Easily Accessible Bus and Train Trips from Amsterdam

The smell of fresh cut grass swept through the open windows of our Twizy and reminded me of how lucky I was to be alive. It was a perfect day filled with fun and laughter, miles of greenery, happy animals and historic sites. All made possible with accessible bus and train trips from Amsterdam’s city center.

We arrived for a three day trip to get to know areas outside of Amsterdam, which would take us to remarkable cities. What we left with was an appreciation of The Netherlands far beyond Amsterdam. It helped us recall that sometimes you have to look past a country’s most famous destination to get the most authentic feel for their culture.

We understand wanting to visit Amsterdam and agree it’s a great city. But we hope you stay a few days and transfer around to stay elsewhere for a night or two, or use the city as a home base and find where to go from Amsterdam by train. Because of this we’ve noted the time it would take to arrive to the city from Amsterdam Central Station, to further drive home the point of the cities’ accessibility.

You’ll also be aiding in not overcrowding Amsterdam because over-tourism has been a big issue in the past few years.

A Note on the Amsterdam City Card for Travel

If you’re doing any day trips from Amsterdam into the surrounding area, we cannot recommend an Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket enough. We saved loads of money between the I amsterdam City Card and travel ticket. All of the cities listed below are reachable with the transportation options offered on the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket.

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Almere

TIME FROM AMSTERDAM CENTRAL STATION: 30 minutes, by train.

What we loved about it: Almere’s is one of the youngest cities in The Netherlands. It was established in 1941 and has some amazing architecture. There’s waterfront property, cool squares and modern LED lighting around the city to keep your interest in the landscape no matter the time of day.

Almere is on track to be 100% energy neutral by 2022. They have a system in the city center that brings all garbage visitors dispose of in the trash receptacles to be vacuum sucked to a central waste center.

If you’re into urban planning this is a must visit city for your trip to The Netherlands. No cars or bicycles are allowed in the city center and deliveries to those shops happen from six delivery stations underground. This helps keep things within pedestrian sight clean and tidy. As does arriving the the city for this day trip by train from Amsterdam.

Not to miss: Wave Apartments and the Public Library (exterior and interior). Did you know one third of the population in Almere has a library membership? Isn’t that amazing? The library was built over the course of four years, from 2005 to 2009, by the Dutch architect, Meyer en Van Schouten.

Where to stay: We recommend the Apollo Hotel. It’s in a great location and is only a ten minute walk from the train station.

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Leylstad

TIME FROM AMSTERDAM CENTRAL STATION: Want to know a secret? There’s a shuttle bus from Amsterdam to get to Leylstad. Nothing says convenience like a special bus that takes you from the city center directly to the shopping plaza!

The shuttle picks up at the Amsterdam River Cruise Port at 10:00am and takes guests to Batavia Stad for €10 per adult. It returns at 4:00pm. Alternatively, you can take a train from Amsterdam Central Station that will get you there between 45 minutes to an hour depending on the train you catch. Note Lelystad and Almere are neighboring towns in Flavoland province. 

What we loved about it: It’s a gorgeous area in the province of Flevoland with great shopping at Batavia Stad. There’s a couple of great restaurants there too. I loved stopping in Helly Hansen to buy Dan a gift, a Norwegian brand that is hard to find in the United States. (Don’t forget to stop in their Information Center if you’re visiting from outside of Europe to ask about your tax refund eligibility!) It was also great to tour the old ship, Batavia, at Batavialand. They’ve done an incredible job recreating the 17th century ship. We even got to see woodworkers and carvers doing their craft. It was incredible to watch.

