Visiting The Dutch Countryside

Travelblog about The Netherlands | Exploring The Netherlands beyond the crowds

45+ Best Day Trips From Utrecht City, The Netherlands Recommended By A Dutch Local

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flowers in front of a canal in the dutch town of Gorinchem, The Netherlands
Discover the best places to visit from and near Utrecht city: explore nearby cities, towns, villages, castles and plenty of more day trips from Utrecht.

There are many fantastic day trips from Utrecht, as it is filled with nearby attractions. The whole Utrecht region is beautiful to visit and filled with small towns to nature reserves, to bigger cities. Here you will find the best places to visit around Utrecht and will discover where to go from Utrecht to enjoy the best parts of The Netherlands during your visit to Utrecht.

Suppose you’re more interested in admiring nature in the Utrecht area. In that case, I can highly recommend you to wait for a little, as I’m creating an extensive article with the best nature reserves to visit in the Utrecht region. And I can tell you this: It’s worth the wait. Of course, you will also find a few nature reserves in Utrecht in this article, but there will be more in the other one.

All these day trips from the city of Utrecht can be visited within one hour with public transportation from Utrecht Centraal train station. For public transportation, I would recommend you to use the 9292 app, which helps you plan your travels throughout The Netherlands, and it’s one of the best travel apps to download for The Netherlands.

I have also included the best places to stay in every Dutch town and city, simply because you might want to change your day trip from Utrecht into a weekend trip from Utrecht. With these day trips from Utrecht, you will not only explore the countryside and rural part of the Utrecht region, including villages and small towns. But, as Utrecht is located in the centre of The Netherlands, you can easily explore different provinces on a day trip from Utrecht.

view on a canal and canal houses in the Dutch town of Oudewater, The Netherlands

1. Gorinchem

Province: Zuid- Holland

Travel time: 45 minutes

Where to stay: Boutique Hotel Goud En Zilver

Gorinchem boasts itself as being the largest fortified city in The Netherlands, and they’re obviously right. This city is located on the shores of one of The Netherlands largest rivers, Waal, and is a perfect place to visit. There are many things to do in Gorinchem, think of visiting the Hendrick Hamel Museum, for instance. This museum is located in the Hamelhuis house, where you’ll learn about Hendrick Hamel and his adventures in Korea. This sea traveller from Gorinchem was shipwrecked off the coast of Korea in 1653 and was held captive there for the next 13 years. His journal ‘Hamel’s Journal and a Description of the Kingdom of Korea, 1653-1666’ gave the western world its first inside view of Korea.

Besides that, you can also visit the windmill ‘Molen De Hoop’ in Gorinchem every Saturday (10:00- 17:00), Sunday (10:00- 16:00) and when the mill is operating. Not only will you find some cool information about Gorinchem and its windmill, but you will get a beautiful view from the deck of the windmill of the Waal river, Gorinchem and its surroundings. Gorinchem is one of the best day trips from Utrecht.

2. Culemborg

Province: Gelderland

Travel time: 16 minutes

Where to stay: Ruim familiehuis vlakbij treinstation

Culemborg is one of the towns in the Gelderland region that is home to the traditional three: A Dutch windmill, picturesque streets and a city wall. The surroundings of Utrecht are filled with day trips, and Culemborg is most certainly one of them. There is something about walking in Culemborg that instantly makes you feel relaxed. This cosy, small Dutch town is the perfect place to visit if you’re interested in interesting museums and incredible monuments. One of the things you need to do in Culemborg is visit the Elisabeth Weeshuismuseum or Elisabeth orphanage museum. It was built with the money of Countess Elisabeth after she died. It was first taken into use in 1560, and the last orphan left the building in 1952.

3. Woerden

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 9 minutes

Where to stay: Van Rossum Stadshotel Woerden

If you’re like me and you like good cheese, then Woerden is a great place to visit. The town of Woerden is located in the middle of the Green Heart region, a green area in The Netherlands within the Randstad area filled with meadows, nature reserves, and beautiful towns. This town is the location of the last real cheese market in The Netherlands, and the Woerden cheese experience is the place to get more information about how Gouda cheese is made. But don’t worry if you’re not a fan of cheese because Woerden has even more to offer than that. As Woerden is so close to Utrecht, it makes it a perfect day trip.

