Welcome to Utrecht’s premier nightlife guide.
On this page, you’ll discover the vibrant and varied nightlife scene in Utrecht. You’ll find the perfect venue for you and your preferred night out. Whether you want to go all-out clubbing or if you’d like a more laid back dinner and drinks with a view, we’ve got your covered.
An Intro to Utrecht
Utrecht is the fourth largest City and a municipality of the Netherlands, capital and most populous city of the province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, and in the very center of mainland Netherlands. Utrecht was the most important City in the Netherlands until the Dutch Golden Age when it was surpassed by Amsterdam as the country’s cultural center and most populous city.
Utrecht City has an active cultural life, and in the Netherlands is second only to Amsterdam.There are several theatres and theatre companies.In addition to theatres, there are a large number of cinemas including three arthouse cinemas. Utrecht is host to the international Early Music Festival and there are several other venues for music throughout the city.
The Nightlife of Utrecht
There is no need to stay in after exploring the city of Utrecht by daylight. When the night falls, Utrecht is very much alive and kicking! Just stroll around the pretty city center, crossing the canals to find charming cafés and restaurants. Don’t miss out on live music too! As with any other city that is a tourist hotspot, visitors to Utrecht are naturally curious about what kind of nightlife this amazing place has to offer. Well, it surely suffices to mention here that you will not be disappointed at all. Utrecht features an abundance of nightlife options to suit any taste. Whether it is a nightclub, pub, café or something kind of edgy, you will find it is available in Utrecht.
This article is all about what you can do in Utrecht at night. Check it out and go see for yourself with some of our best recommendations which definitely helps you to boost your visit during your stay at Utrecht :
Explore the City’s Nightlife with Trajectum Lumen
This nightly journey through the city of Utrecht is truly enchanting! The town by itself is already beautiful but with Trajectum Lumen, the city becomes a real magical place with colorful lights in the strangest places. You can go on a city walking tour to get the full experience of such a beautiful and amazing night. Think bridges, canals, and churches beautifully illuminated all around the city center and the best news is, you can do it every evening, all year round.
Enjoy a live concert at Tivoli
There is always something going on at Tivoli after the sun goes down, andif there is not an amazing live concert going on, there will be some cool party starting in the late evening hours. Tivoli Vredenburg is a modern and fashionable music center with 5 concert halls, featuring a diverse agenda to suit all kinds of audiences. Tivoli de Helling is a more alternative music hub, to see live gigs or go dancing all night long.
Take a chance and enjoy a fun night out at the stylish Holland Casino in Utrecht. Dress up a bit if you like and take a seat at a poker or roulette table if you dare. You don’t have to spend lots of money, you can put in a little and see if you can double it. If not, go for a nice drink at the bar and enjoy the ambiance and live music.
Pop Stage Ekko
Ekko is a leading alternative pop stage of The Netherlands, located in the center of Utrecht. This cozy music venue can hold up to 300 people and it has got a little café as well. On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, you can enjoy a meal at Ekko Café before the live gig starts and on weekends, there are usually some great parties happening. So must go over there and check it out!
Mysterium The Escape Room
On a rainy evening, it will be great fun to go on an Escape Room adventure in the heart of Utrecht at the Oude Gracht. At Mysterium, you will be transported back in time to the medieval period. You need to stick together, use creativity, hints, and clues to get out of this medieval wharf cellar. Good luck!
Likewise the other neighboring cities, of course, the city center of Utrecht is also home to endless shopping boutiques and fashion stores. It makes a wonderful day just to walk around, do some shopping, have a coffee, enjoy a yummy lunch or a wonderful dinner at one of the charming cafés and do some more shopping. On top of that, Utrecht has Hoog Catharijne, which is one of the biggest indoor shopping centers in Holland. Hoog Catharijne houses more than 150 stores and it is connected to the central train station, making it easily accessible.
Best Bars in Utrecht
Utrecht is simply perfect for an un-matched night out on weekend: it is affordable, it has great food, superb booze, live music, and the weather is amazing too especially when the night has begun. Utrecht has plenty to offer in the way of nightlife and there are dozens of pubs and bars are nestled between its charming townhouses, ancient churches, and low-lying canals. These watering holes serve everything from their barrels specialty beer and cocktails and make the ideal spot to chill after a day on the town. Hence, in order to kill your drink desire, we have gathered a list of Utrecht City’s best bars which are absolutely good enough to satisfy your liquor needs:
There is no better way to start the evening (or even better, late afternoon, if the sun is out) than with some delicious Belgian beers and maybe some dinner too if you havenot eaten yet. Kafe België is a really attraction, old brown café situated next to the canal in the heart of Utrecht. A busy place with a great collection of special Belgian beers, nice music, friendly staff, and an all-around great vibe. If you are hungry, try the Daghap, their daily meal with a vegetarian option as well, it is always delicious!
