20 DAY OF AMAZING TRAVEL FROM AMSTERDAM, while there is lots to do in Amsterdam, a city rich in history, you are also close to a number of other incredible experiences in The Netherlands. You don’t even need to arrange lodging because there are so many intriguing places to visit that are just ideal day trips from Amsterdam.


From exploring the charming architecture and streets of Haarlem, which is a short train ride away, to visiting the picturesque town of Zaanse Schans, famous for windmills, clogs and cheese, to the stunning displays of tulips in Keukenhof Gardens, make sure you take the time to discover these gems in The Netherlands.




Haarlem railway station
One of the popular day trips from Amsterdam to take by train, bus or car is Haarlem.

Just a 15-minute train ride from Amsterdam Central Station, Haarlem is an easy-to-navigate and popular day trip destination from Amsterdam that won’t disappoint.

Haarlem is sometimes called ‘little Amsterdam’ with similar canals running through the city centre, beautiful historical architecture, museums and plenty of nice cafes and restaurants to enjoy throughout the year.

Explore the Old Town, the famous cathedral, the Grote Kerk and the nearby market (Grote Marktplein).

Haarlem also is home to the country’s oldest museum, established already in 1784 and located in a stunning historical building.

The Teylers Museum offers a wonderful selection of art, natural history and science exhibits.

Haarlem is a very walkable city, so download a self-guided walking tour to learn a bit more about the history while you enjoy the sights or hop on a canal boat tour to enjoy the city by water.


Aerial of Zandvoort aan Zee of buildings and beach
If you’re looking for a day trip from Amsterdam to the beach, check out Zandvoort aan Zee in summer.

Want to visit the Dutch coast while in Amsterdam?

Many visitors jump on the train from Central Station to Zandvoort Beach on warm days but follow this insider tip and head to the less crowded Bloemendaal Beach instead.

Bloemendaal is not far from Haarlem, making it easy to reach with public transport.

It’s locally known as ‘the Dutch Ibiza’ with its beautiful high dunes, sandy beaches and hip beach cafes.

To really enjoy your beach day like the Dutch do, rent a bike at Haarlem station or take a guided bike tour through the dunes and cycle through the very pretty Zuid-Kennemerland National Park to reach Bloemendaal Beach.


Panorama of Rotterdam cityscape with cruise liner
One of the day trips from Amsterdam you can do is to visit Rotterdam, where you will be surprised at the modern cityscape and Erasmus bridge.

Rotterdam is the Netherlands’ second-largest city and is called home by residents holding more than 170 nationalities.

Much of the city was destroyed during WW2 and had to be rebuilt, resulting in a modern landscape with many high-rise buildings and contemporary architecture, quite the contrast to many other Dutch cities.

Explore Rotterdam’s modern architectural highlights on a guided walking tour, or enjoy all the flavours the famous Markthal has to offer on a fun food-tasting tour.

Rotterdam also has the largest seaport in Europe, and the many waterways still play a significant role in this bustling metropolitan city.

Some top attractions, like the wonderful Maritime Museum, showcase the city’s rich maritime history.

Just a quick 45-minute train ride from Amsterdam, Rotterdam offers a wide variety of fun and interesting activities to do with adults and kids, it’s a great day trip or multi-day destination to add to your itinerary when visiting The Netherlands.



cityscape downtown skyline at night
Exploring The Hague is one of the top day trips from Amsterdam.

The Hague is the third-largest city in The Netherlands and is also the country’s political capital and is home to both the Dutch Royal Family, as well as the government.

Stroll around the Binnenhof, where the government offices are located, visit the Peace Palace, and take a special ‘tour’ of The Netherlands at the miniature world of Madurodam.

The Hague also is home to multiple famous art museums, including Mauritshuis, M.C. Escher in Het Paleis and the one-of-a-kind 360-degree Panorama Mesdag.

This Hague is a wonderful place to visit both to learn about Dutch culture and history while also enjoying the nearby nature and beaches on the North Sea coast.


View of New Rhine river in Leiden with fall leaves
The New Rhine River in Leiden makes a day trip from Amsterdam worthwhile.

The city of Leiden is well-known for being home to the oldest university in The Netherlands, which was established in 1575.

Leiden is both full of history and has quite a lively atmosphere thanks to the large student population.

Located just a 30-minute train ride from Amsterdam, it’s a perfect day trip destination with plenty to see.

