One of the most well-liked excursions is a simple half-day trip from Amsterdam to the magnificent gardens and tulip fields of Keukenhof. The attractive historic fishing settlements along the Ijsselmeer, the former Zuiderzee, and the open-air museum in Enkhuizen are further rivals for your time.
Just a few miles north of Amsterdam, both are situated. The largest collection of old Dutch windmills in the nation is also located in Zaanse Schans.
The renowned porcelain producers in Delft, Hoorn, and Haarlem are all nearby. Additionally, two very attractive cities in neighboring Belgium—Bruges and Brussels—can be reached by day trips from Amsterdam.
Best Places to Visit Near Amsterdam
With our selection of the top day trips from Amsterdam, you can find the most rewarding activities close to the city.
1. ZANDAM AND ZANS SCHANS
The focal point of the area is Zaans Schans, where 18th-century Holland has been preserved in time. When more than 600 windmills were constructed in the region, industry was at its height.
The Zaan riverbanks are a real windmill lover’s delight because some of these windmills are still in use today, even after hundreds of years.
Visit Zaandam itself for further enchantment; see the 17th-century Czaar Peterhuisje or the “insta-famous” Inntel Hotel, which is made up of at least 70 colorfully piled buildings. Zaandijk can be reached by train in 9 minutes.
Weesp, a small village that can seem modest, has recorded city privileges going back more than 700 years. Historically, the trade along the Vecht River, the manufacture of porcelain, and — unexpectedly — beer and gin all contributed to the prosperity of this picture-perfect medieval town perched atop the river.
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Visit the former chapel that is now the Wispe Brewery to sample some (modern-day) local brews and get a bite to eat as a way to honor the tradition of beer. The Wispe Blonde was my particular favorite; it was excellent on a warm summer night.
frequently referred to as Amsterdam’s “mini” replica. With its numerous canals and terraces filled with happy tourists and inhabitants, Utrecht is unmistakably Dutch. The absolute finest way to view the city is from the water, preferably while riding on one of the numerous Canal Cruises.
Navigate the streets of the Netherlands’ fourth-largest city without using Google Maps. It will be difficult for even the most clumsy traveler to get lost with the ever-present Dom Tower acting as a picture-perfect compass (I count myself in that group).
One of the few locations on our list that are accessible by train from Amsterdam that I have yet to visit is Breukelen. As we drove through Breukelen, we noticed beautifully landscaped laws spreading out for magnificent manors, the most luxurious of which was unquestionably the Nijenrode Castle (now a university), built in the 17th century.
The town square was completely surrounded by vibrant cafes and restaurants, the canals were full of tiny boats on which inhabitants relaxed lazily while soaking up the sun, and the rich greenery outside the town looked positively appealing for a long bike ride.
Visit Almere in the Flevoland region of the Netherlands for the day by taking a train from Amsterdam. Just around 50 years ago, the area where Almere now stands was reclaimed from the water.
Almere does not have a canal system or a row of gabled homes like other old Dutch cities do. But don’t let it stop you from going; the city is the model for sustainable development and cutting-edge architecture.
Leiden, a university city, with narrow canals winding through its historic center and streets dotted with gabled homes from the fifteenth century. It is incredibly romantic, filled with fascinating museums, and has a vibrant nightlife (thanks, students!).
A number of trains travel between the two cities every day, several times an hour, making it one of the simplest train journeys from Amsterdam.
No fewer than 16 Nobel Prize-winning discoveries have been made in the city, which serves as the scientific center of the Netherlands. I utilized the free Leiden Discovery trail app, which includes a map that I could understand and a ton of interesting historical information about the city, to navigate the area and see the landmarks.
The adorable town of Naarden is formed like a star. With only 17,000 residents, the town might be forgotten in favor of other local hotshots. Any plan that calls for a trip to Muiderslot and/or Fort Pampus would benefit greatly from including a stop at Naarden.
Curious visitors will find kind residents, a surprisingly nice town environment, and a highly intriguing geographic arrangement of a community that has seen horrifying trials and tribulations at the hands of numerous conquerors when they visit Naarden.
One of the oldest settlements in the region is Laren, which is situated in the Gooi region. What was once a sleepy artist community—Piet Mondrian even called Laren home—has evolved into the Hollywood of the Netherlands, drawing famous people looking for a place to call home away from prying eyes.
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A vibrant town with top-notch pubs and restaurants has been created as a result of the diverse blending of an art colony and the nouveau riche. But it’s the Singer Laren Museum, not the dining scene, that elevates this train journey from Amsterdam.
A picture-perfect town named after the Netherlands’ most well-known export: cheese. The Gouwe riverfront fort that served as the city’s first foundation was built during the Middle Ages.
Years later, Gouda still has a lovely city hall from the 15th century, a ton of stroopwafel and cheese shops (delicious! ), and a ton of little canals winding through the old town. Because of its excellent connection and close proximity to the city, it is one of the most popular rail destinations from Amsterdam.
It has been around for more than 700 years and is also known as Muiderslot, Muider Castle, or Amsterdam Castle. It was constructed with the sole purpose of protection and is adjacent to the Vecht River. Muiderslot passed through the cycle of construction, remodeling, demolition, and decay before becoming a museum, as is the case with many castles.
Nowadays, it is one of Amsterdam’s most attractive tourist destinations and focuses more on courting than guarding. The Netherlands’ best-preserved castle features a moat, a magnificent castle garden, a knights’ hall, and an exceptional collection of weapons in the armory, including a full suit of armor that guests can try on.
Millions of tourists visit Amsterdam every year to take in the canals, gabled homes, and vibrant nightlife (coffee shops anyone?). The metropolis is practically on the verge of collapse. Although it is certainly worthwhile to visit Amsterdam, it might not be the greatest option if you want to experience authentic Dutch culture.
Take one of the numerous day trips from Amsterdam that are offered by rail to the suburbs or farther afield to other cities nearby, if time permits. Expect kind greetings, unassuming inhabitants, and communities where people are wading in pristine canals.