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People Hiking at Nationaal Park Zuid-Kennemerland
Image from Creativebros

Spring day trips from Amsterdam

As the Amsterdam Area awakens from its wintry spell, trees burst with greenery, tulips blossom, and outdoor spaces fill with people seeking out those precious first rays of sunshine. Whether it's for an Easter weekend or a lovely spring day out with your loved ones: you need to head out beyond the borders of the city centre and explore the wider Amsterdam Area. Think lush green countryside, clean sandy beaches and, of course, the famous tulip fields.

Flowers of Amsterdam

Fall in love with tulips

Keukenhof Windmill and Tulips
Image from Laurens Lindhout

Every spring, the Keukenhof Gardens come alive with blooming flowers in every rainbow colour. Its range of unique activities for kids, exhibitions, events and performances also means there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Explore the endless bulb fields by hiking a bike or taking a boat cruise, or join a tour to learn about the park’s history, planting techniques and its inspirational gardens and flower shows. When exploring the tulip gardens, always stick to the paths and follow the farm rules.

Find out more about visiting Keukenhof Gardens or buy tickets for Keukenhof.

Get green fingers

Historical garden of Aalsmeer.
Image from Koen Smilde

Springtime is by far the best time to visit Aalsmeer Historical Gardens, where you will embark on a colourful journey back to 1650. Just a short trip from Amsterdam and Schiphol airport, the historical garden offers visitors a glimpse into the history of flower cultivation and the flower trade in the Netherlands, explore the greenhouses of yesteryear, and gardens bursting with colourful displays representing the 400-year horticultural history of the area. While you’re there, why not participate in the flower and plant auction held every last Saturday from April to September?

Hike or cycle around the Bulb District

Image from Koen Smilde Photography

One of the Netherlands' most popular and unique attractions, the Bollenstreek (or Bulb District) stretches for 30 kilometres between Haarlem and Leiden. Home to the world-famous Dutch tulip fields, it’s filled with millions of crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths, asters and tulips every spring. A great way to explore the area is by renting a bike and pedalling along one of its four cycle routes (ranging from 5km to 25km). Or, for a truly unique way to see the blooms, set off on the Wandelnetwerk Bollenstreek, a network of marked hiking routes that run throughout the region. Pick up a free map at the local Visitor Information Centres and follow the signposts past green pastures and colourful bulb fields for breathtaking views.

Castles & Gardens

Discover Amsterdam's beautiful Dutch countryside

The 'Kerkbrug'(churce bridge) over the river Amstel in the village of Oudekerk aan de Amstel.
Image from Koen Smilde

A green oasis right on Amsterdam’s doorstep, the spectacular countryside surrounding the Amstel River is just a short trip from the city centre. To access this region, take a bicycle, boat or public transport south through the city along the river. Before long, the hustle and bustle will be left behind, and you’ll see the early spring sunlight shining down on swaying reeds, green meadows and historic villages. Be sure to visit the 12th-century village of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, which boasts ancient monuments, churches and windmills.


Set sail and explore new places

People sitting on benches enjoying their view at the Spaarne river in Haarlem. On the other side of the water, you see the Molen De Adriaan windmill.
Image from Koen Smilde

The picturesque River Spaarne winds its way through the historic city of Haarlem, and on a sunny day in spring, it brims with sailing and boating enthusiasts bobbing along its waters. If you fancy setting sail, join an organised cruise or hire a boat. Discover Haarlem’s beautiful city centre from a different perspective: the water. Cruise along the historic canals and River Spaarne with an experienced skipper, leaving plenty of room for explanations about the history, art and important landmarks of the city. The various tour operators - including Smidtje Canal Cruises, Haarlem Canal Tours and Luxe Sloepen Haarlem - offer boats in different styles with various optional refreshments packages thrown in. Check out Visit Haarlem for details.

Amsterdam Beach

Cycle to the beach

Image from created by for amsterdam&partners

There are not many better ways to spend a bright spring day than pedalling past spectacular dunes and wildlife to arrive at the beach. So it’s lucky that the Amsterdam Area’s beguiling beaches are all easily reachable by bike. A great place to start your journey coastwards is in Haarlem, where you can rent a bike and set off for the coastal town of Zandvoort. The vast seaside resort offers sandy beaches, trendy bars, water sports and family activities. Amsterdam Beach is full of cool hangouts and clubs that feature live bands and DJs, making it the perfect hotspot for party lovers to hit the dance floor in the warmer months.

Explore a charming market town

Heemskerk market City Centre
Image from Heemskerk - Zee van tijd

Only 35 minutes away by train or car, Heemskerk is the North Sea coastline’s best-kept secret. Sandwiched between the dunes and the sea, this historic town is known for its monuments, churches and castles, surrounded by lush green parks. The town centre is bustling with shoppers exploring the speciality boutiques, cosy cafes and restaurants. There is also an extensive Friday market for fresh groceries and regional delicacies. For centuries, this area’s primary industry was farming, but from the 19th century onwards, a strong flower bulb and strawberry cultivation tradition emerged. In any season, you can explore the region’s horticultural history by hiring a bike to explore the various cycling paths traversing the countryside.

Old Holland

Spend some time windmill spotting

Mills at Zaanse Schans, Zaanstad.
Image from Paolo Gallo

A trip to the Netherlands wouldn’t be complete without some windmill spotting, and there’s no better time to admire the blades of a windmill gliding through the air than on a breezy spring day. Just a short trip north of Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans open-air museum is the perfect place to do so, offering visitors a perfectly preserved glimpse into the country's industrial past with a plethora of authentic windmills and traditional houses, warehouses and workshops. Grab some traditional Dutch gifts for the family, see some clogs being made and visit the nearby cheese farm while you’re there.

New Land

Admire colossal outdoor sculptures

Antony Gormley - Exposure
Image from Bram Schilling

During the creation of the Flevoland polder, the engineers and planners decided to mark the momentous occasion with art. They turned to an art form that spoke to their imagination: Land Art. The result is a collection of nine Land Art works – the highest concentration anywhere in the world – by world-famous artists such as Robert Morris, Richard Serra and Daniel Libeskind. All nine can be visited in a single day. Discover these gems by yourself (by car) or during an organised tour – and take in the amazing history of Flevoland’s creation at the same time.

Dream away at an all-day spa

spa, sauna
Image from Thermen La Mer

Refresh your body and soul at the exclusive day spa, Thermen La Mer, just outside Almere. Dream away in the Finnish Kelo saunas, swimming pool or hot tub. After a plunge, stroll around the Mediterranean garden or indulge in tasty – and healthy – dishes at the restaurant. Located in Almere, the spa allows you to truly immerse yourself in luxury and pleasure – if only for one day.

Pro tip:
To make life even easier, grab an Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket, which allows you to explore all the iconic sights and scenery of the city's surrounding area for one, two or three consecutive days.