Dear Cloggie Queries,
I'm writing because my wife and I are thinking about coming to live in the Netherlands for fun for a while with our 2-year old daughter.I'm an artist and toy designer and author and very lucky because I can live just about anywhere I want. Amsterdam feels a little too big, and I really like Utrecht. I'm actually in Amsterdam now and am going back tomorrow to take another look at the town, and to see if Utrecht is a place that we'd like to live.
I just found your fantastic blog and I am wondering -- what you think of the Utrecht people? What are they like culturally? Does the town feel conservative or more progressive? Does it feel more working class or white collar in general? And is there much of an artist community that you know of outside of the University?Thanks for the great blog.
Thanks so much for your email. I personally think Utrecht is a great city to live in!The people in Utrecht are, in general very friendly, very open, on the young side, and very culturally aware with all the museums and theaters in the city.
As it is a university city, there are a lot of foreigners living here and you'll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't speak at least a little bit of English (though you will run into it a bit less than in Amsterdam).There are a wealth of museums in Utrecht (Spoorweg Museum, Dick Bruna House, Centraal Museum, Aboriginal Museum, and several other smaller ones), there are a few theaters (Theater Kikker, Stadsschouwberg, etc.), and loads of bands and singing groups.
On the Oudegracht, there's an art supply store, a jewelry-making store, and a tile mosaic workshop. Another art store, Pipoos, is located across the street from the Bijenkorf. There are loads of textile stores and a yarn store on the Lijnmarkt.For your wife, there's a women's club (International Women's Contact Utrecht) that offers all kinds of events and a moms and tots group. There are also two international schools in Hilversum (Violenschool and International School of Hilversum - my after school theater classes are offered at both schools).
It's close enough to Amsterdam that you can head in any time you like (my husband works in Amsterdam) and it's pretty easy to get to places like Rotterdam and The Hague from here too.As far as the artist community outside of the university, I am not 100% sure as that's not my specialty. If I hear of anything, I will definitely pass it your way. And perhaps some of the readers in the Utrecht area will be able to help out as well.
Best of luck to you and I hope to bump into you in Utrecht some time!Groetjes,
Cloggie QueriesAny readers out there who live in or have lived in Utrecht? Have you visited? What were your thoughts on the city? Is there any advice you'd like to share with Paul and his family? Please let us know in a comment.
Photo: Clogs and Tulips