Giethoorn in the Netherlands - just one of the amazing day trips you can make from Amsterdam

11+ Best Day Trips from Amsterdam

In Europe, Netherlands, Travel inspiration by JurgaTHIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS

Amsterdam is a beautiful city that attracts millions of visitors every year. But the Netherlands have so much more to offer than just its lively capital! You can easily see the best of Amsterdam in one day and then spend some more time to explore the rest of the country. We live in Belgium and often visit Holland for short day trips. In this post I am sharing some of the best day trips that you can make from Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

11 of them can be easily visited by public transport, in less than an hour. In addition, I also included a few other must-see places in the Netherlands that can easily be visited as a day trip from Amsterdam, but where you would need to take a car or join an organised tour, since using public transport would probably make it too difficult to visit in just a day.

This selection of the best day trips from Amsterdam includes some of our favourite places in the Netherlands. In addition, I asked my fellow travel bloggers to share their favourite day trips from Amsterdam as well. I want to show you the other side of the Netherlands and to inspire you to get a bit off the beaten path. Find out!

Best day trips from Amsterdam

In no specific order, these are some of the best day trips you can make from Amsterdam. Some places like Zaanse Schans, Keukenhof Gardens, or Alkmaar Cheese market are very popular and overrun with tourists. While most others are rather quiet and less visited, yet definitely worth a short trip if visiting Amsterdam for a few days.

11 best day trips you should make when visiting Amsterdam in the Netherlands

 

1. Zaanse Shans

Zaanse Schans is a wonderful day trip from Amsterdam where you can experience quintessentially Dutch things like windmills and wooden clogs.  The village is an open air museum which showcases the industrial past of the region, including the ubiquitous windmills.  You can wander through the picturesque village and experience a Dutch town like it would have looked in the 18th-19th century.  In addition to the operational windmills that you can visit inside, there is a cheese making shop, a lumber mill, a wooden clog maker and a restaurant serving Dutch pancakes.  The Zaans Museum located right next door tells the story of the industrial past, with particular attention to the biscuit and chocolate maker Verkade.

Getting to Zaanse Shans is easy.  Take a 15 minute train from Amsterdam’s Centraal Station and then it is a 20 minute walk to the village.  You can wander around the village for free, but will need to pay to enter the wind mills and the Museum.

Submission by Dawn from 5 Lost Together. You can find more tips for visiting Amsterdam on her blog.

TIP: Zaanse Shans is the most popular destination for organised half-day and day trips from Amsterdam, often in combination with other the other great locations nearby. It might be a good option for those short on time or not willing to deal with the practical aspects of planning a day trip from Amsterdam. Here you can find the best deals for Zaanse Schans tours.

Zaanse Shans is one of the most popular day trips from Amsterdam

Zaanse Schans – © 5 Lost Together

 

2. Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof is an impressively large flower garden boasting up to seven million flowers. It is only open for two months of the year and is filled with amazing collections of flowers in every colour imaginable. I’m definitely no gardening enthusiast and at first this sounded like something that would appeal more to my grandmother. But we ended up spending a good few hours wandering through the brightly coloured displays.

There are cafes located throughout the gardens for a coffee break. Entrance costs is a little steep (16 EUR), but it’s worth it. The garden is about a 40 minute drive from Amsterdam, but can also be reached by bus or bike. The best time to visit is mid-April when most of flowers are in bloom along with the tulips in the surrounding fields. Arrive early in the morning to avoid the heavy crowds that build up throughout the day.

Submission by Rohan from Travels of a Bookpacker. Here you can find more practical information to help you plan your visit to Keukenhof and the Dutch tulip fields.

TIP: Keukenhof is a popular springtime day trip from Amsterdam with many options varying from private transfers to small group tours. If you are visiting Amsterdam from mid March till mid May, don’t miss it! You can find the best deals for Keukenhof day trips here!

Keukenhof and the tulip fields is probbaly the most popular spring day trip you can do from Amsterdam - Keukenhof

Keukenhof – © Travels of a Bookpacker

 

3. Rotterdam

Rotterdam is an amazing city that sometimes gets overshadowed by its bigger sister city, Amsterdam. However, Rotterdam is extremely up and coming and is not to be missed on a trip to The Netherlands. The best part is that it just so happens to be a 35-minute train ride from Amsterdam which makes it the perfect day trip! If you have more time, I recommend staying for the weekend to immerse yourself in the cool architecture and hip city vibes.

Be sure to start your day trip in the city center! Go to the massive Markthal, check out the cube houses and walk down the cute street of Pannekoekstraat! Then, check out the art wall and Luchtsingel Bridge before walking over to have a drink outside on Witte de Withstraat. If you have time, check out the Delfshaven area which has some of the only buildings that weren’t destroyed by WWII! I recommend renting a bike or joining a guided bike tour – it’s the best way to see the highlights of Rotterdam in just a few hours. I promise you won’t regret a day trip to Rotterdam!

