10+1 day trips from Amsterdam & The Hague
Have you already visited the main attractions of Amsterdam and The Hague and you want some inspiration for new adventures? One of the perks of living in The Netherlands is that you can just hop on a train and visit beautiful cities around the country within 1 hour's distance.
Our Bachelor student, Nicolas, has compiled a listicle with 10+1 ideas for day trips around the country (and not only)! From historical towns to tulip fields and windmills, take the chance to explore the country and clear your mind after a week full of exams and classes!
Just 30 minutes away from Amsterdam, you can find Utrecht, a small city with a medieval city center. Enjoy the view from the tallest tower in the Netherlands, the Dom Tower, and stroll around the canals and streets of the center.
Haarlem is often described as the most photogenic destination in the Netherlands, so a must-see for everyone who is Instagram-savvy. Ancient buildings, cobbled streets, and canals often have it described as Amsterdam's smaller brother.
Haarlem is only 15 minutes from Amsterdam Centraal and is famous for its Grote Markt, the Frans Hals Museum, or the Teylers Museum being the oldest one in the Netherlands.
Leiden lies in the middle of an extensive flower growing area, making it not only one of Europe’s leading “flower destinations”, but also incredibly picturesque. To see the famous tulips, the best time to visit is during May.
Leiden is famous for its Street Market every Wednesday and Saturday. Don’t forget to visit the Old Castle (Burch van Leiden), the Museum Boerhaave (boasting science and medical apparatuses developed by the University of Leiden), and the old observatory in which you can watch the stars.
Gouda is a city in South Holland, that is famous for its namesake cheese. It's a must to visit the cheese market every Thursday and if you want to dive into the history of Gouda cheese, you could visit Kaasboerderij Jongenhoeve! Apart from these, there’s so much more to this beautiful Dutch city with a great historical center, only an hour from Amsterdam.
Alkmaar is most famous for its cheese market. The Alkmaar Cheese Market runs between the end of March and September on Friday mornings. The Dutch cheese museum showcases the history of cheese, while the Natioanaal Biermuseum has an exhibition on the history of beer and of course, also serves local beers!
Apart from cheese, The Netherlands is famous for its tulips! Are you a flower-lover? You should definitely visit the Keukenhof, which is the most famous and largest flower park in the world! During spring, you can admire more than 7 million flowers in bloom, 800 different tulip varieties, and most bulbs are planted by hand.
Zaanse Schans is just a short day trip from Amsterdam (only 40 minutes by bus from Amsterdam Centraal) and this picturesque town feels like an open-air museum full of traditional Dutch culture and activities. Going inside a working windmill, enjoying a cheese or chocolate tasting are only some of the activities that you can do during your trip there.
Rotterdam, the second-largest city in the Netherlands, is famous for its harbor and interesting architecture. Don’t forget to check out the Market Hall and the adjoining Binnenrotemarket on Saturdays and Tuesdays (in summer also on Sundays)!
Delft, famously known for its delfts Blauw (delft pottery) and located right next to Rotterdam, is a beautiful day trip from either the Hague or Amsterdam. You can explore the historical center, visit the Oude Kerk and the Dutch City Hall. Small boutiques, a market on weekends as well as the botanic garden provide the perfect setting for weekend strolls.
A day trip to the neighboring country of Belgium? Why not? Take a three-hour train ride and you will arrive in one of the most beautiful medieval cities of Europe, also known as the “Venice of the North”. Even if it's a small city, the activities are plenty: stroll around the historic center – a Unesco World Heritage Site -, visit the Grote Markt, or plan a canal cruise with some Belgian fries or chocolate. You can also visit the Historium Bruges to dive into the “golden age” of Bruges in the late 14th
Rich history, beautiful architecture, and the home of most of the European Institutions. Often referred to as the capital of Europe, Brussels is also a two-hour train ride from Amsterdam/ The Hague. You can visit the Atomium, the Royal Palace, the European Quarter, and of course the Manneken Pis. When traveling to Brussels around 15 August, you can see the famous flower carpet right in front of the Grand Place!