By Judith Harmsen
You can only really say you lived in Utrecht if you have fallen in love with its multicultural, hip and lively neighbourhood Lombok. As a new resident of this beautiful little town in the city, I thought it was about time to provide you with a little guide to take on your free Saturday.
Central to Lombok’s vibrant city life is the famous Kanaalstraat. The street goes right through the heart of the neighbourhood and hosts a wide variety of vegetable shops, small Turkish bakeries and butchers. There is no better place to buy your weekly fruit and veggies, score some good fresh chicken or buy nice Turkish bread to dip in your hummus. You can also choose among a wide variety of spices, weigh your own portion of fresh feta cheese, or treat yourself to the best olives you have ever tasted. A little insider’s tip: most of these shops close around 7pm, and have many fresh products they do not want to throw away. If you walk through the Kanaalstraat from 6:30pm onwards you are likely to be able to negotiate and get lots of fresh products for cost price.
“You can only really say you lived in Utrecht if you have fallen in love with its multicultural, hip and lively neighbourhood Lombok”
Swimming at the ‘Muntbrug’
Although it is most likely that the sunny days of 2016 are behind us, you will want to remember this swimming spot. Right before you leave Lombok and enter the neighbourhood ‘Oog in Al’ through its beautiful park, a cross road of canals reveals one of Utrecht’s hidden treasurers. The famous Muntbrug (literal translation: coin bridge), next to the monetary museum of Utrecht serves as a diving board for locals on hot summer days. Floating rafts serve as wonderful spots to enjoy the sun and make the Muntbrug a great place to spend your days.
“The windmill often hosts events; from music performances to Stand Up Paddle (Sup) workshops and many other things: you can all find it at Windmill ‘De Ster’”
Windmill ‘De Ster’
Can a scenery become more Dutch than a windmill next to a canal? The windmill ‘De Ster’ is not only home to a small petting zoo, it also has a great café, many art ateliers and a day care centre. The windmill often hosts events; from music performances to Stand Up Paddle (Sup) workshops and many other things: you can all find it at Windmill ‘De Ster’.
Koffie en ik
That gentrification is happening in Lombok is clear from many different things, not in least from hip coffee places such as ‘Koffie en ik’ on the Vleutenseweg. If you find yourself in need of a good cup of coffee, or a piece of delicious carrot cake, you should make your way to this lovely little place. Although the location can hardly be called idyllic, ‘Koffie en Ik’ certainly has character. Fun fact: there is a mini-series made by the VPRO called ‘Zes Dates’ recorded in Lombok in which ‘Koffie en Ik’ is an important location!
Hopefully this little list will get you to come off campus, cross the central station and discover what is within a 15-minute bike ride from your comfortable homes.