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

17 Best Day Trips from Amsterdam (& Tips for How to Visit)

In Europe, Netherlands by JurgaThis post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More info: Disclosure.

Are you looking for some ideas for day trips from Amsterdam? Excellent choice! Amsterdam is a beautiful city that attracts millions of visitors every year, but many of them forget that the Netherlands has 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. I also included two most popular day trips from Amsterdam to Belgium.

Most of the places mentioned here can be easily visited by public transport, in less than an hour from Amsterdam. In addition, we also feature several 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 organized 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 favorite places in the Netherlands. In addition, I asked my fellow travel bloggers to share their favorite 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 more off the beaten path. Find out!


TIP: Do you want to take organized day trips and tours from Amsterdam, but are not sure where to start? Here is my hand-picked selection of the most popular and highly-rated day trips from Amsterdam. Do any or all of them and you’ll see the very best of the Netherlands without having to worry about the practical side of planning your trip:

Further below you can find more details about these and other great day trips from Amsterdam. But, these four Amsterdam day tours listed above will bring you to the nicest places in the Netherlands.

Best day trips from Amsterdam in the Netherlands

Below are some of the best day trips from Amsterdam, starting with the most popular day trips first. Some places like Zaanse Schans, Keukenhof Gardens, Volendam, or Giethroorn are very popular with tourists. While some others are rather quiet and less visited, yet definitely worth a short trip if visiting Amsterdam for a few days. Take a look!

The very best Amsterdam day trips:

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 actually a residential area that feels like an open-air museum that 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. Just please be respectful to the locals who live there and don’t just walk on somebody else’s property!

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.

How to visit: Getting to Zaanse Shans is easy – you can join a tour (see below) or 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 windmills and the Museum.

TIP: Zaanse Shans is the most popular destination for organized half-day and day trips from Amsterdam, often in combination with other nice locations nearby. It’s a great option for those short on time or not willing to deal with the practical aspects of planning a day trip from Amsterdam. If you only have half a day, I recommend this highly-rated Zaanse Schanse tour. If you have a bit more time, I recommend this Zaanse Schans tour that also includes a visit to Volendam and Marken and even a canal cruise in Amsterdam.

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

Zaanse Shans is one of the most popular day trips from Amsterdam
Zaanse Schans – © 5 Lost Together

2. Volendam, Marken & Edam

Located just north of Amsterdam city, these traditional Dutch towns make a great day trip from Amsterdam, popular among locals and tourists alike. You can visit one, two, or all three places in a day and there are many different ways to do it.

Volendam is an old fishing village and is extremely picturesque. Nowadays, it’s very touristy, but that’s why tourists seem to like it. To many foreigners, Volendam is a symbol of what the Netherlands looks like. The colorful buildings of the old harbor, old Dutch ships, and locals wearing traditional black Volendam clothing – it all makes Volendam a very popular destination. It’s the place to see all things typically-Dutch and stock up on souvenirs.

Near Volendam, on the Markermeer Lake, lies a tiny island of Marken. This peninsula has been separated from the mainland by a storm in the 13th century and only reconnected back to the mainland in the mid 20th century. It can be reached by boat from Volendam or by car or bike via the embankment. You can also leave your car on the mainland and walk there. 

Because of its isolation from the mainland, Marken fishing community has managed to keep a more authentic historic character. Still, it’s a place very much oriented towards tourism, but in a more enjoyable way. A popular thing to do here is a visit to a traditional shoemaker where you can learn more about the craft or even get a pair of shoes to take home with you.

Edam is a charming medieval town best-known for its cheese with the same name (Edamer in Dutch). The small red ball of semi-hard cheese can be easily transported without losing its taste. It has, therefore, been a famous Dutch export product for many centuries.

In July and August, there is a traditional cheese market held on Wednesday mornings and attracting many visitors. You can also take a boat tour on the canals.

