Are you looking for a weekend getaway but don’t want to venture too far from Amsterdam? Come explore Europe’s vibrant cities and famous attractions with me as we take a journey through some of the best weekend trips from Amsterdam!
Utrecht is an ideal weekend getaway destination for those who want to experience a different side of the Netherlands.
Located just 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Amsterdam, Utrecht offers many cultural attractions, historical sites, and outdoor activities.
The city of Utrecht is filled with beautiful canals, gabled facades, and medieval towers that create a unique atmosphere.
You can go on boat tours along the Oudegracht canal or take a peaceful stroll through the old town’s narrow streets.
And if you’re a culture vulture, you will be delighted with Utrecht’s many galleries and museums.
The city has an interesting history dating back to the 8th century when it was established as a religious center by Saint Willibrord. This heritage can be seen throughout the city’s architecture and monuments, such as Dom Tower and St Martin’s Cathedral.
If you love food, then explore the beautiful streets of Utrecht.
Along the way, you will easily see and visit lovely cafes and restaurants. Don’t forget to enjoy traditional Dutch food such as poffertjes (small fluffy pancakes)!
How to get to Utrecht from Amsterdam
When traveling to Utrecht, the best option is usually a train.
The journey takes approximately 30 minutes by train from Amsterdam Centraal Station, making it an ideal choice if you’re in a hurry.
If you’d prefer a more leisurely journey, you can take buses, which will get you from Amsterdam to Utrecht in around one hour.
Keukenhof tulip fields
Keukenhof tulip fields is another place for a memorable weekend trip from Amsterdam. This tulip field is one of the Netherlands’ most popular tourist attractions.
The Keukenhof tulip fields span around 32 hectares, making it the largest flower garden in the world.
Here you can find over 800 varieties and 7 million flowers blooming every spring, including tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and other rare bulbs.
The most popular activity at the Keukenhof is exploring its vast gardens and admiring the beautiful tulips in all their vibrant colors.
There are several walking trails around the park, allowing you to savor fresh air while taking in gorgeous views of the Dutch countryside and colorful flowers.
There are also multiple activities for kids, like playgrounds and water attractions!
At Keukenhof tulip fields, you can easily stop by souvenir shops and pick up snacks at cafes. Or even take boat rides on nearby lakes that offer stunning views of this beautiful area.
Opening hours: Keukenhof is open from 23 March – 14 May 2023. from 8 am – 7:30 am.
How to get to Keukenhof from Amsterdam
The most convenient option is renting a car from Amsterdam to Keukenhof tulip fields. It gives you more flexibility and freedom while allowing you to take in the beautiful Dutch countryside.
On average, it takes around 45 minutes to get there by car, and you can experience the beauty of the tulip fields at your own pace.
Zaanse Schans windmills
The charming village of Zaanse Schans is an ideal spot for your upcoming weekend getaway.
This traditional Dutch settlement is full of historical wooden houses, windmills, barns, and workshops, making it an exciting destination to explore!
A visit to this village will take you back to the 18th and 19th centuries as soon as you arrive. Its picturesque canals with colorful historic homes will give you the feeling of being part of a fairytale.
You’ll find some iconic 18th-century windmills where you’re encouraged to go inside and learn about their history.
As well as how the windmills were used for trades like sawing wood and making paint.
Additionally, at Zaanse Schans, you can participate in various activities, such as biking tours or boat cruises, to explore the area and learn more about its history.
For those interested in traditional Dutch handicrafts, you’ll find several workshops where you can observe artisans making items like cheese and clogs.
And if you want a lively night, join locals for a meal or drink in one of the many nearby bars or restaurants.
How to get to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam
Driving from Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans is the quickest way if you rent a car. It takes about 30 minutes, and you don’t need to worry about any transfers.
If you don’t have access to a vehicle, taking the bus is another good option – it usually takes between 40-50 minutes, depending on traffic.
Efteling theme park
If you’re looking for an alternative to Disneyland, consider Efteling theme park your go-to option for a magical weekend getaway from Amsterdam!
This one-of-a-kind theme park has something for everyone in your group – from thrilling rides to quiet boat tours along canals surrounded by lush foliage.
Located in Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands, Efteling is one of Europe’s oldest and largest theme parks.
This magical amusement park was opened in 1952 and has since been a favorite destination for families seeking fun-filled days of adventure.
With more than 35 attractions, including roller coasters, dark rides, water rides, interactive shows, and museums, there’s something for everyone at Efteling.
You can also enjoy fairytale-themed shows featuring beloved characters like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Or take a stroll through the enchanted forest.
In addition to these activities, Efteling hosts special events throughout the year, such as parades and concerts.
Also, don’t forget to spend time at Efteling’s many beautiful shops and restaurants.
