25 Weekend Trips from Amsterdam Reachable by Train

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Author:  Caroline

Amsterdam and the tulip fields in Lisse attract millions of tourists each year to the Netherlands. While these sights are well worth a visit, the country has even more to offer! To help you on your way this list of weekend trips from Amsterdam both inside and outside of the Netherlands, all of them a simple train ride away!

The Netherlands has a wealth of quaint medieval towns filled with cobblestone streets and canals lined with houseboats, colorful flowers, and a sea of bikes. It also has the largest port in Europe and a lot of surprisingly modern architecture all of which can be visited as an easy weekend trip from Amsterdam.

Find yourself with time to spare while visiting Amsterdam, or are based out of Amsterdam and looking for inspiration on where to go from Amsterdam to get out of the city for a few days, this post is for you. You might also like to read about the 15 unmissable castles in the Netherlands for inspiration.

This guide contains 25 weekend escapades: 12 weekend trip ideas inside of the Netherlands, 8 weekend trips to neighboring countries and 5 additional hidden gems you can visit in a 2-day trip. All of the locations mentioned in the below article are great weekend getaways from Amsterdam easily reachable by train!

Please note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.

Weekend Trip from Amsterdam Planning Guide

Where does the train for my weekend trip from Amsterdam leave from?

All trains from Amsterdam leave from the Amsterdam Central Station, which is easily reachable by bus, tram, metro, or even ferry. The train station is quiet big, allow for enough time to find the track your train is leaving from.

Purchasing train tickets from Amsterdam

INTERNATIONAL TRAIN TRIPS: For international train trips from Amsterdam, tickets need to be purchased in advance and online. I use Omio to get the cheapest tickets and to consult the schedule. Check prices & schedule

DOMESTIC TRAIN TRIPS: Train trips from Amsterdam inside the Netherlands can be purchased either online or in paper format. Please note that for the paper format, a surcharge of €1 is charged. Head over to the Amsterdam Central Station, the yellow ticket machines can be used to purchase a one-way ticket (payment by card). Check prices & schedule

Weekend trips from Amsterdam outside of the country by train

Train trips inside the Schengen Area

Train trips inside the Schengen Area will not require you to show your passport. There is no need to get to the gate much earlier than 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time.

Train trips outside the Schengen Area

Train trips to London (UK) are a little different. As the UK is outside of the Schengen Area you will be required to show a valid ID (passport) and return ticket (for non-residence of the UK). Before getting on the train you will need to pass by two separate checkpoints (border control), one from the Netherlands and the other from the UK.

It is advised to come at least 45 min to 1 hour before the scheduled departure time.

weekend trip from Amsterdam to Rotterdam
Take a weekend trip from Amsterdam to Rotterdam and see the tulips

16 Weekend Trips from Amsterdam

Exploring the Netherlands and the surrounding countries is simple and hassle-free thanks to a great network of trains connecting Amsterdam to pretty much anywhere in Europe. Trains are clean, mostly on time and train staff usually speaks enough English to help you get to your destination.

Read more: There are plenty of places around Amsterdam to visit by train that do not necessarily require a full weekend. If you are short on time simply spend one day exploring the surroundings of Amsterdam.

25 Weekend Trips from Amsterdam Reachable by Train

12 Amsterdam weekend trips in the Netherlands

25 Weekend Trips from Amsterdam Reachable by Train

Amsterdam is one of my favorite places to visit in the Netherlands, it never ceases to provide welcome inspiration for photography and is a great cure for my writer’s block. It took me a long time to actually explore other cities in the Netherlands but thankfully I expanded my horizons. 

Visiting Amsterdam and want to get a bit of a feel for other places in the Netherlands? These 12 overnight trips from Amsterdam should do just the trick. 

view of leiden canals on a weekend train trip from amsterdam

1. Leiden

Explored by Caro from veggiewayfarer

Location: 47 kilometers from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Direct train from Amsterdam Centraal (35 minutes train ride).
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

The university city of Leiden is one of the easiest weekend trips from Amsterdam to organize. It is a mere 35 minutes by train from the capital. The historical center is lined with 15th-century gabled houses and little canals snaking their way through the streets.

