Excursions from Amsterdam: the best day trips around Amsterdam

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Amsterdam, the capital of Holland, is an ancient but also modern city, artistic but commercial, provincial and at the same time cosmopolitan.
Very open city, with its canals, bike rides, museums and nightlife is one a very easygoing city suitable for all types of tourists and travelers.
But, in addition to the many things to do and see in its streets, it is perfect as a base to then explore all its surroundings and neighboring areas, going to discover every side and area of ​​this beautiful country, taking part in the different daily excursions proposed. by agencies.
So here are some tips on best day trips around Amsterdam.


  1. Keukenhof tulip and flower garden tour
  2. Zaandam and Zaanse Schans
  3. Marken, Edam and Volendam
  4. Giethoorn
  5. Delft, The Hague and Rotterdam
  6. Kröller Müller and Hoge Veluwe
  7. Gouda or Alkmaar cheese markets tour
  8. Bike tour in the Dutch countryside
  9. User questions and comments

1 - Tulip tour and Keukenhof flower garden

Holland is also famous all over the world for its beautiful and colorful tulip fields, which every year attract many tourists, all ready to take lots of photos.

Just 55 minutes from the city, you can visit the largest flower park in the world, the famous Keukenhof gardens, one of the most famous Dutch attractions and appreciated by tourists from all over the world.
If you are in Amsterdam during the flowering period, you cannot miss a morning or an afternoon visit to the park.
The tulip season begins in late March and lasts until mid-May, with the moment of maximum flowering around mid-April.

You could insert the visit of the gardens into a real tulip tour, also including a visit to a company that produces tulips and several stops in the beautiful colored fields.

  • we recommend that you take the transfers from the Visitor Center Amsterdam, in front of the Central Station, on Stationsplein - Get directions
  • organized tours last about 5 hours. Reach the bus departure point early in the morning as the queues can be very long (up to 3 hours in a row); or buy your priority ticket in advance
  • starting from € 39,00 per person
  • Skip-the-line entrance to Keukenhof with transfer included

2 - Zaandam and Zaanse Schans

Zaandam is a city just outside Amsterdam, just 11 kilometers away, easily reachable by car in about 20 minutes or by train in just 13 minutes with departures every 10 minutes.

This area is most famous for the Zaanse Schans windmills. This village of just 40 houses had more than 700 mills used for oil mills and sawmills and which were used for the production of cocoa and mustard, for grinding minerals and for the preparation of cement. Today it has become a real open-air museum, as well as being one of the main attractions of Holland. Many of these mills are still in excellent condition and some can even be visited inside.

There are numerous organized tours departing from Amsterdam, some include a visit to the windmills of Zaanse Schans in combination with the dairies of Edam and other pretty villages such as Marken and Volendam, which we will discuss in detail in the next paragraph.

  • Range: 11,9 km
  • it is located 11,9 kilometers from Amsterdam; reachable in 20 minutes by car or in half an hour by direct train from Amsterdam Sloterdijk station to Zaandijk Zaanse Schans station - Get directions
  • the village can always be visited. Organized tours usually have a minimum duration of 3 and a half hours
  • tour starting from € 30,50 per person

3 - Marken, Edam and Volendam

Marken, Edam and Volendam are three small towns north of Amsterdam and overlook the Markermeer. Since all three are close to each other, our advice is to visit them all on the same day, perhaps taking part in one of the many tours offered.

Trademarks it is located on a peninsula in the Markermeer ed it is a small fishing village, where the old Dutch traditions are still maintained today, such as the production of the famous clogs. Also Volendam is a small fishing town and is located on the coast. Take a stroll around the harbor and the old town and try on one of the traditional Dutch clothes. Finally Edam, a small port village, known for its famous edammer cheese, which you absolutely must taste, perhaps in one of the many tastings offered by the various places. As already mentioned, the visit of these pretty villages is very often combined with that of the windmills of Zaanze Schans.

  • Range: 21,1 km
  • Marken is located 21,1 kilometers from Amsterdam; reachable in 25 minutes by car or in 40/50 minutes by train from Amsterdam Central station to Marken, Minneweg station, changing at Broek in Waterland station - Get directions
  • the organized tours have a variable duration from 3 to about 8 hours
  • starting from € 30,50 per person
  • Zaanse Schans, Volendam and Marken: tour from Amsterdam

4 - Giethoorn

Giethoorn is a beautiful Dutch town located north-east of Amsterdam, 113 kilometers away and reachable in about an hour and a half by car, or by public transport, taking train and bus, but it takes more than two hours .

Also known as the "Venice of the Netherlands", this town is famous for having no streets but only canals, so you don't use cars but boats to get around. Completely surrounded by greenery, quiet, with many alleys and bridges to cross the canals, it is a perfect place to relax and disconnect from the Amsterdam traffic. The town has an ancient history, in fact it was founded at the beginning of the th century by the Flagellants, a medieval religious sect who took refuge in this area and settled in the woods to escape persecution.