View on an old street in the city of Woerden

4. Oudewater

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 37 minutes

Where to stay: Broeck Oudewater

What do witches and scales have in common in The Netherlands? The town of Oudewater. Oudewater is home to a witch scale that officials used to determine whether people were witches or not centuries ago. There’s no need to be scared of any spirits as no one was ever accused or prosecuted as a witch in Oudewater.

Besides learning more about witches and the scale in Oudewater, there are actually plenty of other things to see and do. Oudewater is located in one of the greenest areas in The Netherlands and is the perfect town to explore. And, don’t forget to enjoy the canal tour in the town, it’s always an incredible sight to see a place such as Oudewater from the water. Utrecht and the surrounding towns and villages are beautiful, and you cannot go wrong by visiting them.

Find a full article on what to do in Oudewater here.

5. Linschoten

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 42 minutes

Where to stay: B&B Louisehoeve

There are tons of incredible villages you can visit in The Netherlands, and Linschoten is most certainly one of them. Linschoten is located in the Green Heart region, nearby Oudewater, Woerden and Montfoort. One of the best reasons to visit Linschoten, besides its simply a cute village, is its location. Not only can you find small, picturesque Dutch rivers in this area, but also old estates, local farms with fresh produce and plenty of more things to see. Linschoten and its surroundings are most definitely a highlight of your Utrecht trip. While Linschoten is tiny (as it’s a village), it is one of my favourite Utrecht day tours as it’s so calm and pretty.

Find a full article on what to do in Linschoten here.

6. Vianen

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 38 minutes

Where to stay: Van der Valk Hotel Vianen – Utrecht

The small town of Vianen, which is officially a city due to having city rights, is an easy day trip from the city of Utrecht. This town is found near one of the largest rivers in The Netherlands and is surrounded by small roads, dykes, meadows and nature reserves. Besides enjoying the beautiful nature the surroundings of this town in the Utrecht region has to offer, there are plenty of things to do in Vianen itself. Maybe you like to visit a museum or want to enjoy a very delicious ice cream on a free walking tour of Vianen. The town of Vianen is close to Utrecht and a great day trip, plus it has something to offer for everyone.

Find a full article on what to do in Vianen here.

7. IJsselstein

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 42 minutes

Where to stay: Hotel Epping

IJsselstein is a town that is merged into the neighbouring cities of Nieuwegein and Utrecht. It is home to the remains of a castle and a small but very cosy town centre. While the city of Utrecht is definitely fun to visit as it’s a bustling place, IJsselstein is here to charm you away with its historic centre. You can even visit the smallest restaurant in The Netherlands here, KingsDish IJsselstein serves Indonesian food from Friday until Sunday, which is found in a former toll booth as well as the storage for a fire extinguisher. One of the other things you need to do in IJsselstein is to visit Museum IJsselstein so that you can explore the history and the current of IJsselstein. Visiting IJsselstein will be one of the best tours from Utrecht.

view on canal houses and a river in the town of IJsselstein, The Netherlands

8. Haastrecht

Province: Zuid- Holland

Travel time: 40 minutes

Where to stay: Hotel Over de Brug

The small town of Haastrecht is home to one of the best things to do in the Zuid (South)- Holland province. The Museum Paulina Bisdom van Vliet is where you will see a beautiful patrician house exactly like when the last person who lived here died in the 19th century. This house was the home of Paulina le Fèvre de Montigny–Bisdom van Vliet who had achieved a lot in Haastrecht and its surroundings. When you visit this museum, you will go back in time to get an inside look at how wealthy families lived in the 19th century. All of that, and more, makes this one of the day trips from Utrecht that you must do.

a view of a cobblestoned street with dutch houses in Haastrecht, The Netherlands

9. Gouda

Province: Zuid- Holland

Travel time: 18 minutes

Where to stay: B&B De Kamer Hiernaast

One of the most famous places in The Netherlands for anything related to cheese is Gouda. It’s mainly famous for its Gouda cheese and the reenactment of the cheese market. But, there’s more to Gouda than many people think. One of the best activities you can do in Gouda is exploring the city’s channels on a sup board from Jabasup (if you want to reserve a sup board in the centre of Gouda, you can book one via the contact button). And there are even more things to do in Gouda, such as visiting Museum Gouda.

Find a full article on cheese markets in The Netherlands here.

