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5 Best Day Trips from Amsterdam

No trip to Amsterdam is complete without a visit to the surrounding area - the Dutch countryside and its tulips are well worth a trip!

Vicky Del Moral

Vicky Del Moral

5 min read

5 Best Day Trips from Amsterdam

Dutch countryside | ©Viswas Katti

Traveling to Amsterdam allows you to visit places of great interest in the same day. You can lose yourself in the countryside with its famous windmills, fishing villages and poppy gardens; visit Rotterdam or The Hague or even travel to Bruges and Brussels.

1. Excursions to Rotterdam and The Hague

Aerial view of Rotterdam
Aerial view of Rotterdam

Taking the opportunity to visit Rotterdam and The Hague in one day from Amsterdam is an almost obligatory experience that, if you can combine with a visit to another historic city, The Hague, becomes a winning trip. On a trip to Rotterdam, Delft and The Hague from Amsterdam you can discover three must-see cities of the Netherlands.

About Rotterdam

Rotterdam is known as "The Manhattan of the Meuse" for its modern urbanism, built since the destruction of the city during the bombings of World War II; it is the second most populous city in the Netherlands and has the largest port in Europe.

Also famous for its cultural life and maritime heritage, with breathtaking views of the city from the harbor and the banks of the Meuse River, the city is considered an open-air museum for buildings such as the town hall and the old St. Lawrence Church, as well as for its contemporary architecture, with the original Markthal building, its Cube Houses and the Van Nelle Factory from the 1930s and declared a World Heritage Site.

About The Hague

The Hague will ring a bell because of the United Nations International Court of Justice. This coastal city, nicknamed 'the judicial capital of the world', is not only important for its decisive role in history. The Hague features interesting attractions such as the Mauritshuis Museum, with the famous 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Vermeer and others by Rembrandt; the Dutch Parliament, the Noordeinde Palace, the Lange Voorhout Avenue and the Madurodam miniature park.

About Delft

Just an hour from Amsterdam, is this beautiful medieval city in which the leaning tower or the imposing New Church dating from 1300. Although less known than the previous ones, Delft is undoubtedly an essential destination in your getaway from Amsterdam and where you can learn firsthand the importance of Dutch ceramics.

Book an excursion to Rotterdam, Delft and The Hague

2. Keukenhof Poppy Gardens Excursions

Keukenhof Gardens
Keukenhof Gardens

30 km from Amsterdam, between Lisse and Hillegom, there is an Eden. It is the Keukenhof Gardens, known for being the largest flower garden in the world and called 'The Garden of Europe'. What was once a simple, sprawling orchard in the south of Holland is today, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands. This is where you will see the country's famed flower, the poppy, in all its splendor on its 32 hectares of colorful grounds.

With this guided tour to Keukenhof, which you can take in the morning or afternoon, you will travel by bus from the center of Amsterdam to this floral paradise. There you will stroll along 15 kilometers of paths and among the ephemeral beauty of thousands of tulips, daffodils, crocuses and hyacinths surrounded by ponds and fountains. In addition to visiting its flower sculpture, whose shape changes from year to year, and its themed gardens, your guide will explain the history of the site, the planting and care.

What is included in the Keukenhof Poppy Gardens tours?

  • Entrance to the Keukenhof Gardens
  • Professional guide and guided tour in the Keukenhof Gardens. Valid for the guided tour
  • Transport by air-conditioned coach.

Compare the best excursions from Amsterdam

3. Excursions to Volendam, Marken and Zaanse Schans windmills

Windmills of the Zaanse Schans
Windmills of the Zaanse Schans

Excursions to Volendam, Marken and the Zaanse Schans Mills are usually very complete: they include everything you need to get to know the most beautiful surroundings of Amsterdam and some even include a package tour bus ticket with free stops and a 1-hour cruise on the canals of Amsterdam.

About Volendam

Volendam is a charming fishing village where it is a wonder to stroll through its old town and along its promenade surrounded by colorful houses typical of the fourteenth century. From this town, which is located just 20 kilometers from Amsterdam, you can take a ferry to visit Marken, a peaceful village almost isolated from the world by the water that surrounds it and dotted with bridges, cottages, orchards and farm animals.

About Zaanse Schans

In addition, you will visit original windmills in the Zaanse Schans area and there you can participate in a host of activities to learn about the culture and history of the country with cheese tastings, demonstrations of the manufacture of their iconic clogs or the operation of their mills.

Book a tour to Zaanse Schans, Marken and Volendam

4. Tours to Brussels from Amsterdam

Brussels Grand Place
Brussels Grand Place

Did you know that in less than 3 hours by car you can jump on the map from Amsterdam to Brussels? This tour to Brussels picks you up in the center of Amsterdam and takes you by bus to Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the European Union, with a guided walking tour in English of the city's main points of interest.

Brussels, home of the European Parliament, is well worth a visit as one of the most dynamic and modern European cities with numerous cultural and leisure attractions. During this tour you will visit its famous Atomium sculpture, emblem of the city that commemorates the Universal Exhibition of 1958, along with its historic center passing by places like St. Michael's Cathedral, the Mount of Arts, its famous Manneken Pis and the jewel of Brussels: the Grand Place.

The square, the nerve center of the city, served as the main market during the twelfth and fifteenth centuries, when it became home to the town hall, Gothic Bravantine and markedly asymmetrical. After finishing the walking tour you will have some free time. Take advantage of it to stroll through its streets and delight in its cafes and stores with the best of chocolates, sweet waffles, brewed beer or its popular mussels and fries.

Book a tour to Brussels from Amsterdam

5. Tours to Bruges from Amsterdam

Bruges by night
Bruges by night

You can also take advantage of your stay in Amsterdam to discover another of Belgium's major cities, Bruges, an idyllic medieval city surrounded by multiple narrow canals crossed by charming bridges. Bruges is the most visited city in Belgium, due to its beauty and its wonderful historic center, declared World Heritage Site. Don't you want to miss it? Check this other article in which I tell you Bruges Day Trips from Amsterdam.

Book your tour to Bruges


Other interesting activities in Amsterdam

If you feel like getting to know the city in depth, I recommend that you value the option of taking a typical cruise through its canals and explore the option of acquiring the Amsterdam tourist card that will allow you to save a lot when buying tickets to the many attractions. Read more here: Amsterdam Pass and Other Passes.