The weather is warming up in Amsterdam and although there are plenty of beautiful parks in Amsterdam, sometimes it’s good to explore further afield. You don’t have to travel far from Amsterdam to find something new and exciting and you can even reach all of these places using a bus or train!
1. Broek in Waterland
🚌314 or 316 from Amsterdam Centraal Station
The lovely little town of Broek in Waterland is only 18 minutes from Amsterdam by bus but it’s a complete contrast to the capital. It has just over 2,000 inhabitants and in the 17th century is was a popular spot for seafarers on vacation. You can stroll through the town and admire the houses, many of which are National Heritage Sites.
2. Keukenhof Gardens
🚌852 from Europaplein
Keukenhof Gardens opens its doors every year in the spring for Amsterdam Tulip Festival and it’s known for its incredible beauty. Visiting the gardens is easy. You just need to hop on the metro to Europaplein and then get the bus from there, which takes around 36 minutes.
3. Zaanse Schans
🚌4032 from Amsterdam Sloterdijk
Zaanse Schans is a quaint little village just 12 minutes away from Amsterdam on the Sprinter bus However, it’s worlds away from the city with its beautiful windmills and cheese factories. You could easily spend an afternoon here walking between the windmills and admiring the scenery.
🚌2234 from Amsterdam Sloterdijk
Leiden is only 30 minutes from Amsterdam on the bus and this university city is full of museums to explore. Restaurants, bars and cute little shops abound here and no trip is complete without a visit to the old city gates.
🚌316 from Amsterdam Centraal Station
Volendam is a stunning seaside town where you can take in the sea air, watch the boats and enjoy some tasty seafood. You should also visit Volendams Museum whilst you’re there to see how people used to live in the Netherlands and mosaics made up of millions of cigar bands. It’s only 25 minutes from Amsterdam on the bus.
🚉3936 from Amsterdam Centraal Station
By the beautiful IJsselmeer harbour is the lovely maritime village of Hoorn. Check out the 16th century defence tower and take a walk on the beach before enjoying some tasty food at one of the many great restaurants. It takes around 33 minutes on the train headed toward Enkhuizen to reach Hoorn.
🚉2238 from Amsterdam Centraal Station
Delft is a really charming city – the home of the Orange family. There are plenty of historical places to visit, including the Nieuwe Kerk, which is the final resting place of William the Silent, or William of Orange as he is otherwise known. You can visit the Prinsenhof Museum in Delft to look at some delftware pottery. Take the train headed for Vlissingen and you’ll be there in an hour.
🚉4047 from Amsterdam Centraal Station
Board the train headed to Rotterdam Central and you’ll reach Gouda in around 51 minutes. Its name precedes it – gouda cheese is some of the most delicious cheese in the world and on Thursdays between 10 am and 12.30 pm you can visit the Gouda Cheese Market between the months of April and September. It’s a stunning city with plenty of beautiful buildings to admire.
🚉5453 from Amsterdam Centraal Station
Back in 1274 Haarlem was a walled city, and as the city grew the wall extended to cover more land. It once stood over 7.5 metres high, was surrounded by a moat and included 7 gates, but now only one of those gates (the Amsterdamse Poort) is still standing, and it’s a fascinating place to visit. There’s so much to see in Haarlem, like the Frans Hals Museum where you can admire the artwork of the incredible artist and the lovely Windmill Adriaan and it’s only 18 minutes from Amsterdam on the train headed toward Zandvoort aan Zee.
🚉Thalys 009352 from Amsterdam Centraal Station
During the Second World War, Rotterdam was almost wiped out completely by German bombs but the city bounced back from this terrible period. Now the city is full of beautiful, modern buildings. One building that everyone should visit is the White House at the docks, a skyscraper in a Manhattan Art Nouveau style that survived the bombing and looks phenomenal by the old docks where people still restore old boats. It’s a 39 minute trip on the train headed toward Paris Nord.