How to visit: As already mentioned, there are many ways to visit these towns – on your own, or with a tour from Amsterdam. Here is one of the best tours that visits Marken, Volendam, and Edam as a day trip from Amsterdam. This popular tour visits Volendam, Marken and Zaanse Schans in a day. There are also private tours like this one.

Volendam - Marken area is a great day trip from Amsterdam
Volendam is one of the most popular day trips from Amsterdam

3. Giethoorn

Giethoorn is a picturesque little village 1,5hrs drive from Amsterdam. It has canals instead of streets and boats instead of cars. Giethoorn is one of the most special places in the Netherlands and one of the best day trips you can do from Amsterdam.

Expect it to be extremely busy, especially if you are traveling in the summer. Still, it’s a place that is so typically Dutch that I think it’s well worth the trip.

How to visit: Unless you have a car, the best way to get to Giethoorn to Amsterdam is by taking an organized tour. I recommend this highly-rated day trip to Giethoorn.

Giethoorn is one of the best day trips from Amsterdam in the Netherlands

4. Keukenhof Gardens & Lisse Tulip Fields

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 color 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 colored displays.

There are cafes located throughout the gardens for a coffee break. Entrance costs are a little steep, but it’s worth it. Make sure to also take your time to also explore the adjacent tulip fields in this area!

The best time to visit is mid-April when most of the 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.

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!

LEARN MORE: Keukenhof and Lisse tulip fields

How to visit: The garden is about a 40-minute drive from Amsterdam, but it’s not very easy to reach it from Amsterdam if you don’t have a car. There is a shuttle from the airport, but if you are coming from the city center, it’s probably easiest to take a transfer or a tour. You can find the best Keukenhof tours and transfers here!

Suggestion by Rohan from Travels of a Bookpacker.

Keukenhof and the tulip fields is the most popular spring day trip from Amsterdam
Keukenhof – © Travels of a Bookpacker

5. Bruges (Belgium)

Bruges is the most picturesque town in Belgium, often called ‘The Venice of the North’. With pretty canals, a maze of narrow medieval streets, and a big variety of Belgian specialties to taste or take home with you, Bruges is a very popular destination, also from the Netherlands. In fact, it’s one of the most popular day tours from Amsterdam.

Don’t miss the Markt – the main square of Bruges with the impressive City Hall, colorful buildings, and the medieval bell tower Belfort. You can climb all the way to the top for amazing views of the city and surroundings. 

There are several churches and museums in Bruges that are worth a visit if you have more time. But if you are short on time, just stroll the picturesque streets, visit the famous Minewater park, and take a look inside the beguinage Ten Wijngaerde. No trip to Bruges would be complete without taking a boat tour on its famous canals. 

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Bruges

How to visit: Bruges is located in Belgium, about 3hours drive from Amsterdam. While it is possible to get there by car or train, if you go to Bruges from Amsterdam for just a day, I recommend that you take an organized tour like this one.

Bruges in Belgium - a popular day trip from Amsterdam
Bruges is a popular day trip in Belgium, also from Amsterdam – Photo by Catarina Belova/

6. 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. You won’t regret a day trip to Rotterdam!

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

How to visit: Rotterdam is easy to visit from Amsterdam by train. There are also guided tours, most including a visit to several other towns in one day. This is the most popular tour from Amsterdam – it brings you to Rotterdam, Delft, and The Hague in one day.

Suggestion by Katie from The Traveling Spud.

Rotterdam is a nice town to visit as a day trip from Amsterdam
Rotterdam – © The Traveling Spud

7. The Hague

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

How to visit: The Hague is just a short train trip from Amsterdam and you can easily visit on your own. The earlier-mentioned and highly-rated Grand Holland Tour visits The Hague in combination with Rotterdam and Delft in just one day from Amsterdam.

