Amsterdam canal with bikes and flowers positioned in front

6 Best Weekend Trips From Amsterdam In 2023

Amsterdam is home to many hidden treasures like the stroopwafel, canals and tulips. It is easy to spend multiple days or even a week in the capital city but sometimes you just need to spend the weekend somewhere else! Weekend trips away from Amsterdam are a great way to get away from the city and experience something new.

While Amsterdam is a city full of things to do and see, spending a weekend away is also a great idea. You’ll get to see more of the Netherlands and Dutch culture or maybe even extend across borders.

Weekend trips are great for relaxing and trying something new. The best ones are ones that you spend with a family member, partner or friend but they can be just as enjoyable solo.

This post will take you through six of the best destinations for a weekend trip from Amsterdam, giving you lists of things to do, accommodation recommendations and all the details on why you should visit!

Weekend Trips in The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a small country and so travelling for a weekend trip from Amsterdam will often take you less than an hour, which is perfect for maximising your time away.

The Netherlands has so much to offer in terms of culture and each region celebrates their own unique qualities which is so lovely to see.

Amsterdam takes advantage of tourists and throws everything Dutch into the city to give visitors a chance to see it all, but often many of the souvenirs surround ideas that came from different areas of the country.

Travelling for a Weekend Trip in The Netherlands from Amsterdam

The three destinations on my list for weekend trips in the Netherlands are all accessible by train from Amsterdam. It is the fastest route to each destination and they run from Amsterdam Centraal. Take a look at the services here.

Here’s my list of some of the locations in The Netherlands that you should consider an weekend trip from Amsterdam:

1. Haarlem

Haarlem is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of tourist crowds and has a lot of the same unique charm as Amsterdam.

Haarlem is home to some of the Netherlands’ favourite restaurants, cafes and shops. It was recently voted the country’s number one location for shopping.

It is a charming city with lots to offer visitors on a weekend trip. It is also home to some of the best museums in Europe and has so much world-famous art to admire.

Haarlem's most famous church

Things To Do in Haarlem

Canal Cruise

One of the best ways to get yourself situated in a new city is to take a tour whether that is by bus, walking or by boat. The best way to see Haarlem is from the canals and a canal cruise with an onboard guide is a perfect way to learn some of the city’s history.

🎟 Get your seat reserved on a luxury canal cruise of Haarlem here.

Teylers Museum

Haarlem has the world’s oldest museum that is packed to the seams with art and science artefacts. The Teylers Museum is home to ancient fossils, world renowned art pieces and has a huge collection of books.

🎟 Book your ticket to step back in time at the at the Teylers Museum here.

Corrie ten Boom House

The Corrie ten Boom House has been beautifully preserved and stands as it would have during the war. The ten Boom family were responsible for helping Jews escape the horrors of Nazi occupation and as a Christian family, had a strong faith in God which they believed allowed them to be courageous enough to help so many Jews.

Their family home has been converted into a museum in their memory and has been preserved to look as it would have in war time.

You can make a reservation for a tour of the home by following this link.

Grote Markt

The Grote Markt in Haarlem is the heart of the lively city. The square is surrounded by these awesome buildings, especially the huge Grote Kerk (St. Bavo’s Church) and the fancy Town Hall. There’s a mix of cobblestone streets, cafes buzzing with activity, and even markets where you can explore. It’s the perfect spot to grab a coffee, people-watch, or just soak in the local scene.

Frans Hals Museum

The Frans Hals Museum is a great place to spend the afternoon soaking up the Dutch art culture. The museum is home to famous paintings from Frans Hals and other Dutch Golden Age painters.

🎟 Book your ticket to enjoy some of the Netherlands’ most famous artwork here.

Where to Stay in Haarlem

Haarlem is full of beautiful accommodation choices and there is something to suit every budget and group size. Here are a few of my top picks for staying in Haarlem:

Name 🏨Key Information ✍️Rating
Anegang Boutique AppartementMax 4 guests
2 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms
Free WiFi
Fully equipped kitchen
City Attic HaarlemMax 4 guests
2 bedrooms
Private terrace
Great location
Turfhuys ann het SpaarneMax 2 guests
1 bedroom
River views
Fully equipped kitchen

2. Utrecht

Utrecht offers an enticing weekend escape with its unique blend of history, culture, and a vibrant modern vibe. This compact Dutch city boasts picturesque canals, charming streets, and the iconic Dom Tower, creating a delightful backdrop for exploration.

