Discover the Utrecht nightlife!

The Utrecht nightlife is fun and exciting! Whether you want to go for drinks, do some dancing, sing (bad) karaoke songs or listen to some live music, there are many nice places where you can have a good time with your friends. This article will hopefully help you to explore and discover the diversity of the Utrecht nightlife.

Good food and drinks

Are you looking for a place where you can go for dinner and after hang out to drink some beers? Then you should definitely visit Bar Walden, Beers & Barrels or Mick O’ConnellsBar Walden offers students a nice three course menu for only 15 euros! At Beers & Barrels the food is delicious, especially the burgers and pulled pork are very tasty. Mick O’Connells is an Irish Pub where you can hang out and watch live football or other sports. On the 27th of October they even organize a Halloween party! Besides these bars, Kafé België and Café Olivier are two other bars where you can hang out and enjoy special beers. These bars usually stay open until 2 am, so their final rounds mostly happen around 1:30 am.  

Live music

‘t Oude Pothuys is the only bar in town where there is live music every night. Don’t miss out the rock and soul nights on Thursdays, these nights are always absolutely memorable. In the weekends you can go to Stathe where you can listen to live music of upcoming artists and singer/songwriters. If you’re a bit into alternative music, then you can enjoy small concerts of all kinds in ACU and EKKO.

Bars where you can stay for the party

Around de Neude, Janskerkhof and Nobelstraat there are many bars where you can go party after midnight. You don’t have to pay any entrance, so you can easily visit multiple bars in one night! The music in these bars is most of the time a mix between house, hiphop and pop hits. Nice places to go are for example: De Beurs, Hofman Café, ‘t Gras van de buren and Vrienden. Are you up for some karaoke? Then go to Café Ome Willem, the only karaoke bar in town.

Places to party

Tivoli, Stairway to Heaven, ACU and Ekko organize all different kinds of parties. Keep an eye on the Facebook event pages of these places to stay up to date when their parties will take place. For example, the famous straight friendly gay party PANN takes place in Tivoli. If you’re into techno music, you should definitely go to BASIS or WAS. And don’t forget about the ESN Student nights at Poema every Tuesday! With any student card you have free entrance and before midnight a beer only costs you €1,00.

So, what are your plans for next week? Let us know! We hopefully see you soon at the ESN student night!


Were you there? These were the greatest moments of the Mentor Week

What a week! From 11th to 14th of September, new internationals in Utrecht had a chance to participate in the Mentor Week, when they join two mentors and a group of other internationals to partake in several fun activities throughout the week. Since different groups did different things in different days, and the rain was a not welcomed guest, I will go through some of the highlights of the week. See if you can spot someone you know in the pictures!


Unfortunately, the rain didn’t allow for a nice canoeing activity on Monday. But that didn’t stop anyone! Instead, internationals and mentors were able to still get on a boat and enjoy a few drinks on water.



Also due to the rain on Wednesday, some groups had to go play bowling, but that was far from boring!



Everyone likes to play pool once in a while, and it makes you feel fancy! Some internationals went to poolcafé t’ Hart and experienced the competitive sides of their mentor group members, while enjoying a couple of drinks on the house.



In Lasergaming you have to shoot your opponent with – you guessed it – harmless lasers. At Ozebi the mentour groups could enjoy this activity, which helped with bonding, making  some sort of exercise and having loads of fun!


International Kitchen

In this activity everyone brought some food from their own countries to share with fellow internationals, so people could taste a little of somewhere else. Take a look at how delicious all of this food looks!



Personally, I find Karaoke one of the most fun, entertaining and ice-breaking activities, there is nothing like the impending public humiliation associated with it to make friends immediately! And I think internationals agree, because they seemed to have a great time, and didn’t have any voice left on the next day!



The Beer Cantus is a Dutch tradition that consists of making people drink and sing, and there is a series of rules that, if broken, have very special penalties. These penalties can be drinking more, or maybe go on stage and play a fun game (for the punishers, of course). It is one of the most expected activities. It took place in Club Poema, and it did not disappoint!



