Home Day Trips Cities Near Amsterdam Worth Visiting

Cities Near Amsterdam Worth Visiting

by Rafal Sulowski

Amsterdam is an amazing city and there are so many things to see. Most of articles on this blog, are dedicated to this town, but there are also other cities worth visiting. If you have some extra time I would recommend you to go for a tour around the Netherlands and visit a few places. The Netherlands is a very small country and you can cross it within few hours. Moreover, transport and highways are on the highest level, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Cities Near Amsterdam Worth Visiting are:

  1. Haarlem
  2. Utrecht
  3. Volendam
  4. Delft
  5. Alkmaar
  6. Naarden
  7. Zaanse Schans
  8. Zandvoort
  9. Zaandam

I will describe shorly each and every town on this list and on the end of article I mention the best ways to travel The Netherlands. I am going to share with you some tips and tricks so travelling won’t be a pain in the ass but a great adventure.

1. Haarlem

Photo by sagesolar || Flickr

I was living in Haarlem for the last 5 years and I am telling you, go there. It’s a lovely town with beautiful architecture, amazing market square, dozens narrow romantic streets and little shops.

What To See in Haarlem?

Haarlem is a medieval city and I often hear that it is the most beautiful city in the whole Netherlands, so if you have only one extra day and you have to choose where to go, this is the place you want to visit.

Market Square Groote Markt

The market square in Haarlem is a good beginning. There is often something happening, events or bazaar. You can get there some fresh, local food, flowers or typical Dutch products. From the market square, there are few cool destinations. I would just follow the direction of Spaarne ( Canal ) and there are always some cool old ships along the waterside. You can also have a break in the restaurant Spaarne 66. Just chill and drink some coffee.

Photo by Melinda van den Brink || Flickr

From the market square, there is an easy way to famous Haarlem spots such as Molen Adriaan ( Windmill with a lookout station ) Frans Hals Museum, Beautiful hidden Courtyards, De Jopen Kerk ( It used to be a church and now you can get here some good beer )

I would suggest you to visit Botermarkt, it’s one of the most beautiful parts of the town. From there on you can follow little streets of Haarlem and just get lost. If you walk around this area you find also a lot of little cool shops.

How to Get To Haarlem?

Haarlem is close to Amsterdam and you can get here by train in 18 minutes. For car parking, you pay around 4 euro per hour but there is underground parking just beneath the market square. There you pay a little bit less and it is in the city center. There best way to get to Haarlem is by train or by car. For the train ticket, you pay 9,70 Euro both ways. Car parking costs around 3 Euro per hour.

2. Utrecht

Oudegracht || Photo by Melionaire || Pixabay

Utrecht is a medieval town located very close to Amsterdam. The quickest and the easiest way to get there is by train and it takes only 20 minutes. Old town and its canals are astonishing, so just walk around sipping its culture and atmosphere.

What To See in Utrecht?

De Haar Castel || Photo by 378334 || Pixabay

Utrecht isn’t only the most charming city in The Netherlands but in the whole of Europe. Utrecht in much smaller then Amsterdam and everything seems to be in one place. That’s why it is easy to see this city just in one day. Let’s go straight to the point. What To See in Utrecht?

Among the Most Beautiful Things to See in Utrchet are:

  • De Haar Castel
  • De Dom Tower
  • DOMunder
  • Sonnenborgh Observatory
  • Oudegracht
  • Museum Speelklok

What I like the most is just walking around the city center. It’s a lovely place with huge amount of little cafes. Don’t spend all day long visiting popular places. Just have a rest, relax and enjoy this beautiful place.

How To Get To Utrecht?

As I said before the best Way to get to Utrecht is by Train. Every 15 minutes there is a train that costs aproximately 8 Euro (2nd class). You can also get there direcly from Schiphol and then ticket costs around 9.20 Euro.

If you are coming by car, then you should go for on P+R Parkings. It costs 5 Euros and you get to the city center with public transport.

3. Volendam

Volendam is a famous Dutch town located on the Markermeer Lake. This is a city where you can really feel a Dutch culture. You need half of a day to enjoy Volendam to the fullest.

Photo by joiseyshowaa || Flickr

What To See in Volendam?

  • Colorful Wooden Houses
  • Old Fishing Boats in the harbor
  • The Volendam Museum
  • Walk along the harbor have and have some munchies
  • Wear traditional Dutch clothes and take a photo. It costs 15 per person and 30 for 4 people.
  • Try Poffertjes ( typical Dutch little pancakes ) nad Kibbeling ( very popular in the Netherlands fish dish )
  • Go for a boat trip to Market ( 30 minutes tour to nearby village )

How To Get To Volendam?