Beer & Barrels
Beer & Barrels has introduced an incredible alcohol-related concept to the Netherlands that was previously absent from the Country’s bar scene, namely tabletop mounted beer taps that stream out golden lager on demand. These awesome contraptions allow guests to pour out their own pints without the aid of a bartender and serve up entire rounds whilst remaining in their seats. The bar itself looks incredible and is housed within one of Oudegracht canal’s cave-like, subterranean wharves.
Behind Bars Cocktails
This classy cocktail joint in Utrecht’s historic City center offers a wide range of classic, modern and experimental mixed drinks that includes several pre-prepared concoctions that have been matured inside wooden barrels in order to add subtle undertones to their composition. Besides, high-end mixology, Behind Bars Cocktails is also renowned for its impressive selection of authentic Japanese whiskey.
Belgian Beer Café Olivier
As its name suggests this cozy café on Achter Clarenburg has a soft spot for Belgian beer culture and bases its menu around delicious brews from the Netherlands’s southern neighbor. Whilst most beers inside Olivier originate from Belgium, there are many other drafts and bottled brews available at the café which hail from other parts of the world including the Netherlands and Germany.
Three Thirsty Deer
This charming, old school beer café always has over 100 beers available behind its bar and acts as an official taproom for Utrecht’s Maximus craft brewery. The café is located just behind the Oudegracht canal and looks directly onto the largest museum dedicated to religious artwork in the Netherlands – Museum Catharijneconvent.
Wijncafé Lefebvre keeps its shelves stocked with a superb selection of refined old and new world wines created by highly esteemed international wineries. There are also nibbles and snacks available inside alongside a small assortment of beers from a nearby craft brewery called Brouwerij de Leckere.
Best Bar Restaurant in Utrecht
When you go out to catch your nightlife activities in Utrecht, chances are there, that at some point you are going to crave for delicious and exotic food as well. With Utrecht bar scenes continuing to grow and innovate, it is no wonder that a restaurant bar would be a great idea to go with. Utrecht has some of the finest restaurants that serve delicious food along with great cocktails and drinks that blend perfectly with the food to provide a great combination.
Therefore, to fulfill your extreme craving for delightful food and awesome booze, we have come up with a list of Utrecht best bar restaurants, which are obviously good enough to stimulate your taste buds to take you to the clouds:
Fresh restaurant C’est Ça offers a flamboyant flavoring of French cuisine right in the heart of the Dutch city. Guests can enjoy the newly devised five-course dinner assembled from the most succulent organic meat, fish and seasonal produce. Watch the frenzied passion of the chefs in the open kitchen as your French fare is crafted in front of your very eyes. Each morning, the chefs will be presented with surprise ingredients that have been selected for their freshness and high quality, which they will then decide how to use for that evening’s menu.
Springhaver is a cozy bar and restaurant, hidden away in a quiet corner of central Utrecht. It makes a great hangout hub for food, coffee, and beers. Springhaver also features two cinema rooms where you can watch interesting movies. Every Sunday evening there is the Cinesneak, surprising the audience with what movie is screening on that particular Sunday.
‘t Oude Pothuys
Tucked in an old Dutch corner house at the Oude Gracht in the center of Utrecht, sits the really charming bar and restaurant called ’t Oude Pothuys. A great place to go for a real Dutch Cheese Fondue meal, followed by a wonderful evening of delicious beers, a glass of wine and live music. t’ Oude Pothuys has been a live music venue since 1976 and it really exudes a soulfulness that reminds one of a hidden underground Jazz Club.
Tafel aan de Gracht
Located right by the main canal in Utrecht, this fine-dining restaurant makes a great place to go for a romantic dinner with your loved one. The restaurant is chic and stylish, tucked in a historical building. In the summer, you can sit outside on the terrace, taking in the lovely views while dining. Don’t miss out on this culinary highlight of Utrecht.