Reaching the end of the week and that heart breaking feeling that an amazing week is coming to an end, partying in Tivoli was the best way to let loose. People partied all night long, on the edge of starting what we hope will be a great semester!


Welcome to Utrecht, everyone!

For some, it will be just one more year. For us and for you, it will be an extraordinary year.

I still remember trying my first stroopwafel, riding my first bike in the middle of the city, the first time I ran away from the rain when just five minutes before I was bathing in the sun; it was September of 2015 and it was the premonition of a great year, a complete contrast with what my life had been so far in Portugal. Now I am almost finished with my Master’s degree in Theoretical Physics. But as with you, the new international students starting right now, I am too just embarking in a new journey.

This year I am President of the Journalism Committee of ESN, responsible for bringing you great content in this blog! Last year I was also part of ESN, in the Pubquiz Committee, and was in the Project Committe the year before that. When I am not “sciencing”, I am a bookworm and you will always find me with my Kindle. Two of my favorite books are The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera, and Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brönte. I also love TV-shows, and this past year one of my favorites was This is Us (highly recommended if you are in need of a soul-cleaning roller-coaster of emotions).

Me (left) in my UU Orientation Day in 2015, already totally Dutch!

In our committee we are excited to help make your life in the Low-Lands a little bit easier: we will give you tips, report on ESN events, tell you interesting facts from the city and the Netherlands, explore current themes in Dutch culture, and so much more!

Let us have a sneak peek at the other committee members:

Marjolein is the responsible for the Abroad Magazine, and what a job that is! She is always enthusiastic and ready to get the next great story, which is why she just started her Master’s degree in Journalism and New Media at Leiden University. She was in exchange in Viena in 2016 so she is excited to give back to the exchange community. She loves travelling, food (sushiiii), dancing, fashion, writing, Gossip Girl, James Bond and Phil Dunphy from Modern Family.

Marjolein visiting a friend in Malta (2016).

Next we have Robin, the lively secretary of the committee! She is our student life expert. Born and raised in Rotterdam, she moved to Utrecht three years ago and has now completed her Bachelor’s in Information and Communication Studies. She also spent some time in exchange, more precisely in Belfast. She is a die-hard fan of Harry-Potter, and I’m not exaggerating: her room even has a secret closet under the stairs where she sometimes goes to and, she swears, closing her eyes hard enough, she is even able to do some magic!

Robin (back, right) with friends in Scotland (2017).

Now we have Iris, the PR of our committee. She is sometimes a little shy, but she is fearless! She has been in Utrecht for three and a half years and just finished her Bachelor’s in Corporate Communication. She is now going to start a traineeship in Digital Content Creation, in Amsterdam. She attended a summer school “Cambridge English” in Manchester. Her guilty pleasure: 80’s music, because who can resist a good disco ball ? 

Iris in the day of her Graduation (2017).

Uff, so many committee members! Let me have a little rest and let Lara describe herself:

Hello there! My name is Lara. I am 20 years old, which makes me the puppy of the Journalism Committee this year. I was born and raised in Frankfurt (Germany) and moved to Utrecht last year to study ‘International Communication and Media’ at the HU. Besides my studies I am working as a Content Marketer for a Start Up in Utrecht.
I am absolutely passionate about writing, photography, travelling and exploring new cultures. One of my favourite destinations, however, will remain Australia where I lived and worked for over 8 months, closely followed by New Zealand and Bali. I also consider myself as a serious foodie and coffee addict. Honestly, it feels like I am sponsoring half of the cafés in Utrecht. So stay tuned because I am going to share my secret spots and favourite recipes with you! I am mainly responsible for the layout and design of the Abroad Magazine but, on top of that, I will take you with me to all sorts of exhibitions throughout the Netherlands and show you Utrecht out of the eyes of an International on the ESN blog.

Lara (back, left) hiking in New Zealand (2016).

