Central Station Area

Due to circumstances, we are temporarily unable to process new tour requests. We expect this to be possible again from August 2024. We are sorry sorry for the inconvenience.

Experience Utrecht Central Station, one of the largest public transport terminals in the Netherlands, and learn more about the impressive architecture and dynamic city planning of the area. 


In 2002 the population of Utrecht chose by referendum for the transformation of the central station area. Goal was not only to transform Netherlands busiest railway station to one with more capacity, but also to connect the area with the historical inner city.  By reshaping public space in favour of bikes and pedestians, restoring the historic canal and by adding new buildings and functions, Utrecht’s city center expanded beyond Central Station meeting the needs and the expanding city.


In the following years the area underwent some major changes. Central Station has been renewed in 2016 with a large ‘wave’ roof by architect Benthem Crouwel Architects. The connection with the eastern part of the city was established by a new station square with impressive ‘bulb’ roof. The large shopping mall Hoog Catharijne was extensively renewed and on the edge of the inner city side a large concert hall opened (2014),  designed by Herman Hertzberger. 

TivoliVredenburg. Foto: LuukKramer

New public space

Meanwhile public place has been completely transformed. With new squares and streets – partly on top of a three story bike parking (the world’s largest!) and a bridge for bikers and pedestrians spanning the railway tracks. The old Catharijne canal which for over 30 years was a four lane innercity ‘highway’ was brought back and flows again, completing the Singel around the historical city centre. OKRA Landscape Architectect designed the biodiverse and climate adaptive park alongside it.

View of Singel and Hoogh Catharijne (foto: AORTA)


At the west side of the Central Station, the Jaarbeursplein is the next exciting development. It is a showcase of urban densification with much attention to public space and social interaction. The Stadskantoor (Kraaijvanger Architects, 2015) houses most of Utrecht municipality and offers an overview of the development area in a large scale model. A mega cinema and new high rise hotels (Galaxytower, 2022>), offices  (Central Park, 2022) and apartments (The Syp, 2019)) are constructed or under construction. 

View of Jaarbeursplein and Stadskantoor

The tour

During a 1,5 walking tour our professional guide leads you throuhg the highlights of the area and tells you more of the history, the changes and future plans. You start in the Stadskantoor where the scale model of the ares illustrate the plans. If you have special wishes regarding the tour you can note it in the comments field of the applications form. You can also book this tour in combination with a more extensive tour in the Stadskantoor/ City Hall . 


1,5 hrs

Number of participants

The number of participants for this tour is at least 10 and has a maximum of 20. You can book extra guides if you exceed this number. Please mention the total number of participants at the application form and we suggest the number of guides needed.


The price of this tours depends on the number of participants and any additional customization. View the full price overview.


For more information on tours and bookings you can reach us by mail: tours@aorta.nu or by phone: +31 (0)30 2321686 on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.


You can book a tour by filling out the application form: