Amsterdam is by far the most visited city in the Netherlands. Millions of tourists come to the Netherlands every year and the majority of them don’t even go beyond Amsterdam. Which is a shame – Netherlands has so many other great places to see and cities to visit. In this post we would like to share our pick of Top 10 One-Day Trips from Amsterdam. We lived in the Netherlands few years and believe us when we say that these are some of the best one-day trips you can easily make from Amsterdam.
The Netherlands is a small country and there are many places and cities that can be reached from Amsterdam within 1 hour. Great public transport network in the country allows you to easily travel from place to place by trains, buses or even rented bikes. So, after you explored and enjoyed the city of Amsterdam, hop on a train and visit some of the other places in the Netherlands.
All of the cities below are within one hour reach from Amsterdam. Check the official NS.nl website for exact travel times and details.
Book your stay in Amsterdam via Booking.com (by the way, did you know that booking.com company is based in Amsterdam?):
Haarlem is perhaps one of the most popular day trip destinations from Amsterdam. Located only 15 minutes away, Haarlem is a small city west of Amsterdam. Not as busy as Amsterdam, Haarlem attracts visitors with its historical center, charming courtyards, windmills and museums.
Explore Haarlem’s narrow streets and little shops. Visit Windmill De Adriaan (museum in an 18th-century windmill), go to Grote Markt and admire the gothic-style Cathedral of St. Bavo.
In medieval times Utrecht was well known as a religious center of the Netherlands. You will still find lots of historical buildings and structures in the city. Explore its charming old town, visit the central street and old canal of Oudegracht. Dine in one of the restaurants by the water. Admire the once largest church of the Netherland’s – Domkerk, and walk through Pandhof garden. After walking in the city of Utrecht, visit Castle De Haar nearby – the largest castle in the Netherlands.
Read more about visiting Utrecht in Best things to do in Utrecht in one day.
The Hague is well known for its International Court of Justice and many other international government organizations. The city is also a home of the Dutch government and Dutch royal family palace. The Hague has nice green parks, historical buildings and some of the most popular beaches in the Netherlands.
Visit Mauritshuis museum that has many famous art pieces by Dutch and other European artists. Spend time in Madurodam to admire miniature but very realistic versions of Dutch famous landmarks with tiny streets, canals and even operating toy buses and ships. There are many interesting museums and places to visit in The Hague.
Read more about The Hague in our post – One day in The Hague.
Visit the small city of Delft that is rich in Duth history and is world famous for its Delftware (Dutch blue pottery). Delft is only 15 minutes away from the Hague and you can combine visiting both cities in one day.
Back in the 15th and 16th centuries Delft was one of the largest and major cities in the country and the place of residence of Prince William of Orange. The city was also a home of the famous Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. Add to the mix Delftware factories in the city, and you get a perfect one day trip destination from Amsterdam!
Read more about what to see in Deft in our post – Visit Delft – the city of Dutch Royal family and Delftware.
Go back in time and visit a typical Dutch village of the 18th-19th century. Zaanse Schans is a recreated Dutch village where you will find windmills, colorful wooden houses, workshops and small museums.
There are several fully operational windmills in Zaanse Schans that you can visit. There is a workshop making Dutch wooden clogs (shoes) and numerous small stores selling cheese, souvenirs and other Dutch produce.
Read more in our post – Visiting Zaandam and Zaanse Schans on a day trip from Amsterdam
If you want to see even more windmills then visit Kinderdijk. Kinderdijk is an iconic Dutch village with 18th-century windmills. You can explore it by bike (there are many bike trails in the area), by foot or perhaps by taking a boat tour! There are 19 windmills in Kinderdijk with 2 of them also serving as museums.
Lisse (tulip fields and Keukenhof)
The Netherlands is famous for its tulips and is truly spectacular in spring time. If you are travelling to the Netherlands in spring then blooming tulip fields is a ‘must see’!
There are many places to see tulips in the Netherlands and the most popular one is around the small town of Lisse. Approximately midway between Amsterdam and The Hague, Lisse is well known for its tulip fields and the Keukenhof garden.
We have put together a detailed guide with lots of information on where, when and how to see tulip fields in the Netherlands – Your guide to tulips season in the Netherlands.
Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands and is well known for being Europe’s largest seaport. It attracts visitors with its modern and extraordinary architecture, interesting museums and art galleries.
Visit Rotterdam’s famous Market Hall. See the unusual residential houses tilted by 45 degrees – Cube Houses. Learn above naval history in the Maritime Museum Rotterdam. Snap a picture of the iconic Erasmus bridge. Finish your one-day trip to Rotterdam with a boat tour to see the city from the water and take a look at Europort.
Get more ideas on how to spend a day in Rotterdam in our dedicated post – The Best of Rotterdam in a day.
Have you heard of Gouda cheese? Surely you have. Well, in the Netherlands you can visit Gouda – the town Gouda cheese was named after!
This small Dutch town has lots to offer for a one day visit from Amsterdam. Admire the 15th century Town Hall on the central square – the oldest Gothic buildings in the Netherlands. Visit Sint-Janskerk and appreciate its numerous stained glass windows. Taste Dutch syrup waffles and see how they are made at Kamphuisen Syrup Waffles factory.
If you are travelling between April and August, then visit Gouda on Thursday morning to experience the famous Gouda Cheese Market happening on Markt square.
Read our post Visit Gouda – a small Dutch town you must see.
Another great place to experience the traditional Dutch cheese market is Alkmaar. A market filled with cheese, people dressed in traditional Dutch clothes, cheese barrows, traders and farmers negotiating the price of the cheese – some of the things you see at Alkmaar cheese market.
After visiting the cheese market, take a walk in the city to explore its old streets, historical buildings and courtyards.
That was our selection of Top 10 One-Day Trips from Amsterdam. We hope you enjoyed it! Leave a comment below to tell us about your experience travelling to one of these places. Which one did you like the most?
Read also our post on other things to see and do in the Netherlands – What to see in the Netherlands.
3 thoughts on “Top 10 One-Day Trips from Amsterdam”
Just visited Amsterdam, love the idea that you can visit many places
with the Tulip Festival Card during spring in Amsterdam region.
Vondelham on the lake is a big surprise.. Love Harleem and Lisse though..
I use to make a few trips each each to Amsterdam for business and never had the time to travel beyond the city. However, my son interned at The Hague and has been pushing me to spend some quality time traveling in the Netherlands. Hopefully soon. THS for sharing and keep posting.
So many day trips! Those tulips though, they are beautiful!