Culture and intellectual debate
Utrecht University accomodates lots of art, culture and music. Most cultural activities are open to the public.
Studium Generale Universiteit Utrecht invites you to take part. Studium Generale is the platform of Utrecht University where students, teachers, researchers and anyone who is interested in meaningful discussion on the latest academic issues can meet. Every series combines disciplines and is accessible without prior knowledge in the field. On our website you'll find lectures on your favorite topic by the most distinguished speakers: from philosophy to astronomy and from social media to evolution. The symposia, lectures and debates of Studium Generale are free and accessible without prior reservation. You'll find us in the historic university hall on the Domplein 29 and in the University Library on the Campus or watch us at our website.
The largest university museum in the Netherlands is located at the Lange Nieuwstraat, in the centre of Utrecht’s Museum Quarter. The Museum houses various temporary exhibitions as well as a permanent exhibition centred on the scientific process, and an interactive Youth Lab (Jeugdlab). The University Museum borders the old Botanical gardens of Utrecht University. More information on the University Museum.
Parnassos Cultural Centre
Parnassos is the University’s cultural centre and home base to many cultural societies. The Cultural Centre has an inner city and an Uithof division which together incorporate a theatre, practice rooms for music and dance, a cafe which includes a stage for performances, and a large number of workshop rooms. Parnassos offers over 300 courses and workshops, ranging from landscape photography to tap dance, singing, ceramics and web design. Furthermore, Parnassos boasts its own theatre group, and produces theatrical and musical performances.
More information on Parnassos Cultural Centre.
The new Botanic Gardens of Utrecht University are located at De Uithof, in and around Fort Hoofddijk part of the historical Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie (a military line of defence). The old ‘Hortus Botanicus’ is situated at the University Museum in the inner city. Fort Hoofddijk covers eight hectares and contains over 6,000 plants. Cultural activities and tours are organised on a regular basis.
More information on Botanic Gardens.
Sonnenborgh - Museum & Observatory
The meteorological and astronomical museum is located in the bastion of the Sonnenborgh along the Singel canal and was founded in 1552. It used to be part of the city of Utrecht’s defense works and later home to the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI). Famous scientists including meteorologist Buijs Ballot and astronomer Minnaert worked at Sonnenborgh. In addition to its function as a museum it is also an active observatory accessible to the public interested in studying the sun and the stars through a telescope. Sonnenborgh is administered by the University Museum.
More information on Sonnenborgh.
Special collections at the University Library
The University Library at De Uithof archives the special collections of Utrecht University, such as the internationally renowned Utrecht Psalter from the early ninth century. The impressive collection of manuscripts and old editions comprises a total of approx. 3,000 manuscripts from the (early) Middle Ages and approx. 100,000 works printed before 1800. The Library also contains a collection of 6,000 atlases, 140,000 individual maps and 100,000 letters and lecture notes.
More information on the University Library.
Each year, students and staff of Utrecht University organise a Cultural Sunday in collaboration with Utrecht School of the Arts (Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht, HKU). There are concerts, theatre performances, lectures and debates themed on culture and science.
More information on Cultural Sundays (in Dutch only).
U-Theater Studio T
The Faculty of Humanities has its own theatre called Studio T. Under expert supervision, students are able to practise here what they have learnt. Studio T also organises theatre performances and cultural evenings and houses the Faculty’s Theatre and Video production offices. More information on Studio T (in Dutch only).
Cultural student organizations
Utrecht University recognizes many cultural student organizations, including the oldest symphony orchestra in the Netherlands: the Utrechtsch Student Concert and the famous close-harmony choir Dekoor. See here for a complete list of these organizations.