Not to miss: Touring Batavia and treating yourself to a coffee or tea at Batavia Stad between shopping at their stores. It’s really a beautiful property! Don’t forget Batavialand is on the I amsterdam City Card.data-imagelightbox="g">Easily Accessible Bus and Train Trips from Amsterdam in The Netherlands, with things to do in each town you travel to in this European country. #Holland #Amsterdam #DayTrips #AmsterdamArea #AmsterdamDayTrips #SometimesHome #Rotterdam #Almere #Edam #Zaandam #ZaansSchans #Haarlem #Hoorn #Beemster #OudZaandijk #LeylstadEasily Accessible Bus and Train Trips from Amsterdam in The Netherlands, with things to do in each town you travel to in this European country. #Holland #Amsterdam #DayTrips #AmsterdamArea #AmsterdamDayTrips #SometimesHome #Rotterdam #Almere #Edam #Zaandam #ZaansSchans #Haarlem #Hoorn #Beemster #OudZaandijk #Leylstad

Zaandam

TIME FROM AMSTERDAM CENTRAL STATION: 15 minutes, by train. The train takes you right into the city by the whimsical blue and green Inntel Hotels, pictured below.

What we loved about it: Zaandam has found really interesting ways to blend old Holland with the new. The feel of classic Dutch architecture and canals have been married with modern pedestrian walkways and buildings. And, again, we can’t emphasize enough how easy it is by train from Amsterdam.

I took a really interesting tour where I was able to see Monet’s painting from his time in Zaandam side by side: one hand of our guide held a copy of the painting while the other pointed out the scene he was painting before us. The blue house, pictured below with flowers in the foreground, was featured in one of his well known paintings.

Not to miss: Exterior of Intel Hotel, Czar Peter House ,and Monet in Zaandam Tour

Where to stay: we enjoyed our stay at Manzo’s Suites, in the historic square seen below. The exterior of Inntel Hotels is very interesting but it’s the main attraction, whereas the interior of Manzo’s Suites was the star. (Their restaurant was great too!) Note Manzo’s Suites is a bit of a hotel with an Air BnB vibe. You enter through the restaurant to check in and there’s only someone at the front desk during peak hours, from about 10:00am to 6:00pm everyday.

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Zaanse Schans and Oud Zaandijk

TIME FROM AMSTERDAM CENTRAL STATION: 20 minute train ride to Zaandijk Zaanse Schans station. The walk from the station to the center of Oud Zaandijk was lovely in June and only took about 10 minutes.

What we loved about it: The scale of Old Zaandijk was fantastic – a quaint town with charming homes and gorgeous gardens in spring and summer. Zaanse Schans can’t be beat for its historic accuracy in its 18th and 19th century village and windmills, perhaps the largest concentration you’ll find in such a small area in Holland. Oud Zaandijk was far less crowded and {we think} had a bit more charm than the other side of the water where Zaanse Schans is. That being said, they’re right next to each other so there’s no reason not to visit both.

Not to Miss: Zaanse Schans windmills and clog demonstration, and lunch and a walk through Oud Zaandijk. Zaanse Schans windmills are on the I amsterdam City Card.

Where to stay: Heerlijck Slaapen, a bed and breakfast with three houses of rooms, in the heart of the open air museum with 18th century houses.

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Haarlem

TIME FROM AMSTERDAM CENTRAL STATION: 20 minute train ride. The station in Haarlem is beautiful and it’s a very easy walk into the city center from there.

What we loved about it: Beauty abounds. The city was just the right size for our liking – not too big yet far from small. If you like mid-size cities, consider Haarlem from an overnight trip via train from Amsterdam. (We know we will next time we’re in The Netherlands!)

Not to Miss: Market square, De Adriaan windmill, the Cathedral of St. Bavo and courtyard gardens.

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Beemster

TIME FROM AMSTERDAM CENTRAL STATION: 45 minutes to Beemster, by bus, train or a combination of both.

What we loved about it: The countryside and feeling so ALIVE in the area was such a highlight. It’s just north of Amsterdam yet you feel like you’ve escaped the craze of the city. (Perhaps you have!) You breath in the smell of grass, see happy cows grazing on the greens everywhere and really get a feel for the countryside that takes the beauty of The Netherlands over the top. 

Not to miss: De Breek is a restaurant in the area that’s open on weekends throughout the year and several more times during spring and summer. They create dishes with local ingredients. It’s also the lowest point in Holland and they have a windmill on their property from the 19th century, where we took the photo below. Be sure to rent Twizys and E-Chopper electric bikes because both are really wonderful and provide an experience exploring the rural areas like nothing else can.

