Best Day Trips to Take While Visiting Amsterdam
There is so much to see and do in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. Visitors can ride their bikes along gorgeous canals, check out a plethora of museums, and relax in a coffee shop. In addition to soaking in the city, visitors should make sure not to miss out on all the noteworthy destinations surrounding Amsterdam. You can spend a fun-filled day away from the city by taking one of these fantastic day trips from Amsterdam.
Trek Through Utrecht
30 minutes from Amsterdam
Utrecht is a small, charming city easily explored in a day. It’s filled with rich history, impressive architecture, adorable canals, and great shopping. One thing that’s an absolute must-see in Utrecht is Dom Tower. You can’t miss it: this church tower, the tallest in the Netherlands, is visible throughout the entire city. The observation deck at the top of Dom Tower treats visitors to an incredible view of the surrounding cities. Once you soak in the view from almost 370 feet up, venture back down and stroll the grounds of the attached St. Martin’s Cathedral. It’s a gorgeous example of Gothic architecture and offers plenty of quiet courtyards in which you can relax.
If you’re not interested in soaring heights, underground attraction DOMunder may be a better option. DOMunder brings guests on a journey through the secret archeological ruins lurking below the streets of Utrecht. You’ll learn so much about Dutch history while exploring this incredible attraction.
There is so much simple, understated beauty in Utrecht. You can quietly explore and embrace everything the city has to offer, and it won’t take up your entire day: Utrecht is a quick, 30-minute train ride from Amsterdam.
Check Out Iconic Pottery in Delft
1 hour from Amsterdam
If you’ve read the book, seen the movie, or even just admired the painting The Girl with the Pearl Earring, Delft is a great destination. This charming city, just over an hour from Amsterdam, was the home of Johannes Vermeer, the artist who created the iconic painting. Fans of the artist can check out Vermeer Centrum Delft, a small museum dedicated to his life and artwork.
In addition to this museum, visitors to Delft should check out the city’s adorable main square, called the Markt. The square contains Delft’s Town Hall and the grand New Church. In addition, Markt is lined with restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops for visitors to enjoy.
In addition to being the birthplace of a world-famous painting, Delft is known for its iconic, recognizable pottery. Delftware is unmistakable with its brilliant blue designs set against a pure, white background. The color is so distinct that many refer to the shade as “Delft blue.” These porcelain products are not only all over the Netherlands but popular worldwide. Those interested in this style of pottery should visit the Royal Delft Museum, which goes through the origins, history, and present-day information about this porcelain dishware.
Admire Architecture in Antwerp, Belgium
1 hour and 15 minutes from Amsterdam
Antwerp, Belgium, is one of the many fantastic places outside Amsterdam you can experience in a day. It’s one of the largest cities in Belgium, so you know your visit will be full of plenty of activities.
One of these activities is admiring the precious jewels that fill the city, because diamonds are Antwerp’s best friend! The city has its own diamond district that spans approximately a square mile. This area is filled with a plethora of jewelers, dealers, and retailers, making Antwerp’s Diamond Quarter the largest diamond district in the world.
In addition to an incredible collection of gems, those who love history and architecture will find plenty to see in Antwerp. Grote Markt is the main square filled with intricate buildings, an extravagant city hall, and the beautiful Cathedral of Our Lady.
Visitors can also check out Rubenshuis, the former home and studio of painter Pieter Paul Rubens, or the historic Antwerp Zoo. Lastly, since you’re in Belgium, you have to try some Belgian beer! Once you’re done exploring Antwerp, the trip back to Amsterdam is only an hour and 15 minutes.
Enjoy the Ocean on Texel Island
2 hours from Amsterdam
The Netherlands is an oceanfront country, and a visit to Texel Island is the perfect way to embrace this. This adorable island feels like a remote escape from the city, but it is conveniently closeby. Take the two-hour journey from Amsterdam by train, then enjoy a picturesque ferry ride to the island.
One of the most enjoyable activities on Texel Island is bike riding alongside the beach, passing by green fields filled with cottages and sheep. You’ll eventually arrive at a beautiful, red lighthouse, which you can climb up to enjoy some great views.
Also on the island is Ecomare, a nautical museum and animal sanctuary, where adorable seals and other ocean creatures are nursed back to health.
This quiet, peaceful island is the perfect way to spend the day enjoying the ocean breeze. Even though it’s a day trip, Texel Island is so charming you may want to stay longer.
Explore a Christmas Market
2.5 hours from Amsterdam
A 2.5-hour train ride from Amsterdam is Düsseldorf, Germany, a maritime city that hosts a world-renowned Christmas Market. The market stretches far and wide across the city and includes gifts, crafts, kids’ rides, a Ferris wheel, food, drinks, and more.
In addition to the Christmas Market, there are a few museums along the Rhine River to check out. The Film Museum Düsseldorf is an interactive museum that focuses on cinema, and the city’s Maritime Museum is a five-minute walk from there. The Maritime Museum is a special spot because it’s housed inside a gorgeous tower, the last remaining piece of the city’s former palace.
3 hours from Amsterdam
Valkenburg is a 3-hour train ride from Amsterdam, which is definitely do-able for a day trip. One of the best times to visit is around Christmas so you can enjoy their incredible markets. The Valkenburg Christmas Market is unlike any other: it’s located inside a series of winding caves. Visitors make their way down to the underground destination, which is cozy and completely filled with vendors. The caves are as fascinating as the items you’ll find in this maze-like market.
After you’re done exploring the Christmas caves, head over to the Valkenburg Castle Ruins. This 14th-century castle is the only one in the Netherlands built on a hill, providing a perfect aerial view of the town below.
A visit to Amsterdam opens the door to many other possible journeys. Destinations of all kinds surround the city, so make sure you consider exploring the area!
About The Author: Erin Ford is a website content writer at Hotels4Teams, a position that combines her love for writing and visiting new places. So far, she has been to 10 countries and 25 states. Erin graduated from Penn State University with a degree in media studies.