Leiden – after Amsterdam – is the city with the most bridges and canals in the country. What it lacks in size, it makes up in brains! The city is the scientific hub of the Netherlands and has produced no less than 16 Nobel Prize-winning discoveries. Aside from walking around the picturesque streets of the old town – with the help of the Leiden discovery trail app – a great way to get a feel for the city is by taking a 1h cruise on the canals.

Next up wander around the Hortus Bontanicus, the largest botanical garden in the Netherlands. If hunger strikes, grab a bite to eat in the 15th-century Pieterskerk – a former church that has been transformed into an exhibition space. Just outside of the city of Leiden lies the exquisite Duivenvoorde castle. Rent a bike and ride over for a visit.

Find your sustainable hotel in Leiden

short trip from Amsterdam by train Zaans Schans

2. Zaans Schans

Explored by Maartje & Sebastiaan from The Orange Backpack

Location: 19 km from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Direct train from Amsterdam Centraal to Zaandam (16 minutes train ride)
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

A trip to see windmills is non-negotiable when visiting the Netherlands. Each Dutch city has at least one but if you are looking for a spot that contains a cluster of windmills with a cute historic Dutch village then Zaanse Schans is where you want to head.

As far as tourist attractions go, Zaanse Schans is a little unusual, the small village was built in the sixties with the goal of preserving the typical Zaan architecture. The best-preserved monuments of the area were moved to the village, and locals started making the new buildings their home. Within ten years the village became known to both local and foreign tourists. To this day locals still live here, despite it being one of the most popular weekend getaways in the Netherlands.

Zaanse Schans contains no less than twelve relocated windmills; eight of which are lined up beautifully along the Zaan river and six of which are still working mills (two sawmills, one mustard mill, two oil mills, and one dye mill). The mills can be visited for a cost of €3 ($3.3) per person, per mill with the Zaans Schans Card. Aside from marveling at windmills, make sure to wander around the historic houses of the village.

If you’d like to visit more historic villages, this area north of Amsterdam is filled with them. Fisherman’s village Volendam is a popular attraction as well, but lesser-known are stunning towns like Broek in Waterland, Monnickendam, or De Rijp. It is worth considering a rental car, so you can visit all of them during your weekend trip from Amsterdam

Find a locally run guesthouse near Zaanse Schans

3. Haarlem

Explored by Renee from Dream Plan Experience

Location: 21 km from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Direct train from Amsterdam Centraal to Haarlem (15 minutes train ride)
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

The little Dutch town of Haarlem is considered the smaller sister of Amsterdam. It has all the charm: pretty canals, captivating museums, and fascinating landmarks, with a lot fewer tourists. If you are looking for a weekend trip from Amsterdam that is chill then definitely check out Haarlem.

You might not expect it at first, but Haarlem was once an important trading port for the Netherlands. The wealth that was accumulated by the merchants is openly visible in the beautiful gabled houses around the town. Walk through the medieval cobblestoned alleys and find the prettiest hofjes – inner courtyards surrounded by almshouses.

In total there are 21 of these little hidden gems, tucked away behind unassuming doorways or alleyways. It may require a bit of curiosity and luck to stumble upon all of them. On your search for the hidden hofjes, you are sure to run into the impressive Grote Kerk – the 14th-century cathedral located on the main square.

For those interested in shopping: Haarlem has been voted as one of the best places in the Netherlands to go shopping. Wander around the Gouden Straatjes (Golden streets) to find many specialty boutique stores.

A weekend trip would not be complete without some delicious food! For a light breakfast try the Yoghurt Barn or for a cozy café head to Native. Restaurant Metzo offers a modern take on Mediterranean classics and lastly, The Jopenkerk is a former church turned brewery where you can sample some of the local beer.

Find a quaint Bed and Breakfast in Haarlem

4. Maastricht

Explored by Zoe from togetherintransit

Location: 214 km from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Direct train from Amsterdam Centraal to Maastricht (2h30 train ride)
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

If you are looking for a weekend trip in the Netherlands that is a little further away from Amsterdam, head to the south of the country to a city called Maastricht.

Even though Maastricht is in the Netherlands, the city has a very different feel from the rest of the country. The vibe of the city is a distinct mixture of Dutch, French, and Belgium. Which translated into pretty cobblestoned streets, little alleyways, and two main walkway bridges connecting the city center together.