Submission by Katie from The Traveling Spud

TIP: The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe. Don’t miss the chance to see the harbour in action – join a 75-min harbour cruise.

Rotterdam is a nice town to visit as a day trip from Amsterdam

Rotterdam – © The Traveling Spud

 

4. The Hague – Den Haag

Most visitors to the Netherlands only visit Amsterdam, but there are so many reasons to visit The Hague (Den Haag), only 50km away and next to the beach! The city is home to The Girl with the Pearl Earring, it’s collection at the Mauritshuis Museum is only rivalled by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Take a stroll through the country’s seat of parliament, the Binnenhof and take in the architecture. Visit the gorgeous Peace Palace, which presides over international law – take a tour, or admire this impressive building from the outside. Explore the world of M.C Escher at the permanent exhibition of the Het Paleis. The beach terraces on Zwarte Pad at Scheveningen are the place to be on a warm summer day. Chill out on a lounger while a DJ spins tropic-house in the background. You can extend your day trip to The Hague by staying for an all night beach party.

Submission by Gabrielle from Boarding Call Blog. You can find more tips on the Hague on her blog.

TIP: A highly-rated Grand Holland Tour visits The Hague in combination with Rotterdam and Delft in just one day from Amsterdam.

Best day trips from Amsterdam - The Hague

The Hague – © Boarding Call Blog

 

5. Alkmaar cheese market

Alkmaar, just 30 min ride by train, is one of my suggestions for an unforgettable day trip from Amsterdam. It’s a charming little town, best know for its centuries old traditional cheese market. Don’t miss it, especially if you find yourself in Amsterdam during summer months. Alkmaar cheese market takes place on Friday mornings, weekly, between April and September. Here you can find more inspiration and info for visiting the Alkmaar cheese market.

TIP: Take a train to Alkmaar where you can either explore the town individually or book a guided tour of Alkmaar and the Cheese Market

One of the best summertime day trips from Amsterdam is to visit Alkmaar cheese market

Alkmaar cheese market is not to be missed

 

6. Gouda

Gouda is much more than just a famous cheese town. With it’s compact size and a 55 minutes train ride from the Dutch capital, Gouda is a great day trip from Amsterdam. These are my recommendations for a visit:

Explore Gouda’s rich history and architectural delights:

  • The Town Hall on the central market square is an impressive monument that can not be missed.
  • St Jan church with its stunning stained glass windows is the tallest church in the Netherlands.
  • Courtyards, some yards even date back to 1449!
  • Admire the facades of the Gouda houses with special ‘gevelstenen’, some even date back to 1609.

Try Gouda Cheese, Stroopwafels and Beer:

  • The Gouda cheese market occurs from April to the end of August. On Thursday mornings you can witness cheese making, cheese trading and weighing cheese in De Waag.
  • Stroopwafels are syrup waffles and my favourite Dutch treats. Try the waffles at the traditional Van Vliet bakery, where thousands are freshly baked daily.
  • If you are a beer lover, visit Den Gouwen Aar and get yourself a local Gouda beer.

Submission by Maartje from Quokka Travel. You can find more information about visiting Gouda on her blog.

TIP: Join a guided monument walking tour of Gouda and see the best of this beautiful town in just 2 hours.

Best day trips from Amsterdam - visit Gouda

Gouda – © Quokka Travel

 

7. Utrecht

Utrecht is a smaller and more laid back version of Amsterdam and one of the must do day trips. With many more canals than Amsterdam, Utrecht is less touristy which will instantly make one fall in love with the picturesque streets laden with small cafes which are located right on the edge of water.

The city has a vibrant student culture as it is home to the largest university in the Netherlands and also has many beautiful churches, marvellous galleries and museums and amazing yet inexpensive shopping options. Do not miss the spectacular view of the city from the Dom Toren, but keep in mind there are over 450 steps to climb to get to the top!

How to reach Utrecht: Direct Sprinter train from Amsterdam and get off at Utrecht Centraal. Duration: 40 minutes

Submission by Ketki from Explore With Ecokats

Best day trips from Amsterdam - Utrecht

Utrecht – © Explore With Ecokats

 

8. Haarlem

If you’re looking for a day trip from Amsterdam, Haarlem is by far the easiest choice. Only 15 minutes away by train, Haarlem is the quintessential fairy tale Dutch city, but without the hordes of tourists you’ll see in Amsterdam.

It’s mandatory to stroll around Haarlem’s Grote Markt central square (which hosts a lively market on Saturdays), and visit the stunning St. Bavo church, where Mozart once played. If you’re into museums, the eccentric collection at the Teyler’s Museum is worth anyone’s while. If not, there are several small canals near the central square, if you allow yourself to get a bit lost.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to either De Overkant for the best sandwiches in the city, or De Friethoes for the best fries and mayonnaise. Finish it off with a round of craft beer and bitterballen at Jopenkerk, a hip church-turned-brewery, and you have the perfect day in Haarlem!

