Utrecht Tourist Scavenger Hunt

Utrecht Scavenger Hunt

The Utrecht Tourist Scavenger Hunt takes you on a self-guided walking tour, with challenges through the heart of the city. See all the sights while having fun and of course, learning some history too! Indeed, you will walk from City Hall to the Rail Museum and TivoliVredenburg while taking a few side trips and various challenges.

Huis Oudaen

You will see

  • City Hall
  • Janskerk
  • Martin’s Cathedral
  • University of Utrecht
  • Rail Museum
  • Sterrenwacht Sonnenborgh
  • Lepelenburg Park
  • Central Museum
  • Civic Center
  • Dutch House
  • Saint-Mary Garden at Mariaplaas
  • And much more

One of us has visited and walked this tour in the fall of 2017.

Oudegracht canal
Pandhof Sinte Marie
Utrecht University
Sint Servaasbrug

Utrecht Tourist Scavenger Hunt Specifications

  • Starting Location: City Hall / Stadhuis, Korte Minrebroederstraat 2, 3512 GG Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Distance: 5.7 km / 3.5 mi
  • Time:
    • 2h30 – 3h00 – depending on walking speed and riddle solving time.
  • Needed:
    • A fully charged Smartphone with internet access.
    • You might want to connect to Google, Google Maps or Wikipedia to help find clues or answers.
  • Suggested:
    • Bottled water.
    • Local street map or tourist map.
    • Courage to ask questions of locals if you need help!
    • Also, pen and paper will come in handy. Otherwise, you can also take notes on other smartphones.
    • You can also find convenience stores along the route.

Ancient history

This city located midway between Amsterdam and Rotterdam is the Netherlands religious center. It has a medieval old town, canals, Christian monuments and furthermore, a venerable university.

Utrecht’s origins being in 47 AD when Roman Emperor Claudius decides that the River Rhine shall be the northern border of the empire. A fortress is established here and called Castellum Traiectum. Later, in 695, the Anglo-Saxon missionary Willibrord arrives and settles in Utrecht. At this point, he will help build a church dedicated to St. Martin. In addition, he founded another church, this one to St. Salvator.

Vikings attack Utrecht in 857 during a pillaging journey. Ultimately, they will destroy the town’s gates and walls and kill many citizens and clergymen at the bishop’s court. Moreover, the Vikings use Utrecht as a new base of operations for a time.

Later on, Holy Roman Emperor Henry V grants Utrecht a city charter in 1122. Incidentally, in 1253 the Romanesque Dom Church (St. Martin’s) is badly damaged by a town fire. Consequently, a grand reconstruction begins. However, the church will become a grand cathedral which will be completed in 1520.

Utrecht joins several other nearby cities sign the Union of Utrecht in 1579. Accordingly, this becomes the first version of the Netherland’s constitution. From here on, they agree to march on the invading Spaniards to repel them.

More recent history

After conquering Holland in 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte appoints his brother Louis Bonaparte as King of Holland. Actually, Louis doesn’t care for The Hague, the capital at the time, so he moves it to Utrecht in 1807. His residence is today’s University Library.

Utrecht was liberated from German occupation on 7 May 1945 by British and Canadian troops. Presently, its metropolitan population is over 655,000.

The Utrecht Tourist Scavenger Hunt is coming soon!