The main things to do in Maastricht include: shopping in the big stores and little boutiques in the historical city center; touring the 13th-century city fortified walls and seeing interesting artifacts at the local history museum. If you love nature, try hiking one of the many trails around the city.

South of the city lies the Sint-Pietersberg where you can explore the old mining caves 30 meters underground as well as the fort. Both activities can be explored with a tour (English speaking tour available daily).

For a bite to eat, head to the local bakery around the Bisschopsmolen and try a piece of the famous Limburg vlaai. A Dutch pie made with different kinds of fruit. Usually, the pie is eaten for a celebration, but this bakery serves it all year round.

Travel Tip: If you can, try visiting Maastricht in December and partake in the many Christmas activities. Drink Gluhwein, indulge in warm treats, and feast your ears upon the live music that is played around the city. The city lights up to become a twinkling wintery location, just remember to bring a sweater.

Ideas on where to stay sustainably in Maastricht

canal in giethoorn, 2 day trip from Amsterdam by train

5. Giethoorn

Explored by Anukrati from bulbulonthewing

Location: 118 km from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: There is no direct train from Amsterdam to Giethoorn.
Take the train to Utrecht Centraal, from there hop on the train to Steenwijk. From Steenwijk take the bus to Giethoorn. (2h10 travel time)
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

Possibly the most majestic of all the weekend trips from Amsterdam; known as the Venice of the Netherlands, Giethoorn is the kind of place you see in postcards and want to visit on the spot. What makes the village of Giethoorn so special is the fact that one does not get around by car, but by boat! There are a mere 2700 inhabitants living in the village, most of which live in a beautiful 18th-century farmhouse – with their iconic thatched roof – on one of the many canals.

The most scenic way of visiting Giethoorn is to travel the waters on a punter, or an electric boat. Most canal cruises take around 2 hours, with prices starting at €40 ($44). A booking in advance is advised!

Lining the canals are plenty of little cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a delicious meal. Alternatively, you can pop by the supermarket and get supplies to make yourself a wonderful picnic next to the canals.

Enjoy a magical weekend in a wonderful hotel in Giethoorn

amsterdam to eindhoven over the weekend

6. Eindhoven

Explored by Kerry from VeggTravel | Adventure Awaits

Location: 123 km from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Direct train (2h train ride)
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

If you’re looking for a fantastic weekend trip from Amsterdam, then visit Eindhoven, the 5th biggest city in the Netherlands.

Did you know that Eindhoven is known as the city of lights? Technology giant, Philips, is intertwined in Eindhoven’s history and modern-day presence. This long-standing relationship has put the city on the map with its annual festival of lights named Glow.

Travel to the city in early November, when the whole center will be illuminated with interesting and enchanting light displays. You can also stop by the Philips Museum to learn more about its origins and history.

If art or architecture is more your thing, then visit the Evoluon, Eindhoven’s most striking building. This intriguing event venue is shaped like a flying saucer and will certainly catch your eye. If you’re looking for something more traditional, then there are several beautiful churches and cathedrals to visit. Look out for St Catherine’s Church as it is one of the most spectacular.

For the afternoons or evenings, head to the Strijp-S district in the northwest of the center for trendy boutiques, skate parks, and an ever-expanding strip of bars, restaurants, and brewpubs. This former industrial park is also known as the forbidden city, as it used to only allow access to Philips employees. Now the Strijp-S district is an urban metropolis in creative surroundings that makes for an interesting evening.

Explore Eindhoven’s historically modern accommodations

quick 48 hours away by train from amsterdam

7. Rotterdam

Explored by Lara from The Best Travel Gifts

Location: 79 km from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Direct train Amsterdam Centraal to Rotterdam Centraal (1h train ride)
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and the design hub of the country. The skyline of the city is filled with skyscrapers in every shape and size, it could not be more different from Amsterdam. Rotterdam is the perfect weekend getaway in the Netherlands for design lovers and foodies!

The reason why Rotterdam is so distinctly different from Amsterdam dates back to the Second World War when Rotterdam was heavily bombed. The city took a modern approach when rebuilding began in the 50s. Before the war, Rotterdam actually looked a lot like Amsterdam.

