Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands and by far the most popular place to visit in the country.
What many people don’t know is that there are a ton of other stunning places to visit near Amsterdam that are also beautiful and well worth seeing.
A visit to the Netherlands should not start and end with Amsterdam but continue outwards to all the other amazing places it has to offer.
What’s great about visiting other places near Amsterdam is the ease of accessibility. The Netherlands is a small country and getting from city to city takes no time at all.
This means you can easily embark on day trips and enjoy a full day in another city or village without spending hours on transportation.
There are trains that run to various places in the country all day every day, and the trains in the Netherlands are clean and very enjoyable!
Seeing more of the Netherlands is a must. You will be amazed by the beautiful and interesting places just a short distance from Amsterdam.
Here are the top places to visit near Amsterdam!
Places To Visit Near Amsterdam
Visit Muiderslot Castle
Muiderslot Castle is one of the handful of castles in the Netherlands.
This stunning medieval castle is located in the town of Muiden and is the main attraction here. It is the perfect place to venture to for a unique and unexpected Amsterdam experience.
Not many people know about Muiderslot Castle which makes enjoying it all the more special.
The castle and castle grounds are open for visitors to tour and explore for 15 euros per person.
When you arrive, you can take an audio tour of the castle and explore all the old rooms decorated in Dutch Golden Age style.
After exploring you can also walk through the small town of Muiden and enjoy a nice lunch along the canal.
How to get there: You can get here by taking a bus or train from various stations in Amsterdam. Or you can be a little more adventurous and bike there or take a ferry! All options take around 1 hour.
Venture to Venice of the North
Peaceful, magical, charming, serene. These are all words to describe one of the Netherlands most popular villages Giethoorn.
Giethoorn is known as a Venice of the north, as the village is only made up of canals and has no roads. To get around this magical village most people rent a boat and sail around the canals.
Giethoorn has a natural and different type of beauty than what you can expect in Amsterdam. There are no stone buildings and long-lined attractions, but green grass yards and thatched roofed houses.
It is the perfect place to escape to near Amsterdam that offers something unique and unexpected.
How to get there: Taking public transportation to Giethoorn can end up taking a long time. The route has various transfers and wait times which can lead to a 2 + hour journey. Therefore, it is best to either visit with a tour company or rent a car. The drive is around 1 hour.
Go to the Tulip Fields
If you are visiting Amsterdam in April then you are in luck!
From late March to early May the Netherlands explodes in rows of colourful tulip fields just waiting to be explored.
The tulip blooming season is short but during this time people from around the world flock to the Netherlands to enjoy and admire the stunning tulips!
Tulips are the Netherlands national flower and the whole country takes them very seriously.
You can enjoy the tulip fields in many places near Amsterdam and if you visit while they are in bloom there is no way you can miss them!
The best tulip fields near Amsterdam are the ones in Lisse. There you will find a complete area packed with different fields in which you can bike around and enjoy on your own.
How to get there: Take a train to Lisse from Amsterdam and either bring a bike on board the train or rent one in the area.
Amsterdam travel tip: Get the I Amsterdam City Card for travel there:
Haarlem is also known as a mini Amsterdam and is the best little town to escape to for a quick getaway.
Haarlem is charming and quaint and has much fewer crowds than the streets of Amsterdam. A visit there is well worth the short journey to see a more local side to the Netherlands.
Although Haarlem is smaller than Amsterdam it is still packed with exciting things to do. From cafes to canals, to museums, the little city is exploding with entertainment.
This is the best place to visit near Amsterdam for travellers who don’t want to venture too far away from Amsterdam and want to start slowly with their getaways.
Plus, if you are short on time, it is so close it can easily be a morning trip and doesn’t require an entire day.
How to get there: Take a train from Amsterdam Central Station to Haarlem. The journey takes around 20 minutes.
Admire the Dutch Windmills
Windmills are an iconic Dutch structure and viewing and exploring them is a must while in the Netherlands.