TIP: If you are not sure where to start, you can also book a private walking tour of Haarlem.

Submission by Alex from Lost With Purpose.

Best day trips from Amsterdam - Haarlem

Haarlem – © Lost With Purpose

 

9. Leiden

Located a short 30 minute train ride away, Leiden provides all the charm of Amsterdam with less than half the tourists! Recognised locally as a University Town, they have a harbour, canals, gorgeous restaurants and coffee shops.

Furthermore, Leiden is home to some world class museums. Their wing of the Rijksmuseum even has an Egyptian Temple gifted to the the Netherlands in 1971! And don’t forget the city’s windmill museum – Molen de Valk – which is still operated my amateur millers today and offers the most incredible view above Leiden from its upper stories.

Submission by Vicki from Make Time To See The World. Check her blog for the top things to do in Leiden to help plan your trip!

TIP: See the highlights of Leiden with this 2-hour walking tour.

Best day trips from Amsterdam - Leiden

Leiden – © Make Time To See The World

 

10. Muiderslot castle

If you’re obsessed with castles, you need to take a day trip to Muiderslot castle! This castle, only 40 minutes from Amsterdam by bus, dates back to the 12th century, and even has a proper moat.

It is the perfect day trip with kids as Muiderslot includes many interactive exhibitions (including knight inspired games) for children, costumes for kids to try on, and even have falcons on the weekends. The castle is free with the iAmsterdam card and it’s at its best in summer when the garden is in bloom! The town itself is very cute and very Dutch.

Submission by Karen from WanderlustingK. You can read more about Muiderslot and other Dutch castles on her blog.

Best day trips from Amsterdam - Muiderslot castle

Muiderslot castle – © WanderlustingK

 

11. Amsterdam Forest

Visiting Amsterdam Forest is one of my favourite day trips from Amsterdam. The forest is a huge artificial park and just a 15-minute bike ride south from the city. The park offers something to all of us! Amsterdam Forest is great for walking, cycling, spotting Scottish highland cows and there are many activities for kids. If you visit in spring, the cherry blossom park is worth a visit. I try to inspire travellers to leave Amsterdam for (half) a day and explore the stunning Dutch landscapes.

My favourite spot in Amsterdam Forest is Goat Farm Riddammerhoeve where kids can feed baby goats and cuddle with chickens. Although I don’t have kids, I love to go there too to spend some time with the animals and eat delicious Dutch apple pie with whipped cream.

Submission by Maartje from Quokka Travel. Check her blog for more information about visiting Amsterdam Forest.

Best day trips from Amsterdam - Amsterdam Forest

Amsterdam Forest – © Quokka Travel

 

11+. Here are more suggestions for unforgettable day trips from Amsterdam

In addition to these 11 day trips that you can easily make from Amsterdam, there are many more incredible experiences that are worth considering in the Netherlands. However, some of them are a bit more difficult to reach by public transport and are best visited either by renting a car or as a part of an organised tour.

  • Giethoorn – a little village with canals instead of streets and boats instead of cars (see featured image).
  • Kinderdijk – UNESCO World Heritage Site with the most famous windmills of the Netherlands. Kinderdijk is one of my favourite places to visit with kids. Here you can read more about our visit to Kinderdijk.
  • Efteling – the best theme park in the Netherlands and one we visit with kids at least twice a year. Don’t miss the Fairytale Forest!
  • Kröller Müller Museum and The Hoge Veluwe National Park. Visit the second-largest Van Gogh collection in the world (80+ paintings and 180+ drawings) and ride a bike through a beautiful park. Perfect way to spend a day outside of Amsterdam!
  • Discover the Dutch countryside by bike from Amsterdam.
Kinderdijk UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the musts you shouldn't miss when in the Netherlans

Kinderdijk UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

**One last tip** Amsterdam is an extremely popular year-round travel destination, so make sure to book your hotels and day trip tours as soon as possible. Accommodation prices skyrocket when availability is scarce, and some tours get sold out very quickly as well. You can find the best deals for Amsterdam accommodation here.

If you found this post useful, please share it. Are you on Pinterest? Pin this image!

11+ Best Amsterdam day trips to the most beautiful places in the Netherlands

You May Also Like

Comments

  1. Hi ,
    We are planning to visit Amsterdam in first week of may 2019 . We are 4 couples including kids . Our flight lands in the morning by 9 .We wish to visit Keukenhof garden, Madhura dam and Zaanse Shans Do you think we can finish in 2 days . So third day in the morning we can leave for Paris .

