Amsterdam is a wonderful city filled with oddities, architecture and amazing experiences. However, sometimes you need a getaway to explore other parts of Holland and Northwestern Europe. Here are some of the best weekend trips from Amsterdam for you to consider.
Trips away from Amsterdam are easy. Amsterdam used to be the center of trade by being a global shipping powerhouse.
Today, the city is still the center of modern trade and tourism thanks to a productive airport (Schipol) and an efficient train system at Amsterdam Centraal Station.
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There are plenty of hidden gems of Amsterdam, but like anyone, you’ll need to find a getaway to explore Europe further.
Going places from Amsterdam Centrum (City Center) for the weekend is easy and there is a lot to choose from. You can even choose day trips like seeing the tulips from Amsterdam.
Sometimes, you want to diversify your European vacation outside of Amsterdam or even Holland, so I’ll get into some of the best weekend trips that you can take from Amsterdam city center.
With this, we will highlight a few commutable cities and vacations that you can take from Amsterdam in the following categories:
- Where to go from Amsterdam by train
- Where to go from Amsterdam for the weekend by plane
- Nearby countries for a weekend excursion (aka weekend trips from Amsterdam to other countries)
Thanks to being from Minneapolis, it’s easy to get to Amsterdam. We have plenty of direct, nonstop flights into Schipol for very cheap.
I was able to fly there for $450, thanks to travel hacking. Therefore, I have a bunch of research compiled on where to go once you get to Amsterdam. The options are endless.
Best Weekend Getaways from Amsterdam, Netherlands
These are some of the most optimal getaways from Amsterdam. Take some time to relax and explore for a weekend.
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1. Den Burg & Texel Island, North Holland
Den Burg is the capital of the province Texel in North Holland or Noord Holland. Texel is an island that features a number of small, quaint towns that make for great getaway trips.
It’s a bit of an interesting commute to get there as you will likely have to ride on the following cadence:
- 1-hour train to Den Helder, Netherlands
- A 15-minute bus ride from Den Helder, the Netherlands to the ferry station
- A 30-minute ferry from Den Helder port to Den Hoorn, Netherlands
- A 10-minute bus ride from Den Hoorn port to the city center of Den Burg
It’s well worth it, however. Texel Island is the ultimate place to get away and shut down for a weekend from Amsterdam. If you go to Texel, make sure to stay in Den Burg as you will be centrally located around the island. This will make it very easy to explore the other cities on the island.
We stayed at Hotel Texel de Lindenboom, which was right in the center of the city center of Den Burg.
Clearly, I’m a big fan of architecture and Den Burg fulfilled that. I climbed to the top of the central church and snapped a few landscapes during our sunny visit to Den Burg.
The island has plenty of things to do, including:
- Beach relaxation
- Horseback riding
- Shopping (the wool is amazing here… Grab a wool sweater!)
- Texel dunes
- Texel aquarium
When I went, there were only Dutch locals there. It was hard to find a tourist. Many people come up here with their families to get away and find family time. Texel makes one of the best weekend trips from Amsterdam. Read more about the many things to do on Texel Island.
Where to stay?
- Best Luxury Hotel: Hotel Texel
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Hotel Greenside Texel
- Best Budget Hotel: Van der Valk Hotel Texel
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2. Dusseldorf, Germany
This is one of my favorite getaways from Amsterdam. It’s great because you can visit a completely new country and culture along the way.
As a bit of a beer snob, I absolutely loved visiting Düsseldorf.
Düsseldorf is known for its altbier. These beers are much different than what you’d get in Munich. In fact, most of the beers are served in very small glasses. They are cheap too! No, you can’t find big steins or liter beers here.
The catch… They continue to serve you the beers until you say you are done. They mark your coaster to count how many beers you’ve had. I loved this. It’s so nostalgic and old-school.
Who needs computers? Another component of going to Dusseldorf is that the architecture is equally impressive. That looks like photo-genic Germany to me!
Düsseldorf is a very commutable city. You can get around with their train system with ease and it is a very walkable city.
There are plenty of bars to go to around Dusseldorf, so if you are a night owl. This place is for you. One thing that I enjoyed most about Dusseldorf was the commutability and walkability. Check out these great breweries in Düsseldorf to make the most of your visit.
