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11 Amazing Day Trips from Amsterdam by Train

11 Amazing Day Trips from Amsterdam by Train

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Planning a trip to Amsterdam and are thinking about side trips? Keep scrolling for my list of the best day trips from Amsterdam by train worth adding to your Netherlands itinerary!
This list of day trips from Amsterdam by train was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

If you’re visiting the capital city of the Netherlands, taking short trips from Amsterdam couldn’t be easier!

The Netherlands is a super small country, measuring only slightly larger than the state of Maryland. It shares borders with Belgium and Germany and is world-renowned for excellent public transport.

Taking day trips from Amsterdam by train is the quickest and most convenient way to escape the city.

Plus, you have lots of options! Whether you want to explore another city or another country, see tulips, or see windmills, there are plenty of places to visit near Amsterdam by train.

This guide will not only give you some great suggestions for day trips by train from Amsterdam, but it will help you plan the logistics for a fun, stress-free side trip.

Don’t have time to read a bunch of Amsterdam blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting Amsterdam with kids.

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Day Trip to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam (Windmills)

Windmills are an iconic fixture in the countryside all over the Netherlands, so taking an Amsterdam windmills tour during your city break is a great idea. But some of them are in quite rural locations.

Zaanse Schans, Netherlands. Beautiful landscape with ancient windmills on a sunny day.
Zaanse Schans is a great half-day trip from Amsterdam.

Luckily, you can take a super quick and easy touristy day trip to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam. We did this on our last trip to Amsterdam and I couldn’t believe how close it was to the city.

This is a historic neighborhood of the small town of Zaandam which has the look and feel of an 18th-century Dutch village. 

There are windmills, authentic period houses, artisan workshops, and beautiful canal-side views. It’s the perfect family day out! Get a discounted Zaanse Schans card.

How To Get From Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans by Train

From Amsterdam Sloterdijk station, take a direct Sprinter service to Zaandijk Zaanse Schans station, which takes around 12 minutes. These services depart roughly every 15 minutes and cost around €4.60 one-way when booked in advance.

From the train station, the windmills are a 15-20 minute walk or a short taxi ride away.

Rotterdam Day Trip from Amsterdam

Rotterdam is a port city in the Netherlands and was almost entirely reconstructed after World War II.

Beautiful square inside yellow cube houses in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Check out the yellow cube houses in Rotterdam.

Taking a Rotterdam day trip from Amsterdam will allow you to experience a thoroughly modern Dutch city with skyscrapers, futuristic bridges, and high-tech museums. 

You can visit vintage ships, browse markets, see some incredibly innovative modern architecture, and take a cruise around Rotterdam’s canals.

How To Get From Amsterdam to Rotterdam by Train

Taking day tours from Amsterdam to Rotterdam couldn’t be easier. From Amsterdam Centraal station, take a direct Intercity Direct or Thalys service to Rotterdam Centraal station.

This train journey takes around 40 minutes and leaves every 30 minutes. One-way tickets for this journey cost an average of €17.80 when booked in advance.

Day Trip from Amsterdam to Gouda

One of the best day trips from Amsterdam for foodies has to be Gouda. Its namesake cheese is beloved and widely available around the globe, but there’s something special about eating it in the city where it’s made.

Canal and houses in Gouda by day, Netherlands
One of the many canals in Gouda, Netherlands.

In Gouda, you can visit the cheese market in Markt Square which still has a 17th-century Goudse Waag (cheese weighing station). There’s also the Gouda Cheese Museum and it really is just a pretty, charming city to walk around.

How To Get From Amsterdam to Gouda by Train

From Amsterdam Centraal station, hop on the direct Sprinter service to Gouda station which takes around 50 minutes. 

There are plenty of other services that require you to change trains at Utrecht, but direct trains leave often enough every 30 minutes. It’s ideal for day train trips from Amsterdam.

Tickets for this one-way journey start at €13.60 when booked in advance.

Amsterdam to Delft Day Trip

Is fancy dinnerware and pottery more your vibe than chomping on cheese? Delft is the perfect day trip from Amsterdam for you!

Panoramic aerial view of Delft in a beautiful summer day, The Netherlands
Delft Market Square.

Delftware is hand-painted blue and white pottery and is still manufactured in the town. You won’t have issues finding authentic souvenirs to take home on your Amsterdam to Delft day trip.

Aside from the pottery, it’s also the hometown of Dutch master painter Johannes Vermeer and has ties to Dutch royalty. There are lots of historic tombs and buildings to explore here.

How To Get From Amsterdam to Delft by Train

From Amsterdam Sloterdijk station, catch the direct Sprinter service to Delft station. This journey is just under an hour and the service leaves approximately every 30 minutes.

One-way tickets for this journey start from €15.60 when booked in advance.

Day Trips from Amsterdam to Brussels

Belgium’s capital city is somewhere you could spend an entire weekend. But if you’re short on time and want to see another bustling European capital during your trip, a Brussels day trip from Amsterdam is the perfect compromise.