    1. Author

      Are you renting a car or taking tours/ public transport?
      At first view, 2 days seems a bit tight, especially because the first week of May is quite busy as it’s a school holiday week in the Netherlands.
      On the other hand, if you really want to, it’s definitely possible. Here’s how.
      On the day of arrival you’d have to take a train to The Hague, where you can visit Madurodam at your own pace. Check opening times before you go!
      The next day visit Keukenhof in combination with Zaanse Schans (you need to take the full day, so not the arrival day). You’d have to start very early in Keukenhof, the moment the park opens. And then in the afternoon drive to Zaanse Schans, which is about 40min – 1hr drive if not too much traffic. You can’t really easily get to Keukenhof by public transport, so if you aren’t renting a car, you could also opt for this tour combines Keukenhof with Zaanse Schans and some other places. Taking a tour is of course quite expensive with so many people, but you see a lot more than you would on your own. Also, if you need to rent a big van or two cars, add insurance, petrol, and parking fees (crazy in Amsterdam city!) it probably won’t be much cheaper…

      Keep in mind that this way you will only have the two evenings to see some of the city centre of Amsterdam. That’s if you stay in a centrally located hotel, otherwise even that will be difficult.

      Hope this helps a bit. Either way, if you do this in two days, be prepared for the fact that they’ll be quite packed and tiring.
      Enjoy your trip!

  2. Hi! Planning a trip for 3-4 days in Amsterdam at beginning of May! This will be a trip with my husband, so would love a romantic itinerary suggestion if you wouldn’t mind? Also, is Belgium worth stealing a day from Amsterdam to visit? If so, which city would you give a day to? Thank you sooooo much! P.s. we don’t care for museums and churches… we love outdoors, scenery, experienc, and food!

    1. Author

      Hi Jess, if you like outdoors, then I suggest you go to Keukenhof and the tulip fields, and also places like Giethoorn and Kinderdijk (all mentioned in this post).
      For a romantic weekend, I would stay in a really nice hotel (like this one or this one), take long walks along the canals in the evening, etc.
      If you are looking for a day trip to Belgium, then the easiest is Antwerp – there is a direct train connection to Amsterdam. Still, it would be a long day with lots of time on the train (unless you take the expensive fast train, then you have more time for sightseeing).
      On the other hand, 3-4 days is a nice time to spend in Amsterdam and take a day trip or two nearby, so maybe just stay there this time and then plan another weekend in Belgium some other time…
      Have a great trip!

  3. Love your post! I’m taking my two teen daughters April 2019 for 9 days, your post has a wealth of excellent information! We are seasoned travelers and want to take a two day trip to another country. while visiting the Amsterdam area, I’m researching Belgium, Germany and Paris. Do you have any suggestions. My main criteria is the easiest to deal with and we like shopping, nature and historical sites like castles. Thank you!

    1. Author

      Hi Christina, if you’re looking for a 2-day trip with shopping and historical sites, I can really recommend Antwerp in Belgium. It’s very easy to reach by train from Amsterdam and you’ll find plenty to see and do. If you want to see more, take a day trip from Antwerp to either Bruges and/or Ghent or Brussels (all very easy to do by train).
      Here you can find more information about Antwerp and in this Belgium itinerary post you can find some tips for Ghent, Bruges, but also Brussels if you’d rather go there.

  4. Hello, thank you for a wonderful article. We will be visiting Amsterdam in June 2019. If possible, we’d like to find a bird-watching spot, or small group or guide to see wildlife. Thank you for suggestions.

    1. Author

      Hi Susan, I don’t think there are that many options to see wildlife in Amsterdam, but if you travel outside of town there seem to be several possibilities. Here’s what I found:

    2. Canoe trip in Waterland
    3. Seal safari
    4. Hope this helps.

  5. Hi! I was wondering where the first picture was taken? The photo right about the title, looks like there is a bridge over a waterway near some houses. Is this a place you would recommend also?

    Thankyou!

    1. Author

      Hi Keira, that’s Giethoorn, mentioned at the bottom of this post. It’s a small village with canals instead of streets and a very picturesque place to visit. The only problem is that it’s quite far and difficult to reach if you don’t have a car. If you are staying in Amsterdam, you can go there for a day with one of the organised tours from Amsterdam.

  6. Hi Jurga,

    Is it practical to visit these areas by car coming from Amsterdam? We are a group of 4 people that will have rented a car from Berlin. Should we keep it once we reach Amsterdam to do 1 or 2 of these spots you mentioned? Or is it more practical to use trains and public transport?

    As I understand, none of these places are particularly interesting to see in November? Which one (or two) would you choose for that time of the year? We are also open to visiting nearby cities (less than 4 hours away from Amsterdam) outside of the Netherlands.

