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Amsterdam is a beautiful city with plenty to see and do, but sometimes you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city center. If you’re searching for a day trip close to Amsterdam, plenty of options exist.
Amsterdam is centrally located to multiple great places to visit in Holland. You can find charming villages, stunning coastal towns, and fascinating cities just a short ride away via public transport.
- Best Day Trips from Amsterdam in the Netherlands
- 1. Zaanse Schans
- 2. Haarlem
- 3. The Hague
- 4. Rotterdam
- 5. Utrecht
- 6. Keukenhof Gardens
- 7. Kinderdijk
- 8. Alkmaar
- 9. Volendam
- 10. Marken
- 11. Broek in Waterland
- 12. Delft
- 13. Leiden
- 14. Giethoorn
- 15. Muiderslot Castle
- 16. Amsterdam Forest
- 17. Gouda
- 18. Groningen
- 19. Tilburg
- 20. Dordrecht
- 21. Maastricht
- Best Day Trips from Amsterdam to Other Countries
- Brussels, Belgium
- Antwerp, Belgium
- Bruges, Belgium
- Paris, France
- Cologne, Germany
- Düsseldorf, Germany
- Aachen, Germany
- London, England
- What are the best day trips from Amsterdam by train?
- What countries can you visit by train from Amsterdam?
- Can you do a day trip from Amsterdam to Brussels?
Best Day Trips from Amsterdam in the Netherlands
Dutch trains are pretty efficient, so you can get to major Dutch cities without much hassle and small towns for a day trip. Here are the best day trips from Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
1. Zaanse Schans
Zaanse Schans is one of the best day trips from Amsterdam. Located just a short train ride from the city center, this charming Dutch village features traditional windmills, wooden clogs, and cheese factories. What’s not to love about that? Zaanse Schans’s day trip from Amsterdam will make your visit to the Netherlands memorable with quintessential Dutch culture.
Visitors can explore the Zaanse Museum, learn about clog-making history and how traditional wooden clogs are made at the Wooden Shoe Workshop, and sample delicious Dutch cheeses at one of the many cheese shops.
Just remember, as picturesque and perfect as this place is, it isn’t an open-air museum – people live here! Zaanse Schans is the ideal place to learn about Dutch culture and history, and it makes for a great day trip from Amsterdam.
See Related: Things to Do in Volendam
Haarlem is a historic city in the Netherlands, only a half-hour train ride from Amsterdam. The city is home to cobbled streets, the Frans Hals Museum, and the Grote Markt, Haarlem’s main square.
Haarlem is a quintessential fairytale town without the same number of tourists you will encounter in Amsterdam. The obligatory walk around Haarlem’s central Grote Markt Square is the perfect place to start. It hosts a vibrant market every Saturday. You may explore different sights in Haarlem on a culturally guided walking tour.
The eccentric collection in the Teylers Museums is a must-see. If museums aren’t for you, there are several canals near the central Plaza where one can relax and people-watch.
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3. The Hague
The Hague (Den Haag) is one of the best day trips from Amsterdam! The city is home to the Dutch government, the Royal Palace, and a number of fascinating museums. The Hague is just 50 kilometers from Amsterdam and just steps from North Sea beaches, making it an extra touristy day trip with plenty of things to see and do.
The Hague art museums contain a fantastic art collection in The Mauritshuis Museum rivaling the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Also, this city is the home to the Dutch Royal Family, so stop but the Royal Palace, which is in the middle of the city center.
Take some time to visit the Parliament Building, see some interesting architecture, and take a tour of the stunning Peace Palace, which is in charge of international laws at the International Court of Justice, and is a must-see while in The Hague.
See Related: Best Hotels in the Hague, Netherlands
Rotterdam is one of the most stunning cities in Europe, but its bigger sister city, Amsterdam, often overshadows it. Rotterdam cannot be missed on a visit.
This equally historical and modern city is known for its architecture, including the stunning Lawrence Church and the iconic Cube Houses. It has this incredible blend, as much of the city’s historic architecture was destroyed in World War II.
