There’s no shortage of things to do in Amsterdam, but what about the surrounding cities? With a number of major touristic towns nearby, there are countless opportunities to escape the capital and do something a bit different. Here are our five suggestions for day trips from Amsterdam.
Distance from Amsterdam by train: 50 minutes
You could be forgiven for wondering why a tourist would visit The Hague. After all, it’s known as the home of international courts and embassies; hardly a major selling point, is it? Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover the city offers top-notch activities. With wide-open green spaces, 9 miles of beautiful coastline, and, surprisingly, fantastic Indonesian food.
The city centre is filled with historic architecture. Take a stroll past the 19th-century mansions of Statenkwartier. Next on the scenic route the seaside boardwalks of Scheveningen.
The city’s contrasts come together in the elegant Plein square, which is lined on three sides by government buildings with the remaining side made up of bars and restaurants.
Distance from Amsterdam by train: 40 minutes
As the largest port in Europe, it’s natural that some of Rotterdam’s main attractions involve the water. Our personal favourite is De Pannenkoekenboot, a boat tour of the city with unlimited pancakes. Yes, you read that correctly. Treat yourself, you’re on holiday.
Away from the water, you’ll find a haven of modern architecture. The Erasmus Bridge will be a familiar sight to many, while the brightly painted walls of the Markthal market add a nice dash of colour. Head to the Euromast Tower for the best views of the city, where adrenaline junkies can try their hand at zip-lining or abseil back down the tallest building in Rotterdam!
Distance from Amsterdam by train: 1 hour 20 minutes
Often neglected by guidebooks, there’s plenty to explore in Eindhoven. As the original home of Philips, visitors will find references to the electronics company almost everywhere they turn. The Philips museum provides insight into the company and the city’s past, while the UFO-shaped Evoluon and the Light Tower. Two Philips-related landmarks – are also worth seeing.
It’s not all industry though. Van Abbesmuseum is widely considered to be one of the best modern and contemporary art museums in Europe. For travellers seeking the great outdoors, the stunning greenery and woodlands of Genneper Park should hit the spot. Meanwhile visitors to Stadswandel Park can be transported into space via the park’s very own smartphone app as they walk around. A truly unique experience!
Distance from Amsterdam by train: 25 minutes
Utrecht is an interesting city where centuries-old architecture goes hand in hand with a contrasting, modern-day student vibe. The Dom Tower and Cathedral of Saint Martin, two of the city’s most popular sights, and much more can be seen through the eyes of a local with a walking tour. Payment for the tours and their unique insider knowledge is on a strictly voluntary basis, what do you have to lose?
Many picture Amsterdam when they think of Dutch canals, but Utrecht also has its own impressive canal network. So impressive in fact, that we named it one of the most beautiful canal city in Europe! Many of the city’s old wharves and cellars have now been restored and turned into bars, restaurants, and shops. A boat ride along the Oudegracht, especially when the autumn leaves are on show, is a trip like no other!
Distance from Amsterdam by train: 2 hours 5 minutes
A Medieval city centre surrounded by the Diepenring canal; Groningen is an incredibly picturesque and vibrant destination. The city is compact and easy to get around, and if you climb the 260 steps of Martinitoren you should be able to see many of the city’s top attractions along with a stunning panorama of the city.
Although Groningen is very walkable, the unique way to explore from April to October is by renting a canoe and making your own way along the canal. With a number of trails provided by the tourist information board, visitors can paddle along at ease, discovering hidden gems without fear of getting lost.
As you can see there is a lot more to the Netherlands than the Dutch capital. What’s more, all of our suggestions can be easily reached from the capital, making Amsterdam the perfect base to discover the rest of the country.