Where to stay? These are some of the best places to stay in Düsseldorf:
- Best Luxury Hotel: InterContinental Dusseldorf
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Holiday Inn Express Dusseldorf – City North
- Best Budget Hotel: Ibis Budget Dusseldorf Airport
See Related: Most Beautiful Villages in Germany
3. Cologne (Koln) and Northwest Germany
Next up are the other parts of Northwest, Germany which include the large city of Cologne (Koln). I was able to visit both Cologne and Dusseldorf in 1.5 days. I stopped in Cologne on my way to Dusseldorf.
Again with the beer aspect, Cologne is known for its Kolsch beer.
This was a great compliment to the altbier in Germany.
The beer is served in the same style where you get small glasses and they keep pouring them until you say no more.
Cologne, Germany Overview
Koln (or Cologne) is a historic, large city in Germany along the Rhine River with a pretty large metropolitan area.
It’s quite a large city. The population is in excess of 1 million people. The city center is underpinned by the large, gothic Koln Cathedral.
I highly suggest that you pay a visit to the cathedral. It’s a very impressive church. You can’t miss it coming from the train station. Cologne is known for its Christmas markets in the wintertime as well as a carnival in the spring.
See Related: 20 Reasons to Visit Germany
Other Cities to Consider
Here are some other cities that you can explore in Northwest Germany to complement your trip.
All cities are virtually right along the Rhine River (one of Europe’s largest and most historic rivers) and the train stops virtually everywhere. You can get to multiple cities in Northwest Germany to see it all.
This is a cultural-filled weekend trip from Amsterdam that you won’t want to miss.
It’s only 2 hours by train to get here and you can end up seeing quite a bit of action. You can cover everything from large metropolitan cities to small quaint German towns.
Where to stay?
- Best Luxury Hotel: Hyatt Regency Cologne
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Hilton Cologne
- Best Budget Hotel: Flandrischer Hof
See Related: Things Amsterdam is Famous For
4. Utrecht City
Utrecht is a short, easy trip from Amsterdam. If you are looking for an easy weekend trip, this is for you. Utrecht is sort of like a mini-Amsterdam in a way. There is a lot of similar architecture and canals. It’s much quieter and more commutable.
The city is the capital city of the province of Utrecht. The city is located in the center of the country, which makes it easy to get to Amsterdam. Plus, you can make a couple of Dutch city stopovers along the way.
Where to stay?
- Best Luxury Hotel: Grand Hotel Karel V
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Holiday Inn Express Utrecht – Papendorp
- Best Budget Hotel: Hotel Oorsprongpark
See Related: Best Places to Visit in the Netherlands
4. Brussels, Belgium
Brussels is another opportunity to see a whole new country during a simple weekend trip away from Amsterdam. Brussels is very easy to get to from Amsterdam Centraal station. Belgian culture doesn’t get enough credit it deserves.
They are smashed in between German, French, and Dutch cultures, but Belgians have some great food. Who doesn’t love waffles, cheese, and chocolate?
Where to stay?
- Best Luxury Hotel: Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Hilton Graden Inn Brussels City Centre
- Best Budget Hotel: Meininger Hotels Bruxelles City Center
See Related: Amsterdam vs Brussels
5. Paris, France
Yes, Paris is an easy getaway from Amsterdam. I don’t know if I need to go into the full details about Paris because that is a post and experience on its own.
I’ve done the high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris and it’s easy. It takes just about 3 hours to get to Paris via high-speed rail from Centraal Station. It’s nice because the train stops in Brussels.
If you have an unlimited travel pass, you can see both Brussels and Paris on the same trip from Amsterdam. I was able to get plenty of work done on the train before heading out to explore the city.
When exploring Paris, consider using one of these top sites for booking tours. There is a lot of ground to cover in Paris and you’ll need some help to get it all done in a weekend.
Where to stay?
