For the ones of you who have been following this blog, you already know that I’m a huge bookworm and that my favourite city in the Netherlands is Utrecht. What better way to combine the two of them, than by visiting the best local bookstore and the library? Both have just relocated to amazing venues, so when I visited the botanical gardens, of course I had to go into the city center as well, to check them out!
Both the central library and my favourite local bookstore (Broese) used to be located at the oude gracht, which is the big, main canal of the city, and they were situated next to each other. Earlier this year, just at the beginning of the corona crisis, both moved to a new location.
The central library moved to what used to be the old post office, and it’s a gorgeous old building. Perfect for a library, if you ask me!
It looks like an old church and it has this serene vibe. I think it’s gorgeous, and it’s one of the most beautiful libraries I have seen. Probably the prettiest one in the Netherlands.
Of course, you can only rent books if you have a subscription, but you can always come in and wander the hallways filled with books. I especially liked the children’s section, with lovely nooks and crannies you can sit down and read in. And of course the gigantic Nijntje (Miffy) that is central in the children’s section. Did you know that she originated from Utrecht?
Next up, a visit to Broese, the best bookstore in Utrecht and my favourite in the entire country. I even had a parttime job for a little while here. It was my favourite place to go when I had some time between classes, just browsing books and see what new ones had gotten in.
While the old building was spacious and easy to navigate, the new building (also located at the Oude Gracht, but a bit further) is fun and colorful. Bright colors, stuffed animals and cosy chairs are used to decorate the children’s section so joyfully that I am almost sad I’m not a kid anymore…
But the upper floors that contain the books for grownups are also really pretty. I already loved the bookstore, but the new venue is a really pretty improvement. If you’re visiting the city, a visit to the bookstore is an absolute must! 🙂