View on a canal and canal houses in the city of Gouda, The Netherlands

10. Woudrichem

Province: Noord- Brabant

Travel time: 60 minutes

Where to stay: B&B het huijsje

One of the best places to visit nearby Utrecht is Woudrichem. This fortified town is found at the Boven- Merwede river shores and filled with things to see. One of the best things to do in Woudrichem is to visit the Visserijmuseum or fishery museum. The town of Woudrichem had special rights to fish in the rivers for centuries and became a flourishing town because of that. But, that has changed massively. The museum is there never to forget how Woudrichem achieved its wealth and picturesque cityscape. This museum is opened from April until October from Tuesday- Friday from 10:30- 16:30 and Saturday and Sunday from 13:30- 16:30. I can also highly recommend you to visit nearby Castle Loevestein with the little ferry. Many people don’t know what is around Utrecht, so luckily, you have me to help you with that.

View on a cobblestoned street and brick city gate in the village of Woudrichem

11. Wijk bij Duurstede

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 40 minutes

Where to stay: OTTO Boutique Hotel

The town of Wijk Bij Duurstede is home to one of The Netherlands’ most beautiful castle ruins and the worlds only windmill located on a city gate. Wijk Bij Duurstede is one of those towns that is filled with monuments and things to do. It’s located on the shore of a big Dutch river, which has massively shaped the city. And, the old wealthy city of Dorestadt is the forerunner of Wijk bij Duurstede. There’s something to enjoy for everyone in this city, whether you like to go for relaxing walks or want to have a beautiful view of the city. It’s one of the great short trips from Utrecht.

Find a full article on what to do in Wijk bij Duurstede here.

12. Amersfoort

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 13 minutes

Where to stay: Hotel de Gaaper

Amersfoort is one of the cities you can find in the Utrecht region, and the fortifications are mostly intact. Amersfoort is a city that takes you back in time; even though time travel isn’t real just yet, visiting one of the best destinations in the centre of The Netherlands comes pretty close. It’s filled with beautiful buildings, fascinating museums, excellent restaurants and so much more. Travelling to Amersfoort will be one of the highlights of your visit to The Netherlands. Visiting Amersfoort makes for one of the best day trips out of Utrecht.

RELATED ARTICLE  16x Cool bars in Utrecht, The Netherlands | Where to go for drinks in Utrecht

Find a full article on what to do in Amersfoort here.

13. Breukelen

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 12 minutes

Where to stay: Van der Valk Hotel Breukelen

One of the most beautiful villages in the Utrecht region has to be Breukelen, which makes this one of the good day trips from Utrecht. Breukelen is found at the shore of the Vecht river, which flows through one of the most beautiful regions in The Netherlands. You will spot estates, castles, and so much more. One of the things I recommend you to do in Breukelen is to walk. That sounds rather boring, but it’s a great way to explore the small town and its surroundings. Plus, you can also start walking long distance paths through The Netherlands from Breukelen, as the Marskramerpad goes through the town, which is a part of the E11 route. A portion of the lake district in The Netherlands can also be found nearby Breukelen.

14. Loenersloot

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 47 minutes

Where to stay: Landgoed ‘t Veldhoen

The village of Loenersloot is located on the small Angstel river and is primarily famous for its castle, making it one of the great castle day trips from Utrecht. Kasteel, or Castle, Loenersloot can be visited from April until October on Friday and Saturday via a guided tour that you need to reserve a spot for. The tour lasts roughly 1,5 hours and will guide you through incredible rooms, the dungeons and in the tower. Unfortunately, if you want to reserve a spot to visit this beautiful castle nearby Utrecht, you can only pay via iDeal, a Dutch payment method and can only be used with a Dutch bank account. So, I would recommend you ask the reception of your accommodation if they can reserve a spot for you.

The castle park of this castle in the Utrecht region is opened daily for the public and can be visited for free from April- September (08:00- 20:00) and October – March (08:00- 17:00). One of the other things you need to do in Loenersloot is walking along the Rijksstraatweg, as it houses quite a bit of monuments.

View on the castle of Loenersloot hidden between trees in The Netherlands

15. Nieuwersluis

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 37 minutes

Where to stay: Hotel Flora Batava

One of the villages with a protected townscape in Utrecht is Nieuwersluis. This town was very important during the 80-year-war against the Spanish and the French invasion in 1672. From 1673, Nieuwersluis was part of the defence line of the Holland region and became part of the new Dutch water line in 1850. One of the things you need to do in Nieuwersluis is visit the tea garden of Fort Nieuwersluis, which is generally opened every Sunday from 10:00- 17:00. Visiting Nieuwersluis is one of the short day trips from Utrecht, but great nonetheless, especially since its surroundings are also beautiful.

