The Netherlands Travel tips

15+ Day Trips From Amsterdam


July 16, 2021

If you think about The Netherlands, Amsterdam is probably the first thing that pops into your head. And nobody, especially not me, will judge you if you choose Amsterdam for your first stop. But don’t let it be your only stop. Do one or two day trips from Amsterdam to really experience the Netherlands.

There are so many amazing places, which you can visit on a day trip. Or you can even stay for a couple of days there. Of course, it all depends on how much time you have.

If you are in Amsterdam for more than 2 days, I would definitely recommend at least one day trip.

Great help by planning your day trips can be journey planner or 9292.

To make everybody’s life a little easier, I have divided day trips into two groups according to the distance from Amsterdam.

Day trips from Amsterdam

Day trips from Amsterdam - less than an hour

Trip to Haarlem

Haarlem - day trip from Amsterdam
Haarlem

If you want to escape the crowded streets of Amsterdam, Haarlem is a perfect choice. This charming city and its rich history will leave you speechless. Stroll around the narrow streets, admire the architecture, explore some of the Netherlands’ best museums, or just enjoy Haarlem’s laid-back atmosphere in some cute cafés along your way. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention. Haarlem is voted as one of the best cities for shopping in The Netherlands. Ka-ching!

How to get there

The best way is to take a train from Amsterdam Central Station. It runs every 10 to 15 minutes, and the journey takes only 20 minutes (one-way train ticket 4.60€).

Trip to Zaanse Schans and Zaandam

Zaanse Schans - day trip from Amsterdam
Zaandam

Are you searching for some picturesque places? Then you have to visit Zaanse Schans. Windmills – check! Wooden houses – check! Colorful wooden shoes – check! Cheese factory – check! You can explore the windmills from the inside, take some pictures in large wooden shoes and learn all about how to make cheese in one place. Zaanse Schans has all the cliches you need to see during your trip to The Netherlands. And if I ever go back there, I will do all of them again.

Zaanse Schans is an open-air museum which means you don’t have to pay for the entrance. You only have to pay if you want to explore the windmills from inside.

This is one of the favorite day trips from Amsterdam, so prepare yourself for sharing it with a lot of other people. 

On your way back, you can make a stop in Zaandam and explore the city center. The best place to take some photos is on the bridge in front of Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam. I just keep imagining how great it would be to stay in this hotel!

How to get there

There are few options, but the easiest one is to take bus 391 that runs from Amsterdam Central Station every 15 minutes, and the trip takes around 45 minutes (one-way ticket 4.63€).

If you decide to take a train, it will take just 17 minutes, but you’ll have to walk another 15 minutes from the railway station to the Zaanse Schans (one-way ticket 3.40€).

To reach Zaandam city center from Zaanse Schans take a bus 391 to Zaandam Her Mennistenerf and in 10 minutes you are there (one-way ticket 2.12€).

Trip to Muiderslot Castle

Muiderslot Castle - day trip from Amsterdam

Muiderslot or Amsterdam Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in the Netherlands. The best part is that you can explore the whole castle on your own with an audio tour. It looks so simple from the outside yet so interesting from the inside. Walk around the castle, go on a picnic in the orchard, admire the gardens, explore the rooms and learn everything about its turbulent history. To think that this place was almost completely demolished gives me goosebumps.

Entering tickets for the castle is 15.50€, and it includes an audio tour.

How to get there

Take a train from Amsterdam Centraal to Weesp (15 minutes) and then take a bus 110 to the Muiden Centrum (10 minutes). From here, you will have to walk for 10 minutes to reach the castle (one-way ticket 5.43€).

Trip to Utrecht and De Haar Castle

De Haar Castle -day trip from Amsterdam

We can’t talk about historical places without mentioning Utrecht. Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, and its history goes way back to the time when Roman Empire ruled the world. Once wharf cellars, today charming row of restaurants along the canals where you can drink your coffee or wine right on the edge of the water. You can even rent a kayak and explore the canals on your own.

There is one more thing in Utrecht that you should put on your list, beautiful De Haar Castle. It’s a little harder to reach, but it’s definitely worth it!

If you want to visit the castle and the park admission is 18€. But if you decide to just explore the castle’s gardens, then the admission is 7€.

How to get there

The train runs every 10 minutes from Amsterdam Central Station to Utrecht Central. The journey takes less than half an hour (one-way ticket 8.20€).

To reach De Haar Castle, you will have to take another train from Utrecht Central to Vleuten station (10 minutes). From Vleuten station, take bus 127 to Brink Haarzuilens (10 minutes). From here, you have to walk for 15 minutes to reach the castle (one-way ticket 4.34€).

Trip to Rotterdam

Rotterdam -day trip from Amsterdam
Rotterdam

Tired of history and ancient architecture? Forget all about old canal houses, historical buildings, and cobblestone streets and lose yourself in Rotterdam’s contemporary creations. Except for the fact that it is built on the water, Rotterdam doesn’t have much in common with other Dutch cities. During WWII city center of Rotterdam was almost completely destroyed. Instead of reconstructing the city as it was, they decided to make a modern metropolis out of it.