Some of the highlights in Leiden include the beautiful Hortus Botanicus, which is the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands and has also existed since the 1500s, as well as multiple fascinating museums like the National Museum of Ethnology (Museum Volkenkunde) and the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (Dutch National Museum of Antiquities).

You can also take a canal cruise through Leiden and explore the historic museum harbour or even take a longer boat tour to also see the nearby Kaag Lakes and picturesque windmills located along the water in the Dutch countryside.


View over a canal in Delft, The Netherlands.
Enjoy the canals on a day trip from Amsterdam to Delft.

A 15-minute train ride from The Hague and a 55-minute train ride from Amsterdam, Delft is a charming college town featuring typical Dutch canals and cobblestone streets and is most famous for its Royal Blue Dutch Pottery.

One of the main highlights in Delft is visiting the last remaining original 17th-century Delft Blue factory and museum, where this famous pottery is still handmade.

It’s a lovely museum and experience and Delft also has a wide variety of shops, cafes and restaurants, a perfect combination for a memorable day out.


traditional village in Holland at sunset.
One of the most delightful day trips from Amsterdam is to see the windmills in Zaanse Schans.

Zaanse Schans is one of the most popular destination to explore for a day when visiting Amsterdam.

Just 30 minutes from Amsterdam, it’s a very fun location to visit if you’d like to experience a typical Dutch landscape (complete with beautiful historical windmills along the water) and also get a feeling for what the Netherlands looked like in the 18th and 19th centuries.

This adorable residential town feels almost like a live museum, where you can visit a cheese-making shop, wooden clog maker and learn more about the industrial history of The Netherlands at the Zaans Museum.


Aerial Panorama of the harbor and the historical city of Volendam
One of the day trips from Amsterdam to consider is Volendam.

Volendam is another one of the most popular day trip destinations from Amsterdam.

It gives you the feeling that you have gone back in time as you arrive at this historic fishing village in the north of The Netherlands, just 20 kilometres from Amsterdam.

This quaint town offers a chance to see a bit of the Dutch countryside and experience Dutch culture hands-on.

Get dressed up in traditional clothing and classic Dutch wooden clogs, learn how Dutch cheese is made and get plenty of insights about Dutch culture and history at the Volendam museum.

You can also easily combine your visit to Volendam with a tour, including stops at nearby destinations like Marken and Zaanse Schans.


A typical boat in a channel of an Alkmaar neighborhood.
One of the best day trips from Amsterdam to experience local life in The Netherlands is to visit Alkmaar.

Alkmaar is another popular day trip from Amsterdam, and it’s easy to see why.

Just 35 minutes away by train, Alkmaar is especially famous for its historic cheese market.

The market is located at the Waagplein and runs between the end of March through September, every Friday morning starting at 10 am.

For the full experience, book a guided tour with a market visit.

There is also a ‘Cheese Museum’ in the same square if you want to learn even more about the history of the cheese market.

Besides its cheesy history, Alkmaar is generally just a very lovely town to explore as it features plenty of beautiful buildings, ‘hidden’ green courtyards and, yep, those classic canals, and not to mention, plenty of cosy and hip cafes paired with a nice laid-back vibe – what more could you want for a fun day out?


tulip fields next to river
A Dutch bulb field near the river in Lisse. A day trip from Amsterdam to see tulips is a popular one.

When you think of The Netherlands, the first thing that comes to mind may be tulips!

One of the most unique and unforgettable experiences in The Netherlands is visiting the famous Keukenhof Gardens open from the end of March until mid-May annually.

Every year more than 7 million flower bulbs are planted and start to bloom each spring.

These impressive gardens are home to over 800 varieties of tulips and feature special flower shows, one-of-a-kind artworks and other fun attractions, making it a fun day for all ages.

The park is massive at 32 hectares and features about 10 miles (15km) or hiking trails throughout the various flower gardens, so be prepared to walk a lot.

For an extra special experience, head to the large windmill to buy tickets for the ‘whisper boat’ which takes you on a unique tour through the nearby tulip fields.


castle, tower and old city wall, blue sky.
One of the best day trips from Amsterdam for history lovers is to visit the Medieval centre of Amersfoort.

About 50km (30 miles) from Amsterdam and just an easy 35-minute train ride from Amsterdam Central Station, Amersfoort is a charming town with a medieval history dating back to 1000 BC.

