Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

One simply cannot visit Utrecht without seeing the Dom Tower.

Not only is the Dom Tower Utrecht’s finest landmark, it’s also the tallest church tower in all of the Netherlands!

So for us, climbing the more than 400 steps up the Dom Tower was an easy decision. And we’re here to share our experience whether you want to visit the iconic tower yourself, or whether you’re just here for some armchair traveling.

In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about visiting the Dom Tower in Utrecht – history, how to get there, ticket prices, opening hours, other things to notice, our personal experience, and a few words on why the tower is worth a visit. Now let’s begin!

About the Dom Tower in Utrecht

History of the Dom Tower

The Dom Tower of Utrecht, also known in Dutch as “Domtoren”, is a building that’s boasting of history!

The first foundation stone was laid in 1321, and the last brick was laid in 1382, which makes this incredible building almost 700 years old! Today, it stands at a 112 meters height, which means it’s the tallest church tower in all of the Netherlands.

The Dom Tower used to be directly linked to the Dom Church. But in 1674, a powerful tornado made its way through Utrecht and destroyed most of the city – including the church nave, which combined the two buildings. The nave was never to be rebuilt, and instead, the Dom Square was born.

Over the years, the Dom Tower has played a part in many significant historical events for the Netherlands – including overseeing the start of Tour de France in 2015.

Painting of Dom Tower
“City hall Utrecht” by Reinier Craeyvanger from 1833. Beautiful painting seen at Utrecht Centraal Museum

How to get to the Dom Tower

The easiest way to get to the Dom Tower is of course to just walk through the old historical city center of Utrecht. However, you can also take bus line #2 directly to “Domplein”, which is the name of the Dom Square where the tower and church are standing.

Official address for the Dom Tower: Domplein 9, 3512 JC Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Dom Tower ticket prices 2023

You can either buy your ticket directly at the ticket office or book ahead online. There are only a specific number of tickets available at every time slot, so if you want to plan ahead, then you should get your tickets in advance: Dom Tower’s Official Website.

Below you’ll find a table of the ticket prices for the Dom Tower in 2023.

Ticket types Ticket prices 2023
Adults €12,5
Students & 65+ years old €7,5
Children 4-12 years old €7,5
Small children 0-3 years old FREE!

Dom Tower opening hours 2023

The Dom Tower are running tours from 11 AM – 5 PM. However, the official tourist information center is open from 10 AM – 5 PM, so you can go an hour earlier to get your tickets if you’d like.

How long is the visit to Utrecht’s Dom Tower

There is only one visit per hour, and it lasts one hour. So visiting the Dom Tower is definitely not a whole day activity. You can easily combine it with other things to do in Utrecht on the same day.

How many steps do you have to climb

Normally there are 465 steps from the ground to the top where you’ll find the viewpoint. However, because of the scaffolding, you will have to walk an extra 30 steps up to an even higher viewpoint!

So until some time in 2024, when the restoration is done, you will walk 495 steps in total.

Dom Tower with scaffolding
No wonder it took a year to set up this scaffolding!

Other things to notice before your visit

As just mentioned, there is a scaffolding surrounding the Dom Tower in Utrecht. Let’s be honest, this really sucks… So you won’t get to see the beautiful building from the outside. But to us, that just meant the more reason to visit it, so we could at least see it from the inside!

The scaffolding took a whole year to set up, and it’s going to stay there until some time in 2024. They are currently turning every brick of the Dom Tower to give it a full restoration.

The scaffolding also meant that we got to walk up to a higher viewpoint than normally. We were basically standing on top of the scaffolding outside of the building! It was honestly pretty cool, and I can only recommend you to visit while the scaffolding is still there.

Anyways, another thing to notice is that you’re not allowed to bring anything into the building except for your phone and camera. That means no handbags too. But luckily, they provide you with free lockers, so this really isn’t an issue.

I also read that there is a tour with an escalator. This may be good to look into if you cannot walk the 495 steps. Just ask about it in the visitor center.

Dom Tower view with Utrecht in the back
Cecilie is enjoying the views of Utrecht from the top!

Our visit to the Dom Tower in Utrecht

1. The chapels

Once we got picked up by our guide at the visitor center, he took us to the Dom Tower and began the tour.

We first walked up the stairs to an 11 meters height where we reached a big room. This is the oldest part of the building, and it’s known as the “Bishop’s Chapel”.

From here, we proceeded up a smaller staircase, which took us to the next room.

At a 25 meters height, we reached “Egmund’s Chapel”. This room was designated to the man who took care of the tower, which meant a whole family used to live here! And sure enough, it looked a bit more homey, than the former chapel we had just visited. Can you imagine living in a building like this?

While visiting the chapels were a nice way to break up the ascent, it’s not exactly why we bought the ticket. However, the next part was really interesting!

2. The bell chamber and carillon

Next, we got back onto the stairs and began the ascent to the bell chamber, which lies at a 50 meters height.

Walking into the bell chamber room was pretty incredible!

All the bells together in this room weigh 31.000 kilos! The biggest bell weighs 8000 kilos, and you need 4 people to ring it! In total 26 people are needed to ring all the bells in the tower. Isn’t that incredible? Today, the bells of Dom Tower only ring for ceremonial purposes in Utrecht. We can certainly see why with all the work that is put into making them ring!

We were honestly really impressed with the bell chamber, and we appreciated all the facts our guide told us.

After the bell chamber, we proceeded up the stairs to Dom Tower’s carillon. The carillon is located at 70 meters height and has 50 bells that can create the sweetest music.

Bell in Dom Tower
That is one big bell…

3. The viewpoint

From the carillon, there is only one thing left to do – walk to the viewpoint!

As mentioned earlier, normally there are 465 steps from the ground to the viewpoint of Dom Tower. However, because of the restoration, we had an extra 30 steps, which took us to an even higher viewpoint than normally!

In fact, we were standing on the scaffolding that surrounds the outside of the building at 100 meters height! how cool is that?! We were literally only 12 meters from the top of the Dom Tower’s spire.

Seeing this view over Utrecht was the main reason why we bought the tickets to Dom Tower.

We could walk around the whole tower and get 360 views of the city below us. It was so majestic! And a sweet ending to our tour of the Dom Tower.

View from the Dom Tower in Utrecht, the Netherlands
View over Utrecht City from the Dom Tower

Is the Dom Tower worth a visit?

Before booking our tour to visit the Dom Tower, we were not sure if it would be worth the money – mainly because of the scaffolding surrounding it.

But to us, walking up the Dom Tower was honestly the best thing we did in Utrecht!

1) The building is just boasting of history, 2) a guide is included in the price, and he/she will tell you all about the tower, and 3) you get the best view of Utrecht from up here!

So yes, we 100% think that the Dom Tower is worth a visit, and we cannot recommend it enough.

Cecilie climbing the steps in Dom Tower, Utrecht
That’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for reading along in this blog post about the Dom Tower of Utrecht. It was honestly one of our favorite things to do in the city, and we hope to be back to see the tower in its full glory some day.

Don’t hesitate to leave a question in the comment box below if you have any wonderings about touring this magnificent building.

Thanks for reading and happy travels!

Source: https://wowiwalkers.com/

By Lala