Nightlife in Utrecht • A Complete Guide [January 2023 Update] (2023)

Welcome to Utrecht's leading nightlife guide.

On this page you will discover the vibrant and varied nightlife in Utrecht. You will find the perfect place for you and your favorite evening. Whether you're looking to party, or enjoy a more relaxed dinner and drinks with a view, we've got you covered.


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An introduction to Utrecht

Utrechtis 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 center of the Dutch mainland. Utrecht was the most important city in the Netherlands until the Dutch Golden Age when it was surpassed byAmsterdamas a cultural center and most populous city in the country.

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The city of Utrecht has an active cultural life and is second only to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. There are several theaters and theater groups. In addition to theaters, there are a large number of cinemas, including three art-house cinemas. Utrecht hosts the International Early Music Festival and there are several other music venues across the city.

The nightlife of Utrecht

After exploring the city of Utrecht in the daylight, there is no need to stay home. When night falls, Utrecht is very lively and lively! Just stroll through the pretty city center and cross the canals to find charming cafes and restaurants. Don't miss the live music either! 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, suffice it to say here that you won't be disappointed at all. Utrecht offers a wealth of nightlife options for every taste. Whether it's a nightclub, pub, cafe or something quirky, you'll find it's available in Utrecht.

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This article is about what to do in Utrecht at night. Check it out and see for yourself some of our top recommendations that will definitely help you boost your visit during your stay in Utrecht:

Explore the city's nightlife with Trajectum Lumen

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This nocturnal journey through the city of Utrecht is truly enchanting! The city itself is beautiful, but with Trajectum Lumen, the city becomes a truly magical place with colorful lights in the strangest places. You can take a walking tour of the city to have the full experience of such a beautiful and amazing night. Imagine bridges, canals and churches beautifully illuminated throughout the city center and best of all you can do this every evening all year round.

Enjoy a live concert at Tivoli

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There's always something going on at Tivoli after the sun goes down, and unless there's a great live concert going on, there's a cool party going on into the late evening hours. Tivoli Vredenburg is a modern and fashionable music center with 5 concert halls and a varied program for every audience. Tivoli de Helling is a more alternative music hub to catch live performances or dance the night away.

Holland Casino

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Take the chance and enjoy an entertaining evening at the stylish Holland Casino in Utrecht. Dress up a little if you like and take a seat at a poker or roulette table if you dare. You don't have to spend a lot of money, you can invest a little and see if you can double it. If not, head to the bar for a nice drink and enjoy the ambiance and live music.

Echo of the pop stage

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Ekko is a leading Dutch alternative pop stage in the center of Utrecht. This cozy music venue seats up to 300 people and also has a small cafe. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays you can enjoy a meal at Ekko Café before the live performance begins and there are usually some great parties at weekends. So you have to go and check it out!

Mystery The escape room

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On a rainy evening it will be great fun to experience an escape room adventure in the heart of Utrecht on the Oude Gracht. In the Mysterium you will be taken back to the Middle Ages. You have to stick together, use creativity, hints and clues to get out of this medieval shipyard basement. Much luck!

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to go shopping

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Of course, just like the other neighboring cities, the city center of Utrecht is also home to countless shopping boutiques and fashion stores. It's a wonderful day just to walk around, shop, have a coffee, enjoy a delicious lunch or a wonderful dinner in one of the charming cafes and do some more shopping. In addition, Utrecht has Hoog Catharijne, one of the largest indoor shopping centers in Holland. Hoog Catharijne houses more than 150 shops and is connected to the central station, making it easy to get to.