    Thanks
    Ramzi

    1. Author

      Hi Ramzi, I think you can enjoy most of these places in November as well. Of course, you can’t see Keukenhof or tulip fields in November, but the towns can be just as nice any time of the year.
      I think I’d not keep the car if you are staying in Amsterdam as parking fees are huge. If you want to visit any of the towns, just take a train. If you want to visit places like Zaanse Schans, you can get there by public transport as well or take an organised tour.
      If you visit just two places, I think I’d go for the above mentioned Zaanse Schans (if you like to get a glimpse of the past, see the windmills, etc) and maybe visit one town. Utrecht or The Hague are more typical Dutch towns that are really nice to see. If you rather have something completely different, I really recommend Rotterdam – it’s more modern, very different from the rest of the Netherlands. I was just there recently and loved it.
      Hope this helps

  7. Thanks Jurga
    Great blog on places to visit. Planning a trip from Australia in 2019 and we are intending on using public transport in the Netherlands. Hope to visit Groningen and Hengelo too as these places are where my parents grew up.
    Cheers Wendy

    1. Author

      Hi Wendy, that’s a far trip from Down Under! Must be exciting to visit a place where your parents came from. Enjoy it.
      And yes, using public transportation is often the best way to get around between cities and towns here in the Low Countries. Traffic can be really bad here and taking a train saves you lots of frustration of traffic jams.

  8. Hello Jurga,
    Very informative, thank you. I’m visiting Amsterdam for 10 days in August’18. Appreciate if you could advise the best single pass that I can buy for my travel throughout will provide all public transport, boat rides and free entry to major attractions in AMS, Hollond, Hugue, Rotterdam, etc..

    Also which is the best place to stay to cover all these places.

    Best regards
    Shibu / Dubai.

    1. Author

      Hi Shibu, I don’t think there is a single pass that does all of that for the whole country. The closest I know is the Holland Pass, it includes a lot, so if you are staying 10 days it might definitely be worth it. You can find more info on their official website, and for some reason it’s cheaper here.
      In Amsterdam you can get IAmsterdam city card for 24, 48 and up to 96 hrs. It also includes a lot and is a good value if you plan to visit many museums, etc.
      Here you can find Amsterdam city public transport ticket for one to 7 days. Might also be worth it if you are spending a lot of time in the city.

      As for where to stay, in 10 days you could opt to stay in several locations rather than travel up and down every day. Maybe 4-5 nights in Amsterdam, then maybe 2-3 nights in Rotterdam,.. depending on your interests. I was just briefly in Rotterdam a few weeks ago and loved how vibrant that city is. Definitely one to add to any Holland itinerary I think. From there you can easily take a boat and visit Kinderdijk UNESCO World Heritage Site. As long as you stay not too far from the railway station, you can probably easily visit most towns from one place, but then again, it might be more logical to stay in 2 or 3 different places, depending on what you want to see.

      Hope this helps.

      1. Hi Jurga,
        Thank you very much, appreciate.

        No doubt you are very prompt and professional advise.

        Cheers!!

        Shibu

        1. Hi Jurga,
          Appreciate if you could advise whether the hotels in Amsterdam provide free travel cards for all public transport ( Tram, ferries, Metro, Buses) for its guests during the entire stay. I had received such public transport cards from Hotels for the entire family members in Switzerland, Austria & St.Moritz,… that save a lot.

          Is there any price advantage if we buy tickets from the link provided in your response over other websites. If so prefer to book through it.

          Best Regards
          Shibu

          1. Author

            Hi Shibu, sorry for a late reply. We are traveling at the moment. We are actually in Tirol, Austria now and indeed it’s a common practice for places in the mountains to have guest cards that offer free public transport, cable car rides, etc.
            However, as far as I know, this is only the case in European Alps in Switzerland, Austria, some places in Italy. I’ve never heard of anything similar in Amsterdam…
            As for using the links via my site, normally there is no difference for you when you book any tours via our links or directly. Some links we have are affiliate links, which means we get a small commission when people make a booking or a purchase through those links (that’s how we run the blog). Some links are just informational links I give to help people, so no commission is earned. Feel free to book whatever you book the way that suits you best, we always try to help our readers by providing the best information we can to help you plan your own trip the best way it suits you.
            Enjoy your trip to the Netherlands!

          2. Hi Jurga,
            Thank you for the feedback.
            Yes, Tirol a beautiful place , we were in Alpbach last Sept’2017 stayed in a Farm house owned by a very nice family with all facilities provided, they were very helpful and cordial. They gave us free pass for transport and cable cars & few more options, it was wonderful stay, still I’m connected with that family through what’s app, unfortunately their English is very poor, language is not a problem when both can understand each other well, They arrange car pick for us to Munich we had issues with the taxi booking. Albach is God gifted place, amazing!!
            I would try to make tour bookings through your website in Amsterdam next month, may be a small help & inspiration for your valued advises.
            Best Regards
            Shibu

          3. Author

            Oh, what a coincidence, Shibu. I was also in Alpbachtal last September. Did you get to attend the Almabtrieb by any chance? It seems that we have similar travel interests :). Enjoy your trip to Amsterdam!

