You're looking for fun day trips from Amsterdam, which is so exciting. While there is so much to do in Amsterdam, you will want to see more incredible places around the Netherlands.
You can see many great places in Amsterdam and from your key accommodation in the capital, you can take several day trips to see a historic city, the Dutch countryside, a fishing village and a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Netherlands is a relatively compact country with a reliable transportation system, which means that within an hour away from Amsterdam you can find yourself in a whole other style of beauty elsewhere in the country. Beyond the Netherlands, you can take day trips from Amsterdam to Belgium or even Germany, for example.
Visiting Amsterdam is a lot of fun, but so is seeing the rest of the country and other major Dutch cities. We recommend staying close to the Amsterdam central station, which is the main train station in the Dutch capital. From there, you'll be a short-distance away from all the picture perfect landscape.It's so easy to navigate the whole of the Netherlands, as the country is so well-connected. Public transport is speedy, reliable and affordable, making day trips a breeze.
Train travel is the easiest way to travel around Amsterdam, incredibly well-connected you’ll be able to reach most other Dutch cities or towns via rail. Occasionally, you’ll have to take a bus, but even this is convenient and accessible. Keep on top of it all with the ND (Dutch rail network) journey planner website and app for train times and making bookings. If you’re travelling on Monday, make sure you check what’s open, since it’s common for businesses and even major attractions to be closed.
Like most cities in Western Europe, the weather is truly unpredictable, so carrying an umbrella or waterproof coat everywhere with you is a wise decision! You'll be able to bring home a variety of epic souvenirs from Amsterdam too, making your trips even more memorable.
If you don't want to DIY your own day trips from Amsterdam, you can always join a group tour. As with most tours, it will be worry free, you'll be provided with excellent transportation, and you'll join other like-minded travellers.
Day Trip to Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam and Marken - The fantastic Dutch countryside
Keukenhof Park, the world's largest spring garden - Beautiful flower fields
Day Trip to Bruges - For enjoying both, the Netherlands and Belgium
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A quick and easy day trip from Amsterdam is the world famous flowers gardens in the small town of Lisse. The easiest way to get there is by using the dedicated bus service, which takes about 40 minutes. You can even cycle there which is a lot of fun. Like stepping into wonderland, this is a true feast for the senses, over seven million flowers blooming over 32 hectares of gardens to explore.
You could easily spend the day among the colours and scents of these gorgeous flowers, particularly as there are cute cafés dotted throughout the whole garden. Make sure you take a camera because you're going to want to take gorgeous snaps of the picturesque town and flower fields.
Finally, don't forget to pick up your ticket online in advance as it gets incredibly crowded and if possible, avoid weekends and public holidays. Since the garden is only open in the Spring (end of March until Mid-May), they receive millions of visitors each year.
Visit the Keukenhof Gardens, or take a bike ride around the tulip fields to explore the very best of tulip fields all around you.
Nearby there is the 17th-century Keukenhof Castle. This Dutch town is so well known for its flowers, you'll even get to visit the Museum de Zwarte Tulp which goes into details about the history and development of tulip varieties.
Local tip: Keukenhof Gardens are one of the most popular destination in the Netherlands which attracts millions of tourists every year. We recommend taking this Keukenhof Gardens guided half a day tour from Amsterdam which includes a Skip-the-line Keukenhof Ticket and Transport from Amsterdam.
This is one of the easiest day trips to take from Amsterdam as the trains are incredibly regular, and it only takes half an hour to get there. One of the most historically charming cities in the Netherlands, it features historical church buildings from the Middle Ages.
People generally head to Utrecht from Amsterdam to enjoy the famous canals as well as the gorgeous De Haar castle. This is a university city that's charming, stylish and full of character.
Waterfront platforms allow you to sit out on the canals and enjoy a drink or meal in one of the waterside cafes or restaurants. Follow the most popular Oudegracht Canal through the town for a beautiful walking tour of the city's most famous sights. Or just take a boat ride on the canal itself if you prefer.
The city center itself is pedestrianised and dominated by The Dom, a modern structure that allows a fantastic view of the city. Utrecht is very popular as a shopping destination due to the sheer number of vintage and antique stores, hunting for treasures here is great fun. With quirky museums to visit and a wholly different vibe to Amsterdam, this is an easy day trip to see more of what the Netherlands has to offer.
Utrecht is so easy to reach, by a direct Sprinter train from Amsterdam. It takes just 40 minutes to reach the city.
Take a Utrecht bike tour with a local guide who will show you both hotspots and well-kept-secrets.
Don't miss out on a visit to the superb De Haar Castle and make sure to purchase your ticket in advance.
For a breathtaking escape from bustling Amsterdam, just fifteen minutes away by train, you can't do better than Haarlem. This beautiful medieval town centre features magnificent churches, canals, and municipal buildings that predate the Dutch Golden Age, so you know you're in for some exciting architecture experiences. Spend half a day exploring Haarlem and enjoying a spectacular boat ride on the river.
