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

Travelling to Amsterdam allows you to visit many interesting places in a single 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

A day trip from Amsterdam to Rotterdam and The Hague is a must, and if you can combine it with a visit to another historic city, The Hague, it's a winning trip. On a day 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 urban planning, 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.

Famous also for its cultural life and maritime heritage, with stunning views of the city from the harbour 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 1930s Van Nelle Factory, 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 has 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, this beautiful medieval city is home to the leaning tower and the imposing New Church, which dates back to 1300. Although less well known than the previous cities, Delft is without a doubt an essential destination on your trip from Amsterdam, where you can learn first-hand about the importance of Dutch ceramics.

Book a tour 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 as 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 splendour on its 32 hectares of such colourful grounds.

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

What is included in the Keukenhof Poppy Gardens tour?

  • 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 tours from Amsterdam

3. Excursions to Volendam, Marken and the windmills of Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans Windmills
Zaanse Schans Windmills

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

About Volendam

Volendam is a charming fishing village where it is a delight to stroll through the old town and along the promenade lined with colourful 14th century houses. From here, just 20 kilometres from Amsterdam, you can take a ferry to visit Marken, a peaceful village almost cut off from the world by the surrounding water and dotted with bridges, cottages, orchards and farm animals.

About Zaanse Schans

You'll also visit original windmills in the Zaanse Schans area, where you can take part in a host of activities to learn about the culture and history of the country with cheese tastings, demonstrations of the iconic clog-making and windmill operations.

Book a tour to Zaanse Schans, Marken and Volendam

4. Excursions to Brussels from Amsterdam

Grand Place de Bruxelles
Grand Place de Bruxelles

Did you know that in less than 3 hours by car you can hop on the map from Amsterdam to Brussels? The Brussels tour picks you up in the centre 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 sights.

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

The square, the nerve centre of the city, served as the main market place during the 12th and 15th centuries, at which point it became the home of the town hall, in a markedly asymmetrical Bravantine Gothic style. After the walking tour you will have some free time. Make the most of it to stroll through its streets and delight in its cafés and shops with the best of chocolates, sweet waffles, brewed beer or its popular mussels and fries.

5. Excursions 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 many narrow canals crossed by charming bridges. Bruges is Belgium's most visited city, due to its beauty and its wonderful historic centre, a World Heritage Site. Don't want to miss it? Check out this other article in which I tell you about Bruges Day Trips from Amsterdam.

Book your trip to Bruges

Other interesting activities in Amsterdam

If you feel like getting to know the city in depth, I recommend that you consider taking a typical canal cruise and explore the option of purchasing the Amsterdam Tourist Card, which will allow you to save a lot of money when buying tickets to the many attractions. Read more here: Amsterdam Pass and Other Passes.