Where to Stay: Treat yourself to an overnight stay (and spa treatment and meals) at UNESCO World Heritage Site,  Fort Beemster.

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Rotterdam

TIME FROM AMSTERDAM CENTRAL STATION: an hour and fifteen minute train ride to Rotterdam Blaak station. (This will get you closer to the main attraction in the city than Rotterdam Central Station will.) The Cube houses are a two minute walk from there.

What we loved about it: Rotterdam is world renown for its architecture. From the famous Cube Houses, to the Erasmus Bridge and Markthal you’ll marvel at the wonders of the buildings there. We personally didn’t have much time to explore Rotterdam so we are looking forward to going back one day! (And we know how easy it is to access Rotterdam by train from Amsterdam.)

Not to miss: Cube Houses and Markthal (be sure to go inside for some food and the incredible paintings on the curved ceiling).

Easily Accessible Bus and Train Trips from Amsterdam in The Netherlands, with things to do in each town you travel to in this European country. #Holland #Amsterdam #DayTrips #AmsterdamArea #AmsterdamDayTrips #SometimesHome #Rotterdam #Almere #Edam #Zaandam #ZaansSchans #Haarlem #Hoorn #Beemster #OudZaandijk #Leylstad

Delft

TIME FROM AMSTERDAM CENTRAL STATION: An hour train ride that takes you close to the old city center area.

What we loved about it: Delft was everything we hoped it would be and more. (It was an optional destination on our Amsterdam Emerald Waterways river cruise.) We loved seeing how famous “Delft Blue” pottery is still hand painted at the Royal Delft factory. And we thoroughly enjoyed a beer in town square, overlooking a gorgeous City Hall and tall church, Nieuwe Kerk. (Nieuwe Kerk means “New Church” in Dutch even though it was completed in 1655. Such is Europe!)

Not to miss: A tour of Royal Delft Pottery (RDP) and walking in the old city center. It’s easy to get from the city center of Delft to RDP, by a simple €3 to €5 City Shuttle (depending on if you want to go from point A to B or want a little Delft city tour) or 20 minute walk.

Amsterdam river cruise in The Netherlands and beautiful Belgium with tulips in bloom and a lot of charming European port cities to visit you wouldn't otherwise think of. We traveled with Emerald Waterways for 8 days of destinations and exploring in Europe day and night, with adventure to explore on the ships and in each city. #SometimesHome #SometimesHomeEurope #AmsterdamRiverCruise #EuropeanRiverCruise #AmsterdamTulips #DelftPottery #Delft #Holland Amsterdam river cruise in The Netherlands and beautiful Belgium with tulips in bloom and a lot of charming European port cities to visit you wouldn't otherwise think of. We traveled with Emerald Waterways for 8 days of destinations and exploring in Europe day and night, with adventure to explore on the ships and in each city. #SometimesHome #SometimesHomeEurope #AmsterdamRiverCruise #EuropeanRiverCruise #AmsterdamTulips #DelftPottery #Delft #Holland Amsterdam river cruise in The Netherlands and beautiful Belgium with tulips in bloom and a lot of charming European port cities to visit you wouldn't otherwise think of. We traveled with Emerald Waterways for 8 days of destinations and exploring in Europe day and night, with adventure to explore on the ships and in each city. #SometimesHome #SometimesHomeEurope #AmsterdamRiverCruise #EuropeanRiverCruise #AmsterdamTulips #DelftPottery #Delft #Holland

Hoorn

TIME FROM AMSTERDAM CENTRAL STATION: 40 minute train ride. The train station is pretty much across the street from the town, where you can walk south and east to see Hoorn’s main attraction.

What we loved about it: Going to Hoorn by train from Amsterdam was a great trip for a couple hours. There’s a lot of museums and shops there, and a small town square where you’re able to dine outside, people watch and have a beer or coffee at.

Not to miss: Walking along the waterfront to see the old warehouses, half-circle defense tower from the 16th century and boats in the harbor. If you’re into fine dining be sure to make a reservation for lunch or dinner at Marque Restaurant.

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Edam

TIME FROM AMSTERDAM CENTRAL STATION: Edam can only be reached via public transportation by bus. Buses 110, 314 and 316 can take you there on a journey that lasts about 35 minutes.