The historic city wall still stands, as well as the stunning city gate, the Koppelport, which dates back to 1425 and protected the city from siege by land and water.

The city centre of Amersfoort is centred around a main plaza, the historic Hof, which dates back to the 12th century and is now a bustling hotspot with cafes and lively outdoor terraces that are popular in the warmer months.

Spend the day wandering around the cobblestone streets and marvel at the medieval architecture and adorable bridges crossing the picturesque canals while browsing the charming boutiques in the Krommestraat.

Amersfoort is also home to the famous 15th-century Tower of our Lady (Onze Lieve Vrouwetoren), the third-highest church tower in the country – you can even climb the 346 steps if you dare and enjoy a beautiful view of the city.


Jump on the train at Amsterdam Central Station and in just 27 minutes, you’ll find yourself in charming Utrecht.

Located centrally, nearly right in the middle of the Netherlands, Utrecht is a bustling metropolitan city with a large university and a lively student population.

It is often referred to as a ‘less crowded Amsterdam’ and offers plenty to see and do.

Two main canals run through the city (Oudegracht and Nieuwegracht), built hundreds of years ago when the Rhine River still ran through the city, making it an important trade location.

Now, these canals are a popular spot to grab a seat at one of the many restaurants along the water, or you can also take a canal cruise or rent a pedal boat.

The most prominent landmark in Utrecht is the Dom (cathedral) tower which was built in 1382 and is the tallest church tower in the country.

You can climb the 465 steps to the top of the tower for a great view of the city.

Below ground, experience the cathedral’s and city’s interesting history in the Dom Under experience exhibit.

Wander the streets of central Utrecht, admire the beautiful classic canal houses and historic architecture, and enjoy a coffee or lunch at one of the many cosy cafes.

If you happen to visit on a Saturday, enjoy browsing the beautiful flower market at the Oudegracht.

Travelling with kids to Utrecht? The Nijntje Museum and Railway Museum are big hits with children and great outings for families.


day trips to germany from amsterdam
Castle de Haar in Utrecht makes this city one of the best day trips from Amsterdam to take if you love history.

Kasteel de Haar is the largest castle in The Netherlands and looks like something from a fairytale.

The original medieval house dates back to the 13th century, however, the current structure was built in the early 1900s by famous architect Pierre Cuypers (who also designed the Rijksmuseum and Amsterdam Central Station).

The castle sits on 135 acres of land and features a rose garden, a Roman garden, multiple ponds, canals and walking paths to enjoy on your day out in this picturesque location.

You can purchase tickets to visit just the park and castle grounds or a combination ticket that allows you to enter the castle itself or book a guided tour to learn more about the castle’s history and its owner, the Van Zuylen family.


Aerial of medieval castle 'Muiderslot'
One of the day trips from Amsterdam to choose when you want to see the countryside is to visit the medieval castle of Muiderslot.

Not far from Amsterdam, you’ll find one of the oldest and best-preserved medieval castles in The Netherlands.

Muiderslot was built around 1285, and its exact history is not exactly known, though you can learn about the various stories about this historic monument in the impressive museum inside the current structure, restored in 1878.

Fun fact: Pierre Cuypers, the architect who designed the Rijksmuseum and Amsterdam Centraal Station, restored the castle.

Make your way to Muiderslot by first travelling to the town of Muiden (which is also quite charming and a fun place to stop for lunch in the historic harbour).


The skyline of Deventer in Overijssel, The Netherlands.
Another of the day trips from Amsterdam when you’re looking for a hidden gem is to choose Deventer.

Located in the East of the Netherlands but still just a 1.5-hour train ride from Amsterdam, Deventer is another charming city on the river Ijssel that makes for a unique day trip.

Deventer was part of the Hanseatic League, a group of 150 cities and seven countries along the North Sea and Baltic Sea area and was formed back in the Middle Ages.

Merchants in these towns decided to cooperate together both for economic purposes but also to work together to defend themselves against pirates.

Because of its rich history as a Hanseatic City and an important location for trade along the river, Deventer has tons of history.

The city is beautiful and well preserved with stunning architecture, a relaxed vibe and plenty of quaint shops and cosy cafes.

Head over to De Brink, the main market square, where many restaurants are located and the centre of the town’s nightlife and make sure to also visit the De Waag building, the oldest weighing house in The Netherlands.