16. Loenen aan de Vecht

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 43 minutes

Where to stay: Klein Loenen

One of my favourite things about the village of Loenen aan de Vecht is its picturesque town centre and beautiful surroundings. Loenen aan de Vecht is located on the shores of the Vecht river, hence the name that translates to: Loenen on the Vecht. Here you can see countless estates built on assignment by wealthy merchants from Amsterdam in the 17th and 18th century. But admiring those estates from a distance, as most are privately owned, isn’t all you have to do in Loenen aan de Vecht. One of the things you must do in Loenen aan de Vecht is to visit Dutch windmills. You can generally visit the Loenderveense Molen every Saturday from 10:00-16:00 and Molen De Hoop every Saturday from 11:00- 17:00.

I can also highly recommend you visit Landgoed Vrederijk, where you can go on a beautiful little walk on an estate in the Utrecht region. Head to ‘Start Wandeling Landgoed Vrederijk’, and that is the start of your walk. This part of the park is opened daily from 08:00 to sunset, or if the sun sets later, it is extended until a maximum of 20:00. Visiting this village is one of the best one-day trips from Utrecht.

view of a street in the village of loenen aan de vecht, The Netherlands

17. Vreeland

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 60 minutes

Where to stay: B&B “Jan” te Vreeland

The village of Vreeland is located along the Vecht river, which flows through the town. Vreeland is small, idyllic, and home to a couple of things to do and see, but it’s mostly a great place to relax and enjoy a beautiful Dutch village. The surroundings of Vreeland are especially perfect for enjoying, as it’s located in the middle of The Netherlands lake district, with the Loosdrechtse and Kortenhoefse Plassen being the most nearby. And, two of the best long-distance hikes in The Netherlands run through here: the Waterliniepad and Floris de Vijfde path.

You can also visit one of the Michelin starred restaurant in The Netherlands in Vreeland: Restaurant De Nederlanden. Or, you can visit a windmill in Vreeland, called Korenmolen De Ruiter, every Saturday from 10:00-16:00. Vreeland is one of my favourite day trips from Utrecht.

A view of a boat on a river in front of Dutch canal houses in the village of Vreeland, Utrecht, The Netherlands

18. Nigtevecht

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 60 minutes

Where to stay: Splendid Holiday Home in Nigtevecht near Sea and Town Center

Nigtevecht is one of the smaller villages found in the Utrecht region and is located on the opposite side of the village of Nederhorst den Berg, which can easily be visited by the ferry that crosses to the other side of the Vecht river. Nigtevecht is the perfect place to go if you’re searching for a quiet and idyllic Dutch village. Whether you want to enjoy the cool water on a hot summer day and go for a swim, or simply sit at one of the terraces in Nigtevecht: there’s something for you there. And one of the other things you have to do in Nigtevecht is to visit the Garstenmolen. This Dutch windmill can be visited when it turns around, but there are currently no set times or dates. It’s most certainly one of the tours from Utrecht that will show you the best of the countryside in this region.

view on white houses along a cobblestoned street in Nigtevecht, The Netherlands

19. Abcoude

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 21 minutes

Where to stay: Hotel Restaurant Koekenbier Abcoude

Abcoude is a village found in a perfect region to explore a bit of the rural parts of The Netherlands. The town of Abcoude is a great place to visit that will leave you completely relaxed; even though it borders the municipality of Amsterdam directly, there are no massive crowds to be found in this town. It’s also home to great local shops and even a fortress part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam, a Unesco World Heritage site. Visiting this village is excellent during the year and even when looking for day trips from Utrecht during autumn.

Find a full article on what to do in Abcoude here.

20. Amsterdam

Province: Noord- Holland

Travel time: 26 minutes

Where to stay: The Student Hotel Amsterdam West

Amsterdam is The Netherlands most visited destination, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth travelling to. It doesn’t have to be crowded wherever you’re going, although the city of Amsterdam is definitely always bustling. But, Amsterdam has so much to offer, especially if you venture a bit away from the absolute city centre. I can guarantee you that you will find yourself entering a completely different world (in a good way). The city can be calm, bustling, and filled with small museums, amazing artists, cool shops, and great cafes. One of the best day trips from Utrecht during spring in Amsterdam, as it’s still relatively calm and cosy.

