Our route will take us from the centre of Utrecht through Oog in Al towards the Roman Castellum Hoge Woerd (De Meern), and then into Maximapark, where we will take a longer break. We will then head back by way of the Leidsche Rijn express bikeway and then along Vleutenseweg back towards Domplein.
Here’s a Google map of the route:
Detailed instructions and information about places of interest:
- start at Domplein
- turn left (south) onto Korte Nieuwstraat, then take the first right (Hamburgerstraat)
- keep going (continue onto Haverstraat) until you encounter a T-junction; at this point, take a right onto Springweg
- as you pass the conservatoire (HKU), follow the road to the left; cross Catharijnesingel and continue straight towards the train station
- follow the road to the right towards the station and enter the bike parking garage (rightmost entrance)
- once you’re inside the garage, follow the LEFTMOST path (otherwise, you will go up to the higher levels of the garage)
This is the biggest bike parking facility in the world! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utrecht_Centraal_railway_station#Bicycles
- keep going until you exit the parking garage and continue straight until you can turn left onto Smakkelaarskade (be careful, there are lots of other cyclists here!)
- follow this bike path under the tunnel until you’re at the lights to cross Westplein; at this point, make a right and cross the road once the light is green
- once you’ve crossed the road, turn left; in less than 100 metres, you’ll find another set of lights to cross Damstraat (be careful here!)
Oog in Al
- cross Damstraat and keep going straight on Leidseweg for a while
This is the beginning of Leidse Rijn, a very old canal dug as an alternative to sailing the meandering and very shallow Rhine towards Leiden
Where the Westplein is now, there used to be a little port area (Leidseveer): https://hetutrechtsarchief.nl/beeldmateriaal/?q=Leidseveer&mode=gallery&view=horizontal
Along the Leidseweg, if you look carefully at the sidewalk, you will find some enlarged coins embedded in it; these are images of the old guilder (gulden) coins that we used before we switched to the Euro currency.
This is because, as you will see shortly, the former State Mint (Rijksmunt) is located at your left just before you cross the water. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Dutch_Mint
This is a nice place to halt for a few minutes and take in the views of where the Leidse Rijn crosses the Merwedekanaal, a major shipping canal dug in the late 19th century to connect the Amsterdam port to the inland rivers and Germany (now most of the canal has been further developed into the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal, but not this portion);
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merwedekanaal (sorry, Dutch only!)
- cross the Merwedekanaal by way of the Muntbrug and turn right immediately
- cross the second bridge and then take the first left to enter Park Oog in Al; keep going straight
On your right, you will find a small petting zoo with some cute animals!
On your left, you will find a mansion formerly called Oog in Al (Everything in Sight), which eventually gave its name to the entire neighbourhood around it: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oog_in_Al_(buitenplaats) (sorry, Dutch only!)
- Keep following the road until you exit the park; there, turn right onto Mozartlaan
- take the first left (Everard Meijsterlaan) and continue on this street (careful, you are sharing the road with cars!)
- at some point, Everard Meijsterlaan splits into two – take the RIGHTMOST option here
- cross Lessinglaan at the lights and keep going straight, onto the horseshoe-shaped on-ramp to the Dafne Schippersbrug
This ramp is built on top of a school (Montessorischool Oog in Al), solving some interesting architectural challenges: https://architectenweb.nl/projecten/project.aspx?ID=35513 (sorry, Dutch only!)
Spot the sign saying “Oog in Al in Oog” as you exit the last curve of the ramp!
As you cross the Dafne Schippersbrug (named after a Dutch athlete who was born here), take a look at the big cargo ships on the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal!
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dafne_Schippersbrug (sorry, Dutch only)
- after exiting the bridge, keep going straight, and cross the Stadsbaan Leidsche Rijn at the lights;
This road is built on top of the A2 highway, which runs through a tunnel along the entire Leidsche Rijn neighbourhood;
- after crossing Stadsbaan Leidsche Rijn, keep going straight, and take the FOURTH possible right, PAST the Rijnkennemerlaan (the very inviting big diagonally placed bike lane), onto Groenedijk (hidden away just before an apartment block)
Groenedijk is one of the oldest roads in this area, possibly even Roman in origin but Medieval at least, built along a portion of the Roman border: the Rhine river
https://www.beleefleidscherijn.nl/historie/groenedijk/ (sorry, Dutch only!)
http://www.groenedijk35.nl/ (sorry, Dutch only!)
- shortly after entering Groenedijk, you may, if you like, take the bridge to your right to enter Park Hoge Weide, a nice and relaxing short stop at a park with swings on a hill and some goats
- follow the entire length of Groenedijk; we share the road with pedestrians here – be vigilant! Watch out for cars at crossings! There may also be a few cars sharing the road with us along portions of Groenedijk
Right after you cross the bus lane, you can see an old railway station clock on your right, next to a sign that says “Nummer 1”
- cross Langerakbaan (careful – cyclists have to yield to cars here!)
- after crossing Langerakbaan, we arrive at Castellum Hoge Woerd, a modern reconstruction of a Roman fortress that used to be here, including a small watchtower
We will take a longer, collective break at Castellum Hoge Woerd; you will have some time to explore the Castellum museum (free), play some sports, have a snack, etc.