How to get to Efteling from Amsterdam
The simplest way to travel from Amsterdam to Efteling is by car. It takes approximately one hour and twenty minutes.
You can also book a train ticket – it takes just under two hours and drops you off at Tilburg Central Station, from which you can take a bus or taxi the rest of the way.
Maastricht is a lovely city in the south of the Netherlands. It makes an ideal weekend excursion if you want to experience Dutch culture, explore historical sites, and enjoy delicious food and drink.
The main attraction of Maastricht is its old town, which dates back to Roman times. You can find many charming sights here, such as the Gothic Town Hall and Stokstraat Square.
Many excellent restaurants also serve regional specialties, such as Limburgse Vlaai (a type of pie) and Jenever (Dutch gin).
To explore Maastricht’s history, you can stroll through its narrow alleyways. And visit squares that are lined with traditional homes and charming architecture.
Of course, no trip would be complete without a visit to one of their many cafe shops! Here you can grab some coffee or tea and delicious pastries and cakes.
For those feeling active, there’s a wealth of outdoor activities to enjoy, including kayaking on the river Maas or cycling through the neighboring countryside.
How to get to Maastricht from Amsterdam
The most cost-effective way to get to Maastricht from Amsterdam is by bus or train.
From Amsterdam Centraal Station, you can take a direct train line that will get you directly to Maastricht in about two and a half hours.
Buses are typically less expensive than trains but take longer—up to three hours—to reach Maastricht from Amsterdam.
If you love a vibrant atmosphere, go to Rotterdam. Located less than 40 miles away from Amsterdam, this city is the perfect getaway to relax and explore a new city.
Rotterdam has plenty of fun activities and interesting sights.
One of the city’s most famous attractions is the Sint Laurenskerk, a beautiful late Gothic church built in the 1400s. It features stunning stained glass windows and ornate wood carvings on its walls.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Rotterdam has much to offer too. The Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo is one of Europe’s oldest zoological gardens and home to animals worldwide.
Museumgoers will love Rotterdam’s many museums and galleries. There are even art installations in public spaces throughout the city.
For more leisurely activities, why not take a stroll in lovely parks like Kralingse Bos?
If you’re a shopping enthusiast, you will find plenty to do in Rotterdam’s many malls and markets.
How to get to Rotterdam from Amsterdam
The quickest way to get between Amsterdam and Rotterdam is by train. The journey takes approximately half an hour.
However, if you’re feeling adventurous, why not take the scenic route by car? This will take around one hour, depending on traffic.
Ghent and Bruges, Belgium
Ghent and Bruges, two charming towns in the Belgian countryside, are ideal destinations for a relaxing weekend trip from Amsterdam.
Only a few hours away by car or train, these romantic cities offer a unique experience to explore culture and history.
Ghent is known for its elegant architecture and medieval charms, giving it a truly European feeling.
It’s also home to some of the best restaurants in the region, offering delicious Belgian cuisines like mussels and chips, waffles, and frites.
The Gravensteen Castle is a must-see attraction in Ghent. You can explore its ancient walls while taking in stunning views of the city below.
In nearby Bruges, you can take some time to wander through the narrow cobblestone streets lined with historic buildings.
This city is famous for its enchanting city center – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – with picturesque streets lined with colorful Flemish buildings surrounded by lush greenery.
Both cities offer many cultural attractions, such as churches, castles, and museums. You can explore the vibrant art scene or sample some delicious Belgian cuisine while admiring views of the town’s beautiful landmarks.
How to get to Ghent and Bruges from Amsterdam
A train is the fastest option for getting to Ghent and Bruges. Depending on your departure time, it should take approximately three hours by train to reach either city from Amsterdam.
Do you like gothic architecture? How about visiting Antwerpen on your weekend trip from Amsterdam? This city offers plenty of attractions in its old town and beyond.
Antwerpen is well-known for its grand gothic architecture, art galleries, and museums.
With its stunning old town featuring cobbled streets and centuries-old buildings, Antwerpen is filled with history and culture.
The most famous attraction in Antwerpen is the 13th-century Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady which features two stunning towers visible from afar.
You can also explore the cobblestoned Grote Markt (Grand Place) or visit Rubens House—the former home of the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens.
Also, tour Diamondland to learn more about Antwerpen’s diamond industry. There’re many shopping opportunities with designer boutiques and local shops offering unique items to take home as souvenirs.
One tip when visiting Antwerpen is to sample some of Belgium’s famous specialties like waffles or chocolates! They’re yummy!
How to get to Antwepen from Amsterdam
The most convenient and fastest route to get to Antwerpen from Amsterdam is by plane. Flights between Amsterdam and Antwerpen take just over an hour.