    2. Hello Jurga,

      Your blog is awesome. Very insightful information. I will be in Ams from 22nd Sep to 24th Sep. 2 days to see Amsterdam and 1 day Zaanse Schans. I am bit confused, on the transport card that I need to buy. Should I buy IAM City card, Amsterdam Travel Ticket 3 days, or Amsterdam Regional Ticket 3 days.
      Please can you advise.
      Thanks
      Ankur

      1. Author

        Hi Ankur, I honestly don’t know. I guess it depends a lot on where you are staying and how often you’ll be using public transport, if you are planning to visit other attractions that are included with the IAmsterdam card, etc. We usually just walk or bike in the city, the best way to explore it. But if your hotel is a bit out of centre or if you don’t like walking too much, then I guess you may want to take a bus or a tram instead, so a multi-day ticket can be a good option. Sorry I can’t help you out here, try to decide based on where you stay and what you’re planning to do when in town.

  9. Hey Jurga,

    Loved reading your article as part of my itinerary planning for my tour around the Western European Region. So help me plan something great and offbeat in connecting Amsterdam, France/Belgium and Italy.
    Struggling a tad bit with the month of travel, since we are planning it for February 19′.

    Kindly share your thoughts and suggestions on the plan. Any sort of alterations can also be taken into consideration. TIA!

    1. Author

      Hi there, I really don’t know what to say as there are so many options and a month is long. On the other hand, February is not the best time for Western Europe.. Oh well, if you dress well, it can be fun and no crowds.
      I’d say spend a few days in the Netherlands (suggestions in this post), followed by 3-4 days in Belgium, then head to Normandy in France (visit Mont Saint Michel and other nice places nearby). Then head to Paris if you like cities. From there you could take a fast train down to the South of France, maybe coastal regions like Marseille, Nice, etc. And then move on to Italy. That time of the year you could go skiing in France or Italy. Otherwise it’s probably best to stick to bigger towns like Florence, Venice, Milan, Rome… Here you can find some recommendations for Italy. Hope this helps a bit. As I said, so many options…

  10. We are planning a trip with our 3 months old baby to Amsterdam. Can you suggest 1 or 2 days trips which are baby friendly. Many thanks, S

    1. Author

      Hi, I think most places are baby-friendly. But if you want to take it easy, I’d say skip the big cities. So maybe visit the Zaanse Schans and the little towns nearby e.g. Volendam and Marken. Kinderdijk is also really nice and can be easily done with a baby in a stroller (but it’s a bit more complicated to get there from Amsterdam if you don’t have a car; from Rotterdam you can take a boat).

  11. Hi – We are a bunch of friends doing a get-together (Sort of Bachelors trip) in June in Amsterdam. Could you please recommend places in and around Amsterdam that we could visit to have lots of fun, all kinds of fun? Many thanks for your revert in advance!

    1. Author

      Hi Apurva, this post is more meant for tourists who come to the Netherlands for sightseeing. Maybe you should google Amsterdam bachelor party or something similar for some suggestions. I really have no experience with this. Have fun!

      1. Thanks Jurga for your revert

  12. Great article! I found you while doing a search for our trip to Amsterdam this summer. Our family of 4 will be there in June for about 8-10 days. We want to spend a few days around the Amsterdam area and then do other day trips via train. I was hoping to stay near the city center of Amsterdam most of the time, but now that I think about it, maybe it would be more economical to spend a few days at a hotel in the city center and then stay in another city (maybe Leiden?) for the rest of trip to save a little money on the hotel and not be in such a touristy area? Was curious what your opinion was or if it just makes more sense to be in Amsterdam the entire time. Thanks!

    1. Author

      Yes, indeed, staying in Amsterdam is very expensive, especially with a family and for such a long time. But you have good train connections for day trips and many tours if for whatever reason you can’t get everywhere on your own.
      If you are renting a car, then definitely stay outside Amsterdam – it will save you lots of money (parking is like 25-50EUR/ day depending on where you are staying) and time in traffic. And if you rely on public transport, choose a place that’s near the railway station and you can visit most other cities by train. I think that Leiden is ok as a place to base yourself, but also Utrecht.

  13. Are there any places that can be combined with Keukenhof? I am thinking to head in it’s direction from Amsterdam, spend the day/night and get to the tulip festival bright and early then back to Amsterdam. Can you recommend something that might work?

    1. Author

      Hi Concetta, I honestly think it’s not worth the hassle as there isn’t much else in that area. You could go to the beach close to Noordwijk, but I have no idea how easy it would be to get there from Amsterdam or from there to Keukenhof if you don’t have a car. Also, I just checked and most accommodations in that area are pretty much booked up in this time of the year.
      If you have a car, then just drive from Amsterdam to Keukenhof early in the morning before it opens. If you rely on public transport, then you need to get to Schiphol airport first and from there there are busses to Keukenhof. It might be easier to book Keukenhof entrance tickets with transport from Amsterdam included and take the very first bus – the earliest bus I found (see the link) leaves at 9AM. Here’s one more guided tour that also includes Amsterdam canals cruise in the price and it leaves for Keukenhof at 8.30AM. But my personal option would be to go with just a transfer and entrance tickets as it gives you more time to do what you want and you can decide yourself when you come back in the afternoon.