As a design hub, it is not surprising that Rotterdam is filled with interesting and modern architectural sites: The cubic houses, the Central Train Station, the pencil and the sharpener (City Hall), and the world heritage-listed Van Nelle fabriek. Aside from architecture, the city has a lot of captivating museums worthy of a visit. Examples include the Maritime Museum, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Museum Rotterdam ‘40-’45 NU, Chabot Musuem.

Head over to the Hotel New York for a delicious meal in the former headquarters of the Holland/America line.

Inspiration for sustainable accommodations in Rotterdam

8. Groningen

Explored by Lotte from Phenomenalglobe

Location: 180 kilometers from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: There is no direct train to Groningen. From Amsterdam Central Station take a train to Almere and transfer to the intercity direction Groningen. (2h train ride)
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

One of the furthest weekend trips from Amsterdam you can take leads you up north, to a city called Groningen. Unequivocally one of the most fun cities to visit in the Netherlands. This is thanks to the large student population (25% of the city’s inhabitants are students) who ensure there are plenty of cool activities to do in Groningen.

As with many cities in the Netherlands, Groningen was heavily bombed during WWII. Luckily however the majority of the historical buildings were left intact are open for you to visit while walking around town. And walk you will, as the city is very compact you can easily navigate around everywhere on foot!

Walk to the Martini Tower and climb the many stairs to get the best views over the city, visit Reitdiep Harbor with its cute and colorful houses, rent a boat and paddle around the harbor before grabbing a bite to eat at the local restaurant Taste and Flavor.

If you’re visiting Groningen during winter, you can go ice skating on the Grote Markt. In case your visit coincides with warm summer weather, there is no better place to be than Kaap Hoorn where you go swimming in the Paterswoldse Meer. Incidentally, Beachclub Kaap Hoorn is also a really nice spot for lunch or dinner.

Stay in the lively city of Groningen in a centrally-located hotel

explore utrecht castles on a weekend trip from amsterdam

9. Utrecht

Explored by Nichola from Globalmouse Travels

Location: 58 kilometers from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Direct train from Amsterdam Centraal to Utrecht (30 min train ride)
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

The city of Utrecht contains a wide array of interesting attractions: musical museums, historical towers, canals, and even a castle. It is one of the most family-friendly weekend trips from Amsterdam.

In quintessential Dutch style, Utrecht is crisscrossed with winding canals topped with bike-filled bridges. The historical center is small and easily navigated on foot, or on a bicycle. Make sure to stop by De Muntkelder for a delicious pancake while exploring the center. The best views over Utrecht are to be found at the top of the Dom Tower, a 14th-century tower that was originally supposed to be part of a Cathedral (ironically the cathedral itself was never built).

A lesser-known fact about the city is that it is the spiritual home of the most famous cartoon rabbit in the world – Miffy. The Miffy Museum or Nijntje Museum is a wonderful little museum that teaches you all about the history of this celebrity rabbit.

From here go to the Speelklok Museum and marvel at the incredible collection of Dutch Street Organs, which once served as entertainment for the townsfolk. The museum is interactive and allows you to create your own tunes!

If you happen to be on a family holiday in the Netherlands, be sure to also allocate some time to visit the interactive exhibition DOMunder which displays the history of Utrecht in a fun and immersive experience.

A little outside of town sits the Castle de Haar, an exquisite example of medieval castles that can be visited during select times of the year.

Make a reservation for a sustainable hotel in Utrecht

10. Almere (Flevoland)

Explored by Caroline from Veggiewayfarer

Location: 34 kilometers from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Direct train from Amsterdam Centraal to Almere (20 min train ride)
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

Flevoland is one of the easiest weekend trips from Amsterdam by train as it is a mere 20-minute train ride away. You might not know this, but Flevoland is the youngest province of the Netherlands having been dredged up a mere 50 years ago!

Flevoland is home to the largest tulip fields in all of the Netherlands making it a really great spot to visit in Spring and the perfect alternative for the very crowded Keukenhof in Lisse. I used Almere as a basis for exploring the province of Flevoland. The city itself is cute, but can be visited in a few hours.