Now for our boys. Jeroen is pursuing his Master’s degree in Economic Geography, and he is also pursuing the World! He just got back from a seven-month trip to the Asia-Pacific region (up until a week ago he was helping us out directly from the jungle) and previous that he did an internship in Australia. He did a semester abroad in Nebraska, USA, and he loves to meet people from various parts of the world to get inspired by the cultural differences and the (unexpected) similarities.

Jeroen in Indonesia (2017).

Our second gentleman is Jelle, whose birthday is today! He studies Journalism in Utrecht, and, like myself, is not new to the backstage of ESN Utrecht, having been part of the Activities Committee last year. He is a virtuoso saxophone and piano player, and you might just find him at his favorite place, ‘t Oude Pothuys, where he likes to perform at the jam sessions. He enjoys the simple pleasures of life, and he can’t say no if you invite him for a beer (wink wink).

Jelle playing his sax (2014).

I also want to mention our coordinating Board Member, Beaudine, who came back as well from a long South-Asia trip, with an enviable amount of tan and fun stories to tell. She won’t be writing with us, but without her none of this would be possible.

Beaudine (left) leaving for her two-month trip (2017).

Our most heartfelt hope is that you make the best out of your time abroad in Utrecht and we wish you all of the luck.

Do you have suggestions for the Blog or the Abroad? Please let us know in the comments, we are always receptive to your ideas!

Like our page on Facebook and don’t miss an article: ESN Utrecht Blog FB

See you soon!

PS: We have a challenge for you: if you spot us on the street, we will feature you in one of our blog articles. Keep your eyes open!


The JoCo says goodbye!

You know what they say about the passing of time when you are enjoying yourself right? ‘Time flies when you’re having fun!’ And this my dear friends, has definitely been the case for this year as ESN Utrecht’s Journalism Committee. So, as a last goodbye and hopefully a see you later, this is what the JoCo takes away from the past year:

Maaike: This has been an amazing year with ESN and especially the JoCo. Fun activities, making new friends and learning a lot about writing, editing and working together with such a varied group of people. For me the highlights of the year were the times when we finished the Abroad magazines, I am so proud of the results. Thanks everyone for making this an unforgettable year! Enjoy your summers!

Betti: This was not my first time living abroad, but it was definitely the first time I got so involved with student life (through ESN) during my stay, and I don’t regret it one bit! Not only did I have the chance to participate in amazing events from pub quizzes to Local Platform III but I also met a bunch of amazing people with incredible stories. My fellow committee members helped me get through tough times and taught me how to just take it easy sometimes and that nobody has to deal with their difficulties alone. Believe me, that is probably the most valuable life lesson one could have and I’m grateful I got to learn them from such an awesome group of girls!

Vera: Thanks first and foremost to all the great girls that were part of the JoCo this year! I hope we made your stay in Utrecht even better than it already was. Similarly, I would like to thank ESN and you guys for the memories. Keep it up and Utrecht will always have a welcoming heart!

Kiki: I want to thank everyone for the great year! I hope you all enjoyed Utrecht and that you will come back sometime. I enjoyed ESN myself during my Erasmus in Madrid. I love that it brings people together and I hope it also made your stay even better. I already visited my friends from Erasmus and went back to Madrid. This is not the end! It was my pleasure to write blogs for you and do the design of the abroad Magazine. Doei!

Una: This was definitely an amazing year for me! I have joined ESN and met so many great, inspiring people from all over the world. Through ESN I became more involved in the student life of Utrecht, and it was the first time I have joined the JoCo committee, which was a great choice! Writing blogs, making magazines and meeting lovely girls was great fun for us, and I hope our readers enjoyed it as much as we did! xx


Willeke: This year was over before I knew it! For me it was a full and busy year; graduation of art school, applying for a position for upcoming board member of ESN Utrecht (yes,I’m in the Candidate Board now!!), and of course writing blogs and writing and photographing for the Abroad magazines of the JoCo. I learned so much from my fellow committee members and I’m thankful for the new friendships I made during this year. I hope you enjoyed all the articles and magazines as much I did this year. Thanks for your interest in our blogs and have a good time back home! XoXo