Ride the Euromast Ferris wheel for views over the city, or visit one of Rotterdam’s many museums. Rotterdam is less than an hour from Amsterdam by train. There are many tours in Rotterdam that will keep you entertained all day.
The great thing about Rotterdam is that it’s only a 30-minute train ride from Amsterdam, so it’s an ideal day trip. Visit the enormous market and look for cube houses. You won’t be disappointed by Rotterdam.
See Related: Best Rotterdam Tours
Utrecht is a small, relaxed version of Amsterdam and is a must-see day trip in the Netherlands. This historic university city is known for its canals, cafes, and medieval churches.
It’s a short train trip from Amsterdam, so you can easily do it in a day or spend half a day here to see all the main sights. You may join a walking tour or enjoy a romantic Utrecht tour.
With a larger number of canals than Amsterdam, Utrecht is less touristic and will immediately make one fall in love with quaint streets packed with small coffee shops just beside the water. Stroll along the canals, explore the Dom Tower, and shop for antiques at the weekly flea market.
Located about a half-hour train ride from Amsterdam, it boasts a thriving student culture as it’s home to Utrecht University – one of the oldest universities in the country. Aside from this, you will find many great and affordable stores and charming photo ops for days.
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6. Keukenhof Gardens
These world-famous gardens are a must-see for anyone visiting the Netherlands in springtime. Located in Lisse, Keukenhof Gardens is about an hour from Amsterdam by bus. Keukenhof Gardens boasts a magnificent flower garden with over seven million flower bulbs.
It’s the largest flower garden in Europe! The flower shop is only open two months per year and has incredible flower collections from all the colors that a person can imagine.
After some time in these bright displays, we could wander around for hours. The entry fees are slightly high but well worth it for Amsterdam day trips.
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Kinderdijk is a popular spot for photos and tourists looking to glimpse the historic windmills in their original environment. The Kinderdijk windmills date back to the 16th and 18th Centuries and offer a rare opportunity to witness the Dutch lifestyle during these periods. The windmills are set in a truly picture-perfect landscape that is hard to believe is real.
In addition to being incredibly picturesque, Kinderdijk offers beautiful surroundings that are perfect for a short weekend getaway. Kinderdijk is about an hour from Amsterdam by bus, making it the perfect spot for a quick day trip or weekend excursion.
If you’re looking for a unique and beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site, be sure to add Kinderdijk to your list.
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Alkmaar is a charming small town located just a 30-minute walk by train from Amsterdam. This quaint town is best known for its centuries-old traditional cheese market from April to September.
The Alkmaar Cheese Market is a must-see, especially during the summertime when Amsterdam can be quite busy with tourists. Outside the market square, you’ll sit beside one of the many quaint canalside cafés and squares.
There are many things to do in Alkmaar. It provides a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city and warrants exploration if you seek a unique and authentic Dutch experience.
So make sure to add Alkmaar to your Amsterdam itinerary during your visit. It’s one of our favorite towns in the Netherlands – you won’t regret visiting it!
See Related: Best Markets in Amsterdam to Visit
Volendam is a picturesque old fishing village less than an hour from Amsterdam by bus. You’ll see a historic harbor full of Dutch ships, some of which still exist! This trip from Amsterdam, taking around one hour, is incomplete without sampling a few delectable fish dishes — finally, conquer your fear of harings (herrings) and smoked eels or stick to the delicious kibbelings (steamed cod)!
Unlike most other cities, Volendam provides a unique visit. Traditional Dutch dress is relatively common here and has a very recognizable look. Volendam women and girls wear colorful headscarves and outfits with skirts that flare out from the waist. Men wear baggy Volendam pants, similar to overalls, with a white shirt underneath.
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Marken is a small, picturesque town in the Zuiderzee region of the Netherlands. The former island town is best known for its wooden houses, built on artificial hills to prevent flooding damage.
Marken also covers just 9 kilometers of land, making it easy to travel from one side of the town to the other. A bike and bus tour will keep you entertained while visiting the town.
