From LAX, nonstop service is available on KLM, direct service (stop, no change of planes) on United and connecting service (change of planes) on Northwest, Continental, Lufthansa, US Airways, Air France, Delta, Aer Lingus, British Airways and Swiss. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $856.
Trains run regularly from Amsterdam to Utrecht Central Station and cost about $6-$7 each way, depending on which station you depart from.
To call numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 31 (country code for the Netherlands), 30 (the area code) and the local number.
Where to stay
Grand Hotel Karel V, 1 Geerte Bolwerk, 3511 XA Utrecht; 233-7555, fax 233-7500, http://www.karelv.nl . This luxury hotel dates to the 14th century, when it was built as the headquarters for the German Knights' Order. Doubles begin about $270.
NH Centre Utrecht Hotel, 10 Janskerkhof, 3512 BL Utrecht; 231-3169, fax 231-0148, http://www.nh-hotels.com . You can't get much more centrally located than this modern 45-room hotel. Doubles begin about $170.
Hotel Ouwi, 12-14B F.C. Dondersstraat, 3572 JH Utrecht; 271-6303, fax 271-4619, http://www.hotel-ouwi.nl . Next to the beautiful Wilhelmina park. Doubles begin about $90 with breakfast; rooms without private bath begin at $75.
Hostel Utrecht, 4 Lucas Bolwerk, 3512 EG Utrecht; 650-434-884 (do not dial 30 when calling internationally), fax 244-8764, http://www.bolwerkhotel.nl . This civilized hostel offers free Internet access and 24-hour breakfast. About $18 per person.
Where to eat
Den Draeck, 114-122 Oudegracht; 232-1999. This is a carnivore's paradise, with a range of steaks and ribs. Entrees $15-$20.
Stadskasteel Oudaen, 99 Oudegracht; 231-1864. Serves international cuisine for lunch or dinner, with beer from its brewery. Entrees $15-$20.
Viktor Consael, in Vredenburg; 231-6377. This traditional Dutch pancake place serves the beloved poffertjes, or mini-pancakes. Portions cost $3.50-$9.
Sirtaki, 1 Servetstraat; 232-8316. This Greek and tapas place sits just below the Dom. Dinner $12.50-$20.50.
To learn more
VVV Utrecht, 19 Vinkenburgstraat, 3512 AA Utrecht; 234-7380, http://www.utrechtstad.com , http://www.12utrecht.nl or http://www.utrecht-city.com . Open Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Thursday until 9 p.m.; some weekend hours.
Netherlands Board of Tourism, 355 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10017; (888) GO-HOLLAND (464-6552), fax (212) 370-9507, http://www.holland.com.