Image of tulips at Cinquantenaire Park in Brussels.
Cinquantenaire Park in Brussels.

Check out the historic Markt Square, the beloved statue of Mannekin Pis, and all the comic book street art around the city too.

How To Get From Amsterdam to Brussels by Train

Taking a train for an Amsterdam to Brussels day trip will last around two hours regardless of whether you catch a direct train or not. 

Direct trains to Brussels-Zuid-Midi station from Amsterdam Centraal station depart roughly every 60 minutes. You can take an Intercity Direct, Thalys, or even a Eurostar train. If you do have to change trains, it will either be in Rotterdam or Antwerp.

Depending on which train company you book with, tickets for this journey cost around €26.

Giethoorn Day Trips from Amsterdam

Giethoorn isn’t one of the easiest day trips from Amsterdam by train but it’s definitely doable. You won’t regret it if you love quaint, charming, car-free villages either! Our family loved it!

Is Giethoorn worth visiting as an Amsterdam day trip? See what top family travel blog Marcie in Mommyland says! Image of a cute canal town in the Netherlands
The picturesque town of Giethoorn. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Taking Giethoorn day trips from Amsterdam is becoming a more and more popular option because it’s a stunningly beautiful place.

It’s filled with thatched-roof houses dating back hundreds of years, miles of cycle paths, and so much lush greenery. Check out our guide to Giethoorn Netherlands.

How To Get From Amsterdam to Giethoorn by Train

From Amsterdam Centraal station, catch a Sprinter or Intercity service to Almere Centrum station. Then, hop on an Intercity service to Steenwijk Station. At the station, you take the 70 bus to Giethoorn’s Blauwe Hand bus stop or you can get a taxi as it’s only a 15-minute ride.

In total, this journey takes around two hours and 20 minutes. You’ll have an early start but it’ll be worth it!

Day Trips from Amsterdam to Bruges

Looking to take day trips from Amsterdam to Belgium but don’t want to visit another big city? You should head to Bruges.

The canals of Bruges (Brugge), Belgium on a sunny day.
Bruges has lovely canals.

Like Amsterdam, Bruges is also famous for its picturesque canals. But it’s a much smaller city with cobbled streets and houses that wouldn’t look out of place in a fairytale. 

Some of the top things to do in Bruges include climbing the Belfry in Markt Square, taking a canal tour or carriage ride, and joining brewery tours.

How To Get From Amsterdam to Bruges by Train

From Amsterdam Centraal station, take a Thalys service to Brussel-Zuid/Midi before hopping on an IC service to Brugge station. This entire journey takes around three hours and 15 minutes depending on how long you have to wait for your connection in Brussels.

These trains depart from Amsterdam every 60 minutes and tickets for this trip start from €30 one-way.

Essen Day Trips from Amsterdam

While it’s easier to visit Belgium, taking day trips from Amsterdam to Germany is absolutely possible if you’d rather head north.

old houses in Essen, Germany
You can visit Essen, Germany in a day trip from Amsterdam.

And one of the best places to visit in Germany is Essen, a small city compared to its neighbors Dusseldorf and Cologne. Unlike those sprawling metropolises, Essen is the perfect size to explore in one day.

There are folk museums, heritage trails, and lots of gardens in Essen as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex is one of the most important industrial sites in the world and totally free to visit.

How To Get From Amsterdam to Essen by Train

From Amsterdam Centraal station, catch a high-speed ICE International service to Duisburg Central Station in Germany. This journey takes around two hours. 

Then it’s a simple, 20-minute S-Bahn metro ride to Essen Central Station. You could also catch another ICE service between these two German stations, or a regional train.

These trains leave Amsterdam approximately every two hours and tickets start from €18.90 one-way.

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    Day Trips from Amsterdam to Haarlem (Tulips)

    Haarlem is the best day trip from Amsterdam if you’re on a budget or want to visit somewhere super close to Amsterdam. 

    Medieval Adriaan Windmill in Haarlem the Netherlands at sunset
    Adriaan Windmill in Haarlem.

    It’s a medieval city with cobblestone lanes and just so happens to be at the center of the tulip bulb industry. Hire bicycles in Haarlem during the tulip season of late March to early May and cycle outside of the city to see the most vibrant, floral fields.

    How To Get From Amsterdam to Haarlem by Train

    From Amsterdam Sloterdijk station, take a direct Intercity or Sprinter train to Haarlem Station. These trains depart every nine minutes, only take 10 minutes, and cost around €5.80 for a single journey.

    Utrecht Day Trips from Amsterdam

    Utrecht is a cool, university town and one of the best trips from Amsterdam you can take by train. With its impressive 14th-century Gothic cathedral and new college buildings, Utrecht is a beautiful blend of old and new. 

    old historical garden atCastle de Haar Netherlands Utrecht on a bright summer day, young couple men and woman mid age walking in the castle garden Utrecht
    Castle de Haar in Ultrecht.