With a rich history dating back to Roman times, Utrecht offers a treasure trove of historical sites, including museums, cathedrals, and hidden courtyards. Its thriving arts scene, diverse culinary options, and lively markets add to the city’s allure.

Utrecht is just a short 30 minute train ride from Amsterdam and so is the perfect place to spend a few days if you don’t have too much time to waste on travelling.

Dom Tower, Utrecht

Things To Do in Utrecht

The Dom Tower and Square

Climbing the iconic Dom Tower, the tallest church tower in the Netherlands, for panoramic views of the city is the perfect weekend activity. The adjacent Dom Square is a historical hub with charming cafes, shops, and often hosts events.

🎟 Reserve your place to climb the iconic Dom Tower and have a guided tour of the church here.

Museum Speelklok

Discover the fascinating world of self-playing musical instruments at Museum Speelklok. It’s an interactive museum where you can see and hear various automata and mechanical music devices from different eras.

🎟 Get your ticket to explore the wonderful creations at Museum Speelklok here.

Take a Walk Along Oudegracht

Oudegracht is a beautiful canal that winds its way around the heart of the city of Utrecht. The canal is lined with terraces, boutiques, and cafes, creating a vibrant atmosphere. It is important in the city’s history as one of the main passages for trade.

Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park

If you’re feeling adventurous then you should head just outside the city of Utrecht to enjoy the beautiful Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park. With biking and hiking trails, the park is the perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon.

There are trains that run from the city centre that will take you 15-20 minutes to Driebergen-Zeist Station and then either walk to the park or take a bus to one of the many entrances or the other option is to drive.

Go to the Village of Oud-Zuilen

Another place to visit just a short distance from the city is the village of Oud-Zuilen. There is some beautiful architecture in the village and even a castle to explore.

🎟 Get your ticket to the beautiful Castle de Haar and its grounds on your trip to Oud-Zuilen.

Where to Stay in Utrecht

Name 🏨Key Information ✍️Rating
Grand Hotel Karel VSpa facilities
Short walk to central station
Multiple room options
Friendly staff
The Anthony HotelFamily rooms available
Terrace & bar for guest enjoyment
Rooms with kitchen available
LOFT 188 Luxury Apartment HotelPrivate apartments with home comforts
City views
Well-rated by couples

3. Rotterdam

Rotterdam is very modern and futuristic – it is a beautiful city to visit. There are some very futuristic looking buildings to enjoy like the Cube Houses and the architecture like that used on the Erasmus Bridge is just stunning.

Rotterdam is also infamous for the food market called the Markthal that offers a feast for your eyes and taste buds. Rotterdam’s artsy, different, and just a train ride away from Amsterdam making it perfect for a weekend adventure!

Cube achitecture, Rotterdam

Things To Do in Rotterdam

Erasmus Bridge and Wilhelminapier

When in Rotterdam you have to take a walk across the impressive Erasmus Bridge, an architectural icon connecting the city. While you’re there, explore the Wilhelminapier area, home to modern skyscrapers, theatres, and trendy dining spots.


As already mentioned, you have to take yourself to Markthal, a unique food market with an astonishing mural-covered ceiling. You can enjoy a very diverse range of culinary delights, from local produce to international specialities.

Cube Houses

Experience the wonderful architecture of Cube Houses, a series of tilted and stacked houses that challenge traditional design norms. You can even step inside one of them to see what living there would be like.

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Delve into Rotterdam’s art scene at this museum, which features an extensive collection of artworks spanning centuries and various styles, from Old Masters to contemporary pieces. The Netherlands really is the place to go to enjoy art!


For panoramic views of the city, head to the Euromast observation tower. Take the elevator to the top and admire the stunning vista of Rotterdam and its skyline, especially during sunset. The Euromast would be the perfect place to take a date or a partner to enjoy the wonderful views of Rotterdam.

