Where to stay in Utrecht for first time: 3 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Utrecht as a first-timer can be a headache. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Utrecht for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safe areas to stay in Utrecht for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map and areas to avoid. I’ll also share where I stayed in Utrecht and recommend some of the best hotels for various budgets.

Utrecht is a beautiful and historic city located in the central part of the Netherlands. It’s known for its picturesque canals, charming streets, and vibrant cultural scene. 

One of its most iconic landmarks is the Dom Tower, which dominates the city skyline and offers stunning views from its top. Utrecht is also home to a prestigious Utrecht University, which adds to its lively atmosphere. 

You can enjoy exploring the city’s many museums, cafes, and shops, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the canals. It’s a fantastic destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, or simply soaking up the atmosphere of a quintessential Dutch city.

Is Utrecht safe to visit?

Yes, Utrecht is generally a safe place to visit. Like many cities in the Netherlands, bike thefts are a common problem, so I advise you to use a good lock if you travel with a bike.

Most of Utrecht’s city centers are generally safe to stay in, where you’ll find a high concentration of hotels and tourist amenities. Some people have mentioned that Kanaleneiland and Overvecht can feel shady. However, if you use common sense wherever you go, you should be fine.

Where to stay in Utrecht for the first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Utrecht for first-timers and tourists are Utrecht City Center (Binnenstad), Noordoost, and West/ Zuidwest.

In general, Utrecht City Center (Binnenstad) is the best overall base for first-time visitors. Binnenstad is right at the heart of Utrecht, making it convenient for exploring the city’s main attractions on foot. The iconic Dom Tower, canals, museums, and shopping streets are all within walking distance.

Noordoost and West/ Zuidwest offer a more residential vibe while still providing easy access to public transportation, the old town, and amenities.

During my trip to Utrecht, I stayed near the central station at the mid-range Inntel Hotels Utrecht Centre. It was an easy walking distance from the old town and its attractions. My room was clean and spacious with a comfortable bed, and an amazing hot tub.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Utrecht for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Utrecht first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Utrecht first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Utrecht, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Utrecht have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

3 Best/Safe areas to stay in Utrecht for first-timers and tourists:

1. Utrecht City Center (Binnenstad)

Utrecht City Center (Binnenstad) is often the most recommended area to stay in Utrecht for first-timers and tourists. The city center is the heart of Utrecht, making it convenient for exploring the city’s attractions, such as the Dom Tower, Dom Square, and the bustling Oudegracht canal.

The Binnenstad is rich in history and architecture. You’ll find charming cobblestone streets lined with centuries-old buildings, picturesque canals, and cozy cafes.

Within walking distance, you’ll find an abundance of cultural attractions, including museums, galleries, and theaters, such as the Centraal Museum and the Railway Museum.

Utrecht Centraal Station, one of the busiest railway hubs in the Netherlands, is situated just a short walk from the Binnenstad. This makes it easy to reach other cities and attractions in the region like Amsterdam or Rotterdam.

Best places to stay in Utrecht City Center for first-timers:

Luxury ($$$): Grand Hotel Karel V, 5-star hotel located in the heart of Utrecht, close to everything, near the central train station. The hotel has fabulous breakfast, a lovely garden, an indoor pool, and family rooms. Great base to explore the city.

Mid-range ($$): Hotel Beijers, 4-star charming accommodation conveniently located in the historic part of Utrecht, within walking distance from Museum Speelklok. Rooms are spacious and comfortable.

Mid-range ($$): Crowne Plaza Utrecht – Central Station, an IHG Hotel, popular 4-star hotel located near the train station, easy walk to beautiful streets and canals. Popular points of interest nearby include Shopping Mall Hoog Catharijne, TivoliVredenburg, the Beatrix Theatre and Museum Speelklok. The  breakfast area has a great view of the canal.

Budget ($): Hampton By Hilton Utrecht Centraal Station, popular 3-star hotel close to the central rail station and TivoliVredenburg. The hotel has a fitness center, buffet breakfast, a business center, and 24-hour front desk. Ideal location for an overnight stay.

Budget ($): Bunk Hotel Utrecht, 3-star hotel conveniently located within walking distance from the train station, TivoliVredenburg, and Conference Center Vredenburg. It has an onsite restaurant, a 24-hour front desk, family rooms, and a good continental breakfast. The location is perfect for a train traveler.


2. Noordoost

Noordoost offers a more local vibe and is great for those who prefer a quieter environment while still being relatively close to the city center. You’ll find some lovely parks and green spaces here, like Griftpark, as well as charming neighborhoods to explore.

Best places to stay in Utrecht in Noordoost:

Mid-range ($$): Hotel Mitland, popular 4-star hotel set in a beautiful peaceful waterfront location, well-connected by bike paths and parks.short bus ride to the city center. It has views of the old De Bilt fortress. It has a swimming pool, family rooms, a bowling center, and affordable parking. Rooms are clean, comfortable, and well-appointed.

Mid-range ($$): Domstad Resort Utrecht Vakantiewoningen, 3-star holiday home located in the park in Noordoost, offering free private parking which is convenient for those who travel with a car. Accommodation comes with a fully equipped kitchen. The location is slightly out of the city, but it is quiet and easily reachable by public bus nearby. 

Mid-range ($$): B&B de singel, good value for money 4-star accommodation in Noordoost, offering views of the canal, comfortable rooms, and a children’s playground. 


3. West/ Zuidwest

West/ Zuidwest is conveniently located west of the city center and the central station. There are some accommodations in this area, offering more local atmosphere and easy access to the old town.

Best places to stay in Utrecht in West/ Zuidwest:

Mid-range ($$): The Anthony Hotel, great 4-star hotel, a converted monastery, located in Kanaalstraat, in the West district, within walking distance from the train station, Molen de Ster windmill, Jaarbeurs Utrecht and the town center. Each unit is equipped with a private bathroom and a kitchen in some rooms.

Mid-range ($$): Park Plaza Utrecht, popular 4-star hotel located  near Central Station and the old town. Short distance from The vibrant shopping areas, the Dom Tower and several museums.  It has nice spacious rooms and a good shower.

Budget ($): Moxy Utrecht, 3-star accommodation located in Zuid, close to the train station that takes you to the central station in under 5 minutes. It is in a nice, quirky neighborhood with easy access to restaurants, supermarkets and the town center. The University is only 4 tram stops away.

Budget ($): B&B Muntzicht, 3-star good value for money bed and breakfast, featuring one bedroom, private parking, and Exceptional breakfast. 10 mins walk from the station and Jaarberous.


In conclusion, Utrecht City Center, Noordoost, and West/ Zuidwest are the best places to stay in Utrecht for first-timers and tourists. Utrecht City Center is overall the best location for newcomers where you can find many choices of accommodations.

You can continue reading about the Netherlands in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Utrecht. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

Leave a Comment