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Best Day trips from Amsterdam

Amsterdam, the Netherlands - Historic Gable Houses along the Bloemgracht viewed from the Tweede Leliedwarsstreet Bridge in the historic Jordaan district in the old center of Amsterdam

Associated with Van Gogh, bike rides and a very laid-back atmosphere, Amsterdam offers everything from countless art institutions (photography enthusiasts must check out the FOAM museum!), quirky music venues and interesting heritage museums.

Meander around the charming alleyways, admiring the beautiful architecture, crossing the bridges over the city’s many canals and make sure to try the modern and traditional Dutch delicacies in Amsterdam’s hip neighbourhood of De Pijp. If you’re curiosity is taking you beyond Amsterdam city, here is a carefully curated guide to the most recommended day trips from Amsterdam!

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Day Trip to Kröller Müller Museum from Amsterdam

With almost 90 paintings and over 180 drawings, Kröller Müller Museum boasts a very impressive selection of Vincent Van Gogh’s work (the second-largest collection of artifacts by Van Gogh in the world). The museum also showcases masterpieces by other modern artists like Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and the Dutch pioneer of abstract art, Piet Mondriaan.

The sculpture garden of Kröller Müller Museum (one of the largest of its kind in Europe) is an oasis where you can enjoy both the sculptures and beautiful nature. Wander around surrounded by iconic pieces by modern and contemporary artists like Jean Dubuffet and the French Pierre Huyghe.

You can visit the Kröller Müller Museum Tuesday through Sunday (Fridays are said to be the calmest days) between 10 AM – 5 PM. The museum is located in the heart of De Hoge Veluwe National Park, and the visitors must pay the park admission fee too (19,9 EUR, around 22 USD for an adult admission ticket). You can reach the museum using public transport, but renting a private car for the day is a great option too.

De Hoge Veluwe National Park is only 80 kilometres from Amsterdam. Upon arrival, you can leave the car at one of the 3 park entrances and continue through the park grounds by bike! Special “white” bicycles (even equipped with a child seat) are available to visitors.

Day Trip to Kröller Müller Museum from Amsterdam

OTTERLO, NETHERLANDS - Visitor looks at the painting Cafe Terrace at Night (1888) by Vincent van Gogh in the Kroller Muller Museum in Otterlo, Netherlands.

Day trip from Amsterdam to the Keukenhof Gardens 

The Keukenhof Gardens are one of the biggest flower gardens in the world and often referred to as the “Garden of Europe”. The gardens are only open for two months a year (usually from mid/late March through mid/late May), so if your visit to the Netherlands aligns, make sure you add a visit to Keukenhof to your itinerary!

The best time for a visit to Keukenhof is mid-April when most of the flowers are in bloom and you can admire the mesmerizing tulip fields. The gardens boast up an impressive collection of flowers in every hue imaginable. We guarantee that this will be an unforgettable experience even if you are not a botanist or a gardening enthusiast!

You can also take a coffee break from wandering around the gardens at one of the on-site cafés; sit back, relax and admire the sight of the magnificent tulip fields.

To reach Keukenhof Gardens with public transportation, you can go either to Schiphol Airport first, and from there take the Keukenhof Gardens Express (bus no. 858 that departs from the bus station in front of the airport) or jump on the bus no. 852 from Amsterdam RAI or no. 859 that leaves from Hoofddorp. There are also plenty Keukenhof Gardens day trip options that you can pre-book with tour agencies online!

Day trip from Amsterdam to the Keukenhof Gardens 

KEUKENHOF, NETHERLANDS -Blooming pink tulips flowerbed in Keukenhof garden, aka the Garden of Europe, one of the world largest flower gardens & windmill & tourists. Lisse, Netherlands

Day trip from Amsterdam to Giethoorn

Giethoorn is situated in the northeastern part of The Netherlands and it is known for canals (you can explore the waterways by boat, and in high season make sure to rent early in the morning, as there will be many boat-seeking visitors), charming walking paths, winding bicycle trails and beautiful architecture with centuries-old houses.

On your day trip to Giethoorn from Amsterdam make sure to visit Museum Giethoorn ‘t Olde Maat Uus. Rather than a regular institution, it is a living museum presenting a historic farming village with costumed actors, a little café and a gift shop. Interesting in Giethoorn is also the Museum de Oude Aarde that houses a wide collection of gemstones and minerals.

From March to October it is open from 10 AM to 6 PM, and November through February it is open from 10 AM to 5 PM. Adult ticket fee is 3.50 euro (approx. 4 USD). If you are passionate about retro cars, you should pay a visit to the Histomobil. It is a specialized museum with an expansive collection of cars, carriages and motorcycles.

Try booking a day trip to Giethoorn from Amsterdam with an agency, to make sure you see all the best spots. If you prefer arranging the trip on your own, we recommend renting a car for the day, as it is the fastest way to reach Giethoorn.

Day trip from Amsterdam to Giethoorn

Giethoorn, Netherlands - view of famous village Giethoorn with canals in the Netherlands. Giethoorn is also called 'Venice of The Netherlands'

Day trip from Amsterdam to Rotterdam

Known for its quirky street art and the architecturally remarkable Erasmus Bridge (also known as “The Swan”), Rotterdam is a frequent getaway spot from Amsterdam.

The most popular Rotterdam attractions include the Maritime Museum with exhibitions showing the city’s maritime past and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, known for its impressive collection of fine arts and cultural artefacts. Piet Blom’s Cube Houses in Rotterdam will sure catch the attention of architecture enthusiasts and amateur photographers!

Admire the incredible sight of tilted houses, mounted on hexagon-shaped pillars. Nowadays, you can even explore the inside of one of the (usually private) houses, as one of the owners decided to open his house up for visitors.

With less than 80 kilometres between the two cities, a day trip from Amsterdam to Rotterdam is easy to arrange. There are over 100 daily train departures, and going from Amsterdam Central Station, and you will reach Rotterdam in less than 40 minutes. The fares for a one-way single ticket start around 16.4 EUR (approx. 18,5 USD).

You can consider leaving to Rotterdam in the afternoon to join a “Rotterdam by Night” guided tour in the evening. Including a stop at De Witte de Withstraat (Rotterdam’s nightlife street) known for its many restaurants, cafes and even art galleries, this tour will give you a unique experience of Rotterdam city!

Day trip from Amsterdam to Rotterdam

Rotterdam / The Netherlands - Close Up of the architectural wonder of Cube Housing complex in near Blaak Station in the center of the city of Rotterdam

Day trip from Amsterdam to Brussels

Today’s Brussels might be known for its role as the operational centre of the European Commission and the European Parliament as well as NATO. It makes the Belgian capital a very international city and a frequent destination for a day trip to another country from Amsterdam.

Start your Brussels day tour from Amsterdam with a walk towards Porte de Hal. It is a gate from the 14th century, and it houses a permanent presentation about the city too. The exhibition is open between 9.30 AM – 5 PM Tuesday through Thursday, and 10 AM – 6 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Ticket prices vary depending on the exhibition on view. From Halle Gate, you can walk northeast towards the Palais de Justice. It is a grand, remarkable courthouse with pillars and impressively high ceilings.

Continue your Brussels day trip from Amsterdam towards the Mont des Arts; one of the most iconic places in the Belgian capital with an impressive, long floral garden and great views of the city hall tower. From there, following the garden path you can easily reach Brussels city centre with one of the three famous “urinating” statues, “Manneken Pis”.

There are great railway connections between Amsterdam and Belgium. You can choose to travel by regional train (cheaper option, travel time 2 hours 45 minutes) or high-speed train (more expensive; travel time 1 hour 50 minutes).

Day trip from Amsterdam to Brussels

Brussels City Hall and Mont des Arts area at sunset in Belgium, Brussels.

Day trip from Amsterdam to Bruges

Bruges is one of the most scenic and popular tourist spots in Belgium. The city is rather small but it attracts visitors with its many atmospheric cafés, beautiful architecture and remarkable historical sites. 

Bruges Historic City Centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its most significant part is The Belfry Tower. In medieval times, it used to serve as an observation post for spotting enemies and alarm about fires. You can come closer to the breathtaking bells by climbing the Belfry Tower’s 366 steps. From the Belfry Tower, walk onto “The Markt”, Bruges’ main market square with more historical sites (like the West Flanders Provincial Court) and many dining options.

An interesting way to explore the city is by boat! Canals meander through Bruges’ Historic Town Centre. You can find the jetties (from where the boats depart) around the city. You can choose a day or an evening cruise to see the city beautifully lighted up.

With 250 kilometres between the two cities, your Bruges day tour from Amsterdam can be easily made by train! We suggest you look into the high-speed rail called “Thalys”. You will have to interchange twice between Amsterdam and Bruges (in Antwerp and Ghent), but it is the fastest travel option and a one-way journey only takes 2 hours 43 minutes.

Day trip from Amsterdam to Bruges

Bruges, Belgium. The Rozenhoedkaai canal in Bruges with the Belfry in the background.

Day trip from Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans Windmills 

Starting at Amsterdam Central Station, you can easily embark on the best day trip from Amsterdam by train – head to the village of Zaanse Schans to see the famous Zaanse Schans Windmills; one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. The train journey through the beautiful Dutch countryside will only take 15 minutes, and then the village is an additional 20 minutes away on foot.

The picturesque village is a residential area, but it has the feel of an open-air museum. It is a perfect example of the industrial past of the region (the village has kept the authentic look of a Dutch town from the 18th-19th century), and you can see the famous windmills too! Wandering around the village is, of course, free of charge, but have to pay entrance fees for the windmills and the museum.

After exploring the Zaanse Schans Windmills, you can visit a cheese-making shop and have an introduction to the traditional practices of the dairy manufacturing (and nibble on some samples too). When looking for Zaanse Schans best day trips Amsterdam tourist agencies or online tour agents also offer excursions that include a visit to Volendam. It is another charming village in the Dutch countryside, known for wooden houses with colourful facades and old fishing boats in its harbour.

Day trip from Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans Windmills 

Zaanse Schans, Netherlands - Tourists sightseeng traditional Dutch rural houses and windmills in Zaanse Schans, is a typical small village within Amsterdam area.

Dutch Countryside Tour from Amsterdam

A getaway to the Dutch countryside is one of the most calming (and popular!) day tours from Amsterdam. Book your trip with a tour agency, and spend the day touring around, exploring the breathtaking sights that Holland has to offer beyond its bustling cities. Make sure to take your camera with you for shots of the idyllic agricultural landscape with pristine meadows, windmills and the charming villages. 

Try to book a tour that takes you north of Amsterdam; the trip will most likely include a visit to D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station. Opened in 1920, it is the biggest steam-pumping station ever built and it is still successfully operating! D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station is an impressive masterpiece by Dutch hydraulic engineers and architects, and it has been featured as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988.

Tip for foodies! Many day trips from Amsterdam to the Dutch countryside include a visit to one of the traditional Dutch cheese farms. If you want to taste some of the local dairy products, make sure you book a day tour that includes a food tasting!

Dutch Countryside Tour from Amsterdam

Aerial view of a old dutch traditional windmill on the rural countryside in The Netherlands with a dike, canals. railway. bridge and a road.

Day trip from Amsterdam to Cologne

Another high-ranking recommendation for a day trip to another country from Amsterdam is a getaway to Cologne. The city is mostly known for the remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cologne Cathedral. This masterpiece of Gothic architecture was built in several stages, and even though the building began in the mid-13th century, the Cathedral was not completed until 1880.

Its history is quite remarkable too; during World War II, Cologne was bombed, but in spite of the bombing and severe damage, the Cathedral survived. Cologne Cathedral is open daily (Sundays and important Catholic holidays may affect the usual opening hours: 6 AM – 7.30 PM from November through April, and 6 AM – 9 PM from May through October). 

When in Cologne, make sure to visit the Belgian Quarter. Locals refer to it as “Belgisches Viertel” it is the perfect shopping spot in Cologne. Check out the many boutiques with high-quality design garments, look out for independent fashion labels (many shops are hidden in building arcades) and do not forget to check out the small bijou stores selling handcrafted jewellery. 

From Amsterdam, you can reach Cologne with public transportation (take the BlaBlaBus 30131 towards Frankfurt), but the journey will take almost 5 hours. For a faster and more convenient trip, we recommend booking a Cologne tour with an agency.

Day trip from Amsterdam to Cologne

View of the illuminated City of Cologne, the Cologne Cathedral, the Hohenzollernbridge and the River Rhine at Night - in Germany Cologne

Day trip from Amsterdam to Muiderslot Castle

Curious to join one of the best castle day trips from Amsterdam? Head to Muiderslot Castle, one of the oldest and best-preserved medieval castles in the Netherlands! Explore the towers and the castle battlements with arrow slits. You can even cross the Muiderslot’s drawbridge over a real moat! Make sure to save some time to visit and wander around the impressive castle gardens too! 

The history of Muiderslot Castle is long and turbulent. The castle was originally erected as a defence structure. You will discover how the enemies have been opposed and learn about the many famous residents of the castle while walking around. Book a guided tour or simply rent an audio guide and meander around on your own.

If you are visiting Muiderslot Castle with your family, there is a children’s quest called “Discover and explore” (you can buy additional “quest tickets”, and the brave explorers will be awarded a medal upon completing the challenge). The castle offers even more child-friendly activities; the kids can dress up as a knight or lady and practice sword fighting.

To reach Muiderslot Castle from Amsterdam Central Station take the train towards Weesp. At Weesp Station you will interchange to bus no. 110 going to Brandweerkazerne Muiden. From there, Muiderslot Castle is only 10 minutes away on foot.

Day trip from Amsterdam to Muiderslot Castle

MUIDEN, NETHERLANDS Muiderslot Castle, a medieval castle, with the gardens and spring colors

Recommended Best Day trips from Amsterdam

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Best Day trips from Amsterdam

Best Day trips from Amsterdam

Best Day trips from Amsterdam

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!