In 2016 I am making it my mission to explore more of my own country, the tiny but beautiful Netherlands. That’s why I wrote my ‘10 Things Every Foreigners Should Know About The Netherlands’ guest post for Aileen and an ‘Introduction to the Netherlands’.
I planned on publishing this post much sooner but I have had so much trouble getting the pictures I took of the Dom Tower tour off my camera and in fact still haven’t managed to do so.
The cable connecting the camera to the computer is nowhere to be found and the memory card is the only format that doesn’t fit into any of my electronic devices… I apologize for poor quality of some of the pictures in this post, they are taken with my phone which doesn’t do a superb job in the dark;-).
But I digress, this post is all about climbing the Dom Tower in Utrecht, the city I live in!
Also read: how to travel by train in the Netherlands
The wonderful city of Utrecht
Utrecht is the 4th largest city in the Netherlands, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague are 1, 2 and 3, and lies in the province of Utrecht. Check my Introduction to the Netherlands post for more info and a map of the 12 Dutch provinces.
Utrecht was granted city rights in 1122 and has a beautiful medieval center with pretty canals, beautiful old houses and plenty of great cafes and bars.
Utrecht University is one of the oldest universities of the Netherlands (founded in 1636!) and all the students living in Utrecht give the city a great vibe.
Climbing the Dom Tower
I have been living in Utrecht since 2013 and had never climbed the Dom, whilst seeing it pretty much every day when I look out my window.
I have to admit the same thing happened to me in Groningen. I lived there for 7 years and only visited the Martini Tower in the weekend before I moved to Utrecht…. To prevent that from happening again, I decided on a bright and sunny winter day that it was time to climb the Dom Tower. You can find all the practical information (how to buy a ticket, where the tour starts, etc.) in the final part of this post.
The Dom Tower: interesting facts and figures
– The construction of the Dom Tower started in 1321 and took 61 years to complete.
– The Dom Tower is with its 112 meter the tallest church tower in the Netherlands.
– You have to climb 465 steps to get to the top of the Dom Tower. It’s worth it though, the view from 95 meters up is breathtaking. You can even see Amsterdam and Rotterdam on a clear day!
– The heaviest bell in the tower is called Salvator and weighs 8200 kilo!
– The carillon of the Dom Tower is quite famous and many people want to play on it. Malgosia Fiebig is the carillonist of the Dom and she is the first female carillonist to hold this position. She plays the carillon every Saturday between 11 and 12am. Between April and November she also plays on Friday between 12.30 and 1.30pm. You can hear her play in this short (Dutch) movie. Did you know you have to study 4 years before you can play a carillon?!
All right, enough with words, facts and figures, let me take you on a photo tour of the Dom Tower:-)!
Drawings of the Dom Tower in 1580 and in 1674.
The Dom Tower: practical information to plan your visit
The Dom Tower can only be visited with a tour, tours start every 30 minutes at the Tourist Center located across the Dom Tower, check the map below.
A ticket for the Dom Tower Tcosts €9 for an adult and €5 for children between 5 and 12. You can find more information about the rates here.
How to book a ticket
I booked my ticket online a couple of hours before going on the 3.30pm tour (on the same day), but if you want to make sure there are tickets for a particular day or time, I recommend booked a little more ahead. The online booking process is in Dutch but I created a step by step guide to walk you through the online booking process even if you don’t speak Dutch.
You can also book your ticket by phone via number +31 (0)30 236 00 10 or by popping into the Tourist Center.
If you made a reservation online, you can pick up your actual ticket at the Tourist Center. Just go to the desk, show the ticket (with a QR code) on your phone and get your very Dom Tower Passport.
Important: you are not allowed to take bags with you during the tour, free lockers are available in the waiting area.
As you can see on the map, the Dom Tower is located in the city center of Utrecht and can (obviously;-) be seen from pretty much anywhere in the city. You can easily walk to the Dom Tower from Utrecht Central station, it’s about 10-15 minutes. Read about more things to do in Utrecht!