Once a major North Sea trading port surrounded by defensive city walls, it retains its medieval character of cobblestone streets and traditional houses.
It's like stepping into a fairy-tale, and thankfully there are far fewer tourists here than in Amsterdam, so the side streets are a lot more peaceful. There are plenty of quirky things to get up to in Haarlem, you can even find the craft brewery Jopenker located within a former church and visit the eccentric collection at Teyler's Museum.
Eating and drinking your way around the city is one of the best things to get up to here with local restaurants, sandwich shops and bakeries abound. Make sure you get some fries and mayonnaise at De Friethoes before you head off for a delicious snack.
Once in Haarlem, you will want to enjoy a boat ride on the canal to explore this Dutch town from a different perspective. And of course, we recommend getting a proper food tour to learn Haarlem through dishes and drinks.
Delft, often associated with the iconic blue and white china Delftware is a stunning medieval city which lies between The Hague and Rotterdam.
Just under an hour by train day trip from Amsterdam, you can be in this incredibly photogenic city getting lost on the cobbled streets and gazing at the medieval architecture. Some highlights to see in the area include the Nieuwe Kerk, a protestant church where you can see the tomb of William of Orange, after that head to the stunning 13th-century Gothic church Oude Kerk, famous for its 9-tonne bell.
The best thing to do Delft is to wander the streets and enjoy the many local shops, cafés, and bakeries.
Starting at the main square which is the liveliest part of the town, you can try local produce and indulge in excellent gelato and coffee, set aside some time for people watching at the Ten to Three Bakery, a cute and relaxing spot in the centre.
Delft is a wonderful spot to pick up souvenirs due to the abundance of china shops and vintage store to peruse. Vintage Island is one of the sweetest vintage shops in the city and you can pick up some reasonably priced European fashion.
Purchase your tickets to a walking tour in Delft to learn about its secrets from a local. The tour lasts about an hour and a half.
North of Amsterdam and a little further away and slightly harder to get to than most day trips on this list, you can reach Giethoorn after a 1.5-hour drive. You can either take the bus, hire a car, or choose one of the organised tours, so there are still a few options.
Giethoorn is particularly special as transport around the village is done via the canals and boats are used instead of cars. There's a distinctly Venice style vibe to this quaint little place, and it's one of the most sought after day trips from Amsterdam, for this reason, making it exceptionally busy in the Summer.
The main thing to do in Giethoorn is to enjoy the tranquillity, listen to the birds and enjoy being in a Netherlands water town. Taking a boat tour is a must-do here and don't forget to take your camera because it's like stepping into a painting.
Giethoorn is a less touristy day trip from Amsterdam which is very much rewarding.
To see this charming village, it's best to book a tour from Amsterdam which includes transportation, as well as a boat tour.
The political hub of the country and the former capital, The Hague is a convenient day trip (just 40 minutes away by train) and a perfect city to explore on foot.
The Hague is the seat of the Dutch government and home to the Dutch royal family too.
With quaint and historic architecture at every turn, the largest Chinatown in the Netherlands, and beautiful beaches and coastline to enjoy, The Hague is incredibly diverse.
Visit the Van Kleef distillery dating back to the 1800s to try Dutch alcohols and stroll The Passage, a UNESCO recognised arcade which predates the famously covered passages of Paris. One of the crowning jewels of the city is the Peace Palace, built in the 1920s and now The International Court of Justice. Tours of the palace do happen, but they have to be booked well in advance.
A beautiful city of art, The Hague is worth visiting The Mauritshius art gallery, permanent home of The Girl with the Pearl Earring and the fantastic M.C Escher Museum. Don't miss The Haagse Market, a historic market where the locals shop.
And of course, don't forget to book your food walking tour of The Hague.
Not just a cheese, the charming town of Gouda is a perfect day trip from Amsterdam, just 55 minutes by train. Immerse yourself in a city full of historic architecture, quaint shops and a superb old City Hall located right in the market square.
Of course, being in Gouda you'll find the historic Gouda cheese market that the city was initially made famous for (held on Thursdays between April and September). Cheese lovers will definitely have a lot of fun here. And it's not just about the cheese. Buy tickets for the Syrup Waffle Factory in Gouda and step into the world of a baker. Learn how to make Dutch syrup waffles and taste one for yourself.
Visit the impressive central market square with its beautiful Town Hall, a 15th century Gothic building.
The facades of the houses in Gouda are particularly picturesque as well as the open courtyards with some dating back as far as 1449. Gouda is one of those paces that you stroll around taking lots of pictures and people watch from a local café or eatery. A particularly relaxed day trip for people who love cheese and history!
Make sure to prebook your dinning experience at a historic restaurant right in the heart of Gouda.
Very much associated with the prestigious Leiden University, the oldest in the Netherlands, this beautiful canal city has developed around academia with its architecture dominated by stunning university buildings like the Leiden Observatory, scholarly museums, libraries, and the botanical gardens.