What we loved about it: Edam is one of the most beautiful cities we’ve ever visited. The time of year didn’t hurt (June in The Netherlands is gorgeous) but between the canals and petite city center there’s plenty of charm to swoon over, no matter the season. Edam is also famous for Edam cheese. We tried it and are true fans!

Not to miss: The church in Edam has the cutest little book nook inside. Also don’t miss the view of the canals, everywhere; they are breathtaking. Dine on the water at Restaurant De Fortuna and be sure to stop where the cheese market is in front of the Henri Willig shop with its teal blue doors. Even if you’re not there for the short Wednesday market it’s a lovely place to visit and you can buy some cheese at the shop to bring home.Easily Accessible Bus and Train Trips from Amsterdam in The Netherlands, with things to do in each town you travel to in this European country. #Holland #Amsterdam #DayTrips #AmsterdamArea #AmsterdamDayTrips #SometimesHome #Rotterdam #Almere #Edam #Zaandam #ZaansSchans #Haarlem #Hoorn #Beemster #OudZaandijk #Leylstad Easily Accessible Bus and Train Trips from Amsterdam in The Netherlands, with things to do in each town you travel to in this European country. #Holland #Amsterdam #DayTrips #AmsterdamArea #AmsterdamDayTrips #SometimesHome #Rotterdam #Almere #Edam #Zaandam #ZaansSchans #Haarlem #Hoorn #Beemster #OudZaandijk #Leylstad Easily Accessible Bus and Train Trips from Amsterdam in The Netherlands, with things to do in each town you travel to in this European country. #Holland #Amsterdam #DayTrips #AmsterdamArea #AmsterdamDayTrips #SometimesHome #Rotterdam #Almere #Edam #Zaandam #ZaansSchans #Haarlem #Hoorn #Beemster #OudZaandijk #Leylstad

Lisse

TIME FROM AMSTERDAM CENTRAL STATION: About an hour by train. There’s also a bus that takes you from Amsterdam’s City Center (not necessarily at Central Station) to Keukenhof Gardens, which we’ve extensively written about. During the season, a bus between Amsterdam and Keukenhof is an option on the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket.

What we loved about it: Keukenhof Gardens is the highlight of Lisse. It’s also what brings hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area each year. The tulips are really phenomenal. Even though Keukenhof is open a few weeks a year, though, there’s a lot to do in Lisse. You can visit Keukenhof Castle, take a Twizy tour (also seasonal) and stay overnight. It’s nice to get away from the city center to see more of the Dutch culture here.

Not to miss: Keukenhof Gardens and castle. While the castle isn’t one of the largest or best it’s certainly worth going to see and appreciate its grounds.

Where to stay: We have three great recommendations for you in our guide to Keukenhof Gardens with possibilities for one or two day itineraries including where to stay, like De Oude Pastrorie Lisse.

Travel from Amsterdam to Keukenhof to see flower gardens, tulip fields of your dreams and enjoy nature. Holland is home to Lisse, the festival city and bucket list event at one of the most beautiful European cities in the world during spring season in The Netherlands. The colors and beauty of the bulbs in bloom in our photography and tips in our articles will inspire you to vacation to this destination no matter where you live in the world. #Keukenhof #TulipFields #TulipGarden #SometimesHome

Please note: we thank Amsterdam and Partners for generously hosting us. We also may make a small commission from affiliate links in this post but all opinions are ours and we bring you genuine content with real facts, photos, thoughts and recommendations. Always.

Heading to The Netherlands? Also check out:

What city would you visit first?

Easily Accessible Bus and Train Trips from Amsterdam in The Netherlands, with things to do in each town you travel to in this European country. #Holland #Amsterdam #DayTrips #AmsterdamArea #AmsterdamDayTrips #SometimesHome #Rotterdam #Almere #Edam #Zaandam #ZaansSchans #Haarlem #Hoorn #Beemster #OudZaandijk #Leylstad

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17 Comments

  1. November 7, 2019 / 5:50 pm

    I have only been to Amsterdam once, but I was SO impressed with their public transportation (and their airport!). It so clean and looks pretty easy to navigate. I love staying somewhere for a week or more so that I get an opportunity to do some day trips. Amsterdam looks like a spot I need to go back and spend some time it!