When exploring Marken, be sure to visit the city harbor or take a walk through the fields, forests, and lakes. This Dutch town is also historically linked to Volendam, making it a great place to visit if you want to explore two Dutch cities in one day.
See Related: Best Food Tours in Amsterdam
11. Broek in Waterland
Broek in Waterland is a quaint village just outside the Dutch capital. This small village is full of historic houses and buildings, making it the perfect place to visit if you want to experience some of the Netherlands’ rich rural history.
Broek was established in 1516 and became known for its holiday destination status. In recent years, Broek has gained popularity as a tourist destination due to its unique charm and local culture. If you plan a one-night stay in the village, you can’t find a number of hotels to stay in with Booking.com.
If you’re looking for a Dutch town full of character and worth exploring, Broek in Waterland should definitely be on your list.
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Delft is a historic city located about an hour from Amsterdam by train. Delft is known internationally for its blue and white pottery, as well as its canals and churches.
The city of Delft is also home to Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer and the creator of Delft Blaauw. Delft is a large city with a small-town feel that offers a great glimpse of traditional Dutch history.
Located between the old and new city walls, Delft has beautiful architecture and historic sites, such as the eastern gate of Delft which is a great attraction to see on a Delft walking tour. If you want to explore another college city, Delft is renowned for its lively nightlife.
Leiden is a historic university town in the Netherlands that is home to a number of museums, including the National Museum of Ethnology and the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden. Leiden is less than an hour from Amsterdam by train, making it a great day trip destination.
This beautiful canal city features a fantastic walking tour leading to its museums that offer a fascinating glimpse into the past. The lively student population gives Leiden youthful energy.
Whether wandering through the picturesque canals or browsing the shops on Haarlemmerstraat, Leiden is sure to charm and delight.
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Giethoorn is one of the best day trips you can take from Amsterdam. This canal village is often called the “Venice of the Netherlands.” Explore the canals by boat, or walk or cycle along the paths that wind through the village. Giethoorn is about 1.5 – 2 hours from Amsterdam by bus.
In terms of getting around town, there are canals, streets, and boats rather than cars. Yup, this place is a car-free village! Giethoorn combines the most unique place of Dutch nature with the most beautiful sightseeing tour you can take. Expect this beautiful town to get very busy, especially when traveling during summer.
If you don’t have a car, there is an easy way of getting from Giethoorn to Amsterdam by bus or plenty of great tour options from the Amsterdam city center. If you have time, plan on taking a boat tour to get the full Giethoorn experience.
If you take the bus and want to plan your return, the bus takes about 1.5 hours and leaves every hour from Giethoorn’s bus station. Enjoy your time in this beautiful village!
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15. Muiderslot Castle
Muiderslot Castle is an 11th Century castle in Muiden, Netherlands, just 30 minutes from the Amsterdam bus station. The castle has its moat and is a great day trip for kids, as Muiderslot has a lot of interactive exhibits for kids and costumes that the kids can try on!
Muiderslot Castle can be accessed via the Amsterdam City Card for free (or by acquiring one ticket for the castle only). The most enjoyable time to visit is in the summertime when the landscape blooms, and it is quite the perfect place to visit Amsterdam any time. The town itself is very charming, as well as the typical Dutch countryside.
16. Amsterdam Forest
Amsterdam Forest is a great place to take a day trip if you want to leave the city for a day. Believe it or not, the Amsterdam Forest is mainly artificial among the most famous forests in Europe. This stunning green space is located 15 minutes south of town and has many activities for kids to enjoy.
Wandering through cherry blossoms in spring is highly advisable for all ages. Visitors must leave Amsterdam for one day to explore this example of the breathtaking Dutch countryside. Amsterdam Forest caters to multiple tastes and is a great place to explore.
Gouda is a city in the Netherlands best known for its famous cheese, gouda, duh! The city is only an hour from Amsterdam Central Station, making it the perfect day trip for those looking to explore more of the Netherlands beyond its capital city.