It is also an ideal choice if you’re short on time or want to explore other parts of Belgium during your weekend trip. Otherwise, you can always hop on a train!
Read more: Best budget airlines in Europe.
London is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, and many people from Amsterdam prefer to travel to London on weekend trips.
This bustling city offers something for everyone with its rich history, culture, and attractions.
London’s architecture is mesmerizing, with iconic landmarks such as the Tower of London and Big Ben. If you’re looking for some great art and culture, several renowned museums like Tate Modern and British Museum will keep you occupied.
When it comes to things to do in London, there are plenty of options like visiting parks or taking a leisurely stroll along the River Thames.
For those looking for an even more unique experience, why not try one of London’s many food tours? You can sample delicious dishes from around the world while exploring markets like Borough Market or Camden Lock Market!
How to get to London from Amsterdam
The fastest way of traveling between Amsterdam and London is by plane. The flight takes just over an hour, making it a great option if you’re in a hurry or have limited time for your trip.
However, the train may be preferable if you want to enjoy the scenic route while traveling. Traveling by train can take up to 9 hours with one change at Brussels Midi station.
Cologne & Düsseldorf, Germany
The vibrant cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf in Germany make the perfect destination for a relaxing weekend trip from Amsterdam.
Both have plenty of well-known attractions, unique things to do, and an exciting atmosphere that will keep you entertained throughout your weekend away.
Cologne is world-renowned for its stunning Gothic architecture and vibrant arts scene. The city’s most famous attractions include the beautiful Cathedral of Cologne, the tallest structure.
Cologne also has plenty of art galleries and museums where you can spend an afternoon soaking up the culture, such as the infamous Museum Ludwig.
If history isn’t your thing, then there are plenty of great shops, restaurants, and bars to explore in Cologne.
For those looking for something more active, why not take a boat tour along the river Rhine or ride a bike through some of the city’s green parks?
Meanwhile, Düsseldorf is known for its fashion district and historic Altstadt (Old Town), where you can explore charming cobblestone streets filled with boutiques, cafes, and galleries.
The city center is also filled with many museums. My favorite is Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, which houses an impressive collection of modern art, sculptures, and photographs.
How to get to Cologne and Düsseldorf from Amsterdam
The best way to travel to these two cities is via train. The high-speed trains regularly leave Amsterdam Centraal Station and take just over three hours to reach Cologne or Dusseldorf.
The trip is comfortable and scenic, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy your relaxing weekend en route.
One of my favorite destinations for weekend trips from Amsterdam is Paris. With its rich cultural heritage and architectural beauty, Paris will make a great weekend getaway from Amsterdam.
Famous attractions in the city include the iconic Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum, and Arc de Triomphe.
You can explore the beautiful gardens of Tuileries or stroll down Champs-Élysées – one of Europe’s most famous avenues known for its luxury shops.
Other places worth visiting are the Latin Quarter’s charming cafes and Montmartre with breathtaking views over the Paris skyline.
When visiting Paris, there are plenty of activities aside from sightseeing. I highly recommend taking in some culture at one of the many theatres and enjoying delicious food at world-class restaurants. Paris is notorious for its art and cuisine!
If you have extra time, hop on a train to Versailles and see the magnificent Palace of Versailles.
How to get to Paris from Amsterdam
The quickest option to get from Amsterdam to Paris would be by plane, which only takes 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Trains are also an efficient way to go, with journeys taking around 3 hours or less.
If you’re looking for something more leisurely and scenic, buses offer a more relaxed way of getting there in about 5-7 hours.
Prague, Czech Republic
My final recommendation for a fun weekend trip from Amsterdam is Prague!
Prague is a beautiful and historic Czech Republic city, just a few hours from Amsterdam. This charming Central European destination is famous for its stunning architecture and lively nightlife.
When visiting Prague, there are plenty of iconic sites to explore. The Charles Bridge is one of the most famous attractions in the city, offering breathtaking views of the Vltava River. It’s lined with statues from some of Europe’s greatest artists.
There are plenty more architectural wonders in Prague, too, such as the Old Town Square and Prague Castle.
You can also check out some of the great museums in town – like The National Museum or Jewish Museum. Or wander through one of its many parks for a peaceful break from sightseeing.
For those looking to take their experience up a notch – take a cable car ride up Petrin Hill or wander around Vysehrad Castle grounds!
Oh and don’t miss the nightlife in Prague, cause they’re awesome.
How to get to Prague from Amsterdam
Airplane travel is the most popular way to get from Amsterdam to Prague and takes approximately two hours of flight time.
Driving could be ideal if you’re looking for a more leisurely journey and have some extra time on your hands.
Depending on where you start from within Amsterdam, it will take around seven hours by car or bus before reaching Prague city center.