How to get there

You can reach Rotterdam Central Station in just 40 minutes from Amsterdam Central Station (one-way ticket 16.50€).

Trip to Edam, Volendam and Marken

Volendam

You will have to be an early bird if you want to visit these three beautiful Dutch villages in one day. But you will not regret it!

Edam is a perfect place for all the cheese lovers out there. The best time to visit Edam is during Wednesday’s morning market. Spend a few hours strolling around the town, and don’t forget to try some cheese.

After exploring Edam, it’s time to catch a bus and head to Volendam.

As Volendam is one of Holland’s most popular fishing villages, it would be a shame to visit Volendam and not try the traditional Haring. If raw fish doesn’t sound appealing to you, I’m sure you will have fun exploring Volendam’s colorful wooden houses, visiting the cheese-making factory, or take a picture dressed in some traditional Dutch costumes.

Next stop: Marken!

Marken is a typical Dutch fishing village. A place where time has literally stopped. It’s a perfect place to take a look how Dutch countryside life looked like. With a lot fewer tourists around you, I promise you, you won’t be able to resist exploring this picturesque place.

How to get there

You can reach Edam in just half an hour with bus 314 from Amsterdam Centraal (one-way ticket 4.75€). From Edam, take a bus 378 to Volendam Centrum (10min ride, one-way ticket 1.77€). And the best way to reach Marken from Volendam is to take the 30-minute ride on a ferry boat (one-way ticket 8,75€).

Trip to Alkmaar Cheese Market

If the cheese color is your favorite color, you are at the right place. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, this place was closed during my visit. And it is still unknown when the Cheese Market will take a place again. As the cheese color certainly is my favorite color, I’m patiently waiting for it.

How to get there

Take a 40-minute train ride from Amsterdam Centraal to Alkmaar (one-way ticket 8.20€).

Trip to Gouda

Surprise, surprise another cheese town. I’m sure everybody heard about Gouda cheese at least once in their life. Maybe some of you even tried it. But did you know that there is also a city named Gouda where everything started? Not only the history of cheese is written in Gouda, but the history of famous stroopwafel too. Due to Covid-19, Gouda’s cheese market will probably be canceled this year too.

How to get there

Take a train from Amsterdam Centraal to Gouda. The journey takes about 50 minutes (one-way ticket 12.40€).

Trip to Leiden

Leiden

Leiden is a small student city that won’t disappoint you with its history and architecture. It’s the home of one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands, the Dutch’s famous dish Stamppot and the second-largest 17th-century city center in the Netherlands.

How to get there

Take a train from Amsterdam Centraal to Leiden Centraal. The journey takes less than 40 minutes (one-way ticket 9.90€).

Trip to historical triangle Hoorn, Medemblik and Enkhuizen

Hoorn
Medemblik

Hoorn is a place where you can experience Dutch life without the impact of tourism. Explore the scenic harbor of Hoorn, admire the beautiful architecture and soak up some Dutch culture.

After exploring the city, it’s time to start your journey back in time. Take a ride in a stoomtram (steam train) to Medemblik. From Medemblik, you can take a boat ride on a museum ship across Ijsselmeer Lake to Enkhuizen. You can find all about prices and timetables here.

How to get there

It’s a 30-minute ride from Amsterdam Centraal to Hoorn (one-way ticket 9€).

Trip to Keukenhof Gardens and the tulips fields

Tulip fields
Keukenhof Gardens - day trip from Amsterdam

If you find yourself in the Netherland in the tulip season (mid-March to mid-May), you have to go to Keukenhof Gardens. There is no better way to really enjoy the Dutch culture than to spend the day surrounded by tulips. Keukenhof is the largest flower garden in the world. And even if you are not a flowers lover, your mind will be blown away with all the tulip and flowers varieties.

If you want to escape crowds, and Keukenhof can be really crowded, you can visit some tulip fields near Keukenhof. Just remember you are not allowed to walk through the fields. But you can take pictures from the road. If you want to take pictures in the flower fields, visit a tulip farm, like Fam Flower Farm or De Tulperij tulip farm.

Tip: exploring tulip fields is much easier if you have a bike. You can rent one at the main entrance of Keukenhof.

How to get there

The best way to travel to Keukenhof Gardens is taking the Keukenhof Hop on & GO from Amsterdam Centraal. The journey duration is about 45 minutes, and departure is every 30 minutes from 9 AM till 2:30 PM. It’s a combi-ticket that also includes skip-the-line entrance at Keukenhof. So, you won’t have to waste your time by waiting in lines.

Another way to reach it is by taking the Keukenhof Express Bus, which departures from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (one-way ticket 5€) and Amsterdam RAI (one-way ticket 7€).

Trip to The Hague

The Hague

Exploring The Hague in only one day isn’t an easy job, but one day is enough to see some of its best highlights. Explore Grote Kerk, one of the oldest buildings in The Hague, and climb its tower to see amazing views of the city. See the miniature version of every important landmark in the Netherlands in Madurodam. Dip your toes into the sea. And go shopping in some of the best shopping streets in the city. Everything is possible if you plan your visit well.

