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Don’t miss out on 20 of the best day trips from Amsterdam, taking you to cultural cities, beautiful coastline towns, tulip fields, cheese markets and more! As an added bonus, I’ve even included how t get there!

Amsterdam is one of the most popular cities in Europe, attracting millions of visitors every year. The charming city has a lot to offer, from beautiful winding canals, world-class museums, pretty narrow canal houses and an endless list of excellent restaurants and cafes. 

But if you’ve ticked off Amsterdam’s major sights, then jump on a train or ride a local bus for up to an hour and you’ll find a wealth of beautiful countryside, cultural cities and picturesque coastline towns that seldom get visited. With a fantastic and affordable transport system, it doesn’t get any easier than to visit one of these best day trips from Amsterdam. 

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans Windmills

Maartje from The Orange Backpack

Visiting the famous Dutch windmills at Zaanse Schans as a day trip from Amsterdam is one of the best things to do in the Netherlands. The picturesque village offers a glimpse of the Dutch local life back in the old days. The historic buildings, iconic windmills, small museums and cute shops are the perfect backdrop for a day out of the vibrant capital of the Netherlands.

The Zaanse Schans is an open-air museum just north of Amsterdam. It was created in 1963 by relocating authentic buildings, museums and historic crafts shops from the area. Even the iconic windmills were moved here. You might notice that all the houses and buildings have a characteristic wooden design, which was typical for the Zaan area and the reason for the protected status of the village.

The village wasn’t designed as a tourist attraction and even now, people still live here. That’s why the village itself is free to visit. You only pay to enter the museums or the windmills.

Getting from Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans

You could join a tour, but it is easy enough to go there yourself, as it’s only a 30-minute drive away. If you don’t have a car, there’s a direct bus connection (bus 891) from the Amsterdam central station to Zaanse Schans. The Zaanse Schans train station is a 10-minute walk from the historic village.

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The Hague

Rich from RJOnTourUK

The Hague or Den Haag is a 45-minute train journey from Amsterdam making it a convenient day trip from Amsterdam. The city is steeped in history, has some incredible architecture and a long sandy beach.

The centrepiece of the city is the Binnenhof, the home of Dutch politics and a delight to explore. The Binnenhof includes the eye-catching Ridderzaal or Knights’ Hall, built in the 13th and 14th centuries as the castle of the Counts of Holland. Next door is The Mauritshuis, an art museum that is home the Royal Cabinet of Paintings including artwork by Rembrandt, so, if you are an art lover this is a must.

The city is also home to The Passage which is the oldest indoor shopping centre in the Netherlands, ideal if you like shopping. The Peace Palace is a short tram ride for visitors to see, an architectural marvel as well as an interesting place to visit.

For those who enjoy walks along the beach or watersports, a visit to the district of Scheveningen, The Hague’s seaside resort is a must-visit. The beach is home to SkyView Pier, a gigantic Ferris wheel that has views to neighbouring towns. 

Getting from Amsterdam to The Hague

You can take a train directly from Amsterdam to the Hague daily. The journey is little under an hour and costs approximately €12 ($15). However, prices can vary depending on the time of day you pay for tickets as well as how early or close to the travel dates you book. 

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Muiderslot Castle

Samantha from Sam Sees World

One of the best things about visiting Amsterdam is the plethora of spectacular day trips you can take from the city. Muiderslot Castle is an amazing day trip from Amsterdam option that is close, convenient, and of course stunning! Not many people know that the Netherlands has quite a few stunning castles to enjoy, but once they do, visiting one quickly jumps to the top of their to-do list.

A visit to Muiden castle supplies visitors with plenty to do. There are audio tours available in multiple languages that walk you through the old castle that dates back hundreds of years. Throughout the castle, you will walk through rooms decorated in the Dutch Golden Age style and enjoy hearing about how they have been used throughout history. You can also walk around the castle’s stunning exterior and explore the immaculate gardens.

Getting from Amsterdam to Muiderslot Castle

Muiderslot Castle is located just one hour from Amsterdam and can be reached by bus, car, ferry, or bike. Biking is the most cost-effective and enjoyable way to get here as the journey brings you through the Dutch countryside. The castle itself is located in the town of Muiden which is a charming Dutch city that offers a welcome escape to the busy, tourist full streets of Amsterdam. In addition to visiting the castle, exploring Muiden and enjoying a meal along the canal here is a great thing to do.