The best bars in Utrecht

Utrecht is just perfect for a weekend night out like no other: it's affordable, it has great food, great alcohol, live music and the weather is fantastic too, especially when night falls. Utrecht has plenty to offer in terms of nightlife and there are dozens of pubs and bars nestled between charming townhouses, old churches and low-lying canals. Serving everything from their kegs to specialty beers to cocktails, these pubs are the ideal place to unwind after a day in the city. Therefore, to satisfy your drink cravings, we have compiled a list of the best bars in the city of Utrecht that are absolutely good enough to meet your spirit needs:

Belgian coffee

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There's no better way to start the evening (or even better, late afternoon when the sun is shining) than with a few delicious Belgian beers and maybe dinner if you haven't eaten yet. Kafe België is a real attraction, an old brown café 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 atmosphere. If you're hungry try the Daghap, their daily meal with a vegetarian option, it's always delicious!

beer & kegs

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Beer & Barrels has introduced an incredible alcohol-related concept to the Netherlands that was previously absent from the country's bar scene, namely table-mounted beer taps pouring golden lager on demand. These fantastic contraptions allow patrons to pour their own pints without the help of a bartender and serve whole rounds while staying in their seats. The bar itself looks incredible, set in one of the cavernous, underground quays of the Oudegracht canal.

Cocktails behind bars

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This classy cocktail joint in the historic city center of Utrecht offers a wide range of classic, modern and experimental mixed drinks, including several pre-made concoctions that have been aged in wooden casks to add subtle undertones to their composition. In addition to high-end mixology, Behind Bars Cocktails is also known for its impressive selection of authentic Japanese whiskey.

Belgian Beer Café Olivier

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As the name suggests, this cozy café on the Achter Clarenburg has a soft spot for Belgian beer culture and bases its menu on delicious beers from the Netherlands' southern neighbor. While most of the beers at Olivier are from Belgium, the café has many other draft and bottled beers from other parts of the world including the Netherlands and Germany.

Three thirsty deer

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This charming old-school beer café always has over 100 beers available behind its bar and acts as the official pub of Utrecht's Maximus craft brewery. The café is located just behind the Oudegracht and looks straight onto the largest museum in the Netherlands dedicated to religious art - the Museum Catharijneconvent.

Wine cafe Lefebvre

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Wijncafé Lefebvre keeps its shelves stocked with a superb selection of fine Old and New World wines, produced by highly respected international wineries. As well as a small selection of beers from a nearby craft brewery called Brouwerij de Leckere, nibbles and snacks are also available.

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Best bar restaurant in Utrecht

If you go out to pursue your nightlife activities in Utrecht, chances are you'll also crave delicious and exotic food at some point. As Utrecht's bar scenes continue to grow and innovate, it's no wonder a restaurant bar would be a great idea to fit in. Utrecht has some of the best restaurants serving delicious food along with great cocktails and drinks that go perfectly with the food to provide a great combination.

Therefore, to satisfy your extreme cravings for delicious food and great alcohol, we have compiled a list of the best bar-restaurants in Utrecht that are obviously good enough to stimulate your taste buds and take you to the clouds:

Cest Ca

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The fresh restaurant C'est Ça offers extravagant French cuisine right in the heart of the Dutch city. Guests can enjoy the newly conceived five-course menu, composed of the succulent organic meat, fish and seasonal produce. Watch the chefs' raging passions in the open kitchen as your French dishes are prepared before your eyes. Every morning the chefs are presented with surprise ingredients, chosen for their freshness and high quality, who then decide how to use them for the evening menu.

Springhaver Theater

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Springhaver is a cozy bar and restaurant tucked away in a quiet corner in the center of Utrecht. It's a great meeting place for food, coffee and beer. Springhaver also has two cinemas where you can watch interesting films. Every Sunday night there is the Cinesneak that surprises the audience with the film that will be shown on that particular Sunday.

The old Pothuys

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Tucked away in an old Dutch corner house on the Oude Gracht in the center of Utrecht is the really charming bar and restaurant called 't Oude Pothuys. A great place for a real Dutch cheese fondue meal followed by a wonderful evening of delicious beers, a glass of wine and live music. A live music venue since 1976, t'Oude Pothuys really exudes a soulfulness reminiscent of a hidden underground jazz club.

table by the canal

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Located right on the main canal in Utrecht, this fine dining restaurant is a great place for a romantic dinner with your loved one. The restaurant is chic and stylish, tucked away in a historic building. In summer you can sit outside on the terrace and enjoy the beautiful view while eating. Don't miss this culinary highlight of Utrecht.

stairway to Heaven

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Stairway to Heaven is a bar and restaurant near Utrecht Central Station. You can actually spend the whole evening here. Start with a good and affordable meal made with local produce from around Utrecht. Yummy! Then enjoy a few drinks and wait for the restaurant to turn into the Club Stairway and start dancing until closing. Good food, good cocktails, nice people, good music and lots of fun!

