Amsterdam is a pretty loveable city. When you visit the Netherlands, you should definitely spend time in this city, I’ve even created an entire city guide for you! While you’re based in Amsterdam, there are a few possible day trips that you shouldn’t overlook if you want a varied and enjoyable experience.
In the Netherlands as in the rest of Europe, it’s easy to hop from city to city and have an amazing trip. While there’s a bunch of things to do in Amsterdam when visiting, if you want to have a little more Dutch culture in your life, there are plenty of day trips to take. From the beautiful canals and houses of tiny Geithoorn, to the center of Dutch politics in The Hague, there are so many different varieties of day trip to choose from!
This town makes everyone fall head-over-heels. Make time when you visit Amsterdam to visit Giethoorn, especially in the spring or summer. It’s a little farther away from the city, but I promise it’s worth it! From every angle you could easily create a postcard…it really is that pretty! It’s the village with no roads, and in this part of the town, it’s all about the footpaths and canals. Take your time. It’s not very big!
Tip: If you’re an early bird, catch a train as early as you can. But if you’re a night owl, stay as late at you can. Tourists are mainly around between 10 am and 6 pm.
Related: Day Trip to Giethoorn
This small town in North Holland is only about 35 minutes north of Amsterdam by train (which really is the best way to travel in the Netherlands). There are so many cute, adorable corners if you make your way from the central Cheese Market that makes Alkmaar so famous.
Tip: Take the canal cruise, just be aware of the super low bridges. We had to get on the bottom of the boat because the boat barely fit under some of the bridges!
I’ve heard Haarlem called the little sister to Amsterdam, but it really has it’s own personality. It’s beautiful, has a few of its own water ways, and a great market on the weekend. Haarlem is much quieter than Amsterdam, and there’s just something about it that exudes an incredible amount of charm. With a train trip that’s only 15-20 minutes, you can hop over to explore for an afternoon.
Tip: Haarlem has a beautiful Christmas market that is a must-visit if you’re in the area during the Christmas Season.
If you adore canal-side drinking or dining, then you will love Utrecht! There is a lively area by the water with shopping and restaurants. Head down toward the water for a wonderful ambiance for a meal. For a different adventure, head up the 465 steps in the Dom Tower for an amazing view of the city!
Tip: For a unique experience, head to Belgisch Bier Café Olivier for a drink. It’s a bar that was converted from a church.
Related: Outside the Limits: Utrecht
Seems like a lot of people overlook The Hague. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t seem like a place for tourists, but instead a place for politics. That couldn’t be further from the truth! There are beautiful quaint roads, awesome and unique shopping areas, great restaurants, and the nearby Scheveningen with its beach and The Pier.
Tip: Visit The Rough Kitchen in The Pier for amazing BBQ (American style)
This port town has some personality! Stunning bridges, eclectic buildings, split-level outdoor shopping areas, and fun food halls make Rotterdam a very interesting place to visit. You’ll find mostly modern buildings due to the destruction during World War II. This is definitely a place to walk a bit, take a tram or metro, then walk some more. Just take it all in!
Tip: Take a waterbus…it’s fun!
Related: YouTube – Exploring Rotterdam // Girls’ Day!
Looking for an adorable Dutch town that’s easily walkable, full of cheese, and canals without the hoards of tourist? Woerden is your spot! Set up a tour with the tourism office, visit the cheese warehouse, and have a local lunch. It’s easily and quickly accessible from Amsterdam Central Station by train. This is the “Holland” you are looking for, though it’s in province of Utrecht and not North or South Holland. We fully enjoyed our time here!
Related: Quick and inspiring day trip from Amsterdam: Woerden & YouTube – Visit Woerden
I can guarantee that you don’t think of a beach when you think of the Netherlands. But we have a coastline the length of the country! The closest beach to Amsterdam is Zandvoort. It’s just as easy to get to as Haarlem (some trains go to both!). After a 30 minute train ride, you’ll just minutes from the beach with plenty of beachside restaurants.
Would you head to the beach in the Netherlands? You should give it a try!
Related: Day trip from Amsterdam to the Beach
Yes, the cheese town! Ok, well, one of them. The Netherlands has a BUNCH of cheese towns, so take your pick! If you’re up for and nice bike trip, this is a nice trip into the countryside just outside of Amsterdam. You can also take the regional buses as well. That’ll be much quicker! Either way, you’ll enjoy your time here. And if you are looking for a cheese fix, check out the Cheese Market in the summer, you’ll find more info on the tourism board’s website.
I really want to call Delft the cutest little town that ever was because it just feels right to say! The city started as a village in the Middle Ages and is now known alongside pottery — Delft Pottery with its characteristically blue paint on white pottery. It’s not far from Rotterdam, so if you are visiting Amsterdam for a couple of days and looking to explore more of the country, then moving on to stay in Rotterdam for a few days is a great option. Lots to do in this area, as well!
Related: A day trip to Delft
Between March and May, it’s flower season here in the Netherlands. Mostly famously, the Keukenhof opens up for 2 months to a couple million visitors. If you are willing to brave the crowds, buy tickets ahead of time and get there early! Tulips are mostly available mid-April (typically, depends on the season). But keep in mind that Keukenhof IS NOT rows of tulips fields. Get more info on those from the Visit Holland page.
Related: Visiting the Keukenhof (our guide for you)
A quick bus ride north of Amsterdam will take you to Monnickendam. With stunning architecture, photogenic marinas, and proximity to other popular spots, it’s a great day trip. Monnickendam is also a great place to rent a bike. If you want to head to Marken from here, I highly recommend getting an e-bike because you’ll need it when you’re on the dike because of the wind. Trust me. Been there, done that TWICE with a regular bike.
Because there’s a few different places to get to from Monnickendam, it might even be worth staying for the weekend if you have the time.
Broek in Waterland
This is even easy for a morning or afternoon trip from Amsterdam because it’s so close and it’s just perfect for strolling. There’s not much to do here, but it’s worth getting out of the city to see this stunner of a village.
Related: Waterland: Postcard perfect
Those are just a few day trips from Amsterdam, and there are many more cool spots to visit in the Netherlands! Amsterdam is a great city to explore for a few days, and with so many day trips, you could easily spend a week or more in Holland. What are you waiting for?