Accommodation in Utrecht

Updated 2022-08-19 14:55

While most cities in the Randstad are located by or near the coast, Utrecht is an exception. Instead, it's located right in the middle of the Netherlands, making it a convenient hub. It's an ideal city to live in if you don't want the busy Amsterdam life but don't want the quiet life of a village (dorp) either. The city center is small, but it's grown to overtake some of the smaller villages just outside. If you're considering moving to Utrecht, then here's some helpful information.

Types of accommodation available in Utrecht

There are several types of accommodation in Utrecht: room, studio, apartment, house, and houseboat. There are also options for short stays, such as hostels, hotels, and Airbnbs.

Some useful links for finding accommodation are Funda and Pararius.

Which are the most popular neighborhoods in Utrecht?

Here are some of the most popular neighborhoods to live in in Utrecht.


This neighborhood is located right in the middle of the city; naturally, this makes it the most popular neighborhood. You'll get to see all of Utrecht's history, as well as landmarks and attractions. There are plenty of bars, restaurants, shops, and more. And because it's the city center, you can count on the atmosphere to be lively and vibrant.

Although the Binnenstad gives you great access to everything (including Utrecht Central Station), it also means rent prices are a lot higher. Also, it'll be challenging to find a free place, as they'll be snatched up quickly.


"Oost" means "east", so naturally, this is the eastern side of Utrecht. This places you very close to the city center, which means rent is still very expensive. In fact, you'll find one of the most high-class areas in Utrecht here. In addition, Utrecht Oost is home to Utrecht Science Park, which is the largest in the entire nation. As with the city center, there are also plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops.

If you admire monument houses and want to live in one, then we'd recommend the neighborhoods of Wilhelminapark and Rijnsweerd. Not only are there lots of monument properties in these areas, but greenery too.

Otherwise, Utrecht Oost is somewhat of a student area. This trendy neighborhood has good connections to the universities.


Want to stay near the city center but don't want to pay high prices? Then consider the neighborhood of Lombok. It's got lots of specialty stores, as well as bakeries and small supermarkets.

It's often been overlooked, which is why housing is still affordable and easier to find here. But if you're interested, move to Lombok fast. More people are noticing its proximity to Utrecht Central Station, so properties are sure to be snapped up quickly.


Tuindorp is located just north of Utrecht's city center and offers a nice medium between living right in the center and in surrounding villages for small families. This neighborhood mostly has single-family houses. If you need to commute, it's a great place to be since you have good connections to the highways.

However, if you want to purchase property here, expect major renovations. Most homes were built 100 years ago, so they'll need some work.

Witte Vrouwen

This is yet another "posh" neighborhood in the city, with lots of hip cafes. It's perfect for those who like the village feel, as there are small streets. It's still very centrally located though, so you can go to the city center whenever you feel like it.

This neighborhood is popular with young families. Many properties have spacious bedrooms and private gardens, ideal for growing children. You can also find apartments and studios if you're a young professional.

The downside to Witte Vrouwen is that parking is tough to find, so if you're planning on driving, it may not be a good neighborhood for you. On the other hand, housing prices are still high in this area, and housing is popular, so listings go quickly too.


With its newest housing just completed in 2012, Ijsselstein is the newest neighborhood in Utrecht. Enjoy a mostly residential area and some amazing scenic routes along the river Lek.

It's a small drive from the city center; it'll take 20 minutes to get to IJsselstein. It's perfect for those who don't want to be near the hustle and bustle of the city center, as it's a quieter suburb. Within this area, you'll be charmed by its churches, monuments, and other historical landmarks. In addition, you can walk or bike every day and see lots of green scenery.


This small town is just outside the borders of Utrecht; it was created to accommodate the city's growing population. It's located near the A2, A12, and A27, so if you need to drive to work, it's a great location. This is a nice neighborhood for young families.

Leidsche Rijn

This area consists of two villages: Vleuten and Meern. It's a fantastic area for families, considering the city's planning on building 30,000 new houses and other structures for businesses. You'll also find plenty of expats in this area.

The Leidsche Rijn is yet another neighborhood that's excellent for getting away from it all. This suburb takes you way out of the city center, which means it's much quieter. And another added benefit is housing is a lot more affordable! It's also got its own train station and shopping center, so it won't feel too far from civilization.

In this suburb, there's a park of the same name, and it's actually the largest one you'll find in all of Utrecht. There's also Maxima Park, where you can walk, jog, bike, and even skate in the wintertime.


"Zuid" stands for "south" and this neighborhood is located just under the city center. Neighborhoods here include Hoograven, Tolsteeg, and Rivierenwijk. What's great is Utrecht Zuid isn't immensely popular just yet, so housing is still affordable and easier to find.