Annalise: I had an incredible time here in Utrecht as an Erasmus student. ESN really helped me feel welcome here and connected me with amazing people of whom I will stay in contact with! I will most definitely visit again and see my lovely JoCo colleagues as well as many other residents here in Utrecht and the Netherlands! With me I will take waffles, stories, friendship and life experience back to England. Thank you everybody for your constant energy and enthusiasm, every moment I will treasure. Thank you, JoCo, for allowing me this opportunity to write for such an inspirational society, to help you help internationals get the best experience of their lives here in the Netherlands, I truly enjoyed spending my time with you. I will see you all again! Tot ziens! Cheerio!

Evelijn: It’s already time to say goodbye after two years of JoCo for me! I love the fact that this year’s committee managed to bring the blog and the magazine to a new level. The views of the blog went sky high and I believe the Abroad magazine never looked so pretty. Working together with this all-girls committee has been truly amazing with so many talented people in the group 🙂 Sadly, all good times come to an end so it’s time for me to say goodbye to the ESN blog. Enjoy the summer time and if it’s gonna rain all summer, there’s still plenty to read on the blog 😉

Sammy: I can’t say anything else than that I absolutely loved this year! I was completely new within ESN Utrecht but have never felt so welcomed and comfortable so quickly with a group of new people. I love how the JoCo girls have written so many amazing blogs and made four kick-ass Abroad magazines. No president can be prouder of their committee than I am, and I’m honestly quite sad our JoCo year is coming to an end… But luckily the new semester starts in September, and who knows what the future holds? But for now, enjoy the summer!


5 lessons you have learned during your time abroad

Time’s a bitch and your days abroad are numbered, so it’s time for some reminiscing!

Your bank balance hit a new low

Ouch yup, checking your bank balance during your time abroad is no fun. You’ve had so much to see and do and eat and explore and what not … Still at the same time hardly any money came in. Make sure to find a good summer job when you return home, because you did learn one thing from this experience: money can buy you amazing experiences! So make sure to save some money so you’ll be able to say yes to new adventures. Oh and maybe a lesson in budgeting is also a good idea. 😉

The world is bigger than you thought

Some people say the it’s a small world we’re living in. Well, it is when you stay at home. But when you travel abroad you’ll meet so many different people from different cultures and countries that you’ll soon realize that there’s so much left to discover in this world! The world counts almost 200 countries and once you get caught with the travel bug you can’t wait to discover them all. And since you have made friends all over the world, you’ve got a good excuse to do so!


Friends can be found everywhere

A few months ago Utrecht was a just a dot on the map, an empty concept ready to be filled with new experiences. You might have arrived in Utrecht all on your own, but I’m sure that you’ll leave town with a ton of new memories and friends. Living abroad teaches you that there are friends to be made everywhere. At ESN, at university, at your student house. People love to connect and to share experiences. Some of the friendships are there to stay and others you’ll leave behind in Utrecht. Never be afraid to start an adventure on your own, because you’ll meet other people who want to share their adventure with you.

Say yes to everything!

Do you remember that one night when you were sitting on your couch watching a replay of How I Met Your Mother? Nope, didn’t think so either. The most amazing things happen when you don’t expect them to happen. You just have to be flexible and be there at the right time and moment. Whilst studying abroad you’ve got all the time, you’re not bound to a job a or other obligations. So whenever one of your Utrecht-buddies asks whether you’ve got time to come and visit them in their home country, say yes and just do it!

You’re a survivor

Leaving behind the familiar for the big unknown is always a big step. How are you gonna survive without your besties around the corner and your mum and dad nearby? Well, congratulations, because you just did it! You went to a city where you didn’t know anyone and you’re gonna leave this city with new confidence. Studying abroad teaches you that you can always count on yourself and that you’re able to survive!

Make these pink eggs to impress everyone with Easter brunch

Everyone is capable of making these amazing(ly easy)pink eggs. They are a great dish to shine with at your Easter brunch.

