Amsterdam

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The Netherlands is so compact that every part of the country is accessible as a day trip from Amsterdam, and it's so flat that you can easily bike to several outlying areas. Other large cities worth visiting include the Hague, home of the World Court, and Rotterdam, a center of cutting-edge design and architecture.

Day Trips from Amsterdam

Haarlem

This delightfully picturesque suburb of Amsterdam has landmarks dating to the 14th century. Don’t miss the central square Grote Markt, the museum of Dutch master Frans Hals, and the organ in the Gothic St. Bavo church, which was played by Handel and Mozart.

12 miles west of Amsterdam, www.vvvzk.nl
Tags: family | art | architecture | day trip

Keukenhof

The world’s largest bulb flower gardens are open from late March through late May, with a staggering seven million tulips, daffodils, and other flowers on 79 acres.

17 miles southwest of Amsterdam, www.keukenhof.nl
Tags: family | historic | outdoors | day trip

Rotterdam

Though lacking Amsterdam’s charm and intimate scale, Europe’s busiest port boasts dazzling contemporary architecture, youthful energy, and wonderful museums of Dutch master paintings, photography and maritime life.

48 miles south of Amsterdam, www.vvv.rotterdam.nl/uk
Tags: art | architecture | day trip | museum

The Hague

Amsterdam shares the title of the capital of the Netherlands with the Hague, a stately city studded with waterways, 13th-century monuments, fine museums, and the World Court.

34 miles southwest of Amsterdam, www.vvvdenhaag.nl
Tags: editor pick | culture | architecture | day trip | museum

The Kröller-Müller Museum

This unique museum is located in the middle of a 21-square-mile wooded national park (free bicycles can be found at each of the park’s three entrances). The museum’s two sections – a building containing the world’s second largest Van Gogh collection, and a massive outdoor sculpture garden – are world class.

Houtkampweg 6 (in the center of Hoge Veluwe National Park), 011-31-318-591-241, www.kmm.nl
Tags: family | art | culture | day trip | museum | national park

Utrecht

Let the Domtoren (cathedral tower, the nation’s tallest) be your landmark in this art-filled, historic city. The museum of the Catharijneconvent, with Christian art and iconography in a medieval monastery, is fine and refined, and the Oudegracht (Old Canal) is one of the prettiest in this nation of pretty canals.

25 miles southeast of Amsterdam, www.holland.com/utrechtprov/gb
Tags: family | shopping | art | day trip

Zaanse Schans

What’s a trip to Holland without windmills? This recreated village on the bank of the Zaan River has a half-dozen of them, many inhabited by craftsmen making mustard, wooden shoes, and pewter. A museum of local folk customs is nearby.

9 miles northwest of Amsterdam, www.zaanseschans.nl
Tags: family | day trip

Zandvoort

Dutch beaches are more party places than relaxing getaways. Zandvoort’s 4 miles of sand are lined with pavilions selling food and drinks and often feature DJs spinning club beats. Special interest pavilions run from families to gay visitors and nudists.

19 miles west of Amsterdam, www.zandvoort.nl
Tags: beach | family | day trip | gay

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