Kinderdijk, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The 6 Amazing Day Trips from Amsterdam You Must Visit

Are you thinking of having a holiday in Amsterdam? Plan a trip to other cities outside of Amsterdam to make full use of your time in the Netherlands! I previously stayed in the Netherlands for 6 months during a study-exchange program. In this article, I’ll be sharing what I believe are the most enjoyable day trips from Amsterdam that you can anticipate for your next holiday.

I’ll be listing these day trips according to what should be a top priority for you, in case you have limited time to visit all of them.

6 Amazing Day Trips from Amsterdam

1. Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans is what usually comes to mind first of the day trips from Amsterdam for tourists. It can be found in the Dutch town of Zaandam, about a 20 minutes train ride from Amsterdam Centraal. The area the heart of windmills, houses and factories dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. At the town, local shops sell cheese, other dairy products and wooden handicrafts. It’s a tranquil country-side to escape from Amsterdam’s busy city life.

Museums: Museumwinkel, Bakkerijmuseum, Museum Zaanse Tijd, Zaan Museul, Verkade Experience

What you should do there:

Rent a bicycle to cycle around the country side. Bike rentals can be found all over the town area. You can also head to the one located at Kalverringdijk 25. Wandering the town will not cost you anything but you’ll have to obtain a ticket to enter the windmills or museums (priced between €1 to €5 per site).

How to get there:

Option 1: Public Transportation
By Train
– The nearest railway station is Zaandijk – Zaanse Schans. There is a local train that runs there non-stop from Amsterdam Central Station in 17 minutes. Next, walk over to Zaanse Schans in 15 minutes.
By Bus – There are direct journey buses 891 and 391 from Amsterdam Centraal to Zannse Schans. The buses will take you straight to Zaanse Schans within 20 minutes.

Option 2: Opt for a Guided Tour
There are arranged Day Tours to Volendam, Edam, and Zaanse Schans Windmill Village from Amsterdam that you can book in beforehand as well. All transportation will be included and you get to visit added places along with a explanatory travel guide!

Zaanse Schans, Amsterdam, Netherlands - Day Trips from Amsterdam
Zaanse Schans, Amsterdam, Netherlands - Day Trips from Amsterdam

2. Leiden

Leiden is one of the underrated attractions for planning days trips from Amsterdam. It is a small quaint city in the Dutch province of South Holland. It is home to many historic foundations and Leiden University. Just a 30 min train trip south of Amsterdam, you will be able to find this old-fashioned and relaxing town, away from the over-crowded capital city.

I stayed in Leiden during my school program. Compared to Amsterdam, the city had a authentic and lightened atmosphere. The streets were even more incredible than Amsterdam and you’d be able to take photos without other humans appearing into your pictures.

Museums: Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, Naturalis, National Museum of Ethology, Sieboldhuis, Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, Lakenhaul

What you should do there:

There is a small shop cart that sells Herrings right outside of Leiden Station. I used to eat it all the time and it was one of the best I’ve gobbled in Netherlands. Next, you can rent a bike or have a walk along Leiden’s streets, have a coffee/tea at one of their local cafes, or take a boat cruise through their boundless canals.

You can also book a 2-hour Leiden Walking Tour to have a guide bring you around the city.

How to get there:

Take a non-stop train from Amsterdam Centraal to Leiden Centraal Station (towards Den Haag Centraal). The ride will take you 35 minutes.

Herrings in Netherlands
Herrings beside Leiden Centraal Station
Leiden, Day Trips from Amsterdam, Netherlands
Leiden, Day Trips from Amsterdam, Netherlands

3. Kinderdijk

Out of all the day trips from Amsterdam I’ve explored, Kinderdijk is probably my most preferred place to view the windmills. The reason I did not put this at the top on the list because you’d have to take a 2 hour train journey from Amsterdam to reach it. However, if you have the additional time, I’d recommend Kinderdijk over Zaanse Schans.

Kinderdijk is a suburb in the South Holland province and is home to 19 conserved windmills since the 1740s. It was also named an UNESCO Heritage Site in 1997.

Museums: Blokweer Windmill Museum & Nederwaard Museum Mill. Book your tickets online here for a lower rate.

What you should do there:

We rented bicycles and cycled the area for 3 hours while we were there. The scenery was breathtaking and I appreciated the freedom I had travelling on my bicycle. Alternatively, you can also prearrange a boat tour on the canal to acquire knowledge about the history of the windmills and visit the windmill museums that are listed above.

How to get there:

Option 1: Public Transportation
– Start by taking a train from Amsterdam Centraal to Rotterdam Lombardijen (40 minutes)
– Next, take Bus 392 Rotterdam Lombardijen to Ridderkerk, Oostendam (3 stops, 15 minutes)
– Take Bus 489 from Ridderkerk, Oostendam to Kinderdijk, De Klok (10 stops, 14 minutes)
*There are various routes to take subjected on the time of your travel there. Remember to check with Google Maps for the fastest way.

