Although Amsterdam is the city coming to anyone’s mind when thinking about the Netherlands, there are so many interesting places to be seen in that lovely country. I’ve asked some of the travel bloggers living in the Netherlands to recommend some of their favourite places. And here it is, a list of Dutch towns you have to visit (recommended by local travel bloggers).
Dutch towns you have to visit
The Netherlands is a small country, so going to any of these places on a day trip from Amsterdam should be quite easy. It’s well connected by a train and you can find all the travel info on a link here.
# – Haarlem
*15 min from Amsterdam by train
Haarlem is a perfect place for a short trip from Amsterdam. It is a smaller and quieter version of the Dutch capital. A short walk from its train station there is the main square (Grote Markt) with St. Bavo Church, many buildings from the 17th century and many charming restaurants. It was home to famous Dutch painter Frans Hals during the Golden Ages. So, visiting a museum dedicated to him is also something I strongly recommend.
*For more info: Here is a complete guide with things to do in Haarlem!
# – Delft
*1 hour from Amsterdam by train
Travel blogger Karen from WanderlustingK is recommending Delft as a day trip from Amsterdam. Here is what she said about it:
“Delft is a lovely city! Many people have heard of Delftware, however many people don’t realise that it originated in Delft and you can still visit factories where Delftware is made by artisans today. For those looking for a relaxing day, I highly recommend exploring the stunning historic centre, which is full of beautiful canals, picturesque canal houses and cool hotspots. You’ll also find historic churches, including the Old and New Church. Despite one church being “new”, both churches have a rich history. I highly recommend climbing the tower of the New Church, which will give you a 360 view over Delft.”
*For more info: Here is Karen’s blog post with interesting things to do in Delft.
# – Utrecht
*25 minutes from Amsterdam by train
Utrecht is famous as a student town and the religious centre of the Netherlands. It is a great place to visit if you’re travelling with kids because there is a Nijntje (Miffi) Museum and the Train Museum there. It was for a long time centre of Catholicism in the Netherlands. So, you’re going to find many beautiful churches and convents there, as well. It’s definitely a great place to go on a day trip from Amsterdam.
# – Den Haag
*45 minutes from Amsterdam by train
Den Haag is probably one of my favourite places in the Netherlands. I love it because it has such an international spirit, but still a vibe of a small town. It is a place where the Dutch royal family is living and where the Dutch Parliament is. It’s also an excellent place for art enthusiasts because its Mauritshuis Museum is where Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ and many famous Rembrandt’s paintings are.
# – Rotterdam
*1.30 hour from Amsterdam by train
Often referred to as the New York of the Netherlands, Rotterdam was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War and rebuilt afterwards. That’s why today it is a city with some of the coolest modern buildings in the Netherlands. It has a very relaxed vibe, as well. Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam is one of the most beautiful bridges I’ve ever seen. It’s close to Rotterdam’s port, which is also the largest port in Europe. And I would definitely recommend taking a boat cruise around it. It’s also home to one of the most relaxed house complexes – the Cube Houses. And it is Market Hall is where you can find food from all around the world located in a fantastic modern edifice.
*For more info: Here is a blog post about Rotterdam and it’s architecture.
# – Giethoorn
*Around 2 hours from Amsterdam by train and bus
Jessica from A Wanderlust For Life is recommending another Dutch town, that shouldn’t be missed:
“One of the cutest places in the Netherlands is a small town called Giethoorn, where a large part of the town doesn’t have roads – just canals and footpaths. Take a boat tour and head out to a lake where it’s peaceful and beautiful. I would recommend going and staying overnight to get a full experience without the day-trippers. Then you’ll have the paths to yourselves (along with the locals) after 5 pm and before 10 am.
This town has the most stunning thatched roofs and perfectly green grass with loads of trees and flowers to complete the picture of serenity. The national park is nearby, which just adds to the calmness of this area. It’s a place you have to see to believe.”
*For more info: Read Jessica’s blog post about Giethoorn.
* Organised bus tours are departing daily on a day trip to Giethoorn. If you would like to join one of them, take a look at the link here!
# – Gouda
*1 hour from Amsterdam by train
Another cute town that makes a great day trip from Amsterdam is Gouda. Its name probably sounds familiar because of a famous cheese that was named after it. The traditional cheese market is organised there every Thursday morning during the summer months. However, its beautiful city hall is also a remarkable building that’s definitely worth visiting.
# – Maastricht
*2.15 hours from Amsterdam by train
Maastricht is one of my favourite cities in the Netherlands. It’s also a Dutch city which looks the least Dutch. It is located at the border with Germany and Belgium, and it’s architecture, culture and cuisine are very much influenced by its neighbours. It has a beautiful Medieval architecture, many impressive old churches and even old city walls. I recommend visiting it during December because that’s when it’s becoming home to one of the best Christmas markets in the Netherlands. There are so many exciting things to be seen there, you can easily spend the whole weekend in Maastricht.
*For more info: Here is a blog post with 10 things you shouldn’t miss in Maastricht!
# – Dordrecht
*Around 1.15 hour from Amsterdam by train
Edyta from Say yes to Madeira shared one of her favourite places in the Netherlands with us – Dordrecht:
“Dordrecht is a perfect destination for a day out, especially if you are staying in Rotterdam. Skipped by most tourists, it still remains more of a hidden gem. Not as crowded as other Dutch cities, but really charming and just as beautiful. Dordrecht is the oldest city in the province of Holland and offers visitors many museums, monuments, old warehouses, beautiful bridges and charming squares. Dordrecht’s centre can be easily discovered on foot. My favourite way to get to Dordrecht is by a very affordable water bus departing next to Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam. Dordrecht should be included in your itinerary if you’re coming to see nearby Kinderdijk windmills, as well.”
There are so many interesting towns that shouldn’t be missed while in the Netherlands. Have you visited any of them? Which one is your favourite? Share with us in the comments below!
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