Cycle to Amsterdam’s largest recreational area

Amsterdamse Bos Amsterdam Nature Highland Cattle Maximilian ParadizRent a bike from one of Amsterdam’s many bike rental companies and head south towards Amstelveen and the beautiful Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest). You can also rent bikes at the entrance of Amsterdamse Bos or even hire canoes for a view of the forest from the water.

Admire impressive modern art in Amstelveen

Cobra Museum AmsterdamContinue your cycle to Amstelveen. The city is the second greenest city in the Netherlands, and there are plenty of places to discover while you’re there. We recommend paying a visit to the famous Cobra Museum or the smaller Museum JAN while you’re in the city.

Have lunch by the river

Loetje aan de AmstelContinue your cycle on to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, a picturesque village established in the 12th century on the River Amstel. Ouderkerk is home to many renowned restaurants and cafes, with most of the popular spots located along the river. The hip Restaurant Jamie van Heije is a popular choice with diners, as is Loetje aan de Amstel across the river, with its buzzing riverside terrace.

Looking to take a bike tour along the Amstel? See our cycle route for a step by step guide.

Explore a historic Jewish cemetery

Beth Haim cemetery Ouderkerk aan de AmstelAfter you’ve refuelled, visit the Netherlands’ oldest Jewish cemetery, Beth Haim, a fascinating place for a tranquil stroll. Filled with ornately carved marble gravestones that feature beautiful inscriptions in Dutch, Portuguese and Hebrew, the graves belong to Spanish and Portuguese Jews who fled to the Netherlands in the 17th century, as well as their descendants.

Discover the local wildlife in Uithoorn

WesteindersplassenYou can also visit Uithoorn, home to cafés and shops and a 60-hectare nature reserve that surrounds a lake called the Zijdelmeer. This is a fantastic spot for walks, featuring reed fields, grasslands, forest, diverse wildlife and even a petting zoo.

Stroll through stunning gardens at Kasteel Museum Sypesteyn

Garden Castle SypesteynHenri van Sypesteyn (1857-1937) built this magnificent Castle-Museum to preserve his family’s 500-year lineage. Located in the middle of the Vecht region, Kasteel Museum Sypesteyn houses a fascinating art collection and exhibition on the family, while the beautiful garden is perfect for a tranquil stroll.

Rest your head in a floating lodge

Waterfront Lodges AmsterdamThe Castles & Gardens region offers a variety of options for an overnight stay. From unique floating lodges to elegant villas and family-run hotels, you’ll be spoilt for choice with accommodation options.

Check out the Singer Laren Sculpture Garden

Singer Laren Museum GardenSituated in a former villa built in 1911, the Singer Laren Museum houses an impressive art collection of modernist gems. Outside, the sculpture garden offers a tranquil escape. Dotted through the grounds - designed by renowned landscape architect Piet Oudolf — you’ll find pieces by contemporary Dutch artists including Guido Geelen, Maria Roosen and Famke van Wijk.

Soak up the harbourside views in Muiden

Wim KoningsTake a walk through the historic centre of Muiden, a fortified town that sits near the IJmeer and dates back to the 10th century. Here you will discover peaceful streets, small cafés, historic landmarks and a picturesque harbour. After your walk, head to the medieval Muiderslot Castle (entry is free with your I amsterdam City Card).

Sail to a mysterious fortress island

Fort Pampus Projection AmsterdamIf you follow the canal towards Muiden, you will see the ferry to Pampus Island (you can get a 25% discount on the price with your I amsterdam City Card). A visit to the mysterious island and abandoned fort make for an interesting day out for visitors of all ages. The fort was once part of the Defense Line of Amsterdam, a 135-kilometre-long system of fortifications that defended the city by means of flooding.

Tuck into a delicious lunch

Pampus PaviljoenFrom Michelin-star restaurants to cosy local pubs, the Castles & Gardens region has no shortage of gastronomic delights. When you're in need of refreshments, the wonderful Pampus Paviljoen on Pampus Island, with its excellent water views, is a great place to pause for a light lunch and snacks.

Catch the ferry back to Amsterdam

Pampus ferry amsterdamFeel the wind in your sails as you take the return ferry which runs directly from Pampus Island to IJburg. From there you can take the tram back to Amsterdam Central Station. Here's our guide to the best way of getting to and from the Castles & Gardens region.