If Amsterdam can keep tourists busy for weeks, there are world-class attractions to visit nearby as well. The best day trips from Amsterdam can be organized by yourself or you can even join one of the daily tours taking tourists to nearby locations.
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Why would tourists want to leave Amsterdam and head to a village? It’s because Kinderdijik is the place where you can see traditional Dutch windmills. The village is where you see these 18th-century windmills that the country has put on its official postcards.
There are 19 mills you can see here. Many of them can be visited. If the weather is just right, you may also see them in action. The best part is you can reach them and return to Amsterdam within a day.
If you love Amsterdam’s canals, you need to know you can see them somewhere else as well. Delft is a historic municipality that is perfect for short walks along its canals. When you’re tired of taking photos, there’s still plenty to experience such as pottery as the traditional white and blue Delftware pottery is found in the city.
The place is also known for its historic churches. You can visit the Nieuwe Kerk that has been built between 1381 and 1496 here. It’s the historic burial place of the Dutch royal family.
8. Zaanse Schans
The small neighborhood is found close to Zaandijk. The area has been created as a conservation project with traditional homes and windmills shipped from around the country. While small, the area attracts more than 1 million tourists per year who want to see traditional Dutch heritage buildings.
There are also 7 museums to visit here. We recommend the Bakery Museum which shows a different side of the country’s history, but still closely related to the windmills and their practical purpose a few hundred years ago.
The second-largest city in the Netherlands can be visited on a short day trip from Amsterdam. Cultural life is impressive here and you can visit its museums or simply walk its historic city center to learn about its role in European history.
We recommend visiting the Rotterdam Philharmonic, it is one of the best in the world. The city’s orchestra has a youthful vibe that can’t be overlooked. You can also take part in multiple festivals in the city and many of them are organized by the renowned Erasmus University.
Flower fans are in the right country but Keukenhof is a must-see above all. The large open-air garden is found in the small municipality of Lisse. Its gardens are mostly opened around the year, but most of them can be fully visited in the summer.
When you’re done taking photos of flowers, you can walk to nearby attractions such as the Castle Keukenhof. This is the place of many local events and one of the most popular festivals it holds takes place right on its premises during the Christmas Fair events.
Utrecht is the old capital of the country, especially from a religious perspective. You can see some of the oldest buildings in Europe here and the best part is accessing Utrecht is easy from any part of the country.
Visiting local Catholic churches is an activity that interests many tourists. Pope Adrian VI was born in Utrecht. But the city also hosts multiple festivals and exhibitions as it’s the main destination for such activities outside Amsterdam. You can even cycle easily through Utrecht as it’s a bit smaller than other Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
Marken is a historic village that attracts thousands of visitors each day. Together with Volendam, it represents one of the outdoor attractions you can enjoy by yourself or with a guide.
The best option to view its canals and historic buildings is by hiring an official boat tour. Since the village is small, you can link its visit to Volendam as well. There’s a ferry service that goes from Marken to Volendam you can book for the price of 2 cups of coffee. The entire tour only takes 30 minutes but it offers a different visiting experience of walking or cycling.
Some of the countries in Europe are really small and this can be best seen here in the Netherlands. You can even visit another country in a day and return to Amsterdam in the evening. Bruges is the perfect one-day trip outside the country.
The city is known for its famous cobbled streets that have been the set of many international movies. You can also enjoy delicious local Belgium sweets at one of the multiple bakeries and restaurants along Bruges’ canals before heading back to the Netherlands.
Bourtange is a village, a museum, and a fortification in one. The old Bourtange village was never home for too many people, but its conditions varied over the years for residents. Today, only a few hundred people live here as it’s been turned to an open-air museum.
The Bourtange Fort is the main attraction of the area. Used as a military base in the Franco-Dutch War, the fort had a significant role in the playout of the battle. It was its nearby marshes that can be seen even today helped its strategic role in the battle.
The famous village of Giethoorn is now the screensaver on many smartphones around the world. Not everybody knows it can be visited shortly from Amsterdam. Its picture-perfect canals and quirky houses are visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.
The village has been planned for boat-only transportation. Today, there are also cycling paths to be seen around its canals. But most tourists prefer to hire a local boat guide to see it properly. The village has been steadily gaining popularity up to the point of being called ‘Venice of the Netherlands’. The best part is that it’s a short (1 hour) drive away from Amsterdam, even if it can also be reached by train.