🎟 Take a look down at the beautiful city of Rotterdam from the sky with a ticket to go up the Euromast Tower.

Where to Stay in Rotterdam

Name 🏨Key Information ✍️Rating
The James RotterdamLounge area with 24/7 food market
Rooms with city view available
Rooms to suit all budgets
Central location
Premier Suites Plus RotterdamApartments for 2 guests
Snacks and drinks available
Cleaning services
Morgan & Mees RotterdamOne or two bed apartments fitting up to 4 guests
Some rooms with balcony
Bar, restaurant & terrace

Weekend Trips in Europe from Amsterdam

As the Netherlands is such a small country, you can easily cross borders and do some further travelling around Europe on a weekend trip from Amsterdam. The most accessible cities to visit are of course in the neighbouring countries – France, Germany and Belgium.

I’ve picked three of the best places to visit in these countries with short travel times and lots of cool experiences on offer.

1. Brussels, Belgium

From one capital to another, Brussels is the perfect weekend getaway location from Amsterdam. The city is full of character and things to do and you can jam pack an itinerary even for a weekend or one day trip.

The city has some of the most beautiful architecture I have ever seen – particularly in the Grand Place and the list of attractions in Brussels is endless!

The Grand Place, Brussels

Things To Do in Brussels

Admire the Grand Place

The Grand Place is the central square of the city of Brussels with the city hall and guildhalls all arranged beautifully around the borders. There are chocolate shops, waffle stands and restaurants all around showcasing the delicious Belgian cuisine. The Grand Place is often the starting place for many walking tours around the city, with tourists bustling around at all times of the year.

🎟 Book a walking tour to explore the city, starting in the infamous Grand Place.

Take a Chocolate Tour in Brussels

Brussels is famous for the chocolate craftsmanship that is on offer in many shop windows. Belgian chocolate is so delicious and everyone should try it when they find themselves in Brussels. There are so many tour options available in Brussels and many chocolate making demonstrations and workshops. You can see the best ones here, or book my top pick through the link below.

🎟 Enter chocolate paradise by booking this delightful chocolate making workshop.

Track Down the 3 Peeing Statues

Brussels has a fantastic sense of humour and they love their peeing statues. The original, Manneken Pis is a little peeing boy that is visited by thousands of tourists every year. He is so well loved that he gets dressed up for every occasion and he even has a museum dedicated to his wardrobe.The other two statues Jeanneke and Zinneke Pis are lesser known but you have to pay them a visit! They are also peeing statues in the form of a girl and a dog!

The Atomium

The Atomium is a fantastic structure that is the shape of an iron atom. The giant metal spheres are actually exhibition areas and allow you to have panoramic views, watch light shows and learn about the construction of the amazing building. The Atomium is a short distance out of the city but is one of the stops on the hop-on hop-off Brussels bus tour, making it easy to get there if you don’t want to use public transport.

🎟 Look at the city from 100 metres in the air with a ticket to the Atomium.

Where to Stay in Brussels

Name 🏨Key Information ✍️Rating
Motel One Brussels10 minutes from Grand Place
Multiple room types
Max 2 guests per room
Pets allowed
Grand Place StudioCentral location
Private studio with sofa bed
View of city hall clock tower from window
La Maison Haute GuesthouseMax 2 guests
Free WiFi
Great reviews
Stunning bathroom

How to Get to Brussels

From Amsterdam, it is easy to get to Brussels with many direct trains. The high-speed Thalys train is a popular option, connecting Amsterdam Centraal Station to Brussels-Midi/Zuid Station. The journey takes around 1 hour and 50 minutes. It’s advisable to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak travel times.

2. Paris, France

Picture this: you hop on a high-speed train, and a few hours later, voilà! You’re in the City of Love. Imagine sipping coffee at cute Parisian cafés, gazing up at the Eiffel Tower, and strolling along the Seine River.

You can dive into art at the Louvre, wander through charming neighbourhoods like Montmartre, and soak in the Parisian atmosphere that’s just so romantic! It’s like stepping into a movie scene for a couple of days.

The perfect romantic weekend getaway awaits you in Paris!

