A Guide to the 10 Best Day Trips From Amsterdam

Paard van Marken lighthouse in the Netherlands

Amsterdam is an absolute blast! Everywhere you look, it’s oozing with culture and history, plus a plethora of stuff to see and do. But after having your fill of city life, why not step away from the bustle and discover what else The Netherlands has in store?

That’s right – there are so many fun day trips from Amsterdam that will take you around the Dutch countryside, charming little towns, plus places you’ve never seen before. So get ready for one exciting journey!

This post is here to save your day! We have the best options for fantastic day trips from Amsterdam – all it takes is an hour or two of public transport. Check out how incredible these getaways are: chill in Volendam’s fishing vibes, spin around Zaanse Schans’ famous windmills, explore Keukenhof Gardens’ filled tulip fields, or even wander Giethoorn’s enchanting canals!

From super popular tourist spots to some hidden gems that only locals know about – trust us when we say these places are worth checking out.

1. Visit the famous windmills of Zaanse Schans

Should you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam, head over to Zaanse Schans! This little slice of heaven is famous for its centuries-old traditional Dutch windmills. Perfect for getting a taste of Holland’s rich cultural history! So come down, relax, and enjoy this picturesque village — with plenty of great photo ops too!

Besides the uber-cool windmills, Zaanse Schans is full of extra fun stuff to do. Check out the wooden shoe workshop to watch some Dutch clog magic in action! Or swing by the cheese shop and grab all your favorite gooey brie and goudas. Plus, many cute houses and pretty alleys are ready to be explored – it’s an unmissable destination for any relaxed day trip!

To reach the incredible sights of Zaanse Schans, hop aboard a 20-minute train ride from Amsterdam Centraal station – or go the extra mile and book a guided tour to get to grips with this pretty village’s captivating chronicles and culture! Zaanse Schans is sure to make your Netherlands adventure unbeatable!

2. Wander around the quaint fishing village of Volendam

Are you looking for something special during your visit to the Netherlands? Make sure to check out Volendam – the stunning Dutch fishing village. 

When you stroll through its quaint streets, you can gaze upon cheerful wooden cottages and watch boats rocking on the waterfront. Plus, they still have locals there that rock the traditional costumes. Who knows – a folk dance performance is happening while you’re in town!

Getting to Volendam couldn’t be easier! Hop on the bus from Amsterdam Centraal station – it’s only a 30-minute ride. Or, if you’re feeling like living on the wild side, take the ferry! You’ll get there eventually – and with fantastic views along the way!

3. Gaze at the idyllic canals of Giethoorn

The tiny village of Giethoorn is often called the Venice of the Netherlands – and it indeed lives up to its name! Even though it’s teeny-tiny, this place has a lot for visitors to enjoy. Whether you want to check out quaint cottages or explore some picturesque canals, Giethoorn will have something for you

And if you’re itching to soak up all that atmosphere? Rent yourself a boat and take a fantastic tour around the little canals. You will need more classic cottage style and peaceful countryside scenery!

Heading to Giethoorn from Amsterdam shouldn’t be a hassle – it just takes some vital planning! Pop along to Amsterdam Centraal station and grab the train for Steenwijk. Once you jump aboard, you can sit back and take in the gorgeous countryside sights until you reach your destination. It should only take about two hours of travel time.

4. Stroll around the tulip fields of Keukenhof Gardens

Every spring, from mid-March to mid-May, The Netherlands loves to show off its Keukenhof Gardens – home of the world’s most extravagant floral displays! 

With over seven million beautifully blooming bulbs planted across acres of rolling fields, you can step into a rainbow each time you wander through. From tulips and daffodils to hyacinths and beyond – there’s no shortage of striking colors for your eyes to explore.

Take advantage of spending some quality time at the gorgeous Keukenhof! Located near Amsterdam and just a hop, skip and jump away via public transport – take a train to Schiphol Airport or catch the direct bus from Schiphol Plaza. Ride along for 30-40 minutes to get there but believe us when we say it’ll be worth it!

5. Be amazed at Rotterdam’s striking architecture

Rotterdam is like a museum for modern architectural wonders! Be it the photogenic Erasmus Bridge, the fabulous Cube Houses, or the grandeur Euromast. There are exciting things to gawk at everywhere you look. 

Not only that, but the Dutch city has loads of awesome activities – great shopping opportunities to check out (you’ll probably do some ‘window-shopping’), lively culture vibes to experience, and plenty of delicious foodies delights dished up by its bustling port. So if you want an unforgettable trip, Rotterdam delivers!