Stairway to Heaven
Stairway to Heaven is a bar and restaurant located close to the central station of Utrecht. You can actually spend the whole evening here. Start with a nice and affordable meal, made with local produce from around Utrecht. Yummy! Then, enjoy a couple of drinks and wait for the restaurant to transform into Club Stairway and start dancing until closing time. Good food, good cocktails, good people, good music and great fun!
Grand Café Lebowski
This popular grand café on Domplein is decked out in weird and wonderful paraphernalia such as exotic taxidermy specimens, kitschy Hollywood memorabilia and vintage furniture. The bar’s lunchtime and dinner menu include many classic American-style dishes like chili dogs and superbly crafted burgers. There is seating outside underneath the Dom Tower and live music around four days a week.
Best Nightclub in Utrecht
As elaborated earlier, it has now been much clarified that there are lots of things to see, do and experience in Utrecht, day and night. You might want to extend your stay a bit or make a careful selection of things not-to-miss-out-on. Though Utrecht is a comparatively small city, it does make space for sexy and sinful late night entertainment for adults of all categories. Some clubs usually provide a dance show, often being quite explicit. Here is our guide to the best night club options being offered in Utrecht which bears a high reputation due to their substantial selection of booze and their lively atmospheres:
Basement Nightclub Utrecht
The basement is a new dancing nightclub in the center of Utrecht. Friday and Saturday are club nights with various style of music (Disco, Club, House, RNB…depending upon the night). Basement enables anybody to host a party, from bachelor to student parties up to 200 people with a smooth agreement. When it is not crowded with students or sports association that organize their own parties over there Basement throws its own “Club Nights” on weekends for every music taste, from house to pop to disco hits.
Soul-stirring dance mixes, whatever that may be, is the theme of their popular dance nights. DJ plays mainly good-old dance classics for a mixed public of 30- and 40-somethings. For some reason or another everybody dances barefoot here, so make sure your feet are clean. They also organize tantra workshops and other special events.
Real rock enthusiasts only have one option in Utrecht and that is“Boothill Saloon”. When the waitresses arenot dancing on top of the pool table, this brownish bar is an ideal place for a couple of beers. Your drinking buddies will most likely be groupies, old hippies, and heavily tattooed music fanatics. If you still need some more information before committing to a visit, the ceiling offers plenty to look at including dozens of hanging boots.
On the outside, it doesnot look very appealing. Picture a narrow entrance in a back street, with two or three enormous bouncers beside it. But don’t give up just yet. Once you make your way one floor down (the club is literally ‘underground’) you will find yourself in one of the most beautiful clubs in the city. It is large, well-maintained and has an impressive sound system and is known as a stage for hard electronic music, especially techno music.
Once every two months Rits throws a Friday night party at the Ekko pop stage. Despite this, the DJs have broad tastes and sometimes even old-fashioned electric guitars make themselves heard. Going out at Rits will provide ample opportunities for relaxing chit-chat, especially with a delicious Limburg Land beer in hand.
El Club Brillante
Each Friday night this ennobled canteen clears away all of its tables and chairs for anyone willing to do their worst on the big, wooden dance floor. Unfortunately, the Salsa DJ at Club Brillante takes the task of rousing his audience a tad too seriously as he alternates salsa, merengue, and bachata, where a more consistent style would suit the guests a bit better. Don’t arrive before midnight unless you like being the only one on the dance floor.
Let us sum up the topic here, it can be said that Utrecht City has various historical places in the city. We went through a brief history of the city along with the details of how it came into being. We then discussed several places to hang out with your friends and family in the night time.
Coming to the adult nightlife of the city, we established how easy it is to find a good bar to enjoy with your friends or family or a date. Such bars could really offer some great pre-made cocktails for you or you could just ask for a superior drink to be served especially for you.
You don’t feel hungry during your city tour that is why we also suggested some of the finest restaurants in the Utrecht that offer exotic and delicious food along with your favorite drinks, where you can actually enjoy the taste of good food along with some great booze. And lastly, we went through a comprehensive list of Nightclubs that offered great music with some delightfully exotic options for drinks and cocktail that will polish your overall experience of nightlife at Utrecht.
The places mentioned above represent but a small fraction of what Utrecht has in the way of nightlife. Be assured that if you choose to visit this fabulous city you will find no shortage of places that suit your particular preferences when having a night out on the town.