuis). The villa was built in 1924. for the wellknown pharmacist Truus Schröder-Schräder. It represents the classicist, modernist and neoplastic style. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

A city worth visiting not only for cyclists, but they will find themselves best here. Peace and quiet, fresh air and plenty of bikes to be around. This is Utrecht.

Utrecht, Netherlands canals and cityscape at twilight.