Maastricht

Bruna from Maps n Bags

Maastricht is a sweet place sprinkled with cosy cafes, but it also has lovely medieval architecture. Many tourists decide to visit the city after staying in Amsterdam for a couple of days. Here, you can spend a pleasant day exploring the myriad of historic churches, buildings and, sites. You will want to stop by one of the city’s beer cafes, such as the Gouverneur, to have a couple of beers and do some people watching. It’s something so simple, and yet so pleasant! Beyond that, be sure to visit the Gothic Saint Jan’s Church with its prominent red tower – it’s a beautiful place!

However, the most interesting church isn’t really a church. Well, at least not anymore. Selenyz, a bookstore, is currently based in a former Dominican church in Maastricht’s heart. The book shop kept most of the original decoration. Still, there a massive three-story structure in the nave where you can stroll along dark wood shelves. It’s awe-inspiring! If you’re looking for a lovely medieval city straight out of a fairytale book, Maastricht is your best bet!

Getting from Amsterdam to Maastricht

Getting from Amsterdam to Maastricht is very straightforward. There is a direct train from Amsterdam Central Station, and it’s a 2.30-hour train ride.

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If you prefer you can take a full day tour by coach.

Eindhoven

Eric Wychopen from Penguin and Pia

If you want a day trip from Amsterdam that often gets overlooked, head for Eindhoven. This Dutch city is known for its innovative culture – shaped from both its past and from its current identity. Eindhoven is a hub of technology and design and you can immerse yourself in it by visiting the top attractions around the city.

For starters, Eindhoven is where Philips – the electronic company – was founded. You can visit the Philips Museum to learn about the history of the company and its influence on the world. Close to the museum in the city centre by the pretty little Dommel River, you’ll also find the Van Abbemuseum of art.

Another great place to check out in Eindhoven is known as Strijp-S. This former commercial/industrial block of buildings is now a place for innovative housing, markets, design labs, and much more. You should wander through the Veem Indoor Market to sample lots of different foods and drinks. Nearby to Strijp-S, you may want to go and see the Evoluon – an iconic building that resembles a flying saucer!

Getting from Amsterdam to Eindhoven

It’s very easy to get to Eindhoven from Amsterdam. You can drive there or choose to make use of the great Dutch transit system by taking the train. Both routes will take just under 2 hours to get to Eindhoven. From the central station, you can walk to the heart of the city centre in minutes. The famous Dutch nightlife street – Stratumseind – is located here, should you decide to stay a little later on your day trip!

Haarlem

Larch from The Silver Nomad

Although Haarlem is a city, it has a small town feel and is lovely to wander around, discovering little squares and beautiful architecture. The pace is slower in Haarlem and as you wander through the cobbled streets of the medieval city past beautiful red-brick houses with stepped gables you’ll notice it has a totally different feeling.  

The gothic Grote Kerk stands in the middle of the city in the Grote Markt. The church was started in 1400 and is an interesting church to visit with intricate arched ceiling, magnificent ornate organ and the tombs of some of Franz Hals and other Dutch historic figures.

The Grote Markt outside is a beautiful square lined with shops and restaurants where you can sit outside in good weather and enjoy people watching. On Saturdays the square is filled with the market where you can get anything from fruit and vegetables, cheeses, freshly baked breads as well as clothes and household goods. At the lower end of the market you can pick up stunning flowers.

The Spaarne River flows through Haarlem and a boat trip along the river and canals is a lovely way to see the sites of the city. If you fancy walking along the riverbanks, make sure to visit the De Adriann Windmill. The Windmill is now a museum where you can learn the history of Dutch windmills on one of the guided tours.

Two of the best museums to explore in Haarlem are the Frans Hals Museum and the Teylers Museum. The Frans Hals Museum celebrates the artwork of Frans Hals who was born in Haarlem. The Teylers Museum is the oldest museum in the Netherlands and is dedicated to science and art with fossils, minerals and paintings to view.

Getting from Amsterdam to Haarlem

Haarlem is a short 15-minute train ride out of Amsterdam Central Station. Trains run numerous times an hour usually departing from platform 1 or 2.