Utrecht Zuid has a nice melting pot for its population. You'll find not just young families but also students. And there are Dutchies and expats alike living here.

De Vechtstreek

This is another neighborhood that's good for young families, but it's also retiree-friendly. You'll be in close proximity to the Loosdrechtse Plassen lakes.


As you might've inferred from the name, this is where the university's located. As expected, the demographic is young, and housing is affordable. So if you're planning on pursuing higher education, this is a good area to be in.

Not only that, but there are lots of inexpensive places to visit, such as cafes, bars, and shops. In fact, you'll find the Bloemenmarkt, which is a flower market. For those who like to shop vintage, you'll want to frequent Biltstraat and Voorstraat.


Here's another neighborhood that's an undiscovered gem. It's great for those who love shopping, as there are cafes and artsy shops, as well as wine bars. It should be no surprise then that many young expats flock to the Staduiskwartier.

Another advantage of living in this neighborhood is that there's plenty of housing. Not only that, but the prices aren't bad either. Make sure you jump on any opportunities in the Stadhuiskwartier, as it's only going to get noticed and explode with popularity in the coming years.


Kanaleneiland is a fantastic choice if you have a tight budget. Admittedly, it's not much to look at, especially if you love historical architecture. You'll mostly find apartment blocks that were built in the 1960s and the 1970s, and housing prices are very low when compared to the rest of Utrecht.

Not only is housing cheap, but shopping is affordable here as well. Kaneleneiland also has the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal and Park Transwijk, which offer green spaces where you can kick back and relax.


If you want to live amongst locals, then choose Oudwijk. It's very popular with Dutchies, and there's plenty of things to do here, as there are restaurants, bars, and shops, which are all mainly located on the Burgemeester Reigerstraat. You'll mainly find attached single-family homes that are small, so they're better for young professionals who don't have children.

If you want to get to Utrecht city center, it'll only take you 10 minutes by bike. You'll also have easy access to the highway.

Rent prices in Utrecht

Just like all the rest of the cities in the Randstad area, Utrecht's rent prices are relatively high. While it's not as cramped as it is in Amsterdam, Utrecht doesn't have very spacious housing.

With that said, rent prices are similar to other areas in the Randstad. Expect to pay upwards of €1,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment; you may get lucky with one that costs under four digits.

Considering there's a severe housing shortage all across the Netherlands, it may be challenging to find housing in Utrecht. And when you do, the prices are most likely going to be high.

Lease conditions and procedures in Utrecht

First, you should tour the room, apartment, or house you're interested in. If it's to your satisfaction, you can contact the agent or landlord directly, depending on the type of listing. They'll let you know if there are other candidates and will contact you if you're chosen.

They'll send you the lease contract; if you can't read Dutch, then they'll send an English copy as well. Once you've signed it, you'll meet up with the agent to put your deposit down, and then you'll receive the keys to your new place.

Usually, the agent will go with you to your new accommodation to make sure everything is in working order. Make sure all existing damage is well-documented so they can't charge you for it when you move out.

During this walkthrough, the agent will also give you instructions and information on things like where shared laundry rooms are located.

Do note that when looking at listings and signing contracts, you should only take properties you can register at. If the listing says "registration not allowed", this means the landlord is trying to rent out the property illegally. Prices might be cheaper, but it will cause you issues in the long run, so avoid renting properties without registration.

How to buy property in Utrecht?

If you wish to buy instead of rent, the good news is that you don't have to be a resident to do so in the Netherlands. For those with a decent amount of money saved up, you can choose to buy an apartment or house immediately to save money and build equity.

If you need a mortgage, you may run into issues, though. Lenders want to see a permanent contract at a Dutch company, as this means you're more likely to pay off your mortgage. And if you're a freelancer, they'll usually want to see three years' worth of financial records in the Netherlands; the more years, the better. In addition, it'll be more challenging for non-EU citizens to get a mortgage, so if you fall in this category, be ready for things to get difficult.

When you've found a property you like, you need to get a notary. They can take care of your deed documents (leveringsakte) and mortgage (hypotheekakte). You'll also need a sales contract (koopakte).

It may have been better to buy a few years ago, as interest rates were at a historical low before 2020. As of 2022, they hover between 4.4% to 5%. The housing crisis means there's a shortage of ideal properties available, so buyers tend to drastically overbid. In fact, in 2022, just the asking price in Utrecht has increased by 13.7% to over €472,000. This is still cheaper than in Amsterdam, so Utrecht remains an attractive place to buy property.

If purchasing a place seems like a real possibility, then it's recommended that you hire a mortgage advisor and/or real estate agent. There are many companies that specialize in helping expats in the Netherlands; although you'll have to pay a premium, it's worth it, as they'll help you navigate the real estate world in a foreign country. It can make the sales process much easier, especially for first-time homeowners.

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