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

Best day trips from Amsterdam - The Hague
The Hague – © Boarding Call Blog

8. Delft

Best known for its blue & white ‘Delft Blue’ pottery (Delftware), Delft is another popular day trip from Amsterdam, often visited in combination with other nearby towns. 

Delft is probably one of the most typical old-Holland style towns, that managed to keep its unique character from bygone days. It’s a small town and you don’t need much time to explore Delft.

Stroll the picturesque shady canals with old-style hump-backed bridges and visit the old city with the Old Church, the New Church, and the Market Square with the impressive City Hall building. Don’t miss the view from the tower of the New Church – it’s one of the best things to do in Delft!

If you have more time and interest in arts, you may want to visit the Vermeer Centrum. Otherwise, explore some more of the historic town center, check out some of the souvenir shops for the Delftware, or visit the Delftse Pauw Factory or the Royal Delft Factory (t196814) for some traditional pottery from Delft.

How to visit: If you have the whole day for this town, you can take a train from Amsterdam to Delft. Alternatively, if you are short on time and want to make the most of it, you can take one of the organized tours that visit more places in a day.

Delft in the Netherlands

9. Brussels (Belgium)

Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, is also a popular day trip from the Netherlands. Direct train connection makes it possible to visit Brussels from Amsterdam, but prepare for it to be a long day!

The main landmark that you absolutely have to see in Brussels is the Grand Place – the main town square with the impressive City Hall and the 17th-century guild houses. Considered one of the most beautiful town squares in the world, It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site worth a trip in itself. 

Other places of interest include the world-famous statue Manneken Pis, the Royal Galleries, the Royal Palace of Brussels, and the St Michael’s Cathedral. 

With just one day in Brussels, you may want to take a hop-on-hop-off bus that brings you to some of the most interesting sights outside of the city center as well. Atomium is one of the most famous landmarks that is located outside the center.

Alternatively, just stay in the city center, visit the sights I mentioned above, and indulge in Belgian chocolates, waffles, and beer. There are great food tours that you can join in Brussels – check out this one!

LEARN MORE: Best Things to Do in Brussels

How to visit: There is a direct train from Amsterdam to Brussels and it takes about 2 hours one way. Alternatively, you can join an organized tour. This is the most popular tour to Brussels from Amsterdam. For Brussels, I recommend just going on your own and maybe joining the above-mentioned food tour. It will give you more flexibility and is really easy to do on your own.

Day trips from Amsterdam - Brussels
Brussels Grand Place is worth a trip in its own

10. Kinderdijk

If you want to see traditional Dutch windmills in the original setting, then you should definitely consider a day trip to Kinderdijk, just 1,5 hours’ drive from Amsterdam.

Kinderdijk is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with historic 19 windmills, dating from 16-18th centuries. A visit here is a very unique opportunity to get acquainted with how life in the Netherlands was centuries ago and learn more about their centuries-old struggle against the rising water levels. 

Furthermore, the scenery at Kinderdijk is truly picture perfect. No matter when you visit – summer or winter, morning or evening – Kinderdijk is as picturesque as in the postcards.

How to visit: The easiest way to reach Kinderdijk from Amsterdam is by car or an organized tour. Alternatively, you first have to take a train to Rotterdam, from where you can get to Kinderdijk by waterbus.

LEARN MORE: Visiting Kinderdijk

Kinderdijk UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the musts you shouldn't miss when in the Netherlans
Kinderdijk UNESCO World Heritage Site

11. Alkmaar Cheese Market

Alkmaar, just 30 min ride by train, is one of my personal suggestions for an unforgettable day trip from Amsterdam.

It’s a charming little town, best known for its centuries-old traditional cheese market. Don’t miss it, especially if you find yourself in Amsterdam during the summer months. 

Alkmaar cheese market takes place on Friday mornings, weekly, between April and September.

LEARN MORE: Alkmaar Cheese Market

Howto visit: Take a train from Amsterdam to Alkmaar where you can either explore the town individually or book this 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

12. Gouda

Gouda is much more than just a famous cheese town. With its 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 favorite 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.