In addition to its famous cheese, Gouda is also home to a number of historical and cultural highlights. On a Gouda guided tour, visitors can explore the city’s Gothic-style old city hall, visit one of its many museums, or take a boat ride along the scenic Gouwe River.
And, of course, no trip to Gouda would be complete without trying some of the city’s delicious cheese, stroopwafels, and beer. If you can, plan to visit the Gouda cheese market to buy the best and highest quality gouda cheese in the world.
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Groningen may be far from many larger cities, but that doesn’t stop it from being a popular destination for travelers in the know from all over the world. Groningen is a great day trip from Amsterdam, offering visitors a chance to find respite from the chaos of the city and explore all that Groningen provides.
Groningen’s compact city center has many shops, eateries, and stunning sights such as Martini Tower and Grote Markt. This city is also a lively student city with energetic nightlife, including many clubs and bars. In the center of Groningen are peaceful areas with lively attractions for everyone who enjoys walking. If you plan on visiting, you could go on a beautiful trail through dunes along the coast or walk through one of Groningen’s many parks.
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Tilburg is a historic Dutch textile center and the perfect day trip for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam. This charming city is located in the Netherlands Brabant province and is known for transforming from an old fabric town to a modern metropolis. Tilburg has a vibrant street art scene, world-class museums, and urban life.
One of Tilburg’s most popular attractions is the LocHal Library, which was converted from an old store into the World Building of the Year library. Tilburg also hosts an annual fair that attracts nearly one million people yearly. Visitors to Tilburg will not be disappointed by its many charms.
Dordrecht is a historic trading port and perhaps the most ancient town in Holland, and it has a lot to offer visitors regarding culture and history. The town is home to seven churches and several museums, making it a great destination for those interested in exploring Holland’s religious and cultural heritage.
Dordrecht is also surrounded by rivers and canals, making it a great place to take a boat ride and see the Dutch countryside from the water or on a walking tour. Finally, Dordrecht’s old ports are home to multiple historical boats, making it a great place to learn about Holland’s maritime history.
Maastricht is a beautiful city in the southern Netherlands, close to the border of Belgium, featuring the perfect blend of Dutch and French culture. The city is known for its unique blend of Dutch and French culture and its picturesque setting along the Maas River.
In addition to its cultural richness, Maastricht is also home to several historical and architectural landmarks. The city’s old town is particularly well-preserved, with a number of medieval buildings and churches. One of the best things to do in the city is enjoy tasting Maastricht beer.
Maastricht is also home to one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands, making it a great place to learn about Dutch history and culture. If you desire a day trip that offers a little bit of everything, don’t forget to include Maastricht.
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Best Day Trips from Amsterdam to Other Countries
These day trips from Amsterdam will take longer than those within the Netherlands, but they offer a chance to quickly see a different culture and cross another country off your list.
Brussels is a great city to visit if you’re searching for a fun and cultured day trip from Amsterdam. The city is easily accessible by train, and once you’re there, you’ll be spoilt for choice regarding things to see and do.
Brussels‘ most famous landmark is the Grand Place, home to the impressive City Hall and the 17th Century guild house. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is probably the best city square in the world. It is among the best sights to see on the Brussels walking tour.
Then there are the internationally famous Manneken Pis statue, the Royal Galleries, the Palace of Brussels, and the Saint Michael Cathedral. With so much to see and do, Brussels is the perfect place to spend a day exploring everything this historic and vibrant city has to offer.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in Belgium
Antwerp is a beautiful city located in Belgium that is well worth a visit for those who are looking to explore a different culture. The city is easily accessible by train and has a lot to offer visitors regarding history, art, and culture.
The most famous landmark in Antwerp is the Cathedral of Our Lady, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. The cathedral is home to several artworks by famous artists such as Rubens and Van Dyck.
Other popular attractions in Antwerp include the Plantin-Moretus Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Royal Palace of Antwerp, the official residence of the Governor of Antwerp.