Aside from Almere, make sure to visit Lelystad (and pop into Batavialand museum), spot deer at birds at the Oostvaardersplassen and head out onto the Marker Wadden. If your visit takes place at the tail end of summer or autumn, plan in a few hours for apple picking!

Make a reservation for a hotel in Almere

11. Den Bosch & Around

Explored by Caroline from Veggiewayfarer

Location: 93 kilometers from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Direct train from Amsterdam Centraal to ‘S-Hertogenbosch (56 min train ride)
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

‘S-Hertogenbosch, or Den Bosch as the city is locally known, is one of the best weekend getaways from Amsterdam for lovers of Vincent van Gogh. The city is the capital of the North Brabant province where the famous post-impressionist painter was born and spent a considerable portion of his life.

I was curious to learn more about Vincent van Gogh and what inspired his early, darker works. So I headed to the Den Bosch using it as a base to explore Zundert (the birthplace of Van Gogh), Nuenen (Van Gogh Museum focuses on his early life) and went hiking in the Van Gogh National Park.

Make a reservation for a hotel in Den Bosch

12. The West Frisian Islands (Wadden Eilanden)

Explored by Caroline from Veggiewayfarer

Location: 155 kilometers from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Amsterdam Centraal to Almere next Almere to Leeuwarden (2h05 min train ride). Then hop on a ferry that carries you to one of the Frisian Islands.
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

If you are looking to for an easy weekend trip from Amsterdam that involves nature and is incidentally the best place to go stargazing in Europe then consider the Frisian Islands in Northern Netherlands. The Frisian Islands (Waddeneilanden) are an archipelago of islands dotted between the northwestern Netherlands, Germany, and even the west of Denmark.

The groups of islands are split between West Frisian Islands (14 Dutch islands), East Frisian Islands (12 German islands), and North Frisian Islands (13 German/Danish islands). My favorite West Frisian island is Terschelling, a spot I have been lucky enough to visit on three different occasions.

My adventurous guide to the Frisian Islands covers in detail how to get there, and which activities you can do and adds a few recommendations for restaurants and hotels.

Make a reservation for a hotel Terschelling

25 Weekend Trips from Amsterdam Reachable by Train

8 Weekend trips from Amsterdam to other countries

25 Weekend Trips from Amsterdam Reachable by Train

One of my favorite things about Europe is the ease with which travel is possible. A few hours on a train will take you from the flat countryside of the Netherlands into the rolling hills of Northern Germany or downtown bustling Antwerp in Belgium. Tag on a few more hours and you can be sipping wine in a little bistro in Besancon France.

13. Brussels (Belgium)

Explored by Caro from Veggiewayfarer

Location: 200 km from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Direct Eurostar from Amsterdam Central to Brussel Central (2h train ride)
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

Brussels holds the dual title of capital to both Belgium and Europe. Spending a weekend in Brussels will mean eating plenty of French fries, visiting art nouveau museums, figuring out what the fuss is about the little peeing man, and marveling at Europe’s most ornate main square – all of this on Saturday.

On Sunday it is time to grab brunch and to head over to the city’s trendiest flea market: Jeu de Balle Flea Market in the Marolles district. Aside from French fries, the city has a lot of other culinary delights to indulge in. If you are looking for some authentic Belgian food be sure to try Aux armes de Bruxelles or Choux de Bruxelles. 

Delirium café offers visitors a taste of 2000 different types of beers, both Belgian and international.
Opt to stay in a wonderful locally run B&B in Brussels to get a true taste of Brussels.

Find out exactly where to stay in Brussels

14. Bruges (Belgium)

Explored by Caro from Veggiewayfarer

Location: 268 km from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Eurostar Amsterdam Centraal to Brussels Midi; Brussels Midi to Bruges. Total travel time between 2h30 and 3h30.
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

If you are looking for a romantic getaway, consider taking a trip from Amsterdam to Bruges in northern Belgium. The medieval historical center received UNESCO classification in 2000 and since then has quickly become one of the most visited sites in Belgium, even more than the capital Brussels.

It is not hard to see why! Little cobblestone alleys lined with tiny, colorful gabled houses dating back hundreds of years. Called “Venice of the North” thanks to its many canals. These waterways have a rich history, dating back to the 12th century, originally constructed for commercial purposes, supporting trade and the transportation of goods. Nowadays it is no longer goods but tourists that are transported on a 45-minute journey.

