Many students want to live in Utrecht, and areas such as the historic city centre are in high demand among students. When searching for accommodation it is therefore well worth exploring housing outside the city centre and even outside of Utrecht in surrounding towns.
The Netherlands is a relatively small country with great access to public transportation. The Utrecht region is roughly the same size as England’s capital London and holds several municipalities. Even large neighbouring cities such as Amersfoort, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, 's Hertogenbosch, Eindhoven and Hilversum are easily commutable by train.
Dutch and international students quite often choose to live outside the city centre or in neighboring towns such as De Bilt, Bilthoven, Zeist, Bunnik, Houten, Nieuwegein, IJsselstein, Woerden, Maarssen, Vleuten, De Meern and Stichtse Vecht. These locations are quite close to Utrecht and have good bus connections, and often a tram/train connection. To get a sense of the travel time by public transport you can consult the website for Dutch public transportation.
Many students living outside Utrecht also find it easy to commute to the city and the university by bicycle as the Dutch government cares for safe cycling tracks separated from the road. Also read the Kamernet Blog on transportation in the Netherlands.