Liveability, happiness sets Utrecht apart as a great place to live (sponsored)
This sponsored article was produced by HousingAnywhere.
Make sure you consider living in Utrecht if you are moving to the Netherlands. Already voted as one of the best and happiest places to live not only in the Netherlands, but in the whole world, the country’s fourth largest city is an impressive hometown choice.
Here are some reasons why.
Easy to navigate
One of the most outstanding characteristics of Utrecht is the fact that you can easily make your way around town. It is a smaller city that you can quickly see on foot, with abundant walkways.
As one expects in the Netherlands, it is also very friendly for bicyclists. It came in second for the most cycling-friendly city in the world. Also, the city has built the world's largest bicycle parking station with 12,500 available spots to park bikes.
Voted fourth happiest place to live
Utrecht was voted the fourth happiest place in the world by a BBC travel report. Given its size, life in Utrecht feels quite easy-going, especially with the outstanding city center Zocherpark, a kilometer-long park with the famous Lepelenburg bridge. Its proximity to other international cities also makes it one of the best places to live, with good connections by rail and access to four major Dutch highways. The city sits just 40 minutes from Schiphol Airport.
It provides the out of city feel while also offering proximity and a great social life. From here, it is also quite easy to access the Dutch countryside.
Another distinctive reason why you should rent an apartment in Utrecht is the notable canals in the city. The canals have existed in the city since early 1800. At that time, they were used as trading routes. Warehouses were built along the canals to store goods offloaded from the boats traversing the waterways.
Today, these warehouses built many years ago are now restaurants and nightclubs. They offer a great ambience to guests and revellers. Restaurants have set up their outdoor seats right next to the canals and guests can enjoy the fresh air and the sound of water as they enjoy their coffee.
A true representation of Dutch culture
Away from Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, Utrecht offers the true picture of Dutch culture. Amsterdam is more of an international city with a mix of cultures and lots of expatriates.
Utrecht, on the other hand, provides a deeper sense of Dutch culture and lifestyle you won’t find in the capital city. There are plenty of opportunities to learn the Dutch language in Utrecht, with classes offered at all levels to small private groups and in university classrooms alike.You can also enjoy the Dutch food from the numerous cafes and restaurant squares and live in several neighborhoods that are mostly car-free.
Utrecht has been in existence for a long time. It has a rich history that is easily visible from the design of the city. It was fortified and the canal outside the city center was part of its defences. Following that route created when the city became more open allows you to quickly navigate around it, focusing on the tallest building within the city center known as the Dom Tower.
Dom Tower is also the tallest church tower in the Netherlands and the permanent symbol and landmark of Utrecht. With this landmark in a small city, you can hardly get lost.
As a medieval city, Utrecht has been in existence since the 8th century and is still an important cultural center in the Netherlands.
Quick connections to other cities
Living in Utrecht ensures that you can quickly hop into a train and you will be in many of the major Netherlands cities in minutes. If you work in any of the major cities of the country, particularly in the Randstad, you can live here and have a short commute to and from work every day.
You are also very close to the Dutch countryside from here. You can catch a train to enjoy the scenery and the vast landscapes out of the city.
The city’s central location is one reason why Utrecht has the busiest train station in the Netherlands.
You will find good schools
If you are looking to move to Utrecht with your family, you do not have to worry about schools, with many high-quality schools in this quaint city. Public schools in this city are highly acclaimed and offer high-quality education. You will definitely find a good school for your children regardless of their age.
Utrecht University is one of the largest universities in the Netherlands, and the city itself has some 70,000 students enrolled in its eight higher education institutions. Consequently, there are always new faces within the city every year coming to join the university. It also carries significant historical importance and numerous academic achievements and breakthroughs.
It is growing
As more and more people choose Utrecht over Amsterdam, the city has decided to create additional housing to host the increasing number of residents.
There are several residential estates that are being built for this purpose. They are contemporary in their design but fit in perfectly with the history and age of this beautiful city of Utrecht. They will host more families as more and more expats and immigrants discover more cities in the Netherlands beyond Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
The Hoog Catharijne
Just like the Dom Tower, the Hoog Catharijne is another Utrecht point of interest. It is one of the largest indoor malls around the world.It attracts large amounts of visitors every day, as it is just steps away from Utrecht Central Station. To be fair, some of the residents of the city consider it an eyesore and do not particularly care for it.
These and many more factors encourage a large number of expatriates moving to the Netherlands to consider Utrecht as a viable location to set up their residence. It exposes you to the Dutch culture and is close enough for a short commute to and from work. Further, it is steeped in history and has a busy and fun social life.