      1. Thanks so much Jurga!!! So here is my new plan. I am spending about 4 days in the Netherlands. 4/24 I plan to do the Van Gogh museum, Heineken experience, just walk around Amsterdam. I reserved Keukenhof for 9am on 4/25. I have a hotel in Amsterdam 4/24-25 and 4/26-27 but now I am thinking when I get back from Keukenhof on 4/25 since it’s a 5.5 hour excursion I would be back like 2:30, to go some place else in the Netherlands for overnight. What would you recommend? I was thinking Utrecht maybe?

        1. Author

          Hi Concetta, yes, sure, I guess you could do that. Depends on where you keep your luggage, etc. I guess.
          My other suggestion would be to go to Alkmaar cheese market on Friday morning and potentially sleep there, but then you’d have to change your Keukenhof reservation. It’s really about what works best for you – there are so many options…

  14. can i find a tour to go to bruges and rotterdam in same day?

    1. Author

      Hi Caroline, I don’t think you can find such a tour unless you’d hire a private guide. But in that case it would be cheaper to just rent a car I think. The tours that I found spend 11-12hrs just to visit Bruges from Amsterdam. And there are other tours that combine Rotterdam with for example The Hague and Delft, and they also take a full day (8-9hrs). While it could be done in one day by car I wouldn’t advise visiting both Rotterdam and Bruges in just one day from Amsterdam, unless you spend a night in Bruges or so. I think you better just choose one or the other – you’ll enjoy it more. Otherwise you’ll spend more time on the bus (the traffic can be really bad here in the Low Countries) than actually sightseeing.

  15. Hi Jurga,
    Greetings from India! I am visiting Amsterdam with my younger brother for 3 days in June. Hostel prices in Amsterdam seem to be so high. Could you suggest a nearby town I could base myself out while commuting to and from amsterdam everday? Thanks in advance!

    1. Author

      Hi Rahul, it’s not easy to visit Amsterdam on a budget. I think it’s one of the most expensive cities in Europe when it comes to finding affordable accommodation. Also because there are not that many accommodation options to start with. I quickly looked at the nearby towns for the prices there, but from what I see they have even fewer hostels. Therefore if you are looking for the cheapest places to stay, then still you have more affordable choices in Amsterdam than anywhere outside of town. Small towns don’t have many hostels and therefore less competition and higher prices. And then you still need to commute to town and it’s not cheap either.
      I don’t know when exactly you are going, but book asap – I checked random dates in June for price category under 100EUR and it seems that over 90% of accommodation is already booked.
      Here are two hostels with relatively good ratings that are priced at around 50-55EUR/night for 2 people (it’s the cheapest that I was able to find): Dutchies Hostel (a bit outside the city centre) and Hans Brinker Hostel (centrally located). There is also International Budget Hostel City Center at around 60EUR/night/2 people.
      Alternatively check here for the best deals of Amsterdam hostels. Depending on the period, prices seem to start at around 20EUR/night/1 person.
      Hope this helps

      1. Thank you so much for such a detailed response, Jurga. I will probably book dorm beds in one of the hostels you suggested. We were initially thinking of basing ourselves out of Leiden but after reading your answer, decided against it. And by the way, you maintain a very beautiful and well laid out blog. Keep up the good work. 🙂

        1. Author

          Thank you, Rahul. Enjoy your trip to Amsterdam!

  16. There are a number of beautiful places in Netherlands. People from different countries visit to Netherlands for spending their summer/winter vacations. If you are in Amsterdam then must visit the places mentioned in this article. You’ll definitely love these beautiful places and make memories in my home country

  17. Thanks, Jurga and your husband. I’ll see if i can find good accommodation in Leiden. Keep up with your good work. Best wishes to you and your family.

  18. Hi Jurga. Thanks for sharing great ideas and tips. I’m planning to go to the Netherlands early April so your post is very helpful for me to plan the trip.

    I’m still thinking of where to base myself in the Netherlands if i want to see Keukenholf gardens and do some day trips. It seems there are many options for day trips from Amsterdam but i prefer small towns than big cities so I’m not sure if Utrecht or Leiden is a good choice. Any suggestions are appreciated.

    1. Author

      Hello. I actually had to ask my husband which town he prefers as I don’t know them that well… He said he’d go for Leiden rather than Utrecht if you are looking for a small town with nice atmosphere. On top of that, Leiden is very close by to the tulip fields of Lisse and Keukenhof Gardens. You can just as easily do the other day trips from Leiden as from Amsterdam if you have a car. If you rely on public transport, it should be easy enough to get to the other major cities. Not so sure about smaller places outside the town though. But you can find all of that information on Google I’m sure.

  19. Hi Jurga,

    I’m travelling to Amsterdam between March 13 – March 16 2018. I was really looking forward to see the tulips ..but looks like I’m going to miss it.. I’m coming with my 2 girl friends..our first mom only trip ..what do u suggest we do. We are coming from the US.

