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9 Best Weekend Trips from Amsterdam: Top Getaway Options

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Amsterdam is a wonderful city 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 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.

Amsterdam has plenty of hidden gems, 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 much 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 you can take from Amsterdam’s 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.

Thanks to travel hacking, I could fly there for $450. Therefore, I have compiled a bunch of research on where to go once you get to Amsterdam. The options are endless. These are some of the most optimal getaways from Amsterdam. Take some time to relax and explore for a weekend.

Best Weekend Getaways from Amsterdam

1. Den Burg & Texel Island, North Holland

Texel Island Ferry - Teso (Den Hoorn)
Check out the ferry we took from Den Helder to Den Hoorn

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. 1-hour train to Den Helder, Netherlands
  2. A 15-minute bus ride from Den Helder, the Netherlands, to the ferry station
  3. A 30-minute ferry from Den Helder port to Den Hoorn, Netherlands
  4. 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, stay in Den Burg, as you will be centrally located around the island. This will make exploring other cities on the island very easy.

We stayed at Hotel Texel de Lindenboom in Den Burg’s city center. I’m a big fan of architecture, and Den Burg fulfilled that. During our sunny visit, I climbed to the top of the central church and snapped a few landscapes.

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

There were only Dutch locals when I went, so it was hard to find a tourist. Many people come here with their families to get away and have 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

See Related: Best Travel Accessories

2. Dusseldorf, Germany

Dusseldorf, Germany - Best Weekend Trips from Amsterdam
Dusseldorf, Germany (Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers)

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 loved visiting Düsseldorf.

Düsseldorf is known for its altbier. These beers are much different than what you’d get in Munich. 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 Overview

Düsseldorf is a very commutable city. You can easily get around with their train system, which is a very walkable city. There are plenty of bars around Dusseldorf, so if you are a night owl. This place is for you.

One of the things that I enjoyed most about Düsseldorf was its commutability and walkability. To make the most of your visit, check out these great breweries in Düsseldorf.

Where to stay? These are some of the best places to stay in Düsseldorf:

See Related: Most Beautiful Villages in Germany

3. Cologne (Koln) and Northwest Germany

Cologne, Germany Architecture
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Next are the other parts of Northwest Germany, including the large city of Cologne (Köln). I visited both Cologne and Dusseldorf in 1.5 days, stopping 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

Köln (or Cologne) is a historic city in Germany along the Rhine River with a pretty large metropolitan area. The population is more than 1 million. The large, gothic Koln Cathedral underpins the city center.

I highly suggest that you visit 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 winter and a carnival in the spring.

They have several different squares with several breweries and great German food to complement a Kolsch beer. Like Dusseldorf, the scenery and architecture are amazing.

Other Cities to Consider

Here are some other cities you can explore in Northwest Germany to complement your trip.

  1. Leverkusen
  2. Duisburg
  3. Dortmund
  4. Bonn

All cities are 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.

You won’t want to miss This cultural-filled weekend trip from Amsterdam. It’s only 2 hours by train to get here, and you can see a lot of action. You can cover everything from large metropolitan cities to small quaint German towns.

Where to Stay

See Related: Things Amsterdam is Famous For

4. Utrecht

Oudegracht in City Center of Utrecht
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Utrecht is a short, easy trip from Amsterdam. It is a good choice if you are looking for an easy weekend trip. Utrecht is sort of like a mini-Amsterdam. There are a lot of similar architecture and canals, but it’s much quieter and more comfortable.

The city is the capital city of the province of Utrecht. The city is in the country’s center, making it easy to get to Amsterdam. Plus, you can make a couple of Dutch city stopovers along the way, such as Castle De Haar, one of the best places to visit in the Netherlands.

Where to Stay

4. Brussels, Belgium

Busy Grand Place square with ornate guildhalls and lively crowd in Brussels
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Brussels is another opportunity to see a new country during a simple weekend trip away from Amsterdam. Brussels is straightforward to get to from Amsterdam Centraal station. Belgian culture doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

Belgians are a cross between German, French, and Dutch cultures, but they have great food. Who doesn’t love waffles, cheese, and chocolate?

Where to Stay

See Related: Amsterdam vs Brussels

5. Paris, France

Paris, France City Architecture
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

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.

I’ve done the high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris, and it’s easy. It takes about 3 hours to get to Paris via high-speed rail from Centraal Station. It’s nice because the train stops in Brussels.

With an unlimited travel pass, you can visit Brussels and Paris on the same trip from Amsterdam. I did plenty of work on the train before exploring the city.

Consider using one of these top sites to book tours when exploring Paris. There is a lot to cover in Paris, and you’ll need help finishing it all over the weekend.

Where to Stay

See Related: Best Famous Hotels in Paris

6. Naarden, Netherlands

Aerial view of star fort Naarden, Netherlands, surrounded by greenery and waterways
Naarden star-shaped fortress aerial (Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers)

Naarden is a very close-by option that takes very little commute time. This is a great place to shut down and completely 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.

Naarden, The Netherlands

Where to Stay

See Related: Things to do in Amsterdam

7. Antwerp, Belgium

Historic Antwerp Guild Houses at Grote Markt, Belgium with ornate architecture and golden statues
Antwerp Grote Markt Guild Houses (Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers)

Antwerp is an interesting city with plenty of Belgian history and culture. Its metropolitan area of over 1.2 million people is the second largest after Brussels. Antwerp is very easy to reach from Amsterdam Centraal Station. The Thalys train takes only an hour and 15 minutes to take you there.

This makes it a quick stopover for those looking to get away easily for a weekend away from Amsterdam. You can even stop in Rotterdam to split your trip between two cities.

Where to Stay

See Related: Best Travel Gifts for Backpackers

8. Prague, Czech Republic

Panoramic View of Prague's Historic Old Town showcasing gothic architecture and skyline
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

You probably laugh at me for saying Prague is a weekend trip from Amsterdam. Well, it is. There are 7-9 flights from Schipol to Václav Havel Airport Prague daily. The cost is usually around or less than $100, and the flight time is 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 a highly affordable European city because it is not on the Euro.

In addition, Prague is technically Eastern Europe, which carries a much different historical perspective than Northwestern Europe. Given how often this flight comes out of Schipol, it makes for an affordable, underrated weekend getaway.

Where to Stay

See Related: Best Cafés in Amsterdam

9. Rotterdam, Netherlands

Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Rotterdam is a sprawling urban city. It’s the second-largest city in The Netherlands, and unlike Amsterdam, it 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

See Related: How Much is a Trip to Amsterdam?

Pro Tip: How to See Three Countries During a Week in Amsterdam

Centraal Station Metro Stop in Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

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 countries different from Amsterdam.

  • Amsterdam to Paris by Train (3 hours)
  • Paris to Cologne by Train (3.5 hours)
  • Cologne to Dusseldorf by Train (20 minutes)
  • Düsseldorf to Amsterdam (2 hours and 20 minutes; make sure you get the high-speed ticket!)

For about 9 hours of travel, you can see four cities and three 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). Are you feeling ambitious? Through a stop in Brussels along the way.

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 you can get anywhere you want if you can get to Amsterdam.

In Europe, anything could be classified as a weekend trip, and traveling to Amsterdam 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 have a bit of a headache traveling there and getting out. Centraal Station is centrally located (no pun intended), so you can easily get in and out of Amsterdam.

Related Resources

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