Paula and I made our first trip to Holland this past weekend when we took a train from Luxembourg to Utrecht. Although the train, including connections in Liege, Belgium and Maastricht, Holland took a little over 5 and 1/2 hours, the ride was smooth and on time. We also booked a hotel right outside the doors of the Utrecht train station.
In 2000 I lived in Utrecht for about 4 months while working on a client project in the country. Although Utrecht is not the largest city in Holland, Amsterdam is the largest, Utrecht has a charm that is not present in Amsterdam. Along so many of the canals in town there are all kinds of shopping and eating / drinking options, with many of them being below street level at the canal level which is pretty cool. Alot of these canal side restaurants used to be old warehouses and were converted to restaurants of varying styles including Italian, Indian, Spanish, African, etc, etc, etc.
As with most cities in Holland, there are bikes everywhere. On the road, locked to every inch of metal that can be found along the canals or buildings and sometimes you can even find them floating in the canals.