Hotspot: De Utrechtse Boekenbar

Close to the lively Ledig Erf in Utrecht is a new coffee bar/bookshop; De Utrechtse Boekenbar. It’s a shop where you can buy interesting books and drink a cup of coffee while reading your new book purchase.

Founder Tim van den Hoed started a crowdfunding campaign to make his dream Book-Bar become a reality. Because he’s born and raised in Utrecht, he felt like this was the city where he wanted to open the Boekenbar. Utrecht is also a cultural city with many music, art and book projects. Van den Hoed wanted to create a space with ambiance where both the coffee and the book assortment were good. De Utrechtse Boekenbar is quite unique because of the combination of interesting and special books and the possibility to have a drink at the same place. You can come here for novels, travel books, cookbooks and table photo books. All are displayed with the front faced forward. 

Utrechtse boekenbar

More than just a bookstore
The Utrechtse Boekenbar is a place for everyone. You can meet up with friends but the bar is also suitable for studying. The shop is sleek, with a comfortable sitting area and a wide range of books and a simple café. Books are both available in English and Dutch and the assortment is not very standard as you may expect. Your attention is immediately drawn to all the fascinating book covers that are placed around the store.

Koffie bij de Utrechtse Boekenbar
And yes, they serve good coffee at the Utrechtse Boekenbar!

You can also buy a variety of stationary items and at the bar you can enjoy a coffee, ice tea and (homemade!) cookies and pies. Tim is at the shop six days a week and pretty much runs the shop on his own. But he’ll always goes out of his way to have a small conversation about the store, and give you the best book recommendations! So if you’re searching for a new book and combine this with a nice cup of coffee, go to De Utrechtse Boekenbar!

The Utrechtse Boekenbar
Westerkade 2, Utrecht



*Merel is one of our guest editors from Utrecht and describes herself as a daydreaming student who has wanderlust ever since she traveled sround Jamaica for 3 months. She can’t wait to travel the whole wide world after she finishes her bachelor. Follow her on Instagram!

Photography Books that will inspire you to travel

I’m a very visualized person. I guess that’s one of the main reasons I love Instagram.
A picture says a 1000 words and it must be true when I looked at these photography books.

They all represent what we call “Wanderlust”.

1. Once in a lifetime
This book is a part 2 but even better then the first one.
Once in a Lifetime Vol. 2 celebrates exceptional hotels, lodges, and other locations.

Whether readers use the book to plan their next trip or to simply enjoy a marvelous visual journey from the comfort of their own homes, it reminds us that there are a
host of places out there that are worth the trip –and that our personal paradise might be closer than we might think.
Buy it at Amazone for 40 euro’s or check your nearest bookstore.

A beautiful Photography bookPlaces to go, places to see..

2. The Outsiders
A wonderful inspirational and informative book about life outside.
We are seeking adventure and going outside more then ever, in our quest for peace, balance and the unknown.
A whole new movement was born, and this book shows that. Gaze at pretty pictures of hiking, biking, surfing and more..
Learn to build your own Tipi or create a fire. This is a book that every traveler must own. Published by Gestalten.

Tipi inspiration!

3. The new Nomads
The nomads are coming back and if you feel that itch to try a nomadic lifestyle, we have just the book for you. The New Nomads: Temporary Spaces and a Life On The Move, written by Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann and Michelle Galindo, is a book about freedom, liberation and enjoyment.
Sleeping in your own bed just got boring.

We all seek that Nomadic lifestyle..

4. Before they pass away
This photography book made a lot of people talk. Positive but there is also a lot of criticism towards photographer Jimmy Nelson.

“The pictures are staged and look like a fashion shoot” Whatever you may think of it, I think the most important thing is that we respect the different culture.
Every picture is beautifully taken and makes you think about, well, life and the world.
Widly available from various online bookstores from 99,99 euro’s

Amazing but criticized, the pictures by Jimmy Nelson

5. Hide and Seek
Follow-up to the bestselling title Rock the Shack. The highly individual cabins, hideaways, and summer homes featured in Hide and Seek offer their owners exceptional, yet convenient ways to escape urban routines and embed themselves into the land. The photographs exemplify how to create remote shelters that bring calm and balance to our hectic lives. With the right concept, furniture, décor, and atmosphere, even small or basic designs become stunning sanctuaries. Although the individual cabins and hide outs are very different from each other, all of them respect nature and focus on the essentials.
Shop at Gestalten or check your nearest bookstore

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset
The ultimate hiding place

6. National Geographic- The Covers
Since I can remember, I used to read the National Geographic magazine. My dad used to read it to me when I was a little girl.
This is when my love for travel was born. I needed to see the whole world and I wanted to know about the people, habits, animals and cultures. 
National Geographic is famous for it’s realistic pictures and brings worlds together. My dream was to work for them one day. 
They published a lot of books but this is one of my favorites and a Photography Book that you can enjoy time after time. The Covers edition.
Shop it here.

Diver in Magic Kingdom - 2014-04-13_245144_outdoor-scenes.jpg
Stunning covers like this one

7. Below sea level
I must highlight this new book because I’m from the Netherlands. Below Sea Level, The Netherlands in Photographs.
Almost one quarter of the country’s surface is made up of drained inland lakes and land reclaimed from the sea. In Ewout Huibers’ stunning photographs, the ever-present water plays a natural leading role.  For many people, it’s strange to think that we, the Dutch, live below sea level. This book represents both the simplicity yet a complicated and dangerous relationship with water.
Buy it at

The Netherlands represented by Ewout Huibers



P.S: For the Dutchies: The Books Once in a lifetime, The new Nomads, The outsiders, Before they pass away and Hide and Seek are also available in the concept store Hutspot.