How to get there

Take a 50-minute train ride from Amsterdam Centraal to Den Haag Centraal (one-way ticket 12.60€).

Day trips from Amsterdam – more than an hour

Trip to Delft

Delft - day trip from Amsterdam
Delft

If you are a fan of cities like Amsterdam and The Hague, you will fall in love with Delft too. Picturesque corners, history, old buildings, cute local shops, and cafes. Delft has it all!

How to get there

Take a train from Amsterdam Centraal to Delft. The journey duration about an hour (one-way ticket 14.30€).

Trip to Hoge Veluwe National Park

Escape the city noise and spend the day in Hoge Veluwe National Park. This place is a heaven on earth for nature lovers and outdoor activities seekers. Watch the wildlife, such as red deer, foxes, mouflons, and wild boars, roaming around freely. Explore the diversity of Hoge’s landscapes, from ancient forests to sand dunes. This park covers almost 55 square km, so walking around wouldn’t be the best option. Make sure to grab a free bike at the entrance to move around faster.

How to get there

Take a train from Amsterdam Centraal to Ede-Wageningen or Apeldoorn. From train station in Ede-Wageningen take bus 108 to Otterlo, and then bus 106 to Hoenderloo.

From Apeldoorn train station take bus 108 to Hoenderloo and then bus 106 to Otterlo.

Bus stops in the park near the Visitor Center.

The journey duration is about 1 hour and 40 minutes (one-way ticket 19.73€).

Trip to Giethoorn

Giethoor
Giethoor - day trip from Amsterdam

One of the most beautiful day trips you can take is definitely a day trip to Giethoorn. Spend one perfect day in the city with no roads (don’t let that fool you, there are plenty enough pathways and bridges to explore), you won’t regret it. Giethoorn, also known as ‘Little Venice,’ will make you feel like you are in a fairytale. One of the things you shouldn’t miss while visiting this place is renting a boat.

How to get there

In the best-case scenario, you will need two hours to reach Giethoorn from Amsterdam Centraal. The journey includes catching several connecting trains. If you decide to take a train from Amsterdam, make sure to plan your trip with 9292.nl and Google maps (one-way ticket around 27€).

With that being said, a great option to reach this place is by renting a car or taking a tour. It all depends on your budget.

Trip to Kinderdijk

Kinderdijk

If you are still not impressed with the windmills, nineteen beautiful windmills of Kinderdijk will change your mind. Kinderdijk is a UNESCO-listed site and it’s definitely worth visiting. You can stroll around and enjoy this beautiful landscape for free. But if you decide to buy a ticket, it will include a visit to the windmill museum, boat and audio tour (prices from 16€). Don’t forget to bring your camera!

How to get there

Reaching Kinderdijik from Amsterdam can be tricky and exhausting. The best way is to take a train to Rotterdam and from Rotterdam take a ferry. If you are visiting during the summer months, there is a regular ferry that will take you directly to the Kinderdijik. Outside the high season, there is no direct ferry, so you will need to change the ferry at Ridderkerk. The journey duration is about 2 hours.

If that sounds too complicated for you, there is always an easier way (rent a car or organized tours).

Trip to Efteling

Efteling

Efteling is one of the oldest theme parks in Europe. It’s based on the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christin Andersen, and Charles Perrault’s stories. It definitely isn’t one of the typical day trips from Amsterdam. But hey, sightseeing and learning about Dutch history isn’t everything. Sometimes all we need is to put our hands in the air on some roller-coaster ride and have fun.

How to get there

From Amsterdam Centraal take a train to Den Bosch. From here take bus 300, 301, 136 or 800 to Efteling. Journey duration about 2 hours (one-way ticket around 24€).

15+ Day trips from Amsterdam

As you may see, there are plenty of opportunities to go and explore the Netherlands outside of Amsterdam. I can go even further with this list, but I’ll leave it for some other time.

Have you been on any of these day trips from Amsterdam before? Did I forget to put something important on this list? Let me know in the comments 😊

If you are planning a trip around Europe, check this Europe Bucket List.

Day trips from Amsterdam
Day trips from Amsterdam
Day trips from Amsterdam
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By Maja's Little Dream 6 Comments



6 Comments

I have been to Giethoorn, and I think it is one of the loveliest places I have ever been to. The place hardly seems real.

Giethoorn is such a fairytale place. Definitely something worth visiting!

Ketki says:

I love that there are so many day trip options from Amsterdam and the transport is also seamless to and fro! I stayed in Rotterdam for a couple of months and could manage to cover a few of these. Want to go back to explore the rest 🙂

I know, love that too. I mean sometimes it can be a little complicated to reach some places, but I love that they have great sites like 9292 which makes planning your trip so easy.

Lerato says:

I didn’t know there were so many amazing day trip options from Amsterdam. I love this city, one of the most beautiful ones in Europe

I was surprised too as I started to explore. I love Amsterdam too, it’s such an amazing city.

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