    • November 8, 2019 / 11:51 pm

      Their airport, Schipol, is indeed huge and impressive! Dan loves doing the same, staying somewhere for a period of time and doing day trips, so we’re onboard with your travel style! Thank you for your great comment!

  2. November 7, 2019 / 10:52 pm

    I took the train to Den Hague from Amsterdam a few years back. It was a remarkably easy trip. What made it that much better was every city has great public transportation once you get off the train too. I used to head out to the countryside near Enschede and Hanglo as well. I’ll have to admit that I prefered to drive there so I could meander the Dutch countryside.

    • November 8, 2019 / 11:46 pm

      Isn’t it interesting to see public transportation in other countries? I envy it when I get back to the United States. I love when a city has it, of course, but I know there’s a lot of room for improvement. I love the countryside too and couldn’t agree more it’s worth exploring. It’s a good combo to take a train to the countryside then rent a car when out there. Or a Twizy or E-bike! They were SO much fun! (They’re in the article too!) Thank you for your great comment!

  3. Cat Lin
    November 8, 2019 / 6:36 am

    You got amazing travel tips here! This really helps tourists to actually maximize their stay by making this a guide in planning their trip. With this, they can visit less than an hour or 2 from the city to reach the picturesque city tour and visit more places as much as they can for their limited stay.

    • November 8, 2019 / 11:43 pm

      Thanks, Cat! There are so many great options within 2 hours or less from the city center in Amsterdam. I’m glad that came through well and the message is getting out to travelers!

  4. November 8, 2019 / 5:49 pm

    I love The Netherlands and am thrilled to learn about a few new cities to explore. I’ve been to Haarlem and Rotterdam, but somehow I’ve missed Delft! I’d like to head that way the next time I’m up that way. And I’ll definitely take public transport.

    • November 8, 2019 / 11:43 pm

      Delft is incredible!!! You should definitely consider it your next time in The Netherlands. It was a personal favorite!

  5. November 14, 2019 / 2:42 pm

    I’ve only been on a very short trip to Amsterdam and while I loved it, I really want to see more of the Netherlands. This list is fantastic and I love How accessible they are! I don’t know which one id pick to do first!

    • November 29, 2019 / 11:21 pm

      I promise you can’t go wrong with any of them! We did love Haarlem though. Can’t wait to go back! Happy travels!

  6. March 17, 2020 / 3:40 pm

    I love the mix of architecture in the Netherlands. Old, gothic pieces mixed in with completely modern and abstract creations. I was in Amsterdam a couple years ago but spent the whole time in the city. I really want to go back someday – hopefully in spring/summer rather than rainy November – and do some of these daytrips that you mention.

  7. Andrew
    March 18, 2020 / 9:23 am

    Amsterdam has one of the best access to trains and buses in Europe. The coolest thing is that you can to be in Rotterdam from Amsterdam in less than 1 hour. Not many people know about that. This is really good alternative, if you get boring in Amsterdam after few days being there.

    • March 18, 2020 / 1:32 pm

      It really does! And we agree it’s a cool aspect not enough people know of and take advantage of. You can see so many more great cities in The Netherlands by using their public transportation.

  8. March 19, 2020 / 11:41 pm

    I usually rented a car in Holland, but there was one time I travelled to Den Hague by train and it was so easy. The public transportation system works incredibly well in the Netherlands.

    • March 21, 2020 / 10:23 pm

      If a car gets you out of the city, we support it! 😉 The trains and buses are so easy and a great option too. We enjoy not having to refill a gas tank and find parking! Haha!

  9. March 21, 2020 / 5:08 pm

    While I enjoyed Amsterdam, I always tend to like smaller towns more than the big cities when I travel. I’d love to return to Amsterdam to use it as a home base while making day trips to a lot of the spots you suggested!

    • March 21, 2020 / 10:22 pm

      Yes! We cannot wait to return to explore even more, too! Thank you for your comment, Lauren!

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