Staying mobile and active contributes positively to many aspects of your life such as concentration, sleep, handling pressure, managing diet and physical health. Some form of sports or recreation is therefore crucial to your study and life at University College Utrecht, and a very good habit to develop for the rest of your life.

For some of you this will be a new resolution – a new commitment to incorporate exercise into your daily life. For others, you may already be very involved in competitive sports or some recreational hobbies. Either way, there are countless opportunities for you to stay active.


Utrecht University has its own large sports complex, Olympos, with a modern gym, several courts and pitches, a wide range of fitness and dance classes, a climbing wall, as well as facilities for martial arts, yoga, athletics and more. The Olympos sports centre is also a hub for all kinds of student sports associations, and aims to cater for all of your exercise and sporting ambitions.

Using the facilities at Olympos is significantly cheaper than membership at non-university health clubs – see here for how to purchase a special ‘Olympas’ and benefit from all the facilities at a very low price.

University Colelge Utrecht Gym

University College Utrecht students also have access to their own small gym on campus, on the ground floor of the Dining Hall building, maintained by Olympos and run on a daily basis by the University College Student Association’s Gym Committee.

Sports and Recreation Committees

UCSA actively encourages its members to stay active, fit and healthy by facilitating a wide range of sports and recreational committees. For those who would like to run marathons or jog around the block, cycle to foreign cities or simply ride through town, sail across wide-open lakes or simply canoe along the canals, there is a group of students on campus ready to help you get involved. Hockey, volleyball, basketball, football, rowing, tennis and skating are also popular amongst students, and UCSA can help you get involved competitively or just for fun.

In addition to sports there are several other activities and events organized by UCSA committees which can contribute excellently to your wellbeing. For example, there are yoga sessions, mindfulness workshops, dance classes, theatre groups, art sessions, musical projects, and even cookery gatherings. Alongside the vibrant party life on campus, these offer you several options to counterbalance or complement your academic life and explore ways to stay well.

There is a huge variety in opportunities for students who want to become active in sports in the wider city Utrecht. For an overview see this page.

The Natural and Built Environment

Utrecht and the surrounding area offer a fantastic environment in which to relax or energise. The city of Utrecht itself is beautiful in many ways, and offer so much to students who seek peace and quiet, cultural discovery, or an active social scene. See what the Lonely Planet has to say about the city here. See what the City of Utrecht municipality says about itself here.

Needless to say, exploring Utrecht and the area by bike is an easy and fun way to relax and discover new places. See here for good tips for getting around by bike.

There are many organisations in the town offering canoes, kayaks and boats for hire, so you can explore the canals, rivers and waterways of the city and its rural outskirts. See for example:

The Netherlands has a fantastic coastline with several locations for beach sports such as surfing, kite-boarding, swimming and cycling. Many of these are accessible within an hour by train from Utrecht, and give you the chance to get away from it all, alone or with friends.

There are a number of national parks in the Netherlands, offering a glimpse into the rich natural and cultural diversity of the country, including forests, dunes, rivers, lakes and historical monuments.