Volendam

Kat from Wandering Bird

If you’re looking for a fantastic day trip from Amsterdam, look no further than Volendam. This tiny village is built onto the Markermeer Lake, to the north-east of Amsterdam and is one of the most charming places in the Netherlands (which is saying something as the entire country is charming!) 

Volendam is known for the colourful wooden houses along the front, and the cute shops. There are also plenty of fishing boats to see- and you can even hire one for your very own tour. The Volendam museum is home to paintings, sculptures and pottery from the past 200 years, and also a mosaic made from millions of cigar bands! Part of the fun of Volendam is the people watching. Yes, it can get crowded and yes, it’s touristy, but it’s fairly inexpensive and there are loads of fun shops to explore- it’s the perfect place to buy a souvenir. Also, don’t forget to try out some of the local cheese- if you’re lucky, you can even see them making it!

Getting from Amsterdam to Volendam

You can get to Volendam by public transport (Just take a bus 316 which departs from Amsterdam/CS IJzijde station. The bus station is located behind Amsterdam Centraal train station.) or tour bus. The best way to visit is by your own vehicle – this will allow you to stay longer and enjoy the evening atmosphere, as well as watch the beautiful sunset.

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Utrecht De Haar

Chrysoula  from Historic European Castles

If you’re looking for a fun day trip from Amsterdam, you may want to head to the canals and cafes of Utrecht. This small Dutch town can easily be reached and explored in a day, with the compact centre featuring a range of sights to keep you entertained.

As with many destinations in Holland, Utrecht centres around two main canals (Oudegracht and Nieuwegracht) so there are plenty of pristine paths for you to stroll along through the city. Along the way you’ll be able to witness the city’s medieval architecture, the range of boutiques and cafes, and, of course, The Dom Tower, the tallest belfry in the Netherlands. You can even climb the 465 steps of The Dom Tower to take in the panoramic views of the city.

After a morning of city exploration, you may fancy a bite to eat, in which case you should head to Dogma Hotdogbar for some of the best hot dogs in Europe! They offer all different toppings and flavours and even have vegan choices too.

Once you’ve had your fill, head out of the main town to De Haar Castle a fortress that looks like it has popped out of a fairy tale book. The castle was designed with medieval spires and features, as well as beautifully manicured gardens, but was actually only built in the 20th century. 

Getting from Amsterdam to Utrecht

Utrecht lies just 27 minutes by train from Amsterdam and there are services running frequently throughout the day on weekdays and weekends. From Utrecht, it is another 30 minutes or so (back in the direction of Amsterdam) to De Haar Castle. You can therefore easily spend half a day at each destination and be back in Amsterdam for dinner!

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Giethoorn

Ilse from Digital Travel Couple

Giethoorn is a beautiful, small picturesque town in the Dutch province of Overijssel. This popular day trip from Amsterdam is home to numerous waterways and is aptly named ‘Little Venice of the Netherlands’. 

The name ‘Giethoorn’ originated in the 13th century when the original farmers discovered horns of wild goats that had died during the Flood of 1170. “Goat horn,” or “Geytenhoren,” was later transformed to Giethoorn how we know the village nowadays. 

When exploring Giethoorn, the best and only way is with a boat! You can rent different sizes of boats and canoes in several places. Most of the boats have a silent electric motor which is necessary because you pass the homes of many people living in Giethoorn.

During sightseeing through Giethoorn, you will see the beautiful authentic Dutch homes with thatched roofs, many bridges and depending on the route you choose, you will also visit the beautiful national park of Weerribben Wieden. You can dock your boat at cafes and restaurants along the canal to take a break and have lunch or a coffee. Enough ingredients for a lovely day of exploring an idyllic Dutch village! 

Getting from Amsterdam to Giethoorn

There are only a few options to get to Giethoorn from Amsterdam, but the easiest way is when you have a car or with a tour. Giethoorn doesn’t have its own train station, but there are public buses going to the small town from Steenwijk. Take bus 70 for 30 minutes. Tickets cost approx €4.

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Kinderdijk

Penny from GlobeTrove

Kinderdijk is one of the most intriguing places in Netherlands and just a short day trip from Amsterdam. Although it is not far from Amsterdam, few people make the journey to visit.

