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A day off in the Netherlands? 5 ideas for day trips

27 February, 2023
Eryk Falkowski
Wandering what to see during your stay in the Netherlands? Even though the Netherlands is a relatively small country, it’s definitely difficult to get bored here. Almost endless cycle paths or walks along atmospheric streets – whether in Amsterdam or fishing villages – await you…. and this is just the beginning! You will find the size of the Netherlands to be a favourable aspect – thanks to efficient public transport, you can quickly reach different parts of the country. Let yourself be inspired by our recommendations for day trips in the land of windmills and tulips.

Feel the atmosphere of old Holland – Marken

Where can you experience the unique atmosphere of the old Netherlands, where life revolved around fishing and agriculture? In Marken! The atmospheric fishing village located on the island of the same name has for years attracted people interested in exploring the Netherlands, but not necessarily looking in the direction of tulips, Amsterdam, and windmills. An enchanting landscape of scattered black wooden cottages awaits you in Marken. If you’re going to visit this village, be sure to talk to the locals and listen to the way they speak – it’s a dialect unique to the country, which has survived thanks to Marken’s long isolation from the rest of the world.

So, you could say that by going to Marken, you are also going to a little Dutch end of the world.
Jednodniowe wycieczki Holandia - marken Jednodniowe wycieczki Holandia - marken

Visit the cheese market in Edam

For lovers of cheese and those who enjoy walks in green surroundings, ideally by the water, we recommend Edam. In 2020, the town had barely over 7,000 inhabitants. It’s close to Amsterdam and, with its sleepiness and tranquillity, provides the perfect counterbalance to the energetic and wealthy city. The exception is the cheese fair, which takes place every Wednesday morning in July and August. The tradition is deep-rooted – as early as 1520, Edam was granted official rights to hold the fair. Farmers and their cheeses arrived in the town by wagon or by boat. Incidentally, you won’t have to imagine a boat loaded with cheeses, as reconstructions of historic markets are organised every year.

Edam is very easily accessible from Amsterdam – it takes over half an hour by bus and just over an hour by bike to get there.
Jednodniowe wycieczki Holandia - Edam Jednodniowe wycieczki Holandia - Edam

The classic feature, i.e. windmills

In the Netherlands, you can find at least 1,100 traditional-style windmills, many of which are still in use. In fact, all you have to do to discover windmills in the Netherlands is get on your bike and set off ahead – there’s a good chance that you will find a gem.

Kinderdijk (pictured below) is considered one of the most beautiful landscapes with windmills in the country – it has even been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When considering other destinations, the Zaanse Schans open-air museum (where you can learn that a windmill might not be the same as the next windmill and there are many types of these structures) can’t be overlooked.

When planning day trips with a windmill theme, places such as Harlem (the famous lone-standing windmill De Adriaan), De Schermer, or Molen De Valk are also worth considering.
Jednodniowe wycieczki Holandia - wiatraki Jednodniowe wycieczki Holandia - wiatraki

Known and unknown Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a must-see for many visitors to the Netherlands. The colourful city offers a whole cross-section of attractions and experiences – from contemplating art to taking a boat trip in the canals to getting lost in Europe’s oldest China Town. There’s something for everyone here, and it’s difficult to squeeze a tour in one day (which would certainly be an eventful one anyway).

Canal cruises and trips to the Red Lantern Quarter are popular, but even there you can discover the unknown Netherlands by visiting, for example, Ons Live Heer Op Solder – Our Lord’s Museum in the Attic, one of the city’s lesser-known spots.

Nevertheless, Amsterdam and its immediate surroundings will offer you far more than can be seen in a tourist brochure, such as the idyllic Ouderkerk aan de Amstel or the artistic and picturesque Jordaan or Westergas boroughs.

When planning day trips in the Netherlands, it’s absolutely worth letting yourself be surprised by the huge diversity of Amsterdam.
Jednodniowe wycieczki Holandia - Amsterdam Jednodniowe wycieczki Holandia - Amsterdam

The different facets of The Hague

So, you have already been to Amsterdam and taken some photos of windmills. Well, now let us suggest a trip to the unofficial capital of the Netherlands – The Hague, where the royal couple and Parliament reside. As far as The Hague’s classic landmarks are concerned, the Noordeinde Palace and the fabulous Ridderzaal must be mentioned. As you wander through the streets, pop down to the Mesdag Museum, whose collection focuses primarily on the work of painters who lived in The Hague. If you want to experience a slightly more unusual, but attractive face of the Netherlands, a trip to the Scheveningen pier (you can see it in the photo below) or to the extremely atmospheric Van Kleef distillery, which has been in operation since 1842, will be worthwhile.
Jednodniowe wycieczki Holandia - Haga Scheveningen Jednodniowe wycieczki Holandia - Haga Scheveningen

Day trips in the Netherlands

The Dutch love to be active and it’s hardly surprising as at almost every turn, you’ll come across something worthwhile, and stepping onto a train or hopping on a bike can end up with you disappearing for the day. If you’re going to work in the Netherlands, you have an incredible opportunity to discover and experience things that you will have fond memories of for a very long time to come. That’s what we wish for you!