- Best Luxury Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Goerge V Paris
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Best Western Plus Sydney Opera
- Best Budget Hotel: Hotel De Fleurie
See Related: Best Famous Hotels in Paris
6. Naarden, Netherlands
Naarden is a very close-by option that takes very little commute time. This is a great place to completely shut down and go off the grid. You can do it in this small, quaint town just a short 25-minute drive away from the Amsterdam City Center.
Look at the star shape of this city.
Where to stay?
- Best Luxury Hotel: Vesting Hotel
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: NH Naarden
- Best Budget Hotel: Design B&B Naarden Vesting
See Related: Things to do in Amsterdam, Netherlands
7. Antwerp, Belgium
Antwerp is an interesting city. There is plenty of Belgian history and culture. The city has a larger metropolitan area of over 1.2 million people.
It’s the second largest after Brussels. Antwerp is very easy to get to from Amsterdam Centraal Station. If you catch the Thalys train, it is only an hour and 15-minute ride.
This makes it a quick stopover for those looking to get away in an easy fashion for a weekend away from Amsterdam. You can even stop in Rotterdam on the way if you want to split up your trip between two cities.
Where to stay?
- Best Luxury Hotel: U Eat & Sleep Antwerp
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Plaza Hotel
- Best Budget Hotel: The Ash
See Related: Best Travel Gifts for Backpackers
8. Prague, Czech Republic
You are probably laughing at me for saying Prague is a weekend trip from Amsterdam. Well, it is. There are 7-9 flights daily from Schipol to Václav Havel Airport Prague. The cost is usually around or less than $100. The flight time? Only 1.5 hours. Check out these cheap flight deals to Prague.
This is one of the best weekend trips from Amsterdam to see a completely different perspective on Europe. Prague is an extremely affordable European city as they are not on the Euro. In addition, Prague is technically Eastern Europe, which carries a much different historical perspective than Northwestern Europe.
Given how many times this flight comes out of Schipol, it makes for an affordable, underrated weekend getaway.
Where to stay?
- Best Luxury Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Prague
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Hotel Villa
- Best Budget Hotel: Mosaic House
See Related: Best Travel Backpacks for Exploring
9. Rotterdam, Netherlands
Rotterdam is a sprawling urban city. It’s the second-largest city in The Netherlands, and unlike Amsterdam, the city is located in South Holland.
The city’s history dates back to 1270 when a dam was constructed in the Rotte river, after which people claimed residence around it for safety.
In 1340, Rotterdam was granted city rights by the Count of Holland. Now, the city has a rich urban center with skyscrapers and modern architecture. Rotterdam is pretty impressive at night. Want to explore the city? These are the best Rotterdam tours to consider during your trip.
Where to stay?
- Best Luxury Hotel: Rotterdam Marriott Hotel
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Holiday Inn Express Rotterdam – Central Station
- Best Budget Hotel: Sparks Hostel
See Related: How Much is a Trip to Amsterdam?
Pro Tip: How to See Three Countries During a Week in Amsterdam
If you want to take my exact route, consider following this efficient train route to ride the rails on European trains and travel like a pro. This trip ended up being efficient, fun, and culturally diverse.
This train route is a great way to see multiple different countries from Amsterdam.
- Amsterdam to Paris by Train (3 hours)
- Paris to Cologne by Train (3.5 hours)
- Cologne to Dusseldorf by Train (20 minutes)
- Dusseldorf to Amsterdam (2 hours and 20 minutes, make sure you get the high-speed ticket!)
For just about 9 hours of travel time, you get to see 4 cities and 3 different countries just on a trip from Amsterdam.
You can spread it out to spend about 2-3 days in each city (combine Cologne and Dusseldorf into one stay). Feeling ambitious? Through a stop in Brussels along the way.
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Amsterdam is an underrated city for travel because you are at the epicenter of exploration via boat, train, car, and plane. I don’t think many people realize that if you can get to Amsterdam, you can get anywhere you want in the world. Europe is a place where anywhere could be classified as a weekend trip, really. Traveling to Amsterdam, this city only reinforces that.
With your weekend trips, it just depends on how far you want to go and how easy you want to do it. Schipol is a large airport, so you likely will deal with a bit of a headache traveling there and getting out. Centraal Station is centrally located (no pun intended), so you can get in and out of Amsterdam with ease.