Yes! We have a month with feast days again! On the 16th and 17th we celebrate Easter in the Netherlands. For some people this are important days because of their religious beliefs. However, most of us Dutchies just have a big brunch with friends and family.

As an international student, this is a great opportunity to have a spectacular lunch with your friends! Do you want to make something that really stands out and is delicious? Then this Easter recipe is great for you. You can find this and more recipes in the Allerhande (magazine of Albert Heijn), but because that’s all in Dutch, we have a English version of the recipe for you.


To learn some Dutch, or just to find the products in the supermarket we will also tell you the Dutch terms:

  • 6 eggs (eieren)
  • 705 g jar of red beets (pot rode bieten schijven zoetzuur)
  • 50 ml red wine vinegar (rodewijnazijn)
  • 4 T.B. white caster sugar (witte basterdsuiker
  • 3 T.B. mayonnaise 
  • 1 teaspoon vadouvan spices (vadouvan specerijenmengsel)
  • 5 g flat parsley (platte peterselie)

Kitchen equipment

  • Blender (blender of staafmixer)
  • Piping bag (spuitzak)

Only 5 steps of preparation!

  1. Boil the eggs for 8 minutes. Let them cool off in cold water, peel them and put them aside in a bowl.
  2. Puree the beets with the juice of the beets, the red wine vinegar and the sugar. Sieve the mix over the eggs until they are fully covered in it. Cover the bowl and leave it in the fridge for 12 hours (this will make the eggs pink).
  3. Cut the eggs lengthwise into two halves. Remove the yolk and put it in a separate bowl. Mix the mayonnaise, the vadouvan spices (or other spices if you want) and the yolk. Add some pepper and salt. Fill up the piping bag with the mix.
  4. Squirt the mix into the hollow eggs. Cut the parsley and sprinkle it on top.
  5. Voila! Now you have pink eggs!

Please take a picture for us and post it if you decide to make them! Happy Easter!

Meet your new writers!

The ESN Journalistic Committee has two new international members! Are you interested in who they are and what you can expect from them? Then keep reading and get to know these two internationals better!

Annalise Garrett

Hey! My name is Annalise and I am an Erasmus student from England! I am here for one year as part of my BA degree in Literature and Linguistics from The University of Leicester. I arrived here in Utrecht in September, and as expected, the weather resembles that of England, if not a little bit colder! As you can imagine, having to adapt to riding my bike and walking on the wrong side of the road has been very disorientating and I still make mistakes. So, if you see an English girl on a little red bike (yes I cycle using a children’s bike) cycling the wrong way or looking rather frightened, say hi! For writing, well, expect a lot of topics in relation to international observations and travelling… especially travelling, for my love of nature and culture cannot be concealed. Additionally, I have a love for all art forms, you will find me in a museum, reading a book or scrolling through tumblr fine art posts. So, to be part of this blog and committee allows me to engage and experiment with words in relation to our Erasmus here. And with that, I shall say hello and I will see you at some ESN events! Hope you enjoy your stay here and the coming sunny weather!

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Una Omeragic

Hello to all the dear readers of our ESN Blog! My name is Una and I am a twenty-year-old Croatian girl studying in the Netherlands. I came to Utrecht last September to study International Communication and Media, and it was definitely a decision I don’t regret. Since then, the city has treated me so well that I have decided to do my full-time study here.As most of the internationals, I try to make the best out of my time spent abroad so I have decided to join the ESN Journalism Committee. I am very passionate about literature in general, and writing articles while having a cup of coffee on a rainy Sunday morning sounds pretty attractive to me. If, however, I am not there, you will probably find me on a good art-music festival in my boho outfit, wearing a big hat to protect me from the rain (notice: I am quite short, so good luck with finding me amongst all the tall Dutchies!). My other passions include latin dancing, travelling, tasting new food and obsessing over dogs!  When it comes to my contribution to the blog, you can expect articles about different events and tips and tricks about living abroad from an international perspective. My curious self has to discover every corner of the city, so I hope all the advice I post here will be helpful.  Keep reading our blog and magazine and don’t forget to make every day of your study abroad life AMAZING!