In addition to the Grote Markt and Burg Square, several other must-visit spots should find a place on your Bruges itinerary. The renowned Rozenhoedkaai, offers the city’s most famous viewpoint and serves as an excellent starting point for your canal cruise.

Don’t miss capturing the picturesque Medieval Boniface Bridge and the nearby Gruuthuse Museum—both worthy of a photo or two. The unassuming Church of our Lady surprises with an authentic Michelangelo on display. Venture a bit further to discover Jan van Eyckplein and a series of beautiful, tranquil canals.

GOOD TO KNOW | Christmas in Bruges is absolutely magical! Well worth braving the cold.

Stay in a cozy B&B in Bruges

15. Antwerpen (Belgium)

Explored by Caro from Veggiewayfarer

Location: 160 km from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Direct train from Amsterdam Centraal to Antwerpen Centraal station.
(2h train ride)
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

Looking for a fashionable getaway from Amsterdam then jet-set right over the border to Antwerpen. The city of Antwerpen has a lot of wonderful museums to visit: Red Star Line Museum, Photo Museum, Plantijn Moretus Museum, and the iconic MAS museum – which has the best views over the town from its rooftop.

Once you have taken in your fair share of culture, make your way to the Main Square and learn all about the origins of the name Antwerpen while drinking the local beer “een bolleke”. Walk to the Oudevaartplaats and grab a snack or a cup of coffee at the local market (Vogeltjesmarkt).

The best sunset spot can be found on the other side of the Schelde River. Head over to the Sint Anna tunnel, the city’s only underpass under the river Schelde to catch a glimpse of the city skyline and watch the sky catch fire. Pack some snacks and a bottle of beer/wine to make it a romantic picnic.

Stay in a Hip B&B in Antwerpen

16. London (UK)

By Jackie Rezk from Jou Jou Travels

Location: 359 kilometers from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: High-speed direct train from Amsterdam Centraal to London Saint Pancras. (4h train ride)
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

London is a wonderful weekend trip from Amsterdam as you can take the high-speed train and arrive in just under 4 hours. London is a vibrant city full of many things to do which will leave you never bored. The top attractions include Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and plenty more.

But there is so much more to the city than just the typical tourist places. If you want to explore London like a local, be sure to visit the many beautiful neighborhoods like Notting Hill or Hampstead which feels like a village far from London with its beautiful streets and houses.

If you’re a foodie, head over to the amazing food markets the city has to offer like Borough Market and Brick Lane Market. For nightlife, the best place to go with more of an edgy feel would be in East London where there are many bars and restaurants in the area. If you are familiar with the movie and the place “Notting Hill”, West London is where you should go, the festivities are huge here.

Although London is a large city, there are many large green spaces throughout including Hyde Park, Regents Park, and Holland Park. It is also nice to walk along the Thames River and even take a boat trip to Richmond for even more exploring.

Find sustainable accommodations in Central London

17. Cologne (Germany)

Explored by Kenny from Knycx Journeying

Location: 165 kilometers from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Direct train from Amsterdam Central to Köln Haubtbahnhof.
(2h33 train ride)
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

Located along the Rhine River, Cologne is a popular traveling hub of the Rhine-Ruhr area in Germany. The city celebrates 2,000 years of rich history, with is clear when visiting some of the many heritage sites and museums. Cologne is a city that loves its food and has the highest number of pubs per head in the country.

Amongst the many Romanesque churches that are scattered in the city’s old town, the majestic Cologne Cathedral dominates the city’s skyline; It is the most visited attraction in Cologne. The cathedral is in fact still the tallest twin-spired church in the world, standing 157 meters in height

For a weekend trip in Cologne from Amsterdam, explore one of the many museums in the city center: Ludwig Museum for contemporary art, Kolumba Museum for church ruins, Romano-Germanic Museum for ancient artifacts, or the Wallraf-Richartz Museum for classical art and history. Next, check out the city’s main architectural highlights: Saint Maria im Kapitol and Groß Saint Martin.