  • Range: 113 km
  • it is located 113 kilometers from Amsterdam, reachable in an hour and 20 minutes by car, tattavia it is advisable to book a day tour including transfer - Get directions
  • organized tours last approximately 9 hours
  • starting from € 84,00 per person
  • From Amsterdam: full-day tour by bus and boat to Giethoorn

5 - Delft, The Hague and Rotterdam

In South Holland there are three other important cities: Delft, The Hague and Rotterdam. Being in Amsterdam, our advice is to visit them together in one day, as they are not very far from each other.

Rotterdam, 61 kilometers from Amsterdam, it is most famous for its modern architecture which arises with the more traditional one. Lose yourself in its streets and don't miss a visit to the market and the Euromast tower, from which you will see the city from above. The Hague, instead, it is located 65 kilometers from the capital, while Delft it is halfway between the two cities and here is the only Dutch factory that produces blue pottery still active since the th century.

Starting from the Dutch capital, you can join an organized tour that includes a visit to the Euromast and the Markthal in Rotterdam, the blue pottery factory in Delft, a guided tour of The Hague and a visit to Madurodam.

  • Range: 61 km
  • Rotterdam is located 61 kilometers from Amsterdam; reachable in an hour by car or in an hour and 20 minutes by direct train from Amsterdam Central Station to Rotterdam Central Station - Get directions
  • generally the organized tours last about 9 and a half hours
  • starting from € 89,00 per person
  • Amsterdam: guided excursion to Rotterdam, Delft and The Hague

6 - Kröller Müller and Hoge Veluwe

Kröller Müller is located 80 kilometers from Amsterdam, about an hour's drive, in the beautiful setting of the Veluwe National Park.

Il Kröller Müller Museum houses the second largest Van Gogh collection in the world, as well as exhibiting works by other important painters such as Monet, Seurat and Picasso. The Sculpture Garden all around, one of the largest in Europe, houses over 160 statues by important artists such as Rodin and Moore.
Il Hoge Veluwe ParkInstead, it extends for 5.500 hectares, between forests, moors, plains and low sand dunes. The best way to get around it is undoubtedly on the bike.

The Museum and the park can be reached by car or by public transport, taking the train and then two buses, but the most recommended solution is to participate in an organized tour with transfer included, which includes the entrance to the museum and a small bike excursion to explore the Hoge Veluwe park.

  • Range: 78,6 km
  • located 78,6 kilometers from Amsterdam, reachable in an hour by car - Get directions; The meeting point for the tour is at the Heineken Experience bus stop, Stadhouderskade 78, in Amsterdam - Get directions
  • organized tours last approximately 9 hours
  • starting from € 149,00 per person
  • Kröller Müller and Hoge Veluwe day tour

7 - Gouda or Alkmaar cheese markets tour

Gouda and Alkmaar are two Dutch cities known mainly for their magnificent cheese markets, which attract many people from all over the world every year.

Gouda it is located in the south of Holland, 50 kilometers from Amsterdam and reachable in about an hour by car or train. Its market dates back to 1395 and its cheese is one of the best known in the world. While visiting the city and the market you may come across some traders with traditional clothes.
Alkmaarinstead, it is located in the north of Holland, 37 kilometers from Amsterdam, reachable in about 40 minutes by car or half an hour by train. Here too, the tradition of cheese is very old, dating back to 1365, when it was traded in the main square, Piazza Waagplein.

Since these are two thematically close and in some ways "similar" destinations, we recommend that you visit only one of the two, choosing the one you prefer and perhaps taking advantage of one of the tours available departing from the capital.

  • Range: 50,4 km
  • Gouda is 50,4 km away (1 hour by car or train - Get directions). Alkmar is 37km away (40 minutes by car or 30 minutes by train - Get directions)
  • organized tours last approximately 4 hours
  • starting from € 57,50 per person
  • Alkmar Tour / Gouda Tour

8 - Bike tour in the Dutch countryside

North of Amsterdam lies the province of Waterland, where you can explore the great Dutch countryside. And what better way to do it than in bicycle?
In this way you can live this experience 100% away from the traffic of the city and completely immersed in nature, with a vehicle much loved by the Dutch.

In fact, there are some interesting tours from Amsterdam that include bike rental and a guide who will accompany you all the time and give you information and curiosities about this beautiful area.

  • Range: 35 km
  • it is advisable to take part in organized tours departing from Amsterda, generally from Nieuwezijds Kolk 29 square - Get directions
  • tours have a minimum duration of 4 hours
  • starting from € 34,50 per person
  • Waterland Countryside Tour

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