Grand Café Lebowski

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This popular Grand Café on the Domplein is adorned with odd and wonderful paraphernalia such as exotic taxidermy, tacky Hollywood memorabilia and vintage furniture. The bar's lunch and dinner menu includes many classic American dishes such as Chili Dogs and well-prepared burgers. Outside under the Dom Tower there is seating and live music four days a week.

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Bester Nightclub in Utrecht

As already mentioned, it has now become clear that there is much 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 be missed. Despite being a comparatively small city, Utrecht has room for sexy and sinful late-night adult entertainment of all categories. Some clubs usually offer a dance show, which is often quite explicit. Here is our guide to the best nightclubs in Utrecht, which have a high reputation for their wide range of alcohol and lively atmosphere:

Basement nightclub Utrecht

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The basement is a new dance nightclub in the center of Utrecht. Friday and Saturday are club nights with different music genres (disco, club, house, RNB...depending on the night). Basement allows anyone to host a party, from a bachelorette party to a student party of up to 200 people with one hassle-free arrangement. When it's not busy with students or sports clubs throwing their own parties there, the Basement throws its own weekend "club nights" for every taste in music, from house to pop to disco hits.

Star View Community Center

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Intoxicating dance mixes, whatever that may be, is the theme of their popular dance nights. DJ mainly plays good old dance classics for a mixed crowd between 30 and 40 years old. For some reason everyone dances barefoot here, so make sure your feet are clean. They also organize tantra workshops and other special events.


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True rock enthusiasts have only one option in Utrecht and that is Boothill Saloon. When the waitresses aren't dancing on the pool table, this brownish bar is an ideal spot for a few beers. Your drinking buddies will most likely be groupies, old hippies, and heavily tattooed music fanatics. If you need more information before committing to a visit, the ceiling has plenty to see, including dozens of hanging boots.


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From the outside it doesn't look very attractive. Imagine a narrow entrance on a side street, with two or three giant bouncers standing next to it. But don't give up yet. As soon as you go down one floor (the club is literally "underground") you will find yourself in one of the most beautiful clubs in the city. It's large, well-maintained and has an impressive sound system, and is known as a stage for heavy electronic music, particularly techno music.


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Once every two months, Rits throws a Friday night party at the Ekko pop stage. Nevertheless, the DJs have a wide range of tastes and sometimes even old-fashioned electric guitars make a name for themselves. Going out at Rits offers ample opportunities for relaxed chatting, especially with a delicious Limburg country beer in hand.

The Brilliant Club

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Every Friday night, this posh canteen clears away all of its tables and chairs for anyone willing to give their worst on the big, wooden dance floor. Unfortunately, the salsa DJ at Club Brillante takes the task of entertaining his audience a little too seriously, alternating salsa, merengue and bachata, although a more consistent style would have pleased guests a little better. Don't arrive before midnight unless you want to be the only one on the dance floor.


Let's summarize the topic here, it can be said that Utrecht City has different historical places in the city. We went through a brief history of the city along with the details of how it came to be. We then discussed several places to hang out with your friends and family at night.

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Coming to the city's adult nightlife, we realized how easy it is to find a good bar to enjoy with your friends or family or a date. Such bars could really offer you some great pre-made cocktails, or you could just ask for a premium drink served especially for you.

You don't go hungry during your city tour, so we have also suggested some of the best restaurants in Utrecht that offer exotic and delicious food along with your favorite drinks, where you can enjoy the taste of good food along with something great to booze. And finally, we went through a comprehensive list of nightclubs that offered great music with some delightfully exotic drink and cocktail options that will brighten up your overall nightlife experience in Utrecht.

The above places represent only a small fraction of what Utrecht has to offer in terms of nightlife. Rest assured that if you decide to visit this fabulous city, you will find no shortage of places to suit your particular preferences while spending a night on the town.


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