TIP: If you don’t have the time to do any research in advance, join a guided monument walking tour of Gouda and see the best of this beautiful town in just 2 hours.

How to visit: Gouda is best reached by train from Amsterdam. At the moment, there are no guided day tours from Amsterdam.

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

Best day trips from Amsterdam - visit Gouda
Gouda – © The Traveling Spud

13. Utrecht

Utrecht is a smaller and more laid back version of Amsterdam and one of the must-do day trips in the Netherlands. 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 that are located right on the edge of the 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, marvelous galleries, and museums. Furthermore, you’ll find plenty of 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!

TIP: If you have more time, make sure to visit the De Haar Castle in Utrecht.

How to visit: You can reach Utrecht by a direct Sprinter train from Amsterdam that takes just 40 minutes. A small selection of guided tours is also available.

Suggestion by Ketki from Explore With Ecokats.

Utrecht is one of the best day tips from Amsterdam - Castle De Haar
De Haar Castle in Utrecht

14. Haarlem

If you’re looking for a short 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 that 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!

How to visit: By train from Amsterdam (just 15 minutes). If you rather explore Haarlem with a local, you can also book a private walking tour of Haarlem.

Suggestion by Alex from Lost With Purpose.

Best day trips from Amsterdam - Haarlem
Haarlem in winter – © Lost With Purpose

15. Leiden

Located a short 30-minute train ride away, Leiden provides all the charm of Amsterdam with less than half the tourists! Recognized locally as a University Town, they have a harbor, 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 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.

How to visit: By train from Amsterdam.

Suggestion 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!

Best day trips from Amsterdam - Leiden
Leiden – © Make Time To See The World

16. 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 also 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 City Card and it’s at its best in summer when the garden is in bloom! The town itself is also very cute and typically Dutch. This is a great and less touristy day trip from Amsterdam!

How to visit: Muiderslot Castle is located just 18km from Amsterdam and it’s best visited by car or by bike (see the biking route map here). You can also take a train + bus or a private tour that visits several castles in the Netherlands in a day.

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

Best day trips from Amsterdam - Muiderslot Castle in Muiden
Muiderslot Castle

17. Amsterdam Forest

This is more of a low-key local day trip from Amsterdam. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this for tourists, but if you are in Amsterdam for a longer time, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Visiting Amsterdam Forest is one of my favorite day trips from Amsterdam. The forest is a huge artificial park and just a 15-minute bike ride south of 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 travelers to leave Amsterdam for (half) a day and explore the stunning Dutch landscapes.

My favorite 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.

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

Best day trips from Amsterdam - Amsterdam Forest
Amsterdam Forest

More Suggestions for Day Trips from Amsterdam

In addition to these day trips that you can easily make from Amsterdam, there are many more incredible experiences that are worth considering in the Netherlands, but also over the border in Belgium. However, some of these places 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 organized tour.

Here are some suggestions for more Amsterdam day trips to consider:

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.

READ ALSO: 2 Days in Amsterdam

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


  1. Hi Jurga, if we have time for just one place to visit near Amsterdam, which one do you recommend? We will be coming in September.

    1. Author

      This is such a tough choice, Jamie! I think I’d go for a day tour that covers several places in a day. If you like to get to know smaller towns and see windmills, check out this tour. And if you rather visit cities, check out this day tour.
      If you go on your own, you can never see as much in a day. If you don’t have a car, you can easily visit Zaanse Schans or Haarlem by train from Amsterdam, so that’s probably the easiest option.
      Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!

  2. Thank you. On your suggestion, My self with friends visited Voldendam,Edam & Marken. It was wonderful experience.

    1. Author

      Glad to hear that you enjoyed it, Ajay.
      Happy and safe travels!

  3. Great article. Your tips are priceless. The only problem is now to choose which day trips to take because I only have five days.

