While it may not be quite as large as Amsterdam or Rotterdam, expats moving to Utrecht will find there is a range of neighbourhoods to choose from. The decision on which area or suburb of Utrecht in which to live in depends on a number of factors, such as proximity to an expat’s place of work, proximity to good schools, the availability of transport options, lifestyle choices, housing options available and rental prices.
Here is a list of some of the most popular areas and suburbs in Utrecht.
Living in Utrecht’s historic city centre will certainly be poetic with its narrow streets, beautiful townhouses, markets, canals and quaint cafés. The presence of Utrecht University sees a new influx of young students each year, which accounts for much of the liveliness felt in the area. Expats living in the centre of town will have their pick when it comes to restaurants, bars and quirky fashion boutiques.
Accommodation here tends to be less spacious and pricier compared to what can be found further out in the suburbs. A major advantage of living so centrally is the accessibility of public transport networks that connect the city centre to other areas. Those who need to travel further afield will be close to Utrecht Central Station from where one can catch a train to Rotterdam, The Hague and Amsterdam within an hour – a plus for those who need to travel regularly for business.
Nieuwegein is a relatively new town which was established in the 1970s to cater to Utrecht’s expanding population. It lies just 4 miles (7km) south of Utrecht and is connected to the city by a number of nearby motorways. There is a variety of housing options available in Nieuwegein, including classic Dutch brick homes and modern high-rise apartment complexes. Many homes are located close to parks and lakes so this is a great suburb for expats moving to Utrecht with a young family.
This is a picturesque suburb located to the northwest of Utrecht and close to Loodsrechtse Plassen lakes. Local rail and bus services connect the area to the centre of Utrecht. Properties tend to be spacious, with most being located within new housing estates. The area is popular with young families and home to a number of good schools.
Leidsche Rijn is considered to be the largest new development in the Netherlands and consists of two small villages, Vleuten and Meern. In addition to the 30,000 homes, Leidsche Rij has newly constructed business space. With a population of around 100,000 people, this is essentially a medium-sized town. Accommodation in Leidsche Rij is modern with much of it being constructed with environmental concerns in mind.
There are also plans for a new hospital, shopping facilities, a train station and a rapid transit bus system to be implemented in the area.
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