Hi, my name is Joy. I am a sports fanatic and ‘fitgirl’, and study Nutrition and Dietetics in Amsterdam. Via Instagram, you can follow my workout routines, recipes and every now and then a snapshot of our beautiful city.
I am 23 years old and have lived in Utrecht for five years, and I am pretty sure now that I’d be staying here for a while. After moving out from my parents’ house, I found a place in the Oudegracht, but then I moved a couple of times. Now, I live together with my boyfriend in the city center. When I am not enjoying our beautiful home, you’d probably find me at the gym or strolling around the canals. Utrecht is such a wonderful place to live. To me, Utrecht is at its prettiest at dusk and dawn. Outsiders may perceive Utrecht as a village, but the real ‘Utrechters’ know that there is more to the city than meets the eye.
Since I still haven’t gotten myself a ‘decent bicycle’, I usually wander around the city on foot. And I really enjoy it. And because walking takes longer than cycling, I have even more time to look around; along the city moat and canals, through courtyards and alleys. And I always managed to find something new. Granted that the city continues to grow and adapt with the modern needs of its people, but I don’t think anyone would ever get bored of it.
As a student, freelancer and fitgirl, I have quite a busy life. But in the midst of all that, I find my solace in the city. I am not too crazy about the hustle and bustles of the city center in the weekends, but just outside of it – Maliebaan, the Wilhelmina Park, Lepelenburg, the city moats – all the places adorned by trees and green surrounding, enabling us to commute to inner peace. The only thing I need is fresh air and a good podcast, and I can wander around for hours through the busy streets and straight to the calm spots.
Hotspots (Food & Beverage)
The concept of Teds All Day Brunch was created in Amsterdam, but also perfect for Utrecht. At Teds, you can enjoy a day long breakfast, and that timeless concept really appeals to me. You can even enjoy a plate of poached egg with a strong cocktail – I really really like that way of thinking!
To maintain a ‘spirited’ life, you must visit Behind Bars. This is the only serious cocktail bar in town. I don’t go there as often as I would like. While it has a homey atmosphere, it is usually packed. And for some reason, I always ended up trying something completely ‘out of this world’, but super delicious!
Lifestyle & Shopping
Another Amsterdam-made concept, but a good one, just like Teds. STACH has three locations in Utrecht, and if it was up to me, they should open more. STACH opens many non-conventional food and drinks and many of them are gluten-free (great for someone like myself, who has to deal with celiac disease). ‘STACH knows good food’ is their motto and I still can’t find any reason to prove it otherwise.
The small grocers on the Twijnstraat. I love cooking and I buy most of my staples at Persepolis. This store sells all kinds of ingredients from every corner of the world. And if you can’t find what you need, they would be more than happy to order it for you. The staff always welcome you with a friendly smile and they are very helpful. By far, my favorite place to do groceries.
Sights & Events
The renovation of Tivoli Vredenburg is like a gift from heaven. Thanks to its large number of halls, this concert building has become an entertainment center for diverse music lovers, and there are more techno parties around the cities than ever! I must say that I really enjoy it. And such an evening gets even better with the drifting party sounds from the other parts of town. And you can just get there in a heartbeat, and crash in your bed just fifteen minutes later. Perfect.
Despite my passion for sports, I don’t consider myself a runner. But my boyfriend and I always take part in the Singelloop. It’s such a treat to be able to cross the 10km routes around the city, cheered by the crowds along the line. Crossing the finish line always brings a smile to my face, and we’ll definitely do it again this year!
Finally, if you need a greater motivation in sports and better nutrition, or are just interested to follow my Utrecht adventure, you can check out my Instagram.
Picture’s Teds: Susanne Sterkenburg
Picture TivoliVredenburg: Dainahara Polonia