Eiffel Tower, Paris

Things To Do in Paris

The Eiffel Tower

What trip to Paris would be complete without admiring Paris’ most iconic structure? The perfect weekend activity in Paris is definitely climbing to the top to get some breathtaking views. But if heights aren’t your thing a picnic at its base is the next best thing!

🎟 Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower and get a view from the highest point with this ticket!

Seine River Cruise

Take a leisurely boat cruise along the Seine River. It’s a relaxing way to see Paris’ famous landmarks, such as Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Musée d’Orsay, from a different perspective.

🎟 Book your Seine River Cruise here.

Louvre Museum

Immerse yourself in art and history at the Louvre. See the Mona Lisa, marvel at ancient artefacts, and explore the vast collection spanning centuries. Spending a few hours at the Louvre is a must-do in Paris.

🎟 Get a ticket to skip the queues and get straight to the Mona Lisa here.

Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe

Take a stroll along the Champs-Élysées and admire the beautiful archway of the Arc de Triomphe. You can climb to the top of the stunning arch to get some amazing views of the city.

🎟 Reserve a ticket to climb to the rooftop of the Arc de Triomphe and admire the city below.

Where to Stay in Paris

Name 🏨Key Information ✍️Rating
Hotel MontpensierBuffet breakfast or room service
400 metres from the Louvre
Solo rooms available
Hôtel Le Relais des HallesAntique style decor
Suites available
Delicious breakfast
Shuttle service from airport
1 Bedroom Louvre Saint HonoréEquipped kitchen
City views
Free WiFi
Max 4 guests (1 double bed, 1 sofa bed)

How to Get to Paris from Amsterdam

The Thalys high-speed train is a popular choice, connecting Amsterdam Centraal Station to Paris Gare du Nord. The journey takes around 3 hours and 30 minutes. It’s recommended to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak travel times.

You could also opt to travel by bus or car but the journey times with be significantly longer.

3. Cologne, Germany

Visiting Cologne for the weekend promises an enriching blend of history, architecture, and cultural experiences. This charming German city boasts its iconic Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral), a stunning Gothic masterpiece that dominates the skyline.

With its welcoming atmosphere, diverse culinary scene, and historical sites, Cologne offers a perfect weekend getaway that has an essence of both old-world charm and modern vibrancy.

Cologne at night

Things To Do in Cologne

Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral or the Kölner Dom is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an iconic symbol of the city. While beautiful to admire you should absolutely climb the tower for panoramic views of the city and the Rhine River.


The Schokoladenmuseum is the perfect place for chocolate lovers to indulge in beautiful creations. Learn about the history of chocolate, witness the chocolate-making process, and taste some delicious treats at Cologne’s Chocolate Museum.

🎟 Get a ticket enjoy the delicious treats at the Schokoladenmuseum here.

Cologne Cable Car

Take a ride on the Cologne Cable Car for a unique view of the city and the Rhine River. It offers a different perspective of Cologne’s landmarks and is especially enchanting during sunset.

Ludwig Museum

The Ludwig Museum is home to so much contemporary art. The museum’s collection includes works by artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, making it a must-visit for art enthusiasts. Book your tickets here.

Where to Stay in Cologne

Name 🏨Key Information ✍️Rating
Aparthotel Adagio Köln CityOne bedroom apartments
Max 4 guests
Stylish decor
Buffet breakfast
Adina Apartment Hotel CologneSuites and apartments
Fitness centre
Restaurant & Bar
Breakfast available
AMERON Köln Hotel RegentItalian restaurant
City view
Quiet area
Good transport links

Conclusion: Weekend Trips from Amsterdam

Taking weekend trips from Amsterdam allow you to explore other cities and their culture and architecture. There are great weekend destinations close to the city of Amsterdam meaning you’ll not waste too much time on travel.

Going further abroad also has its positives however. You can very easily explore cities across northern Europe on a weekend trip from Amsterdam. The best places to visit would be Brussels, Paris or Cologne, taking the high speed Thalys train.

Wherever you choose to take your weekend break, there are great activities to do in every location and the accommodation that I’ve narrowed down for each city will give you a relaxing stay.

Interested in more posts about The Netherlands?

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