8 Best Day Trips from Amsterdam (1)

8 Best Day Trips from Amsterdam

Netherlands: 8 Best Day Trips from Amsterdam & Visa Guide

When it comes to exploring the Netherlands, Amsterdam is undoubtedly a top destination. But the beauty of this vibrant country extends far beyond the capital city. If you’re planning to visit Amsterdam, why not take advantage of its central location to discover some of the most adorable day trips? In this article, we’ll guide you through the 9 best day trips from Amsterdam, ensuring you make the most of your Netherlands adventure.

  1. Utrecht: The Charming Canal City

Just a quick train away from Amsterdam, Utrecht attracts with its picturesque canals and vibrant street life. Stroll along the Oudegracht, a unique canal that runs through the heart of the city, and visit the stunning Dom Tower. Utrecht is a perfect blend of history, culture and modernity.

  1. Zaanse Schans: A Glimpse into Dutch Tradition

If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing the iconic Dutch windmills up close, Zaanse Schans is the place to be. Located just a short distance from Amsterdam, this open-air museum takes you back in time to experience the traditional lifestyle of the Netherlands. From wooden pillars to working windmills, this is a must-see for history buffs.

  1. The Hague: Where Politics Meets the Beach

As the political capital of the Netherlands, The Hague offers a unique blend of history and contemporary culture. Visit the Peace Palace, see the Mauritshuis Museum, and then relax on beautiful Scheveningen Beach. The Hague is a city that seamlessly combines culture and leisure.

  1. Giethoorn: The Venice of the North

Known as the “Venice of the North,” Giethoorn is a quaint village characterized by its charming canals and thatched-roof cottages. Enjoy a peaceful boat ride along the waterways, visit the Giethoorn Museum, and savor the tranquility that this village offers.

  1. Rotterdam: Modern Marvels and Maritime Heritage

For a dose of modern architecture and a thriving port city atmosphere, Rotterdam is a short train ride from Amsterdam. Explore the innovative Cube Houses, visit the Maritime Museum, and don’t miss the bustling food scene at the Markthal.

  1. Haarlem: A Historical Gem

Just a stone’s throw from Amsterdam, Haarlem is a historical gem with its beautiful market square, Grote Kerk, and charming cobbled streets. Take a leisurely walk through the city, and be sure to visit the Teylers Museum, the oldest museum in the Netherlands.

  1. Leiden: Home to Prestigious Academia

Leiden boasts a rich academic heritage, with its famous Leiden University and the Royal Observatory. Explore the picturesque canals, visit the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, and immerse yourself in the intellectual atmosphere of this charming city.

  1. Keukenhof Gardens: A Floral Paradise

If you’re visiting Amsterdam in the spring, make your way to Keukenhof Gardens. Known as the “Garden of Europe,” this park is a kaleidoscope of vibrant tulips and other spring flowers, creating a breathtaking sight you won’t want to miss.

How to Apply for a Netherlands Visa from the UK

If you are a resident of the UK and are planning a day trip from Amsterdam to explore the Netherlands, you may need to obtain a Netherlands visa depending on your nationality. Here’s a short guide on how to apply:

  1. Determine the Type of Visa: Start by identifying the type of visa you need. The Netherlands offers different visa categories, such as tourist, business, family visit, or short & long stay visas. Choose the one that best suits your purpose.
  2. Check Visa Requirements: Visit netherlandsvisas.co.uk, the best website to apply for a VFS appointment in the UK, to apply online and check specific visa requirements. These requirements may include a valid passport, online application form, photographs, itinerary, proof of residence, travel insurance and UK Resident Permit/BRP to support your travel.
  3. Complete the online Application Form: Fill out the Netherlands Schengen Visa Application Form, which is applicable for short and long stays. Make sure to complete all sections accurately. After filing the online application, you don’t have to worry about the processing time, they will take care of everything.
  4. Gather Required Documents: Collect all the necessary documents, which usually include:
  • A valid passport with at least two blank pages and a validity period of at least three months before your intended departure from the Schengen Area.
  • Recent passport size photographs that meet Schengen visa photo requirements.
  • A detailed itinerary, including accommodation reservations, flight tickets and planning of your day trips from Amsterdam.
  • Proof of travel insurance.
  • Employment letter or, if applicable, a letter from your educational institution.
  • A valid UK Residence Permit or BRP. The UK Residency Permit must be endorsed to the actual passport.
  1. Pay the Visa Fee: The visa application process often involves a non-refundable visa fee. Be prepared to pay this fee when submitting your application. Fees may vary depending on the type of visa and your nationality.
  2. Attend a visa interview: Depending on your situation, you may be required to attend an interview at a Netherlands visa centre.
  3. Wait for bags: Bag turnaround times can vary from the UK to the Netherlands but are usually around 10 calendar days.


  1. How far in advance should I plan these day trips from Amsterdam?

It’s always a good idea to plan your day trips at least a few days in advance. Some popular destinations might require reservations for specific tours or attractions. Planning ahead ensures you make the most of your trip.

  1. Can I visit all of these day trip destinations in one day?

While some of these destinations can be visited in a day, others might require more time to fully explore. Consider the distance and the specific attractions you want to see. It’s best to plan accordingly to make the most of your visit.

  1. Are these day trips suitable for families with kids?

Yes, many of these day trips are family-friendly. Destinations like Zaanse Schans, Keukenhof Gardens, and Volendam and Marken are especially great for families. However, be sure to check individual attractions for age restrictions or special activities for children.

  1. How do I get to these day trip destinations from Amsterdam?

Most of these day trips are easily accessible by train, bus, or car. The Netherlands has an excellent public transportation system, so using a train or bus is often the most convenient and eco-friendly option. If you prefer driving, you can rent a car for more flexibility.

  1. Can I visit these day trip destinations year-round?

The best time to visit these destinations may vary. Some, like Keukenhof Gardens, are best experienced in the spring, while others, such as The Hague and Rotterdam, are great year-round. Check the specific destination’s website for the most up-to-date information.

  1. Are there any discounts or special offers for tourists?

Many destinations offer discounts for students, seniors, and tourists. It’s advisable to check the official websites or contact the attractions directly to inquire about any available discounts or special offers.

  1. Do I need to book guided tours in advance?

Booking guided tours in advance can enhance your experience, especially if you want in-depth insights into the history and culture of these destinations. While it’s not always necessary, it’s recommended for a more immersive experience.

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