    1. Author

      That’s a tough choice, indeed. 🙂 Pick the places that look the most interesting to you. If you want to see a lot in a short time, day tours that combine several towns/places might be a good option (I have some suggestions inside the article).
      Enjoy your trip!

    2. Such beautiful places. I have visited the NL annually by bicycle for 20 years. My recemmedation is Hindeloopen.

      1. Author

        I had to google Hindeloopen and it looks beautiful. Thanks for your tip, Jonathan. We sure have to explore the Netherlands a bit more!
        Happy travels!

  4. As a Dutch person I sure agree on this list. Few mistakes: Vollendam = Volendam and Zaanse Schans is NOT an open air museum. People actually live there as well. A lot of tourists just walk into their homes and in their gardens. Of course most of the buildings are part of the Zaans Museum.

    Giethoorn is gorgeous but these days it’s horrible to go to. Way too busy, I feel sorry for the people who live there. Same goes for Amsterdam. Cheap flights made this beautiful city unlivable in the city center. Way too many tourists and a lot of dumb tourist shops and wafel houses and other crap that is not by Dutch people and also has nothing to do with The Netherlands.

    Amsterdam is great but there are so many other beautiful cities you could visit instead of Amsterdam. Like Utrecht, Haarlem (as mentioned), Deventer, Den Bosch, Delft or closer to Amsterdam; Weesp, Monnickendam, Edam (next to Volendam but way prettier and tons of old buildings (176 monumental buildings, Volendam only has 3!) and gorgeous Maastricht (close to Germany and Belgium)

    1. Author

      Hi Matthijs, thanks a lot for your insights. I adjusted the part about Zaanse Schans because I strongly agree with you – tourists have to be more respectful to the locals and their homes. It’s really getting out of hand in so many places that they become unlivable…
      It took me some time to find that one spelling mistake for Volendam – you really read it all very carefully :).
      Anyway, I also agree with you about Giethoorn and Amsterdam – these places are suffering from over-tourism. It’s a big challenge for many places now to switch from promotion to destination management. So let’s hope this article inspires people to visit other places in the Netherlands beyond the most popular ones. At the same time, the reality is such that people who visit for the first time, still want to see all the main highlights as well… It’s not going to change…
      Thanks for sharing additional suggestions for other places to visit in the Netherlands – maybe that will inspire more people to travel beyond Amsterdam.

      1. You are the best! And I agree, when I go to Barcelona I also go for the highlights and they have the same problem as we have in Amsterdam lol

        Keep up with the good work!

        ps: I came across your website cause I was curious what google images show when you type in “The Netherlands” 😉

        1. Author

          Thank you, Matthijs. And good to know how you found us – always interesting!
          Happy travels!

  5. Hello i want a itinerary for 8 days. 22 aug 2019 to 29 aug with my wife and infant baby. please send me itinerary (Amsterdam).

    Mohit Kapoor

    1. Author

      Hi Mohit, we are a travel blog and not a travel agency. 🙂 All we do is provide travel tips and inspiration empowering our readers to book their own dream trips. We never book trips for anyone but ourselves.
      Have a great time in Amsterdam!

    2. These are great tips and hoping to visit most, if not all of them. My husband and I are going in December through Christmas for 12 days. Will they be open? Any other recommendations off eh beaten path to best absorb local culture.

      1. Author

        Hi Leng, most of these day-trip suggestions from Amsterdam are towns where people live, so yes, everything will be open. Keukenhof gardens are only open in spring, but all the rest can be visited the whole year-round. You may want to check opening hours for places like Zaanse Schans or Kinderdijk museums, but even if museums would be closed, the nicest part is actually seeing the place from the outside anyway.
        There are so many towns in the Netherlands that many tourists don’t visit, especially in winter, so it’s really easy to get a bit off the beaten path. Someone recommended Weesp, Monnickendam, Edam the other day – so you may want to check these out if you want to see nice less-known places in the Netherlands.
        Enjoy your trip!