When searching for a way to get from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, hopping aboard a train is your best bet! Trains run almost all day, and your ride only takes about an hour – super speedy! And when you wind up in Rotterdam, take full advantage of their fun mode of transportation: walking and biking. The city is relatively small, so most sights are close to the city center. It is easy for even novice explorers to navigate without getting lost.

6. Walk along the cobbled streets at Haarlem

If you’re ready to have a good time outside Amsterdam, Haarlem is one of the best places to visit in The Netherlands! Get those fancy shoes out and hit the pavement to discover all this charming, historic city has in store. 

No need to hurry – take your sweet time meandering past those pretty canals with cute little houses and beautiful blooms on each side. Don’t forget to venture over the Grote Markt, where the massive St. Bavo Church stands tall, and lively market stalls pop up every Saturday!

Head out of Amsterdam and find yourself in beautiful Haarlem in no time! A 19-minute train ride with departures every 15 minutes from Amsterdam Centraal station means there’s never been an easier way to start your day trip.

7. Discover the countryside villages of Marken & Edam

Are you craving a break from all the hustle and bustle of life in the city? If so, visit Marken and Edam – two stunningly picturesque villages in the luscious Netherlands countryside! 

Step back five centuries by exploring Edam, where you can stroll down its cobbled streets and admire all the quaint homes and bridges around town. And get your hands on some delicious namesake cheese while you’re at it.

Head down to Marken, where you’ll discover a village full of dynamic history! It used to be an island, but now it’s attached to land with a great causeway. This place is all about tradition- many Dutch homes are everywhere, and some are even built on stilts to stay dry despite the tides. Amble through the winding streets for incredible panoramas – trust us, it’s worth it!

Heading to Edam and Marken from Amsterdam is easy and convenient – hop on the bus in less than 30 minutes! But if you want to get the whole experience, we recommend jamming on the ferry instead! You’ll sail right into open water with incredible views of your surroundings.

8. Get lost in the artistic atmosphere at The Hague

Searching for a cultural getaway near Amsterdam? Hop over to The Hague! In the delightful South Holland city, you’ll find everything an artsy person could ever want, from museums and galleries to absolute must-see institutions. 

Art fans will certainly relish their time here – but don’t expect it’s just about looking around exhibitions. Countless theatres await, hoping to whisk you away into imaginative realms with notable ballets and modern dancing shows too!

If you’re eager to get to The Hague quickly, the Amsterdam train will take you there in 50 minutes! But driving or taking the bus is a good choice for those who like extra adventure and sunshine. 

Plus, once you arrive safe and sound in The Hague? Break out your helmet – this city is designed for bikers, with bike lanes and paths everywhere you go. So hop on that two-wheeler and enjoy the ride!

9. Explore the picturesque streets in Utrecht

If you’re eager to get away from all the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam and go on a day trip in an adorably Dutch city, Utrecht should be at the top of your checklist! Hop aboard a 30-minute train ride out of Amsterdam, and you’ll find yourself in a fantastic mix of age-old charm and modern culture right at the core of Utrecht.

You can’t miss all the fun sights when you get to Utrecht! The city is known for its one-of-a-kind wharf system, including fancy shops tucked right between those old canal banks. Are we talking about picturesque? Yes – it’s a sight that’s so unique to this little town! 

From dynamic cultures and fascinating histories, Utrecht caters to multiple tastes – especially when searching for a quick day trip out of Amsterdam.

10. Hop over to a neighboring country and visit the charming Bruges

If you’re in Amsterdam looking for ways to spice up your exploration, hop over the border and explore Belgium! Take a day trip to Bruges, perfect if winding canals and old-timey buildings are your things. 

And remember all the delightful grub — who knows what new culinary delight awaits! Take it up a notch by checking out everything from a canal boat. It’ll put you at the center of all that serenity and exquisite architecture.

If you’re trying to find your way from Amsterdam to Bruges – don’t stress, it’s a cinch! Take the laid-back route with a guided tour to enjoy the mesmerizing sceneries. But if time is on a tight leash, there’s always the train via Antwerp. You’ll arrive at Bruges within 3 hours and 30 minutes!

Kyle Kroeger (words and images 6, 7, 9, and 11) runs Via Travelers, a destination travel blog providing the best tips, hacks, and itineraries to help you explore the world. Follow them on Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube.