Because of its location, you can also take day trips from Amsterdam to other countries, such as neighbouring Belgium and Germany. A plethora of public transport options means you’re well connected to nearby destinations. Due to the compact size of the country and efficient train services, trains are often the best way to get around the Netherlands easily and for a reasonable price.
Read on for our collection of the very best day trips from Amsterdam, including details on all the highlights and how to get there by train.
Day trips from Amsterdam to Belgium
Many Amsterdam visitors choose to make their way to neighbouring Belgium, with day trips from Amsterdam to Bruges and Brussels being the most popular journeys of choice.
Let’s kick off with the pretty town of Bruges.
Although it takes a little longer to get here from Amsterdam than most of the day trips on this list, Bruges is well worth the effort. Often referred to as the ‘Venice of the North’, Bruges is a quaint and romantic little city. With its maze of canals, old medieval buildings and narrow cobbled lanes, it’s easy to be utterly charmed by this picturesque town even if you just have a day here.
Spend your day simply wandering through the fairytale-esque streets and squares, with frequent stops for authentic Belgian chocolates along the way. It’s a perfect contrast to the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam.
Don’t miss: The horse-drawn carriages, the canal boat ride, and the daily free harp concert.
How to get from Amsterdam to Bruges by train: It takes 3 hours to get to Bruges from Amsterdam. Take the train from Amsterdam-Centraal to Bruxelles-Midi station. From here, catch a connecting intercity train directly to Bruges train station.
Want to check out another buzzing European city while in Amsterdam? Take a day trip from Amsterdam to Brussels. The capital of Belgium is a mere 2 hours away by train.
Take an early train to start your day with a traditional Belgian waffle breakfast. Spend your afternoon visiting some of the city’s top historical attractions, such as the Grand-Place and the Atomium. After a day of city exploration, stop in one of the city’s bustling squares to soak in the evening ambience over a glass of the famous local beer.
Don’t miss: The Royal Palace of Brussels, the Atomium, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
How to get from Amsterdam to Brussels by train: Take the train from Amsterdam-Centraal to Bruxelles-Midi, and you’ll be there in just under 2 hours.
Day trips from Amsterdam to see windmills
Although Amsterdam has a lot going for itself, it doesn’t necessarily offer that quaint and quintessential old fashioned Dutch experience. Where are the windmills and the wooden clog makers?
Luckily, you can take day trips from Amsterdam to see windmills in the surrounding Dutch villages:
Ideal for a short and easy day trip from Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans is a beautiful historic village and open-air museum which offers a flavour of old Holland. And the best part is, it’s a mere 15 minutes away from the city by train. With an array of wooden clog shops, operational windmills, and lots of fresh green pastures, it’s just what you’d imagine a Dutch village to look and feel like. You’ll need to pay a small fee to take a tour of the windmills, but it’s worth it.
You can also spend your time simply wandering around Zaanse Schans and soaking in Dutch traditions such as the wooden clog stores and local pancake shops. If you have a little more time in the afternoon, make your way to nearby Edam for some serious cheese consumption.
Don’t miss: The cheese making shop, the wooden clog maker, and of course, the windmills along the banks of the River Zaanse.
How to get from Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans by train: Transport yourself back in time by taking a quick 15-minute train from Amsterdam-Centraal to Zaandjik Zaanse Schans train station.
Kinderdijk is the home of the UNESCO World Heritage windmill that you often see on postcard pictures of the Netherlands. Take a day trip from Amsterdam to Kiderdijk and get a little escape from the city by immersing yourself in the Dutch countryside. You’ll get some lovely Instagrammable shots of the giant windmills, some tranquillity and some guaranteed fresh air.
Don’t miss: Obviously, the windmills! You can get into the windmill museum for a small fee.
How to get to Kinderdijk from Amsterdam by train: Take a train from Amsterdam-Centraal to Rotterdam Lombardijen train station. From the bus stop across the station, you can take a bus service to reach Kinderdijk.
Day trips from Amsterdam to Rotterdam
Explore another Dutch city in one trip by visiting Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands. This is an easy day trip from Amsterdam and will take you under 40 minutes by train.
Rotterdam often gets overshadowed by Amsterdam, but it has its own distinct personality and has been receiving more investment over the last few years. Rotterdam is a lot more modern in architectural style and quite laid back in its ambience. It’s worth a trip for the friendly locals, edgy neighbourhoods and exciting food scene.
Don’t miss: Strolling over the Erasmus Bridge, checking out the bright yellow cube houses in the Old Port, and eating your way through the bustling Markthal (Market Hall).
How to get to Rotterdam from Amsterdam by train: There are frequent daily trains from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, with an average journey time of just 40 minutes.
Day trips from Amsterdam to Gouda
Cheese lovers, this one’s for you. Head to the small town of Gouda for a day trip from Amsterdam that any cheese addict would die for. Try and plan your trip for a Thursday morning during the Spring/Summer months so you can hit the famous cheese market. However, keep in mind that Thursdays can be quite busy for this reason so avoid it if you want a quieter trip!
Gouda is less than an hour away from Amsterdam by train, so it’s an easy (and delicious) day trip if you want to get away but are short on time.
Don’t miss: The Gouda Cheese market and the vibrant main Markt Square with plenty of charming cafes and lively local restaurants.
How to get to Gouda from Amsterdam by train: Catch a direct train from Amsterdam-Centraal to Gouda, and you’ll be there in just 50 minutes.
Day trips from Amsterdam to the Hague
Hop on a short train ride from Amsterdam to reach the historic city of The Hague in under 40 minutes. Known as the International City of Peace and Justice, The Hague is home to the Royal Dutch family as well as the UN’s International Court of Justice. Learn a little more about the history and heritage of the Netherlands by visiting some of the city’s most famous attractions. The Hague is a compact city and easy enough to explore on foot.
Don’t miss: The Peace Palace and the Mauritshuis art museum.
How to get to the Hague from Amsterdam by train: Take a direct train from Amsterdam-Centraal station to Den Haag station, and you can reach the Hague in just under 40 minutes.