Option 2: Book a Guided Tour
There are prearranged Day Tours from Amsterdam to Kinderdijk and The Hague that you can reserve as well. Transport will be incorporated and there is no need to fret about moving from one location to the next.

Kinderdijk Molen Windmills, Netherlands
Kinderdijk Molen Windmills, Netherlands

4. The Hague

The Hague is the third-biggest city in Netherlands. It is positioned on the North Sea Coast and is where you can find some of Netherlands’ most stunning beaches. The Hague is the “International City of Peace and Justice”. You can find the Dutch Parliament based here as well as the U.N.’s International Court of Justice, with its main office in the Peace Palace.

Museums: Het Paleis, Mauritshuis Art Museum, Louwman Museum, Museum Meermanno

What you should do there:

Plan a trip to the beach to see the coast of the North Sea, admire royal palaces and monuments, visit the Palace of Peace.

How to get there:

Option 1: Public Transportation
Take a non-stop train from Amsterdam Centraal to Den Haag Centraal. The journey will take you approximately an hour.

Option 2: Prearrange a Guided Tour
You can book either a half-day tour or a full-day tour to Rotterdam/Madurodam, Delft and The Hague depending on your preference. Both tours come with a guide and round-trip travel from Amsterdam.

The Hague, Nehterlands

5. Utrecht and De Haar Castle

Centrally based in the Netherlands, Utrecht has become an important transportation hub in the country. It has the most interlinked train station in the Netherlands and is famed for it’s historical buildings and structures, that has been around since the High Middle Ages. While you’re in Utrecht, stop by the Dom Tower to view the tallest church tower in the Netherlands. This Gothic-style building is at the heart of the city.

We visited Utrecht but our final stop was actually to sightsee De Haar Castle. The castle is the biggest in the Netherlands and like a fairytale, it has a gorgeous frontage of towers, turrets, and suspension bridges. If you love castles and photo-shooting, don’t miss your chance to visit the grandest castle in Europe!

Museums: Centraal Museum, Museum Catharijne Convent, The Railway Museum, Museum Speelklok, Rietveld Schröder House

How to get there:

Option 1: Public Transportation
– Take a train from Amsterdam Centraal to Utrecht Centraal.
– Opposite Utrecht Centraal, take bus 28 and get off at Vleuten Station (17 stops, 29 minutes)
– Take bus 127 from Vleuten Station to Haarzuilens, Brink (7 stops, 6 mintes)
– Walk 1.2km

Option 2: Book a Guided Tour
Due to it not being convenient to get to De Haar Castle from Amsterdam by public transportation, you can choose to join in a Private Day Trip to the Dutch Castles instead. The tour will bring you to explore both Muiden Castle and De Haar Castle.

De Haar Castle, Utrecht, Netherlands
De Haar Castle

6. Brussels, Belgium

What I loved most about being in Europe for 6 months is that its so convenient for me to travel to its neighbouring countries. Therefore, if you’re looking to tick another country off your bucket list, grab this opportunity to visit Brussels in Belgium.

Brussels in the capital of Belgium and it is full of towering gothic cathedrals and quaint guild houses. It’s a spectacular city, filled with shopping streets and shops selling Belgium waffles everywhere! Be prepared for a long day of fun if you’re going for a day trip here as there are plenty of things to do in the city.

What you should do there:

See the detailed article – One Day Itinerary to Brussels, Belgium – to plan your trip.

How to get there:

Option 1: Public Transportation
Taking a train is the quickest way to get to Brussels from Amsterdam. There are trains that travel from Amsterdam Centraal to Brussels Centraal day-to-day. You can obtain a train ticket from the NS International website here.

Option 2: Prearrange a Guided Tour
Taking a Brussels Day Tour from Amsterdam is also a good option to tour the city. This is because I found the price of the tour to be worth it and it also covers the round-trip transportation from Amsterdam.

Brussels, Belgium - Parc Du Cinquantenaire
Mannekin Pis, Brussels, Belgium
Manneken Pis
Belgium Waffles
Belgium Waffles

Recommended Amsterdam Itinerary

If you’re looking to travel to Amsterdam, it is recommended for you to plan a minimum of 3 full days in the city. You’d be able to spend 1 full day touring Amsterdam city itself, 1 day in the country side to see the windmills at either Zaanse Schanns or Kinderdjik and 1 day to visit the town of Leiden.

If you have 4 days, then take the extra day to visit Brussels in Belgium. It’s a good chance to tick another country off your list!

Related Articles:
Brussels in One Day: An Itinerary for First Time Travellers
Travel Itinerary | The Best Things to do in Amsterdam

Leave a Reply