An overview of the most popular day trips in the Netherlands:
Day Trip from Amsterdam to Volendam and Windmills
When you think of Holland, what comes to mind? If you’re like many travelers from around the world, you’ll think of wooden clogs, cheese and windmills. See all of this, and so much more, on a guided half-day tour departing from Amsterdam to Volendam, Marken en Zaanse Schans.
The day begins with a comfortable coach ride out of Amsterdam. The journey winds through several charming Dutch villages, and you’ll be treated to a fascinating audio commentary along the way. Learn that many of these villages are on reclaimed land, and discover the incredible role that Dutch waterways play in development. The first stop of the tour is Volendam, just 30 minutes outside of Amsterdam. In Volendam, you’ll get to visit a traditional local cheese factory, sampling their tasty wares and getting an inside look at how authentic Dutch cheese is manufactured. You’ll also have some time to explore on your own, which could include browsing the local Dutch clothing on display at the town’s museum.
You can also upgrade your tour to include a ferry to a fishing town called Marken. In Marken, snap plenty of pictures of the traditional stilt houses, which once again showcase just how near to the water many of these villages are. You’ll also be able to watch a local craftsman in Marken carve and then paint the iconic wooden clogs that are now so associated with Dutch culture.
The final stop on this Dutch cultural adventure is Zaanse Schans, a beautiful town located right on the edge of the Zaan River. While the town is charming and boasts a historic shipyard as well as centuries-old architecture, the big draw in Zaanse Schans has to be the windmills. You’ll definitely want to have your camera on hand to snap pictures of the beautifully preserved windmills here, many of which date all the way back to the 17th century. The conclusion of the half-day tour is a comfortable, scenic return ride to Amsterdam.
Day Trip from Amsterdam to Keukenhof Gardens
Perhaps the most beautiful, scenic spot in all of Holland is Keukenhof. The Keukenhof Gardens are a full 79 acres, nearly all of which are covered in brightly colored tulips. Every year, the Keukenhof Gardens are open during the spring, and in as little as eight weeks they receive more than 800,000 visitors. This is a once-in-a-lifetime, bucket-list adventure, and a half day tour is the perfect chance to see Keukenhof Gardens in all its spectacular glory.
Start the tour by boarding a private coach departing from Amsterdam. As you cruise through the Dutch countryside, you’ll be treated to wonderful views of the landscape in full bloom. Your knowledgeable expert guide can also give you a brief history of the region, and explain the significance of the Keukenhof Gardens. Just opposite the Keukenhof Castle, the gardens were created in 1949 as a floral exhibition. The sheer size and beauty of the attraction caught on, making it a repeat performance of tulips every spring.
Once you arrive at the Keukenhof Gardens, make sure you have a map in hand. For a full three hours, you’ll be able to explore the gardens independently, spending time on the premises however you desire. You may wish to wander up and down each of the paths, trying to spot as many of the millions of tulips and bulbs as possible. You may be a budding photographer, in which case there is no shortage of spectacular subjects to pick from. You can also just purchase a picnic lunch and enjoy the scenery with loved ones. At the end of the allotted time in the gardens, hop back on the bus and enjoy the quick return journey to Amsterdam.
Holland in One Day Tour from Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a wonderful, exciting city, but it is not everything that Holland has to offer. With a full day tour to places like Delft, Rotterdam and the Hague, you can see some of the most important historic and cultural highlights in the entire country. This is a great tour if you don’t have much time but still want to see more than just Amsterdam.
The whirlwind day of sightseeing starts with a pickup in Amsterdam, and then it’s a one-hour journey to Rotterdam. Along the way, you’ll hear an audio commentary pointing out landmarks out the window as well as a brief history of the city of Rotterdam. In Rotterdam, a rapid 30-minute tour points out the most significant attractions in the city. You’ll see the Art Deco City Hall and the 17th century Erasmus Statue, and you’ll even have the chance to climb up the Euromast Sightseeing Tower and view the city from above.
Just 20 minutes from Rotterdam, you will get to watch artists at the Royal Delft create the world-famous pottery known as Delft Blue. Since the 17th century, Delft pottery has been recognized as special, and it is a true treat to explore the history of this art form. Afterwards, take an hour to explore the rest of the city of Delft, or just enjoy a traditional lunch in a cafe of your choice.
Round out the nonstop adventure with a trip to the Hague, which is both the seat of the Dutch government and the destination known as the judicial capital of the world. From your window, you’ll be able to see places like the Houses of Parliament, the Plein plaza and the impressive Stadhuis, known to locals as simply the Ice Palace. Then, it is a return journey by bus to Amsterdam, which takes just under one hour.