Kinderdijk is the epitome of the Dutch water management system that chronicles the advances that they have made over the past numerous decades. From the old iconic windmills to the gorgeous water channels, this is one place that reminds me all things that the country is famous for. For an enjoyable day trip, take a picnic lunch and sit by the waterways and admire the views. Don’t forget to visit the museum before you visit the site though. It will give you a deeper understanding of all the things that you see around you. They will even tell you about the fable of the cat, the child and Kinderdijk.

Getting from Amsterdam to Kinderdijk

The easiest way to visit Kinderdijk from Amsterdam is by renting a car. The drive there is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic. Alternatively, you can take a train there via Rotterdam. Once you arrive in Rotterdam, cross the street to the bus stops. There are two bus routes that will takes you to bus stop Kinderdijk, Molenkade. Bus 90 operates daily every hour. Take the bus in the direction of Utrecht CS . The ride is approximately 45 minutes. Or Bus 190 that operates infrequently. 

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Rotterdam

Kirstie from Kirstie Will Travel

Rotterdam is the second city of the Netherlands and one of the most unique places you can visit on a day trip from Amsterdam. It’s full of many different architectural styles, mainly because it was almost entirely rebuilt after World War II. Rotterdam is only about 45 minutes away from Amsterdam and it’s fascinating to see such different styles in The Netherlands’ two largest cities. If you’re looking to take a day trip to a city that’s unique, quirky and full of culture, then Rotterdam is the place for you.

There’s a huge mix of things to do in a day in Rotterdam. You should definitely visit the Cube Houses first. These bright yellow apartments are tilted at a 45-degree angle and are really striking. People actually live in the apartments but one has been converted into a viewing house so you can see they are laid out. Just next to the Cube Houses is Markthal, an amazing food market filled with both national and international cuisine and surrounded by one of the largest pieces of art in the world. Rotterdam is also home to Europe’s first high-rise building, Witte Huis, an eccentric Santa Claus sculpture, and the highest tower in the Netherlands where you can look out over the city.

Getting from Amsterdam to Rotterdam

It’s really easy to get to Rotterdam by either train or bus. You can either take the Netherlands intercity trains or the Thalys, there’s only a few euros price difference. A round trip on the train will cost around €30 (£27, $37). If you’re on a tighter budget, you could take the Flixbus for around €12 (£10, $14) return. It will take 1-2 hours but it’s a great cheap option.

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Gouda

Sarah from Cosmopoliclan

The town of Gouda, the cheese capital of The Netherlands, makes for an excellent day trip from Amsterdam. It’s the place to be on Thursday during the spring and summer months when it hosts one of Holland’s most popular cheese markets.

What’s now more of a tourist attraction is, in fact, a tradition that dates back to the 14th century. You can see farmers arriving by carriage, unloading their cheese wheels and negotiating prices with the traders by clapping hands. This entertaining spectacle takes place in the shadow of the picturesque town hall which is the focal point of Gouda’s market place. As soon as farmer and trader agree on a price, the cheese is taken to the Goudse Waag, the weighing house just across the street. At the small food market, which takes places simultaneously, you’ll find Gouda cheese in dozens of variations such as pesto, cumin or truffle. If you’re more into sweet than savoury then you’ll be pleased to learn that Gouda is also home the sumptuous stroopwafel, the typical Dutch caramel waffle.

Getting from Amsterdam to Gouda

You can reach Gouda by train from Amsterdam in just over half an hour. It’s a compact town which can easily be explored on foot. The Gouda cheese market is the main attraction. Other sights include idyllic canals, the St Jan’s church with its iconic stained-glass windows and the enchanting streets with their quaint (cheese) shops.

Delft

Karen from Wanderlustingk

Delft is a beautiful town near Amsterdam often known for its 17th-century architecture and its beautiful Delftware pottery.  Most people who visit Delft as a day trip from Amsterdam come to enjoy the town’s charm and learn a bit about the history of the town.

There are two churches in Delft, the New Church and the Old Church, which are both quite old The tower of the New Church has a lovely view from the top if you climb the stairs, but most people who take a day trip to Delft opt to spend some time seeing the canals of Delft, which the town was named after. There are lots of cute cafes along the canals where you can enjoy a coffee or lunch.  On certain days in summer, you can also visit the antique market along one of the canals where you can buy secondhand antiques, including Delftware. The Royal Delft Factory is a favourite attraction where you can see Delftware still being hand-printed by artists and learn about the history of Delftware. 