Photo by PublicDomainPictures || Pixabay

Volendam is only 25 minutes from Amsterdam by bus. You get there with bus 316 from Amsterdam/CS IJzijde station. This station is located on the back of Amsterdam central station. You have to cross central station all the way to the back and there are signs, so it’s difficult to get lost. One way ticket costs 4,39 Euro. You can also book a tour or travel on you own by car.

4. Delft

Delft is the city in the south of The Netherlands. It’s 45 minutes away from Amsterdam. It is a little lovely town with gorgeous canals and charming old town. It’s located just in between Rotterdam nad Den Haag.

Phot by 12019  || Pixabay

What To See in Delft?

Delft isn’t that much of a touristc town as Amsterdam and definitely it’s worth visiting. Probably at this point you are not surprised when I say get lost and explore city on your own. Just walk along the canals and you will be good 😉 But of course there are many things to see in Delft and I mention some of them below.

  • Nieuwe Kerk
  • Beestenmarkt
  • Wilhelminapark
  • Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles
  • Oude Kerk
  • Molen de Roos
  • Prinsenhof
  • TU Botanical Garden
  • Delft City Hall
  • Oostpoort
  • Delft canals
  • Markt square
  • Canal boat trip

How To Get To Delft?

You can get to Delft by car or by train. A return train ticket costs 28 Euro but you must come back the same day. You can get a ticket in one of the ticket machines on the entrance of the station. Keep in mind that you have to scan a ticket before entering a platform and scan it again when you leave a train station in Delft. Now look for the train to Delft. It is highlighted on the screens.

5. Alkmaar

Alkmaar is a city in the Noord of Holland know for their cheese market and long history. But there is much more to see. Keep on reading to learn more. I recommend you to go for a canal cruise. Canals in Alkmaar are charming.

Photo bt misterfarmer || Pixabay

What To See in Alkmaar?

When you ask someone about Alkmaar, you hear immediately about cheese but this not the only thing you can enjoy in this amazing city. In Alkmaar, there are countless museums, shopping districts, historic monuments, charming cafes, and restaurant.

Photo by EvgeniT || Pixabay
  • Kaarmarkt – cheese market (The best day to visit market is Friday because on this day there is a cheese market)
  • Grote kerk – a big church
  • Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar
  • Het Beatles Museum
  • AFAS Stadium
  • De Tromp Kaashuis
  • De Vlaminck – the best fries in town
  • De Boom
  • Theater De Vest

How to Get To Alkmaar?

It takes beetwen 34 and 44 minutes to get from Amsterdam to Alkmaar. On a daily basis 90 trains go to Alkmaar so you don’t even have to check a schedule. Just go to the train station and you’ll be good.
For Return Ticket you pay 9 Euro.

For long distance tours, you don’t want to go with a taxi. For example, for that short trip from Amstedam to Alkmaar, you pay 100 – 130 Euro. But if you have a car, it takes only 30 minutes to get there and you can find a decent price parking in the city center.

6. Naarden

I know I said it before about other places that they are charming. But Naarden is exceptional. Just check Naarden view on google maps, it looks just like a snowflake. This town is built in a start shape and it’s fortified wall measures 135 km.

Photo by Skylinewebdesign || Pixabay

What To See in Naarden

Naarden is one of the most preserved fortified towns in Europe and it’s an amazing piece of a Dutch History. What to do and see in Naarden?

  • The Netherlands Fortress Museum
  • Grote Kerk
  • Weegschaal museum
  • Charming cafes, shops, and attractions (Fine – cozy restaurant in Naarden)
  • Explore Fortifications

How to Get To Naarden

The very best way to get to Naarden is by bus. With line 320 you get to your destination in 30 minutes and it cost 5 Euro. First, you have to get from Amsterdam Central to Amsterdam Amstel station. From there you take a bus 320.

7. Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans is a open-air museum where you can enjoy a traditional Dutch culture. If you want to feel a Dutch atmosphere this is a place to go. Especially when you are in Amsterdam. Zaanse Schans is only 40 minutes from a Dutch capital.

Photo by MrsBrown || Pixabay

What To See in Zaanse Schans

When it is about Zaanse Schans you don’t have to plan what to see. This is an open-air museum and you just go within designated path. But if you have some extra time you can visit also Volendam which is closeby Zaanse Schans.

How to Get To Zaanse Schans

Photo by MrsBrown || Pixabay

By car, choose a destination: Schansend 7 in Zaandam. For parking, you pay 10 Euro per day, but keep in mind that you can’t pay cash, only card.

With RNet Bus 391 you get to Zaanse Schaans in 40 minutes and it rides every 15 minutes.

If you like cycling, then Zaanse Schans is only 1 hour biking from Amsterdam Central. In Zaanse Schans there is a lot of bicycle parking racks so you don’t have to worry about your bicycle.