Find a full article on what to do in Amsterdam here.

21. Doorn

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 37 minutes

Where to stay: Utrechtse Heuvelrug

Doorn is one of the towns located next to Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park and is a perfect place to visit if you’re interested in history and nature. Doorn is home to Huis Doorn, the home of Germany’s last Emperor, Wilhelm II after he was banned from Germany when the monarchy was abolished in 1918. Huis Doorn has been one of the most interesting museums in the Utrecht region since the Second World War.

Besides visiting Huis Doorn, one of the other things I would recommend you to do in Doorn is to see the Kaapse Bossen. It is part of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park and a perfect place to sniff some fresh oxygen and explore nature around Utrecht. Another activity that you cannot miss when you visit Doorn is the Bartimeus historical Teagarden. You can generally visit it on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon from 12:30- 16:30, and here you can try the most delicious and fresh treats, juices, ice cream and more.

view on the mausoleum of German emperor Wilhelm between trees in Doorn, The Netherlands

22. Zeist

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 31 minutes

Where to stay: Proeverij de Azijnmakerij

The town of Zeist, which is also a municipality, is nicknamed ‘Slotstad’ or castle city, due to the Castle Slot Zeist. Zeist is found in the Utrechtse Heuvelrug region, nearby the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park. One of the things you need to do in Zeist is visit the gardens of the Zeist castle, which you can see daily from 09:00-17:00. You can also visit the Orangerie, generally open from Tuesday- Sunday from 11:00-17:00, for a drink or some tasty food. And, don’t forget to enjoy the nearby beautiful Dutch nature either, which makes this one of the best day trips from Utrecht during summer as forests cool you down.

Slot zeist and park in winter light of holland

23. Buren

Province: Gelderland

Travel time: 48 minutes

Where to stay: De Prins

The town of Buren is nicknamed ‘Oranjestad’, or orange city, due to its good ties with the Dutch Royal family who are named Van Oranje- Nassau. And, Willem-Alexander often uses Van Buren as a disguise surname, as he is the Earl of Buren. Plus, the colour orange is the national colour of The Netherlands due to the Royal family. Buren is home to beautiful buildings, unique shops that I’ve never seen anywhere else and plenty of other things to see and do. If you want to visit Buren, then it doesn’t matter what time of the year you’re thinking of going; it’s even one of the best day trips from Utrecht during winter.

Find a full article on what to do in Buren here.

24. Amerongen

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 51 minutes

Where to stay: Restaurant Hotel Buitenlust

In the village of Amerongen, you can find one of The Netherlands prettiest castles: castle Amerongen. The castle was destroyed by the French during the disaster year of 1672 and rebuilt after. It was also the house of the last emperor of Germany: Wilhelm the Second. He lived here for 1,5 years before he moved to the town of Doorn. He even signed his abdication in Castle Amerongen in 1918. Currently, the castle is a large museum and also home to a pretty castle garden. Besides that, I can highly recommend you to wander through this village in the Utrecht region as it’s gorgeous. It’s easy to turn this into one of the weekend trips from Utrecht, as it’s located in beautiful surroundings.

25. Zaltbommel

Province: Gelderland

Travel time: 36 minutes

Where to stay: B&B In de Oude Smederij Zaltbommel

The town of Zaltbommel is a true hidden gem found in the centre of The Netherlands. It’s filled with monumental buildings, beautiful streets and even an incredible city castle that you can visit. One of the things you need to do in Zaltbommel is visit this city castle, called Stadskasteel Zaltbommel. This museum is home to different kind of exhibitions where you will learn everything about Zaltbommel. There’s also a cafe part of the museum, where there are often exhibitions of local artists: this exhibition is free to visit, the museum itself isn’t. Zaltbommel also makes for one of the best weekend getaways from Utrecht.

RELATED ARTICLE  Magical Things To Do In Maarssen, The Netherlands: Explore A Small Town In The Vecht & Utrecht Region

26. National Park Utrechtse Heuvelrug

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 28 minutes

Where to stay: Kasteel Kerckebosch

There are many other places where you can find nature around and near Utrecht’s city, as the Utrecht region is filled with natural areas and nature reserves to visit. But, those nature reserves in Utrecht will be put together in an extensive blog about nature in the Utrecht province soon.