Getting from Amsterdam to Delft

From Amsterdam, you need to take a train for about an hour.  There are direct trains to Delft that are less frequent although it’s also possible to take a train to Rotterdam before transferring to the train that heads to Delft.  

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Kröller-Müller Museum

Tea from Culture Tourist

If you’d like to enjoy in a lovely combination of art and nature, Kröller-Müller Museum located in the fantastic Hoge Veluwe National Park in Otterlo is the right choice for your day trip from Amsterdam.

The museum is home to the second largest collection of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings in the world. Some of his very famous artwork such as the ‘Bridge at Arles’ or one of the versions of his ‘The Potato Eaters’, is there. It also has a fantastic collection of modern art, covering the styles between 1850 and 1950. Among its highlights is the work of some famous painters like Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian etc.

Kröller-Müller Museum is also world acclaimed for its sculpture garden. Displaying the artwork in the beautiful nature of the national park makes this place so magical.

After enjoying some art, have lunch at a lovely museum restaurant. You can then take one of the free bicycles parked at the entrance to the park and continue exploring its beautiful nature that way. This day trip from Amsterdam offers a great combination of art and nature, in a place still undiscovered by many tourists.

Getting from Amsterdam to Kröller-Müller Museum

The museum is located around two hours away from Amsterdam, but definitely worth a visit. You can get there by public transport (download 9292 app to see what’s the best route to use). However, you can also visit it on some of the organised day trips from Amsterdam.

Brussels

Maria from Europe Up Close

Brussels is the perfect day trip from Amsterdam. The city is full of history and lots of things to do, whether you love history, architecture, or food. 

When you get to Brussels, heading over to Grand Place first. This is the main square in Brussels, surrounded by stunning buildings. It is also a UNESCO Heritage Site and definitely should not be missed. Just around the corner, you will find one of the most famous statues in the world – the Manneken Pis (boy). If you are looking for its lesser-known partner statues, you should find Jeanneke Pis (girl) and Zinneke Pis (dog). 

After a bit of sightseeing in the city, sit down for a nice lunch and enjoy some traditional Belgian fare, like Moules et Frites – Mussels cooked in a garlicky cream and white wine sauce served with delicious crisp French fries. 

In the afternoon, I recommend another world-famous attraction: the Atomium. This large structure was built for the world exhibition in 1958. You can go up and enjoy the view from above, but even from the park below, it is a fascinating building to see. 

Don’t leave Brussels without indulging in some of the famous Belgian beer and Belgian chocolate. 

Getting from Amsterdam to Brussels

It takes about 2 hours to get there by train, so I recommend you take an early train to maximise your time in Brussels. The fast train only runs a few times per day from Amsterdam Centraal, so I recommend you choose and book your train ahead of time. 

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Keukenhof Gardens

Darek from Darek and Gosia

With so many great things to do in Amsterdam, it is easy to overlook all the fantastic places just outside of the city. But if you are planning a day trip for Amsterdam then Keukenhof Gardens should be on top of your list!

Located in Lisse, just 40 km from Amsterdam, Keukenhof is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands. The garden, which is open from mid-March to mid-May, is the largest flowering bulb garden in the world. Around 7 million bulbs are planted by hand by about 30 gardeners with the flower arrangements change so the garden looks a bit different every year. There are also pavilions with flower exhibitions and shops where you can buy some tulip bulbs and take them home. One of the attractions in the garden is also a huge historic windmill, from which you can admire stunning views of the fields of tulips endlessly stretching just behind the Keukenhof fence.

Getting from Amsterdam to Keukenhof

The Keukenhof Gardens can be reached by public transport bu taking the train to Schiphol and then the bus 361.  If you drive, you can easily get there by following signs to Lisse, and then there is only a short drive to Keukenhof. 

Marken

Umang from Travel Max

What is the best thing about day trips from Amsterdam? You get a chance to go away from city life and experience a bit of dutch countryside. One of the best places to visit is the fishing town of Marken, a jewel in the countryside. The quaint little town of Marken is not really prominent on the tourist circuit. It’s lesser-known, which makes it even better if you are interested in knowing the local way of living.