- exit the Castellum area by following the bike path, making a slight right and then crossing Burgemeester Middelweerdbaan
- then, follow the bike path and take the SECOND left, marked with narrow green and white striped poles; avoid the first left, which is a wide cycling path: it leads elsewhere.
We are now on Alendorperweg, the road through Alendorp, a small village now encapsulated by the Maximapark, the biggest park in Utrecht
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alendorp (sorry, Dutch only!)
- follow along the road until you reach the bridge
Just before you reach the bridge, you can enter the side path on your right to take a look at the hand-pulled ferry (Fietspont); these ferries are common in rural areas, but are practically never found in cities
The monumental bridge, Jeremiebrug, was relocated here from the centre of Utrecht, where it stood at the location of what is now Vaartsche Rijn station
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremiebrug (sorry, Dutch only!)
The canal it crosses is the Alendorperwetering, which follows what was once a branch of the Rhine river
- cross the Jeremiebrug bridge and continue on Alendorperweg
Just after you cross the Jeremiebrug, you may take the first left (careful, this is a pedestrian path – don’t bike here but walk!) to take a look at the Wood Chapel, an art project by William Speakman and Gijs Frieling;
https://maximapark.nl/over-het-park/verhalen/woodchapel/ (sorry, Dutch only! but it has pretty pictures)
- continue on Alendorperweg until it makes a right turn
- just before the right turn, at the end of the road, you should see a pedestrian path sign and a path painted over with lots of flowers; here, we should walk, not bike.
- follow the path until you see the water; as you turn right, you should see the restaurant (Anafora); you can park your bike here.
We will have another longer, collective break here at Anafora; you can just lounge by the water, explore the park, have a snack and/or drink at the restaurant, go up the small tower near the restaurant (an art project by Lucas Lenglet), play some sports, etc.
- after our break, we will go back along the same pedestrian path, and then go back onto Alendorperweg (take a right from the pedestrian path)
- once you’re on Alendorperweg, take the SECOND left (Beukenboslaan); soon, you will see another art installation in front of you (see below) and a rather tall bridge (careful, we share the road with pedestrians here!)
The art installation you see is called Barricade and was made by Fernando Sánchez Castillo, inspired by the student uprisings of 1968:
- cross the bridge and keep going straight until you exit the park; then, take a right onto Het Lint (careful, we share the road with pedestrians here!)
As you exit the park, you will see a big lattice pergola designed by Adriaan Geuze van West
https://www.beleefleidscherijn.nl/maximapark/parkpergola/ (sorry, Dutch only!)
Leidsche Rijn (part 2)
- keep going on Het Lint until the 4th left you can make – this is marked by some red and white striped markings, and you will also see the entrance to Sportpark De Paperclip to your right; take this 4th left and carefully cross Parkzichtlaan
- we are now on the Leidsche Rijn express bikeway – an easy ride through the entire neighbourhood; be careful when crossing streets, though!
- follow this bike path throughout; be careful when crossing Centrumboulevard;
- after this, follow the same path up, and keep climbing until you see a movie theatre on your right and a covered plaza on your left
- if you wish, you can make a quick stop under the covered part; be careful, because when you make a left you share the road with cars
This covered part consists of platform canopy elements formerly situated at Utrecht Centraal:
https://www.beleefleidscherijn.nl/historie/perron-9/ (sorry, Dutch only!)
- keep going on Vilniusdijk (or, if you’re coming from the covered plaza: keep going on Parijsplein; be sure to join up with the bike path on your right, otherwise you end up in the bus lane) and then turn right onto the bike path along Vleutensebaan
- follow this bike path up and over the yellow bridge
As you cross the bridge, you will see (and might even smell!) the Douwe Egberts coffee roasting and grinding plant; Douwe Egberts is one of the most recognizable Dutch coffee brands;
- continue on the bike path and follow it TO THE RIGHT (no left turn); be careful when crossing the road at the lights! (both times)
As you cross the Thomas a Kempisweg, you will see the beautiful 1930s Gerardus Majellakerk on your left – a city monument.
- after crossing both roads, continue on along Vleutenseweg
On your right hand side, you will see a building that says JAFFA: formerly part of a machine factory, it is now a restaurant:
Behind it is an old canal that leads back to the Leidse Rijn; this canal was once used as a link between the Vleutensevaart (a former canal which has been turned into the Vleutenseweg road) and the Leidse Rijn.
- follow Vleutenseweg until you pass the Albert Heijn store and you encounter a T-junction
- at the T-junction, turn right; from here, take the third left by crossing Westplein at the lights
Centre (part 2)
- we will now be following the same route back to Domplein: make a left turn after crossing the road, and keep going under the tunnel
- take the first right after the tunnel, and go into the bike parking garage (rightmost entrance)
- once you’re inside the bike parking garage, keep LEFT (to avoid going onto the higher levels of the garage)
- after exiting the garage, keep going and follow the bike path to the left
- cross Catharijnesingel at the lights, and keep going straight
- follow the road to the right, and continue onto Springweg
- just after passing the red and white striped bollards, turn left onto Haverstraat
- continue on Haverstraat and cross Oudegracht; after crossing Oudegracht, take the first left onto Korte Nieuwstraat
- Keep going until you reach Domplein
Thank you for coming on this bike ride with us!