Deventer is also home to two impressive churches, the St Lebuïnus Church, built in the early 1500s in Gothic style.

There’s the stunning medieval Bergkerk (the Mountain Church) on a hill; the walk and the view from the hill are also beautiful.

The riverbank is a lively spot to hang out and enjoy the sunshine in the summer.

You can also take a boat ride (Tip: if you are driving a car, parking in Deventer city centre can be tricky, but there is a parking lot on the opposite side of the Ijssel, which also includes a shuttle boat to the city.)


The Hoge Veluwe National Park is in the east of the Netherlands, which sounds far away from Amsterdam but is just an easy one-hour drive.

It is the largest nature reserve in the country and is known for being a stunning, peaceful sanctuary where locals love cycling, hiking and camping.

The park is also home to the famous Kröller Müller art museum (which is home to the second-largest Van Gogh collection).

Head to Otterlo to park your car and find one of the main entrances to the park or book an organised tour, including transportation and enjoy a fun day out in the beautiful nature of The Netherlands.


Airborne monument
Another day trip from Amsterdam to Arnhem. Pictured here is the Airborne monument.

Just an hour’s train ride from Amsterdam, Arnhem is one of the greenest cities in The Netherlands and has a fascinating ancient history.

Signs of human habitation have been found dating back to 70.000 years ago, making it seem that Neanderthals lived in this area.

The city obtained official city rights in 1233, and its streets overflowing with an interesting history.

Today the town is lively and modern, with a perfect mix of old and new.

It’s a wonderful place for a day trip from Amsterdam (or an overnight stay since there is plenty to see and do here).

If you want to explore Arnhem in just one day, consider downloading a self-guided exploration walking tour to ensure you see all of the highlights and learn about the city’s rich history.

Arnhem is well-known for being home to the most popular museum in The Netherlands, The Open-Air Museum, an interactive museum that takes you back in time.

It allows you to walk through Dutch history and learn about all aspects of the culture and how people lived in The Netherlands throughout the past two centuries.

It’s a fascinating and entertaining museum for all ages and a completely unique experience that you’ll find nowhere else in The Netherlands.


The tower, facade and roof of the Saint John Cathedral ( Sint Jans cathedral ) and blue sky.
Saint John Cathedral ( Sint Jans cathedraal ) in ‘s Hertogenbosch Den Bosch.

It’s a mystery why Den Bosch is often overlooked by tourists visiting The Netherlands, as this gorgeous city has a rich culture and history and is just under an hour’s train ride from Amsterdam Central Station.

Start by taking a boat tour of the Binnendieze, the historic canals running under the city on three different rivers: the Aa, Dommel and Dieze.

Then take a walking tour or make sure to stroll along the Uilenburg and Molenstraat, which are some of the most charming streets in the city.

Stop in the massive St. John’s Cathedral, built in 1220, and marvel at the Gothic-style architecture.

Spend the rest of the day walking through the quaint city streets and hanging at one of the many cosy cafes in this lovely city.


man and woman on a boat in a canal
Giethoorn is a colourful village with canals and boats that are popular with visitors.

The ‘Venice of The Netherlands’, Giethoorn, is a small village in the Dutch province of Overijssel, about a 1.5-hour day trip from Amsterdam by road.

It is known for being a fairytale town, both beautiful and unique, as canals surround the town, and the houses can only be reached by boat or foot, crossing one of the more than 180 bridges.

The main highlights in Giethoorn are cruising the canals by boat and wandering through the various paths along the water to enjoy the lovely views of this picturesque village.

The village also has plenty of restaurants, small hotels, and B&Bs should you wish to stay the night.

If you are driving yourself, you may even drive over the famous Afsluitdijk to tick off another Dutch highlight during your trip.



Texel is the closest of the Wadden Islands to the mainland and the largest, so it’s a great spot to take a day trip from Amsterdam.

The island’s west side is a natural landscape of beaches backed by dunes.

Climb the lighthouse at Kaap Noord for a fantastic view, cycle through the Slufter (National Park Dunes of Texel) and stop to enjoy the beaches along the way.

You’ll also love hanging out at a beach cafe to experience the slow island vibes.

To get to Texel, take the TESO ferry from the Den Helder harbour with a car to explore independently or without if you’re planning on booking a small group day tour from Amsterdam to make the logistics of visiting Texel a piece of cake.

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