Wittevrouwen in Utrecht Noordoost – The overlooked but surprising Quarter


Wittevrouwen in Utrecht Noordoost is literally one of those areas where you get to accidentally. Besides attracting people for probably the best ice cream in the city, this overlooked quarter has much more to offer. Dive in deeper and discover the surprising sights of Wittevrouwen which make your journey in Utrecht even more authentic.

What to expect

1. About Wittevrouwen in Utrecht Noordoost

Situated in the Noordoost district, the quarter of Wittevrouwen marks its southern edge to Binnenstadt, the city centre of Utrecht, and Buiten Wittevrouwen in the Oost ward. Since the 19th century, Wittevrouwen developed itself into a neighbourhood for the working and middle class. Today, most of the buildings from this era are still intact. As in many other cities, these sort of quarters has become popular. Thus, interesting concepts and decorations stand out the most. Thankfully, this is the case here as well.

2. Fancy Upscaled Houses

Due to the fact that Wittevrouwen grew fast in the 20th century, some buildings had to change their role. Hence, they got upscaled to become living space and more. Some of these prime examples can be found at Veeartsenijstraat in the quarters southeast.

2.1 Former Horse Stables have become Living Spaces

Beautifully, a row of interesting houses catches your eye when strolling through Veeartsenijstraat. What may look like an amazing upscaling project, were literally horse stables in the past. Today, people inhabit them. Besides the great facade overhaul, the forecourt is gorgeously decorated with colourful flowers and plants.

2.2 Paardenkathedraal – The Quarter’s Theatre

Opposite to the former horse stables, another upscaling project can be admired. Yes, it had something to do with horses as well. Initially, the Paardenkathedraal, home to the quarter’s theatre since 1993, was a horse-riding school. So, it’s no surprise that it is literally called Horse Cathedral. Furthermore, its design makes this building outstanding. Besides the upscaling, its gothic window elements plus its four turrets make it quite a fascinating sight.

2.3 Bricks featuring vertical Gardens

Although the next building doesn’t look that old, it continues the theme of the previous facades perfectly. Still bricky, it offers plants a way to stand out from the rest. Its mixture of vertical gardens and the baby blue of the window frames look harmonic in contrast to the dominant bricks.

3. Biltsche Grift along Dressurpark – The mystique Canal in Wittevrouwen

Only a jump behind the vertical gardens, you encounter a small urban park. Although it doesn’t stand out at first glance, it surprises with a mystique canal side at its eastern edge. Here at Dressurpark, a rather narrow gracht, the Biltsche Grift, offers some amazing perspectives and photo motifs.

3.1 Gorgeous Suburban Scenery – Gifted with Mirroring Effects

Imagine having a terrace that is connected to a waterway system. Instead of going to your garage, you walk through your terrace and embark on your boat for heading downtown. Doesn’t it sound stupendously exciting? Well, this is exactly possible when you’re living next to the Biltsche Grift at Dressurpark. However, the experience for us visitors is still beautiful there. Seeing all these docking boats alongside the houses is like being in a different world. If you’re lucky, you get this suburban scenery with great water mirroring effects.

3.2 When Biltsche Grift becomes mystique – The Point to start an Adventure

Fortunately, it’s somehow possible to simulate the gift of living there. On parkside, you may find some kayaks or other boats ready to sail away. Jokes and sails aside, you definitely can with rented or your own ones, of course. Even if this not your intention to do, this canalside has a unique atmosphere. Astonishingly, it becomes mystique. Thanks to the amazing vegetation, there are a bunch of shades. These make the gracht look completely different than before. To me, it gave me the impression of an urban Amazonas river – without Anacondas.

4. Roberto Gelato – Probably the best Ice Cream in Utrecht

Do you really want to know why I headed to Wittevrouwen in the first place? Rumour has it that one of the best places for ice cream is located right there. After leaving the Dressurpark towards Poortstraat, an ice cream sculpture and probably a queue will get your attention. So, is it worth waiting for ice cream here? Ouh yes, it is. Roberto Gelato delivers big time! Get to know what makes their ice cream so special in my dedicated article here.

5. Strolling through Griftstraat – The urban Area of Wittevrouwen

What’s better than strolling with delicious ice cream through an unknown great quarter? From Poortstraat, you’ve got many possibilities to explore the urban area of Wittevrouwen. One of them is Griftstraat. Although many others lead to Griftpark as well, I stuck with the Grift-theme.

5.1 Amazing Sidestreets with natural Decor

Taking Griftstraat means paying close attention to many details. As mentioned before, this quarter developed fast. Thus, mostly all rows of houses look similar or identical. However, they are all decorated differently. Especially the sidestreets surprise. For instance, Bekkerstraße welcomes you with ivy and blooming decorations on its houses’ facades.

5.2 Flowers rounding up the Quarter beautifully

Although you may find this scenario in many parts of Utrecht as well, I have to highlight the blooming sidewalks here. Beautifully, flowers of many kinds round up the Quarter’s appearance.

5.3 Lovely Townscape at the street’s Edge to Griftpark

From flowers to trees, a bunch of amazing vegetation makes this overall bricky quarter utterly beautiful. When reaching the street’s end, you definitely should turn back for a splendid perspective. From there, you can admire a lovely townscape with the striking belltower of the Shofar Church. Now, the Grifpark, a popular urban park to relax, is within your reach.

6. When to visit Wittevrouwen in Utrecht Noordoost

Wittevrouwen in Utrecht Noordoost is best to visit from May on. Until fall, the quarter looks tremendously beautiful due to its vegetation and blooming decoration. Furthermore, the visitor magnet Roberto Gelato may be closed in the colder season.

7. How to get there

Wittevrouwen is located close to Binnenstad, the city centre of Utrecht. Hence, it’s well reachable by foot. If you like the adventurously local way, you rent a boat or kayak and head straight through the city’s canals to Biltsche Grift. Either way, use the embedded map below to approach your best way possible.

8. Conclusion

Came for ice cream, stayed for the lovely quarter. Thus, Wittevrouven in Utrecht Noordoost belongs to the sort of suburban area which has to be visited when in town. Its great mixture of upscaled architecture, canal sides and blooming decoration get rounded up by probably the greatest gelato in Utrecht. If you want an authentic vibe of The Netherlands, you shouldn’t miss this gem.



  1. Thanks for this article. What I like the most is that you always surprise us with your insights of the cities you write about. That you don’t limit yourself to the city center or the usual highlights of the city, and you show us boroughs, streets, corners no one but the locals know and give us alternatives away from crowded tourist attractions. Is like each time you make a city immersion you get lucky and discover a sunken treasure chest full of gems for us.


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