Just 30 minutes train ride from Amsterdam, the city is as attractive as the capital, full of canals, waterside cafés and colourful buildings but way less tourists.
Aside from enjoying a meal on the harbourside and wandering the side streets dipping into shops, the best thing to do in Leiden is museum-hoping for some local culture! Some world-class museums and sights are located here, including a gifted Egyptian Temple in Rijksmuseum and the windmill museum Molen de Valk where you can catch an incredible view of the city and learn about the famous millers.
Book a Leiden windmill cruise and sail to the beautiful lakes along polders with cows in the meadow, islands with historic windmills, colorful bulb fields and beautiful views.
The quickest and easiest day trip on this list as it's still within the city limits. Taking a bike fifteen minutes south of the city, you'll find the huge artificial park that is Amsterdam forest. If you don't have much time in the city and want to see a little countryside while you're there, then this is the ideal relaxing day trip from Amsterdam.
You can traverse the forest on foot or cycle around and in the spring during the cherry-blossom season or Autumn, it's alight with colours. There are many activities for children, including seeing Scottish highland cows and parks. It's an ideal way to see the Dutch landscape without spending anything or going too far.
Known for its famous wax covered cheese, once favoured by the Dutch sailors on their voyages, this quaint village has a lot to offer in terms of history, charm, and ambience.
Just 30 minutes by bus from Amsterdam, it's easy to combine a trip to Edam with the fishing villages of Marken & Volendam.
If possible, try to visit Edam on Wednesday, as the morning market is incredibly traditional and offers an insight into Dutch culture. It's particularly special in July and August, when farmers bring the cheese by boat and horse into the town dressed in traditional garb. Not just about cheese, you'll find beautiful side streets with cafés and bakeries, and small shops to explore.
For a relaxed day trip, book this lovely day trip to Zaanse, Edam, Marken & Volendam so you can get transportation to and from Amsterdam and meet like minded travellers.
A day trip to Rotterdam is great fun, being so vastly different to Amsterdam but with so much to do and see.
It's just over an hour from Amsterdam on the train, and you get to enjoy splendid views of the country as you go. You'll find yourself wanting to return to the Netherlands' second city for its laid back vibe, its cool skyline and its culinary wonders.
Some unmissable architecture in the city are the famous yellow cube houses, the three huge railway bridges across the River Maas, and the Markthal which also doubles as a foodie delight.
There are some fantastic modern museums in the city like the famous contemporary art museum Boijmans van Beuningen, the World Museum which pays tribute to Rotterdam's multicultural history, and the fascinating Dutch Photography Museum.
For great coffee shops and bars along the waterfront, head to Witte de Withstraat, the hip and young hub of the city. Make sure you walk along the river and take in the incredible' views before heading back to Amsterdam.
Want something really fun in Rotterdam? Book tickets for a Rotterdam Land and Sea Splash Tour, aboard an amphibious land-and-water vehicle.
Marken & Volendam
Visiting these famous water towns makes this day trip easily accessible by bus, although it can even be combined with a visit to nearby Edam. The trio makes up the aptly named picturesque 'Waterland' area. To get there you can take a direct bus to Volendam and then travel by local ferry to Marken which runs all year except when the lake is frozen.
Seeing the Dutch way of life in these peaceful fishing towns is a welcome escape from the busy city of Amsterdam, and it's hard to believe that you can reach such provincial areas within an hour. Aside from strolling the canals and relaxing in local cafés, many people take the trip to this area to see the nearby Zaanse Shans windmills for some iconic pictures.
For when you visit the Volendam and Zaanse Schans, please remember that it's not an open air museum and locals live there as well.
One of my favourite places to visit as a day trip from Amsterdam is the gorgeous city of Antwerp in Belgium. The city centre is stunning, the market square is superb and you get to enjoy all the delicious Belgian chocolate.
There are so many things to do in Antwerp and among them is tasting chocolate, doing lots of shopping in the centuries old Diamond District and admiring the superb architecture in the city centre. If time permits, take the Antwerp underground tunnel, a 86 year-old pedestrian and cycling tunnel under the Scheldt river.
Don't forget to book your 2 hour Highlights Walking Tour for Antwerp.
Another perfect day trip from Amsterdam is to Brussels, the capital of Belgium as well as the capital of the European Union. Being just next door, a trip to Brussels from Amsterdam takes just 2 hours and 30 minutes.
See the beautiful Grand Place, known to be one of the most elegant square surrounded by guild houses. Sit down here with a cup of coffee and admire not just the architecture, but also the tourists coming and going.
You can easily see Brussels' all the main sights in one day including the Atomium, Royal Palace of Brussels, the St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral and the Madurodam Miniature Park.
As you can see, you have so many wonderful options for epic day trips from Amsterdam. Visit the Dutch countryside, stunning villages, lovely cities or go abroad for the day to Belgium to indulge in beer and chocolate.
Whichever you prefer, you will have such a great time exploring all these new locations. Which day trip will you take? Please let us know in the comments section below.