Stroll around the trendiest neighborhood in the city – The Belgian Quarter – filled with cool galleries, cafes, theatres, boutiques, and more. If you want the perfect souvenir to remind you of this beautiful city, purchase a bottle of Cologne, the perfume that originated in the city and bears its name.

Find a green hotel near Cologne’s best restaurants and pubs

18. Düsseldorf (Germany)

Explored by Roxanna from Gypsy With a Day Job

Location: 183 kilometers from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Direct ICE train from Amsterdam Centraal to Düsseldorf Central Station (2h train ride)
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

Düsseldorf may not be the first city that comes to mind when you are looking for weekend trips from Amsterdam, but it is well worth a visit! Founded as a medieval fishing village, Düsseldorf grew in importance over the centuries and was even home to the Roman Emperor Barabossa and Napoleon. Modern-day Düsseldorf is a vibrant city, renowned for cutting-edge architecture, world-class art and shopping, lush green spaces, and “the longest bar in the world”. There are plenty of things to do in Düsseldorf, so let’s get going!

Start with a bit of culture at the K20 and K21 art museums. From here walk to the open-air market at the Carlsplatz, an excellent spot for people watching! For lunch, you can choose to stay on the Carlsplatz or to walk to Japantown and grab a bite to eat or either Naniwa or Nagaya. Spend the afternoon shopping at the Kö or chilling in the Hofgarten.

For a romantic evening head over to Altstadt (Old Town) where you can have dinner in one of the many traditional restaurants like Zum Schiffen or Schumakers, wash it down with a local Altbier. The best dessert in town can be found at Eisburg!

The northern suburbs of Düsseldorf, Kaiserwerth, are home to the ruins of the 12th-century imperial Kaiserpfalz which was once the ruling palace of the Emperor Barabossa, and an excellent spot to visit on a leisurely Sunday.

After exploring the ruins head back to Altstadt for a delicious lunch before hopping on one of the cruises on the Rhine (prices start at € 12 a person). An excellent way to see the city from a different perspective. Weather permitting, head to the top of the Rheinturm, where you can pop into the fun Film Museum. Dinner options include QOMO or the Michelin Star restaurant Berens Am Kai in the Medienhafen.

Inspiration for sustainable hotels in Düsseldorf

25 Weekend Trips from Amsterdam Reachable by Train
Berlin, Brandenburger Tor

19. Berlin (Germany)

Explored by Caroline from Veggiewayfarer

Location: 658 kilometers from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Nighttrain from Amsterdam to Berlin with Europeansleeper
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

With the slow revival of night trains in Europe, it is now possible to get on the train in Amsterdam Central at 11 pm and wake up in Berlin the next day at 07.00. This leaves you two full days to explore Berlin from Amsterdam, before taking the same night train back on Sunday evening.

Begin your visit by renting a bike from one of the many rental stations to explore the city. Head to the Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and marvel at the impressive collections housed in its world-class museums. In the afternoon, explore Kreuzberg, a vibrant neighborhood known for its alternative culture and commitment to sustainability.

Start day two with a visit to the East Side Gallery, the longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall adorned with colorful murals promoting peace and unity. Next, visit Tempelhofer Feld, a former airport turned urban park where locals gather to picnic, cycle, and fly kites.

Before departing, stop by Markthalle Neun, a historic market hall hosting a weekly farmer’s market showcasing regional produce and artisanal goods.

Inspiration for sustainable hotels in Berlin

20. Paris (France)

Explored by Dymphe from Dymabroad

Location: 431 kilometers from Amsterdam
Travel time by train: Eurostar from Amsterdam Centraal to Paris Gard Du Nord (3h30 train ride)
Tickets & Timetable: Consult online

Paris is certainly one of the most romantic weekend trips from Amsterdam. The city of love is an easy train ride away and well worth a visit. Stroll around Montmartre and spot the famous Pink House, visit the Musée National Gustave Moreau, and sit on the steps of the enchanting Basilique du Sacré-Coeur.

If you are a fan of vintage shopping and hip boutiques, head over to the historic district of Le Marais. Incidentally, Le Marais is also home to some of Paris’ best falafel! There is no shortage of museums in Paris: The Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Petit Palais, and Museé des Arts et Métiers are a few of the more well-known museums.