Just a short distance from Amsterdam is the famous Zaanse Schans, which is an area that gives a peak into Amsterdam’s past with its authentic windmills, traditional houses, and shops!
A visit there will give you the ultimate Dutch experience from start to finish.
The windmills are very impressive and incredibly huge up close. Visitors can get tours of them and see what it would have been like back in the day sleeping in them.
Walking around the peaceful area and admiring the rows or windmills is beyond enjoyable and a great way to spend some time.
At Zaanse Schans you can also visit the Dutch cheese shop and chocolate shop for an extra special treat.
How to get there: Take a bus or train from Amsterdam Central. Travel time is around 30 minutes.
Spend a day at the beach
Beaches are definitely not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of The Netherlands, but surprisingly the country is full of stunning beach options.
Amsterdam itself has some places to swim but there are few beaches in the city. However, just a short train ride away you can find many amazing beach options!
Two of the best being Zandvoort beach and Scheveningen beach.
These two beaches sit along the Dutch coastline and are both huge sandy beaches!
A visit to them feels like you have transported to Valencia with the stretching sand, endless ocean views, and a sea of people soaking up the sun.
Zandvoort beach is located in the municipality of Zandvoort while Scheveningen beach is located in The Hague
How to get there:
- Zandvoort: Take the train from Amsterdam Central to Zandvoort
- Scheveningen beach: Take the train from Amsterdam central to The Hague central then take the tram to
Utrecht is a city in a league all of its own. It is very unique and has a charm that filters through the whole city.
The architecture in Utrecht looks very similar to Amsterdam, giving it an authentic feel but it also has its own unique aspects. It is an extremely old city with Roman fortifications underneath the city and medieval buildings all around.
The most interesting and intriguing thing about Utrecht is the main canal – Oudegracht – that runs through the city. This canal has platforms at the base of the canals that are full of restaurants!
This is one of the few places in the Netherlands that provides the unique experience of dining right at water level!
How to get there: Take the train from Amsterdam to Utrecht central.
Eat cheese in Gouda
The Dutch are obsessed with cheese. You will quickly notice the high emphasis on cheese-based meals and shops, so if you love cheese too you are set.
The best place to experience the ultimate cheesy lifestyle is Gouda. The town itself is actually named after Gouda cheese and this is what the town is most famous for.
A visit here is perfect for visiting gouda cheese shops and sampling fresh cheese from its origins.
You can also enjoy fresh stroopwafels here and explore the historic city centre. This is one of the best places to visit for a local and authentic Dutch experience.
How to get there: Take the train from Amsterdam towards Rotterdam central and get off at Gouda. Travel time is approx. 1 hour.
View the unique houses in Zaandam
Zaandam is an underrated city in the Netherlands that is extremely close to Amsterdam.
It is most famous for its unique green gingerbread houses. Right in the centre of the city is a hotel with a very unique architectural makeup that is very beautiful.
Many people visit Zaandam just to view this, but you can also walk around and enjoy a nice lunch here.
Since there is not that much to do here besides view the amazing architecture, a whole day here is not required but it is a great place to visit for a quick getaway or as a pit spot before Haarlem or Zaanse Schans.
How to get there: Take the train from Amsterdam to Zaandam. Travel time is approx. 10 minutes.
Samantha Karen is the founder of the travel bog Sam Sees World. She is a twenty-something traveller on a mission to explore the world to seek the new and unknown so she can document her experiences and inspire others to explore this wondrous world. Her objective is to learn about the world while also searching for her place in it.
Check out Sam Sees World for valuable information on the best things to do, see, eat, and experience while travelling and making memories along the way. Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/samseesworld/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/samseesworlddd/
While in Amsterdam take a look at my post about 5 of the best things to do in Amsterdam for cheap and also my guide on the best cycling routes out of Amsterdam to explore places like ones mentioned in this article, like the castle.
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