While the Utrechtse Heuvelrug is really big, only the southern part (roughly from Rhenen until the A28) is a National Park in the Utrecht region. I would recommend you to head to the train station Driebergen- Zeist. From there on, you can walk for roughly 20 minutes into the park via Landgoed Heidestein or Estate Heidestein so that you can explore a beautiful forest near Utrecht.

27. Maarssen

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 8 minutes

Where to stay: De Eendracht Maarssen

Maarssen is one of the towns you can find on the shore of the Vecht river that flows through the Utrecht region. Along this river, you can find some of the most picturesque places in The Netherlands, as this was an area where wealthy merchants from Amsterdam built their estates. Many of the estates, as well as castles, still exist today. Maarssen is home to several estates but is already beautiful as it is home to gorgeous canal buildings and plenty of more. Maarssen is one of the smaller cities that is found close to Utrecht.

Find a full article on what to do in Maarssen here.

28. Loosdrechtse plassen

Province: Utrecht, Zuid- Holland & Noord- Holland

Travel time: 50 minutes

Where to stay: Hotel Café Restaurant Heineke

If you are searching for the ultimate place to enjoy a relaxing holiday in The Netherlands, you must add these locations to your itinerary for your vacation in The Netherlands. The lake district in The Netherlands exists out of approximately eight areas that are combined under the same name and are located relatively close to each other. It exists out of many beautiful Dutch lakes and islands that were shaped here due to peat extraction.

These areas are perfect for visiting during any beautiful day because you can do many things in this part of the middle of The Netherlands: Swim in the sweet water, go canoeing, rent a boat or sup board, and so much more. The Netherlands lake district is extensive and spread out across three Dutch provinces. The Loosdrechtse Plassen and Vinkeveense lakes are near the city of Utrecht and have many options on things to do and see. And, in my humble opinion, that makes it one of the fantastic day trips outside of Utrecht.

Find a full article on what to do in the Dutch lake district here.

 

29. Castles and estates in the Utrecht region

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 25- 45 minutes

Where to stay: Restaurant Hotel Buitenlust

One of my favourite things about the Utrecht region is how castles and estates absolutely cover it. You can visit Castle de Haar, Slot Zuylen, Castle Amerongen, Huis Doorn and plenty of other castles in the Utrecht province. And, if you want to go for great hikes and want to admire beautiful estates in Utrecht, while also enjoying nature, then you can visit Dutch estates such as Landgoed Heidestein, Landgoed Amelisweerd, Landgoed Groeneveld, Langoed Rhijnauwen, Landgoed Oostbroek and Landgoed Renswoude. You cannot walk close to the main building on every estate, so make sure to follow the rules. Exploring these beautiful historic places in The Netherlands has to be one of the day trips from Utrecht that you cannot miss out on.

Zuylen Castle with its decorative garden is a Dutch castle at the village of Oud-Zuilen just north of the city of Utrecht. It is located along the river Vecht at the southern end of the Vechtstreek. Discover one of the best castles near Utrecht to visit

30. Montfoort

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 28 minutes

Where to stay: Hotel Montfoort

The small town of Montfoort is found in the Green Heart area in The Netherlands and is located close to towns such as Oudewater, Woerden and Linschoten. And all of that is what makes Montfoort one of the day trips from Utrecht you need to go on. Montfoort is a great place to relax while you’re exploring this beautiful part of the countryside in The Netherlands and is home to quite a few fun things to do. And, Montfoort is found alongside a river, which certainly helps you cool off with the Dutch summer weather.

Find a full article on what to do in Montfoort here.

31. Bunschoten- Spakenburg

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 44 minutes

Where to stay: B&B de Nieuwe Haven

Spakenburg is a former Dutch fishing village in the Eemland region and was located at the former Zuiderzee (which was a sea but is turned into two lakes by dykes and the Flevoland province), but nowadays it borders the Eemmeer (lake). Bunschoten is a town that was always a village where farmers lived and even had city rights. However, due to the increase in population, Bunschoten and Spakenburg are connected and essentially melted into one.