  6. Im planning to visit Haarlem half day starting early morning till noon on a Monday while in Amsterdam in April whats your suggestion to combine it with in the afternoon any neighbouring nearby pretty villages?

      1. Thanks a lot.I have arranged for a trip to Keukenhoff on an earlier day hence will land in Haarlem on a Monday morning by train from city centre.I need some tips on what all to essentially cover in about half a day( 9-3) -Im not a museum person other than that I look forward to monuments,
        churches,historical areas,special local food,beer and anything else one shouldnt miss.
        And bargain shopping areas
        Any suggestions?

        1. Author

          Hi George, I’m not familiar with Haarlem area enough to give you more advice. I found this article about things to do in Haarlem, maybe it will help.

  7. I am coming to Amsterdam in June and would like information on day tours.

  8. hello Jurga,
    My husband and I along with my sister in law in her 70s will be in Amesterdam July 3rd thru 8th. first of all I am thinking of staying by central station. do you think its a good location? second of all how should we plan our trip and see some other sightseeing places, maybe a few day trips..

    1. Author

      Yes, staying close to the Central Station is perfect in Amsterdam. It’s easy to walk anywhere and you can easily take a train to the other places. If you take organized day trips, many will also start there.
      As for what to see, please check all the recommendations in this post and pick places that interest you the most.
      If you aren’t sure how to do it all on your own, you can also opt for organized tay trips from Amsterdam. Advantage is that they usually combine several places in one day, so you can see a lot without having to worry about the logistics.
      Here are some of the most popular options that you can do in summer:

    2. Zaanse Schans + Volendam & Marken
    3. Giethoorn day trip
    4. Grand Holland tour: Rotterdam, Delft & the Hague
    5. Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!

    6. Hello Jurga,

      I’ll be travelling with my cousin in her 60s to Amsterdam on 2nd May and will be travelling until 13th May. We’re planning to move around for the places that you’ve recommended, very nice and we will surely loving it and we ‘ll be staying with our friend in Maastricht for 4 days.We’ll be moving around with public transportation and wonder should I stay in different hotels, or homestay or just one place and traveling to and fro.

      1. Author

        Hi Fern, I really don’t know. I think that in so much time you could definitely split your stay between Amstredam and maybe one other town (+ Maastricht). So maybe not a new town every day, but let’s say several nights in somewhat centrally-located cities.
        On the other hand, if you want to visit some places that aren’t that easily accessible by train, then it’s easier to do so from Amsterdam, because there are many organized tours. I’m thinking of places like Giethoorn or Kinderdijk for example.
        If you can find somewhat affordable accommodation close to the Central Station of Amsterdam (e.g. this hotel is well located and isn’t too expensive), then I think you could just stay there for a week and never get bored – so much to see in and around the city. And if you decide to do any organized day trips, most of them also leave from the Central Train Station and you don’t have to drag your luggage around…
        So it’s really up to you… Enjoy your trip!

        1. Hi Jurga,
          Thank you for your suggestions! I managed to gather some thoughts;
          5D4N in Amsterdam central by some land tour. Then 2D1N in Giethoorn, but I tried to search and unable to find any tour package. Do you know is this available? Then to Maastricht-Belgium-Rotterdam. Any hotel recommendation in Rotterdam? Hotel Prins Hendrik is fully booked for my travel dates.

          1. Author

            Hi Fern, I’m not aware of any trips that do two days over Giethoorn – it’s really not necessary and will make things way more complicated since getting there by public transport is really not an option.
            So it’s best to either take a day trip or rent a car if you want to stay there for a night. You should know that it’s really a small village and you don’t need more than a few hours there, so I think it’s not worth staying there longer.

            As for Rotterdam, I was recently in town and stayed at The James. It’s a nice new hotel that was (at the time of my trip) very well priced compared to anything else within the same location and facilities. It’s just a few minutes walk from the railway station, right in the city center, next to lots of shops and restaurants, and just a short walk to most landmarks in the city.