The highlight of Marken is considered to be one lighthouse. Along with that, there’s a cheese museum, a clogs factory and a beautiful set of cafes along the docks. However, the highlight for some is a comparatively lesser-known hike, marked as Marker Landtong on Google maps. This hike is nowhere on the tourist circuit. The narrow stretch of land goes further into the ocean and offers you bountiful views of the ocean on both sides and a gorgeous sunset!

Getting from Amsterdam to Marken

Marken is a very good option if you are considering a short day trip from Amsterdam. It’s easy to reach, there are direct busses plying between Marken & Amsterdam almost every hour!

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Duinrell Park

For a fun-filled action-packed day, head to Duinrell Park, one of the best family day trips in The Netherlands. Located just 45 minutes from Amsterdam amongst forests and dunes, the theme park offers over 40 rides and attractions for adventure-hungry families with children of all ages. 

The theme park has plenty to do to fill an entire day and more. In fact, many people often book extended weekends at the adjoining Eurocamp. There is a range of thrilling rollercoasters, an indoor playground for younger children as well as the Tiki Pool Waterpark that has over 1km of slides. 

Summer is definitely the best season to visit Duinrell but this is also the busiest. The park opens in April and closes in late October for the winter. The doors are opened at 10:00 AM and are closed at 6:00 PM. Admission prices are very reasonable for a theme park of its size. Children under 4 enter for free while older children and adults cost €24,95 per person.

Getting from Amsterdam to Duinrell Park

You can easily reach Duinrell Park from Amsterdam by train and then bus. Take the train from Amsterdam Centraal to The Hague, which takes approximately 50 minutes. Then from the Hague, you can take the bus 44 to Duinrell Park (Duinrell, Wassenaar). 

Alkmaar Cheese Market

Manouk Oord from Groetjes uit Verweggistan

The Alkmaar cheese market is a fun day trip from Amsterdam. The cheese market is located right in the middle of the town. Although it is not longer an official market, the locals still reenact it like it used to be.

After the cheese market is opened, the cheese is carried around to be weighed. A fun sight! You may even get a chance to try and carry the cheese yourself or to sit on one of the cheese carriers. If you chat to the carriers near the weighing scales, they will tell you everything you would like to know about the history of the cheese market.

Be early to secure a good spot. The market starts at 10.00 am with the ringing of the bell. After, the carriers get inspected to see if they all wear white. And it begins! You do not need to stay the whole time, just until you have seen enough. You have plenty of time to explore Alkmaar as well. 

Getting from Amsterdam to Alkmaar

It is easy to get to Alkmaar from Amsterdam by train. The train station in Alkmaar is walking distance from the cheese market. The city has clear directions on how to get to the cheese market posted everywhere. 

Amersfoort

Tom & Zi from Craving Adventure

Amersfoort is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in The Netherlands. This is easily noticeable when you enter the city centre through the Koppelpoort, a big land- and water gate, and see the 98-meter high church tower rise from the centre of town. This is also when you’ll notice that the city walls on the inside of the city moat aren’t the type of medieval city walls you’ve seen before. The city walls in Amersfoort are actually houses. They are called ‘Muurhuizen’, which literally means Wallhouses. When the original city wall was demolished in the 15th century, its bricks were used to build these houses in its place, and people still live in them today.

Amersfoort is a very lively city, with a lot of bars, restaurants and boutique shop, and it was proclaimed the best city in The Netherlands to live in, in both 2015 and 2016. Some of the best things to do in Amersfoort are to just take a stroll through the old city centre and see the medieval remnants like the canals and the city gates, to go for a coffee (honestly, the coffee here is GREAT), or to visit the Mondriaan House. Amersfoort is the birthplace of the famous painter Piet Mondriaan (the paintings with all the different coloured squares and rectangles), and his birth house has been turned into a museum.

Getting from Amsterdam to Amersfoort

Amersfoort is almost the exact center of The Netherlands. Because of its geographical location, it is a massive intersection for both railways and highways, and thus very easily reachable from Amsterdam. There is a direct connection by train from Amsterdam Central Station to Amersfoort, that takes 34 minutes and goes twice per hour. By car, the A1 highway directly connect Amsterdam and Amersfoort, and driving there takes about 50 minutes.

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