Fitness in Utrecht

Gym De Workout

Are you a fitness fanatic, a gym steady-goer or an active participant for fitness classes? Are you still stuck with the contemplation on the fact that most gyms have a lengthy contract that you cannot commit to? Well, look no further!

At Workout, they offer a great range of opportunities. They offer a personal trainer who will consider the individuality of your body and assist you with your workout to get the best possible outcome for you, yourself and you. This enables you to be more efficient with your time giving you optimal performance, thus shortening your workout time to dedicate those saved minutes towards your study and Dutch experiences. But it doesn’t end with the body. Your mind benefits from this, and particularly with Workout, you can reply on the help of their dedicated and experienced trainers to guide your thoughts and simply provide you with answers to why things are not going how you thought they should.

Missing out on the football, TV shows and top hits? Well, the cardio machines are hooked up with TV’s! You can exercise while celebrating your favourite sports team on the screen, or watch something – anything, the news even! Maybe you can learn some Dutch words whilst setting the treadmill to a high level of incline for those who miss hills, or simply do not enjoy the rush of the wind to run outside!

Overall, as you may have experienced on being introduced to Utrecht, the Workout is a diverse and effective gym for toning, performance and strength. You can join their classes, particularly boot camp, and meet other dedicated and sweaty individuals with the same goals and aspirations!

So why not join now!? Let out your inner animal and take on a new sport, a new spiritual entity that produces good endorphins for both your mind and body! The more energy you have, the more chance you will feel great to study and involve yourself more actively in Utrecht. We had a great time being introduced to new exercises and activities in de Workout and as you can see, we worked together and successfully completed a great day of working out at the gym! Just to remind you, you get a nice discount at this gym for being part of ESN, so take up the opportunity now!

Happy Gyming!


Icy Intro day: “I hope we will be friends for the whole semester”

The Introduction Day was a very special one this semester. It was the first Introduction Day in years with snow! Of course it was cold, but didn’t Utrecht resemble a beautiful town from a fairy tale?

Schermafbeelding 2017-02-12 om 20.26.32.png
The view from the Dom Tower #esnintro2017

Internationals about this special day

“The time really flew by today, because it was so great. I enjoyed hearing more about the city. Normally you just walk down the street and don’t really pay attention. Now I know more about the history. But the best thing of the day was the view from the Dom Tower. It was special to see everything from the sky. Utrecht is so beautiful!”
Simona, Lithuanian student, International Marketing

“I am happy that I met so many nice people today. Tonight, we will go together to the party and even have pre-drinks together. I’ve been here for a week now and so far I only socialized with my roommates. For this reason I really like it that I met new people that will probably be my friends for the whole semester. The best thing about today was that we went to so many different places, that we had so much food and the pool game! I thought it was really smart that we had pool at the beginning of the day, because it really forced us to get to know each other.”
Katarina, Slovenian student, Criminal Justice Work

“This day was really cool. It was unfortunate that the weather wasn’t that good. Normally I love snow, but I thought that winter would be over, so I left my winter snow-proof shoes is Germany. Nevertheless this day really showed me the city. The highlight for me was the view from the Dom tower. I also really enjoyed getting to know people from other countries.”
Viola, German student, International Media and Communication

Picture from Instagram challenge #esnintro2017

The Introduction day organization

“On the morning of the Introduction Day, the whole introduction committee had a quick briefing. We had been planning the event for months so there was an atmosphere of excitement; we were ready to go! Every detail had been planned out and we had a specific place to be at every moment of the day, so it was all very clear. The day went really smoothly, and we had time to chat to the internationals throughout the day. Our aim was to make sure the internationals had fun and it’s safe to say we succeeded! I really hope I have the chance to be involved in something like this again.”
Leah, member of Introduction Committee

The Introduction Committee

What was the best thing for you of introduction day? Did the view of the Dom tower almost made you emotional? Or did you have a blast with pooling? Let us know in the Facebook comments.

Picture from Instagram challenge #esnintro2017

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