Bored or annoyed of busy tourist life in Amsterdam? Looking for the best day trips from Amsterdam by train or car? Then look no longer, and check out those 9 fun places to visit. We have something for everyone: nature lovers, adventurers, or city lovers.
In case you want to stay in Amsterdam, here are 10 things to do in Amsterdam on a sunny day, and 11 fun activities in Amsterdam for a rainy day.
Day Trips from Amsterdam – City and Villages
Volendam is a fishing village, around 30 min by car from Amsterdam. It is the perfect place to visit if you just want to stroll around the streets, do a bit of shopping, indulge in yummy, local dishes, or just admire the old fisher boats.You might even see elderly women waling in around in traditional clothing.
When visiting Volendam, lots of people also take a boat to the nearby island Marken. It is a very small island, so you will probably just spend 1-2 hours there. It is popular for its wooden houses and also has a museum which tells you about the history of the island.
Zaanse Schans and Zaandam
Another fun day trip from Amsterdam is visiting Zaanse Schans. Once again it can be reached by car in about 30 minutes, by public transport within 45-60, or by bike (1h+).
Zaanse Schaans is a big open air museum and oldest industrial area in the Netherlands. It really gives you a great idea of how things looked like back in the days. It is so cute and authentic there, you will love it!
You will see loads of windmills, all of which have a different purpose (oil mill, sew mill, herb mill etc.). Then you can also enter many different houses which are souvenir shops, but also tiny food stores, or museums to see how cheese or wooden clogs are being made.
The entrance to Zaanse Schaans itself is free, just parking costs around 11€ for the day, in case you choose that option of transport. The entrance to the mills cost 5€, but you can choose whether or not you want to enter. You can also rent bikes there and enjoy a nice bike tour around the area.
Fun fact: in most of the houses people still live inside, so you won’t just see tourists! Here are more Amsterdam fun facts.
Just 15-20 min by train from Amsterdam is the beautiful, small, cute city called Haarlem!
Everyone keeps saying it is like Amsterdam, just s smaller version of it! What can I say? The people are right!
You have the same beautiful architecture, the canals, the windmills, the shopping streets, international community and everything you need! It is perfect if you are looking for a day trip from Amsterdam.
Another fun day trip from Amsterdam, only 45 min by car, is to Hoorn, a less touristic, but super cute, small, idyllic and photogenic village if you ask me. It is known to be an old trading town in the 17th century.
You can go for a nice walk through the park and harbour, enjoy a delicious apple tart, do some shopping, or look at the stunning castle, which is located on a an artificially enlarged hill.
Giethoorn is a super tiny, but idyllic village with lots of waterways and bridges, and without streets. It reminds a bit of Venice where it probably got its nickname “Venice of the Netherlands” from.
Enjoy a boat tour along the waters, the architecture of traditional Dutch houses and thatched farms, as well as yummy food throughout your visit.
Day Trips from Amsterdam – Beach
Zandvoort or Bloemendal or Nordwijk beach
If you are looking for a day trip from Amsterdam to nearby beaches, you have quite a few to choose from. Amongst the popular ones are Zandvoort, Bloemendal or Nordwijk. All are roughly half an hour away from Amsterdam, by car or train.
A beach trip is perfect if you want to relax, go for a nice walk with you feet in the water, swim, or enjoy local dishes and drinks in one of the many great beach bars.
Day Trips from Amsterdam – Nature
Another fun day trip from Amsterdam is to Schoorlse Duinen, and especially made for our nature lovers. It is the widest dune area and huge nature reserve with many different long-distance footpaths to choose from – 11 to be exact, ranging from 4km-23km.
The nice part about this place is that the scenery is changing throughout your walk (heather, perennial, pine trees will be spotted). You will most likely start in the forest, surrounded by trees, then pass through more dry, open areas, and end up on the beach. It is super fun to experience the colors and landscape changing around you. If you don’t feel like walking, you can also do the routes by mountain bike.
After walking for hours, you might enjoy a yummy dish in the center of Schoorl. A popular restaurant is ’t Trefpunt.
Hilversum – Climbing Forest
Let’s go a bit further south east of Amsterdam to Hilversum, for our adventurers. Here you will find Klimbos Gooi Eemland, a climbing forest where you have like different routes with different heights and difficulty levels to choose from.
It actually looks much easier from below than once you are up there. I screamed quite a lot on the first route, but also had lots of fun. Muscle pain is also guaranteed one day later!
In case you are a group (15-20 people), you can also book a nice BBQ and drinks with them afterwards, which will round up your day just perfectly. Alternatively, just go back to Hilversum city center and find yourself a cozy bar/restaurant there.
Everyone who lives in the Netherlands and wants to do a nice day trip, do it! The climbing forests exist in different parts throughout the country. It’s great also for families if you want to get rid of your children for a while!
Literally, next to Hilversum you will find Laage Vuursche – another small, cute Dutch village.
There you can hiked a bit through the forest and then treat yourself with a yummy, traditional Dutch pancakes in the cute Pannekoekhuis.
Dutch pancakes are not as thick as American pancakes and not as thin as French crepes, but somewhere in between and super huge! They can be salty or sweet. The most traditional sweet ones are with stroop syrup, apples or sugar and the salty ones are with bacon and/or cheese! Buckwheat flour seems to be the secret traditional ingredient, in case you wanted to know.
I hope you enjoy the big selection of fun day trips from Amsterdam, and will visit these places soon.