Whatever your shopping needs, Utrecht has it covered. One of the great things about Utrecht is the fact that you can shop the old-fashioned way: strolling the city centre's street, ducking in and out of any number of high street stores and cute little boutiques. True shopaholics should head over to the Oudegracht, the Neude and Vredeburg. If you arrive by train you can already start at Hoog Catharijne, the biggest shopping centre in the city with more than 160 venues. Please note thats it's Netherlands most visited shopping area. It's bursting with exclusive gift shops, art galleries, trendy boutiques and delicatessens. In Utrecht every Thursday night is a 'shopping evening' which means that most shops stay open until 21:00. Every first Sunday of the month Utrecht also hosts a 'shopping Sunday' when most of the stores are open 12:00 - 17:00.
If you're a resident of a non-EU member state, you're eligible to take advantage of tax free shopping while visiting the Netherlands. If you spend over €50 at any shop displaying the Global Refund 'Tax Free' logo, they can issue a special Refund Cheque when you pay. When you leave the EU just show the item you purchased and relevant paperwork to a customs official, who will give you the necessary stamps. You can then receive cash or credit at any of the many Global Refund Offices around the world.