    Thanks,
    Vaish

    1. Author

      Hi Vaish, yes indeed mid March is probably too early for the tulips. Even Keukenhof garden only opens a week after your trip. It’s also too early for the cheese market in Alkmaar. But no worries, you will find plenty to do in Amsterdam. Read this article for some ideas: One day in Amsterdam. There are so many museums, also dining and shopping…
      If you want to get out of the city, try some of the suggestions in this post. Kinderdijk is really nice, but a bit more difficult to get to. Zaanse Schans and the nearby places is a popular day trip closer to the city. Also Giethoorn might be nice if the weather cooperates.
      If you think you’ll get bored you could even consider a day trip to Belgium – Bruges is the most popular place they go to.
      Hope this helps

  20. Hello Jurga
    Really usful website. Again i have a question i you dont mind.
    I found this deal for giethroon by 23€ by discover holland. What do you think? Can you advise me about it? If it is good i will start booking
    Thank you very much for helpping others
    Best regards
    Halima

    1. Author

      Hi Halima, it looks like quite a good deal money-wise. I have no idea though how difficult it is to get to Giethoorn by public transport from Amsterdam and how long it takes. It’s really quite in the middle of nowhere. I see that the organised trips speak of the total time of 7,5-9 hrs and that doesn’t involve any waiting or stopovers, so prepare for a very long day if you go there by train and bus. Here is the a very good deal for an organised trip to Giethoorn from Amsterdam that I could find. It costs from 75EUR for adults and half the price for the kids (4-12), and also includes Amsterdam Canal Cruise (value 16 EUR) in the price. It’s of course a big difference in price with a family, but you don’t have to arrange anything yourselves. Another option would be to rent a car, but if you only need it for one day, it’s a lot of hassle I suppose.
      To conclude, if you and your family are ok with a very long day out, I think you can definitely opt for the public transport option from Discover Holland. Just make sure you know the train and the bus schedule before you go.

  21. Thank you very much. So usfeul.

  22. Hello Jurga, how are you ? I am planning to visit Amsterdam next April with my husband and 2 kids. While I was searching online I found this article. It was so helpful and inspire. Thank you for article which make me more excited to visit Holland. I have a question please. Is it easy to go to Zaanse Shans by local transportation with kids. Or it is difficult and they will be tired from long route? Which better to take tour bus or we can use local bus? I appreciate your help. Thank you

    1. Author

      Hi Halima, yes, Zaanse Schans is one of the easiest places to visit from Amsterdam since it’s so close by. There are many ways to get there from Amsterdam – by ferry, bus, or train. You can find more information on the official Zaanse Schans website. For example, the train takes just 17 minutes, followed by 15 minutes walking. It’s a nice day out of the city with kids.
      You can take a tour bus, but I think with kids you will enjoy it more if you just go on your own.
      If you come in April, make sure not to miss the Keukenhof Gardens and the tulip fields. And I think Alkmaar cheese market would be very impressive for your family as well. Just try to get there at least 30-40min before the official opening time. I just checked and in 2018 the markets will take place every Friday morning, between 30th of March and 28th of September.
      Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip to the Netherlands!

  23. I am in Amterdam and Rotterdam so these tips are exactly what I need. Just added a few more to the list next week. Great pictures and tips.

    1. Author

      Lucky you, Melissa! It’s been so long since we went to Amsterdam, we usually go to less busy places in the Netherlands. Maybe this summer we can do a day trip to Amsterdam, rather than a day trip outside the city for a change 🙂

  24. There is really so much to do! I have been like 3 times and I don’t think I have done half of these activities! You really make me want to go back. Great great article!

    1. Author

      Honestly, I haven’t been to all of these places myself either, Ari. That’s why I invited other bloggers to co-operate for this post. We have added a couple of these to our summer trip list too.

  25. Your post made me want to go back to Amsterdam for the 4th time and finally explore the cities and towns nearby!

    1. Author

      Great! That was the intention, Liza. 🙂 I think too often we just travel to the big cities ignorant to all the beautiful places that can easily be visited nearby. Often people don’t have much time, but I think just as often they are not aware of how easy it is to actually get out of the city and explore more. Hence this guide for easy-to-make day trips from Amsterdam.

  26. I have done quite a few of these trips as I have a Dutch friend I used to visit regularly who lived in The Hague (she lives in Cairo now) – though I have not visited Keukenhof!! Something for the future!

    One place we always visited was Scheveningen for a stroll along the beach! And a good Indonesian meal!

    1. Author

      Thank you for the tip about Scheveningen, Tracy! And yes, the Dutch have lots of ties with Indonesia, so I’m sure they have many good Indonesian restaurants. Will give it a try next time we’re there.

  27. Don’t you just love the Netherlands – I think it has so much to offer! We really must take the kids to Effteling one time. Great post and great ideas Jurga, loved it!

    1. Author

      I do! Just as I love Belgium too 😉 If you visit, we’ll join you at the Efteling, Alex – we all love going there!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.