8. Zandvoort

Zandvoort is a Dutch famous coastal city. It’s very popular among Dutch people but not only. There is a lot of Germans visiting this town each year. It’s only 30 minutes from Amsterdam. Beach in Zandvoort is long and wide. It’s a paradise for those who like to spend their time in ana active way.

Photo byfoerstemann || Pixabay

What To See in Zandvoort

Zandvoort is a former fishing village which became a popular tourist destination. Below I mention what to do in Zandvoort:

  • Enjoy clean sandy beaches
  • Water sports: Kitesurfing, stand-up paddle boarding
  • Trek around dunes or rent a bike
  • Jutters Mu-ZEE-um
  • Zandvoorts Museum for art and history
  • Hang out at beach club ( there is more then 30 of them )

How to Get To Zandvoort

There is a great connection between Amsterdam and Zandvoort. By train, you get there in 30 minutes and a one-way ticket costs 6,60 Euro. Zandvoort train station is just near the beach, it’s maybe 5 minutes walk.

9. Zaandam

Zaandam is very close to Amsterdam and if you have only few hours this is a nice town to see. There are few things you should see but it isn’t definitely whole day destination. Keep on reading to learn about the most interesting things to see in Zaandam.

Photo by Esthersb / 7 images|| Flickr

What To See in Zaandam

As I said before Zaandam isn’t that big, but it is a cool place to visit on your way to Volendam, Zaanse Schaans or if you have few hours left in The Netherlands. Below are some cool thins to see in Zaandam

  • City Hall in traditional Dutch house style
  • Main street leading to old town
  • The Clog Museum
  • Go on a Cycling tour

How to Get To Zaandam

The Best Way to Get to Zaandam is by train. It takes only 13 minutes and you pay 3,80 for the ticket. The train departs from the central station.

Day trips from Amsterdam

Above I mention some cities close to Amsterdam worth visiting and here you can read about some cool spots and things to do in The Netherlands. But for these ones, you will need 1 day.


It is a unique spot, quite far from Amsterdam because you need 1,5 hour to get there by car or 2 hours by train. What’s interesting about this town it is totally car-free.

You can explore Giethorn from canals or on your own on a bicycle. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands.

Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof is one of the biggest gardens in the world. It’s situated in Lisse, on the south of Holland. There is an easy connection from Amsterdam. Approximately 7 million flower bulbs are planted in Keukenhof each year. You can rent a bike, cycle around the park or go for a canal cruise.

Muiderslot Caslte

If you enjoy exploring castels this is a place for you. Muiderslot Castle. It’s not far away from Amsterdam because you need only 40 minutes to get there. It’s in a day tours category because there is a lot of interactive exhibitions such as “knight games”.

If you’ve bought a IAmsterdam card, entrance is free of charge. The Best time to visit Muideslot Castel is in summer when garden blossom.

Cheapest Way To Travel Netherlands

I have to tell you something at the very beggining. The Netherlands is not a cheap country when it comes to travelling. Actually, it is pretty expensive country in general. Accomodation, transport, food, attractions are expensive. But of course there are ways to save some money. I am going to give you some tips and tricks.


I always use my OV chipcard. With this card, you get some discount and it’s much cheaper than buying a regular ticket. But when you travel a lot it’s smart to get a day card.

There are 2 kinds of OV. One of them is personal card and you have to apply for it on the website. Link Here. It’s good to get one if you live in The Netherlands. You will get a discount and you won’t ever be bothered about funds on your card. It will automatically charge your card. For example, you can set an automatic charge on 20 Euro and it takes money from a bank account.

Another kind of OV kaart is an anonymous card. Get this one when you visit Amsterdam only for a few days. You can buy anonymous OV Chipkaart on sales devices at a station, operators’ counters, newsagents and supermarkets or at OVshop, the Chipbizz webshop.

Day Cards

Day Card costs approximately 41 Euro and you can use it for any mean of transportation in The Netherlands. This means you can travel anywhere for the 24 hours with this ticket. More information on this website.

You can also get a GVB day card for the area of Amsterdam, Diemen, Duivendrecht, Amstelveen, Schiphol, Weesp and this one costs only 8 Euro. More information on this website.

Group Ticket

You can also get a group ticket on any train station but you can also get it on the internet. On this website, you can buy a group ticket.

Rent a Bike

For me forever the best transport, relax and activity. Of course, if I travel only within the town. You can rent a bicycle in Amsterdam for as little as 9.50 per hour. This is also a cool option, because you are constantly active and there is a feeling of adventure. Read my another article on where to rent a bike in Amsterdam. It’s on the blog www.dutchstylebike.com. Link here.

Traveling by Car

Traveling by Car in The Netherlands is comfortable because there are highways everywhere. But parking fees can kill you. The Best solution is to park your car in P+R parkings.

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