            For Amsterdam, it’s really not easy to find affordable accommodation in the city centre, so the best price-quality hotels indeed sell out fast. You can find the best deals for Old Town Amsterdam hotels here and if you find something you like in a good location, book asap.
            Hope this helps.

        2. Thanks so Jurga! it is helpful. Now i can move on planning for the extra day in Amsterdam =)

  9. Hi Jurga, wonderful travel website; beautiful photos and best of all your travel tips and info are valuable! Thank you for all that you do!

    My friend and I are working on our itinerary and trip planning; Still trying to figure out what’s the best airport/city to start our trip. Airline tickets are not yet purchased so there’s still some flexibility .

    We would love to see the tulips in April so our plan is to arrive in Amsterdam mid-April and stay for four nights. Besides the Keukehof Garden, we’ll also do short side trips from Amsterdam. From there, we would like to move on to Brussels, Bruge, Ghent or Antwerp. Can you please tell me what’s the correct order of visiting these cities and where would be our base if we have two or three nights?

    Do you recommend the high speed Thalys (expensive) vs. the regional train? Eurail pass?

    Can you please also comment on the sequence of visiting these cities from AMS? Arrive in Brussels, and make it our base, then side trips to Bruge, Ghent and Antwerp. Also, is it safe for two women walking around at night in these cities as well as being on the train late at night, say 9pm?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Author

      Hi Jay, I understood from your email that you already figured out the best itinerary for your trip. For Belgium, please check this post with suggested itinerary ideas. For the Netherlands, I think you’ll find plenty ideas in this post.
      As for the train, if you mean Thalys between Amsterdam and Antwerpen, then it’s really your choice. Regional train takes 1h50 and usually costs less than half price of the Thalys, which takes 1h14. The seats on Thalys are reserved whereas on a regional train you just sit where you find a place, but in general it’s ok. If you have half an hour to spare, it’s a lot of money saved if you take the cheaper option.
      In regards to your other questions that you sent me. Yes, Brussels is a good base to visit all the other towns in Belgium. And yes, generally it’s safe to walk around in the evening. But as everywhere in the world, you have to be cautious. There are certain areas in Brussels where you better don’t walk around on your own at night, but as long as you stay in the area close to the Central Station, you should be fine. I’ve lived in Brussels for several years, very close to those so called more dangerous places, and never ever had any trouble or felt unsafe.
      The trains are also ok in the evening, definitely at 9-10PM, nothing to worry about.
      Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!

      1. Hi Jurga,

        Much appreciate the info–very helpful.

        Best regards.

  10. Hi Jurga,

    Your website is amazing!!!!!!

    I will be arriving at Amsterdam on April 16 at 2:00 p.m. returning to the USA on April 22 at 8 am

    I need your advice how to add everything I want to see in Amsterdam in only those days, also my friend recommends me to go to Belgium one day.

    I am traveling with my husband and daughter 10 years old.

    Thank you in advanced!

    1. Author

      Hi JC, I really don’t know what exactly it is that you want to see. 6 days is more than enough for Amsterdam and you can definitely do 3-4 day trips as well. In April, I definitely recommend Keukenhof and the tulip fields. The rest – depends on your interests. You’ll find plenty suggestions in this article.
      If you rent a car, you can do a lot on your own, but in that case I wouldn’t choose Amsterdam as your base. Please also check other reader’s comments and my answers in this article, I think somebody asked about a similar length itinerary just a few weeks ago…
      As for Belgium, if you come just for a day and use public transport, then Antwerp is the easiest since it has direct train connection to Amsterdam. If you rather visit Bruges and don’t have a car, then I’d consider doing it with an organised day trip from Amsterdam.
      Hope this helps a bit.

