"Hoe ver is het naar de stad?"
Translation:How far is it to the city?
Because 'naar' means 'to', and it suggests you're going to the town, or thinking about it. If you ask how far something is 'from' the town, it suggests that the town is your starting point.
I find it difficult to understand the recording. Is it typical for Dutch people to connect words like that?
The male voice pronounces 'is' a bit too long, but ontherwise it sounds like a native.
The female voice is also fine. :)
We usually connect words (doesn't every language do that? ;) ).