    Check out the university’s botanic gardens and stop by one of the quirky museums like Spoorwegmuseum, an interactive rail museum housed in a former station.

    How To Get From Amsterdam to Utrecht by Train

    From Amsterdam Centraal station, either hop on a direct ICE International or Intercity train to Utrecht Centraal station.

    Or, get a direct Intercity train from Amsterdam Amstel station to Utrecht Centraal station. Both services are very frequent (every 15 to 30 minutes) and take between 20 to 30 minutes. Ticket prices for this journey one-way start from €9.40.

    Day Trips from Amsterdam to The Hague

    Many overlook The Hague when planning Amsterdam day trips as they dismiss it as too industrial or corporate.

    Binnenhof Palace - Dutch Parlament in the Hague (Den Haag). Netherlands (Holland)
    Binnenhof Palace in The Hague.

    It’s understandable when you learn that many travelers here are business travelers heading to the UN’s International Court of Justice.

    But there are so many other things to see and do! It’s the seat of the Dutch Parliament which is a beautiful complex of Gothic buildings. Even the King’s workplace, Noordeinde Palace, is in The Hague.

    And like the rest of the Netherlands, this city sits upon a picturesque system of canals with tulips growing from window boxes. There are also lots of gardens and The Hague even has a beach! You won’t regret 1 day in the Hague!

    How To Get From Amsterdam to The Hague by Train

    There are several ways to get to The Hague from Amsterdam, but these are the two most convenient routes. From Amsterdam Sloterdijk station, catch a direct Sprinter train to Den Haag Centraal station. You can also catch direct Intercity and Sprinter trains from Amsterdam South Station too.

    Both of these options depart around every 30 minutes and take approximately 40 minutes. Single tickets for this journey start from €14.

    Amsterdam Day Trips FAQs

    What is the most scenic train ride from Amsterdam?

    One of the most scenic train rides from Amsterdam would be the journey to the city of Maastricht in the southernmost tip of the Netherlands.

    This train journey takes you through the heart of the Dutch countryside, past traditional windmills, historic towns, wide open fields, and beautiful waterways.

    What cities can I visit from Amsterdam?

    From Amsterdam, you can easily visit a multitude of cities both within the Netherlands and in neighboring countries, thanks to an extensive and efficient train network. These include Rotterdam, Haarlem, Utrecht, and The Hague.

    Where is Amsterdam central station?

    Amsterdam Central Station, also known as Amsterdam Centraal, is located in the heart of the city center. It is situated on Stationsplein, directly across from the historic city center.

    It’s within walking distance of many of Amsterdam’s most popular attractions, such as the Royal Palace, the Anne Frank House, and the Red Light District.

    Is it worth visiting the Dutch countryside?

    Absolutely, the Dutch countryside is well worth a day trip visit. It provides a stark contrast to the busy city life of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, or The Hague.

    The countryside is characterized by its iconic, picturesque landscapes, with windmills, tulip fields, dykes, and charming villages.

    Where can I find a gouda cheese market near Amsterdam?

    The city of Gouda, world-renowned for its namesake cheese, hosts a traditional cheese market. It’s located about an hour away from Amsterdam by train ride and is perfect for cheese lovers.

    Where is an open-air museum near Amsterdam?

    The Zaanse Schans, located just north of Amsterdam, is a popular open-air museum. It’s a well-preserved historic village that showcases traditional Dutch crafts, culture, Dutch history, and architecture.

    Is it possible to visit the Keukenhof Gardens for a day trip?

    Yes, during spring you can take a train from Amsterdam to Schiphol Airport, and then catch the Keukenhof Express bus. The journey to this Dutch town usually takes just over an hour.

    What about a day trip to Belgium from Amsterdam?

    It’s possible, but keep in mind the train journey to Antwerp or Brussels will take around 2-3 hours one way. If you start early, you can still enjoy a full day in either city.

    Can I visit the iconic windmills of Kinderdijk from Amsterdam?

    Yes, you can take a train to Rotterdam and then a bus to Kinderdijk, or a direct bus from Amsterdam, but the trip takes around 2 hours.

    Day Trips from Amsterdam by Train Wrap Up

    Planning day trips from Amsterdam by train could not be easier. With so many other beautiful cities, lush green countryside, and cultural places near Amsterdam by train, you can’t go wrong no matter where you choose to visit.

    It might not be possible to take a day trip from Amsterdam to Luxembourg or many German cities.

    But often, the best Amsterdam day tours are the closest and cheapest places to travel and they will make your European vacation all the more exciting.

    Looking for more tips for visiting Amsterdam? Check out our list of the best kid-friendly Amsterdam hotels, how to spend 3 days in Amsterdam with kids, top Amsterdam travel tips, is Giethoorn worth visiting, how to find affordable Amsterdam photographers, best things to do in Zaanse Schans, and the top things to do in Amsterdam with kids!

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