  11. Hi Jurga,
    My wife and I are visiting Holland between April 4-11, 2019 ( 6 days not including travel days). We would like to spend time in Amsterdam (3 days) and spend 4 days visiting places around Holland like the Keukenhoff Gardens, Alkmaar (only Friday?), Delft, the Hague, Rotterdam, Leiden, Giethoorn, Zaanshe Shans and Kinderdijk and time permitting, Brugge in Belgium. We will stay near Schipol and hire a small car. I would like some advise on the best way to utilize my time and which of these sights can be clubbed into day trips. Would you also suggest that instead of spending every night returning to Amsterdam, we could overnight in other locations so we don’t spend time backtracking? Thanks in advance


    1. Author

      Hi Jose, I think that you better stay at different locations, otherwise indeed you’ll end up driving up and down. Also, keep in mind that you can’t do much with a car in Amsterdam and parking is crazy expensive. So maybe stay near Schiphol for a few days and then move south to Rotterdam area – see below.
      Staying outside the cities (or in smaller ones) will often be cheaper and also easier when you’re traveling by car.
      You can combine some of these places in one day, but some others are quite far away, so I suggest you use Google Maps to get an idea where everything is and how to best plan your trip. Traffic can be really bad here, so keep that in mind as well, especially if driving around peak times.
      If you want to visit Bruges and nothing else in Belgium, you could potentially do it as a day trip from Rotterdam (which is also a good place to stay for visiting Kinderdijk and also Delft and The Hague). I was recently in Rotterdam and stayed at The James hotel. It has great location and they have their own parking, but there is also public parking that costs just 11EUR/day, literally behind the corner from the hotel.
      And yes, if you want to visit Alkmaar cheese market, it’s only on Fridays in the morning. Make sure you get there early.
      If interested, you can find some tips for visiting Bruges in my suggested Belgium itinerary.
      Hope this helps.

  12. I’m so glad to have found your blog! Will be traveling to Amsterdam March 21-30. Family of 4, teens are 16 & 17. I am trying to plan our itinerary. We are considering either doing day trips from a hotel or airbnb in Amsterdam…OR…are also open to staying 2-3 days in several locations. Are there any other trip planning sites or resources you would recommend? Working through logistics that make sense. We are an active family and enjoy exploring, history, art, food, sports, definitely want to take in some boating/canal experiences also.

    1. Author

      Hi Laura, Amsterdam is a good place to base yourself if you are not renting a car and planning to take trains to the other cities. But accommodations in Amsterdam tend to be quite expensive. So you could maybe just stay there a few nights and then move on to another town or maybe even make a sort of road trip through the Netherlands, which would allow you to easily explore places like Kinderdijk or Giethoorn.
      I also really like Rotterdam, I think it’s great with teenagers as it has such a modern vibe.
      It’s hard for me to advise on itinerary as everyone travels differently. I’d say first make a list of places you really want to see, put them on the map, and then decide how you’ll travel around. Based on that it will become more clear how to best plan your time. If you are not renting a car, you’ll need to take organised day trips from Amsterdam to some places, take the train for the rest. If you are renting a car, don’t stay in the city – parking will cost you a fortune.
      P.S. If you have a day or two to spare, you may like to visit Belgium for a few days (I recommend Antwerp and Bruges). Probably not helping to narrow it down 🙂

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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?


    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.

  18. 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.


    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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 and best deal for this pass 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.



        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

          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

          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.

      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.

  21. 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…

  22. 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).

  23. 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

  24. 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.

  25. 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…

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

  28. 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

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.


    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

  32. Hello Jurga
    Really useful website. Again I have a question if you don’t mind.
    I found a deal for Giethroon for 23€ by public transport. What do you think? Can you advise me about it? If it is good i will start booking
    Thank you very much for helping others
    Best regards

    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. Just make sure you know the train and the bus schedule before you go.

  33. Thank you very much. So usfeul.

  34. 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!

  35. 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 🙂

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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!

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