No visit to Paris is complete without the Eiffel Tower. If it is your first time in Paris, you might consider going to the top of the monument for a birds-eye view over the city. The Eiffel Tower lights up from sunset to 1 AM, during which 5′ of each hour it starts to sparkle! There are plenty of Instagrammable places in Paris to explore aside from the above-mentioned.

Choose your sustainable hotel in the city center of Paris

5 Amsterdam Weekend Trips Not Covered in This Guide

There are plenty of other weekend getaways from Amsterdam that did not make it to this guide as the list really is endless. 

  • DELFT: A quaint town that is great to combine with a trip to Rotterdam thanks to its proximity. – 63 km from Amsterdam get off at Delft Station
  • LUXEMBOURG: Little Luxembourg was a wealth of activities from hiking to castle hopping and wine-tasting or simply spend a relaxing weekend away from Amsterdam soaking in one of the spa resorts in Luxembourg – 390 km from Amsterdam get off at Luxembourg station.
  • BREMEN: Beautiful Bremen lies out the outskirts of the Harz Mountains and can be visited as a city trip or used as a basis for a weekend of hiking. – 355 km from Amsterdam get off at Bremen station.
  • KARLSRUHE: The perfect getaway for the sustainable traveler. Karlsruhe is located at the entrance of the Black Forest and offers ample opportunities to go both castle hunting and hiking! – 500 km from Amsterdam get off at Karlsruhe station.
  • MECHELEN: Located between Antwerp and Brussels, the perfect overnight trip from the Netherlands for those looking to get a rare glimpse of an authentic Flemish town – 179 kilometers from Amsterdam get off at Mechelen station.
Getting around Amsterdam

Responsible & Sustainable Travel to Amsterdam

AVOID HIGH SEASON: During the summer months of July and August the city is choc-a-bloc and the overtourism of which the city suffers becomes very apparent. Try visiting during early spring or the autumn months instead.

STAY IN A LOCAL B&B: Instead of opting for one of the prolific Airbnb’s (often not locally run) or chain hotels, make sure your tourism money goes towards supporting the local economy and opt to stay in a smaller, locally run B&B.

EXPLORE AROUND THE CITY: Move away from the heavily crowded city center and explore a few places around Amsterdam (either by train or by bicycle).

SHOP SUSTAINABLE SOUVENIRS: Want to bring back a souvenir from your trip to Amsterdam? Head to Fashian or De Ruilhoek for high-end second-hand clothing; Green Sneaker Store produces cruelty-free sneakers; Indianaweg offers secondhand plants and jewelry while O My Bag is a Bcorp-certified handbag designer.

INCLUSIVE EXPERIENCES: De Pits offers delicious sandwiches and muffins served by youngsters who need a little guiding hand; Ctaste offers diners a meal in the dark, served by visually impaired staff; Hannah’s bar works with people with intellectual disabilities and Restaurant Freud employs staff with employment difficulties.

Weekend Trips from Amsterdam in Conclusion

I hope this guide has provided you with some great inspiration on where to venture outside of Amsterdam by train, both inside of the Netherlands and to the surrounding countries.

If, like me, you are trying to travel in a more sustainable way then traveling by train is a super-easy way to cut down on your CO2 emissions. 


Netherlands: How to spend a relaxing weekend in Leiden
Netherlands: Everything you need to know about visiting Friesland and the Frisian islands
Netherlands: A guide to the outdoor sports on the West Frisian Islands
Netherlands: 6 Cycling trips around Amsterdam
Netherlands: Step into the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh in North Brabant
Belgium: Beautiful Places in Belgium to visit
Belgium: Castles in Belgium you can spend the night in
Poland: Spend 48 hours in exciting Warsaw
Poland: Lodz, a true hidden gem in Poland

25 Weekend Trips from Amsterdam Reachable by Train
Weekend train trips from Amsterdam: Pin it
25 Weekend Trips from Amsterdam Reachable by Train
25 Weekend Trips from Amsterdam Reachable by Train


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Caroline Muller

Thanks for dropping in! My name is Caroline, and I am a full-time writer & photographer. With this blog, I hope to harness the power of travel to do good in the world. Think connecting with local cultures, sustainable tourism, and in-depth guides to known and lesser-known adventures. Adventure awaits!

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