Bruges is a fairy-tale city in Belgium, just over the border from Amsterdam. The city is full of canals, museums, churches, superb restaurants, and horse-drawn carriages, making it the perfect place to explore for a few days. It’s also a great place to try delicious Belgian chocolate!
Bruges is about four hours from Amsterdam by train from Amsterdam Central Station, making it a convenient day trip or weekend getaway. A cruise and Burges walking tour are among the fun things to enjoy in the city.
Paris is the most popular tourist destination in the world for many good reasons. The city is home to some of the world’s most iconic landmarks and attractions, including the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre Museum.
Paris is easily accessible from Amsterdam by train, making it a great day trip or weekend getaway. Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s rich history and culture or want to enjoy its many attractions, Paris is a great choice for a day trip from Amsterdam.
It’s a long day trip from Amsterdam but worth it if you’ve never been to Paris. You’ll take the Thalys direct sprinter train from Amsterdam Central Station to the Paris Gare Du Nord train station. If you plan on taking this day trip, be sure to purchase your train ticket in advance. It can be pretty expensive to ride the Thalys.
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Cologne is a historic German city on the Rhine River, just over two hours from Amsterdam by train. The city is home to a number of well-preserved historical landmarks, including the Cologne Cathedral, which is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Germany.
There are many fun things to do in Cologne. Cologne is also a great place to try some of the local cuisines, such as the traditional Kölsch beer, and it’s also home to a number of Cologne’s top museums and art galleries. The Cologne Chocolate Museum is also a great place to visit.
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Düsseldorf is a large city in Germany located on the banks of the Rhine River, about two hours from Amsterdam by train, and is one of the best day trips from Amsterdam to Germany by far. The city is known for its fashion, art, and incredible nightlife. It’s also home to multiple unique historical landmarks and Düsseldorf museums.
Some of the most popular attractions in Düsseldorf include the Altstadt (Old Town), a well-preserved historic district, and the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, a major art museum.
Düsseldorf is also a great place to try some local cuisines, such as the traditional Döner kebab, and it’s a great city to explore if you’re interested in learning about German culture and history.
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Aachen is a small city in western Germany, about two and a half hours from Amsterdam by train. The city is known for its hot springs, which have been used for therapeutic purposes since Roman times.
Aachen is also home to multiple historical landmarks, such as the Aachen Cathedral, built in the 8th Century, and the City Hall, built in the 14th Century. Your visit will be worth it, for there are many fun things to do in Aachen.
Whether you’re looking to relax in the city’s hot springs or explore its many historical landmarks, Aachen is an excellent choice for a day trip from Amsterdam.
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London’s English and British capital city in south England is reachable for day trips from Amsterdam. A 4-hour ride on the Eurostar can take you from Amsterdam to the heart of London. This unique, sprawling historical metropolis is an incredible center of diverse history and culture.
There are many things to do in London and attractions to see. It’s famous for its old and new architecture, the vast range of eateries, famous museums and art galleries, unique landmarks, West End plays, and the London Underground – the oldest underground railway in the world.
Each borough of London is different from the next, with everything from banging nightclubs and a seemingly endless number of pubs to gorgeous public parks, the largest botanical garden in the world, and even royal palaces and museum ships.
Amsterdam is a great city to visit, but there’s so much more to see in the Netherlands! These day trips from Amsterdam will take you to some of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, along with some hidden gems.
See Related: How to Travel From London to Amsterdam
What are the best day trips from Amsterdam by train?
There are many great day trips from Amsterdam by train, but some of the most popular ones include visiting the Dutch cities of Utrecht, Rotterdam, and The Hague. You can also take a day trip to the Belgian city of Antwerp or the German city of Cologne. If you’re looking for something further away, you can take a train to Paris.
What countries can you visit by train from Amsterdam?
Amsterdam has many direct international rail connections to Belgium, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Can you do a day trip from Amsterdam to Brussels?
Yes, it’s a short journey from Amsterdam via high-speed rail to Brussels. If you plan ahead of time and arrive early, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the city’s iconic sights, including the Grand Place, Atomium, and Manneken Pis.
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.