One of the best things you have to do in Bunschoten- Spakenburg is visit the Spakenburgse Dagen. This yearly event takes place roughly the last two Wednesdays in July and the first two in August. At this event in Spakenburg, you will discover the traditional culture of Spakenburg, which includes going on a boat trip, admiring traditional Dutch clothing, and so much more. If you want to explore a Dutch fishing village around Utrecht on a day trip, then this is a great place to visit in The Netherlands.

things to do in bunschoten summer amsterdam and netherlands activities

32. Schoonhoven

Province: Zuid- Holland

Travel time: 60 minutes

Where to stay: Hotel Restaurant Belvédère

If you’re looking for unique places to visit in The Netherlands, then Schoonhoven is most certainly one of those places. This Dutch town is named the silver city, or Zilverstad in Dutch, for at least 700 years. The city is the centre of The Netherlands for anything related to silver: from craftsmanship to art. One of the best things you need to do in Schoonhoven, therefore, is to visit the National Silver museum. But, that’s not all you can see in this small Dutch town in the Zuid (South)- Holland region, because it is also home to tons of galleries and small shops. Schoonhoven is a magical, little town making it perfect for a 1 day trip from Utrecht.

view on dutch canal houses in the town of Schoonhoven, The Netherlands

33. Leerdam

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 39 minutes

Where to stay: Gasterij het Oude Posthuys

Leerdam is a beautiful historic town that, up until a few years back, was actually found in the Zuid (South)- Holland province until several municipalities merged. This great town is mainly known for being nicknamed ‘Glasstad’, or glass city. Leerdam is home to the National Glass Museum (Nationaal Glas Museum), where you can discover everything about glass: From fantastic glass art pieces to history. One of the other things you need to do in Leerdam is to walk along the canal and its city centre to admire the remnants of the medieval city wall. And, if you’re looking for where to go from Utrecht by train, then Leerdam is also an excellent option.

A view on the fortifications and canal in Leerdam, The Netherlands, during a sunny day

34. Rotterdam

Province: Zuid- Holland

Travel time: 37 minutes

Where to stay: The Student Hotel Rotterdam

One of the most modern Dutch cities in The Netherlands has to be Rotterdam. Rotterdam is a Mecca for architecture lovers and is home to countless incredible buildings. The city of Rotterdam also still has a small historic part in the city centre, around Delfshaven, which was left relatively untouched by the bombings on the city during the Second World War. This city has been through a lot, but the people have always been resilient, which you will see everywhere in Rotterdam. From incredible art museums to sculptures that are standing on the streets to excellent restaurants with flavours from all over the world. Rotterdam is the best place to visit in The Netherlands if you want to see the world coming together, which is also made possible by the harbour of Rotterdam. Visiting Rotterdam is one of the best short trips to the Holland region.

Find a full article on what to do in Rotterdam here.

Beautiful square inside yellow cube houses in Rotterdam, Netherlands

35. Nijmegen

Province: Gelderland

Travel time: 53 minutes

Where to stay: HOLT Hotel

Nijmegen is one of the oldest cities in The Netherlands and has been inhabited for a few thousand years. Nijmegen is located along one of The Netherlands largest rivers, which also means that there are great river beaches just outside the centre of Nijmegen. Besides wandering along its beautiful streets and buildings, one of The Netherlands most significant shopping streets is found here, as well as outstanding museums and other things to do. Nijmegen is also one of the easy train trips from Utrecht.

Find a full article on what to do in Nijmegen here.

Ancient Dutch houses and church in the city center of Nijmegen

36. Arnhem

Province: Gelderland

Travel time: 35 minutes

Where to stay: Drijfpaleis

One of the best cities to visit in the Gelderland region is Arnhem. Not only is this one of the greenest cities you can find in The Netherlands, but it is also found near two of The Netherlands national parks. Arnhem is one of the cities in The Netherlands that is home to quite a few memorials of the Second World War, as one of the most important battles took place here. But that’s not all that Arnhem has to offer. Because the city of Arnhem is filled with small shops to visit, incredible local foods such as Arnhemse Meisjes and amazing sights. If that doesn’t make Arnhem one of the day trips you should make near Utrecht, I don’t know what will.

Find a full article on what to do in Arnhem here.

View on old Dutch houses and church in Arnhem, The Netherlands

37. Zwolle

Province: Overijssel

Travel time: 51 minutes

Where to stay: Hotel Oldenburg

A great city to visit in the east of The Netherlands is Zwolle. It’s charming, walkable and has the gift of leaving you mesmerised: from wandering along the endless beautiful streets to visiting a small candy store with local treats. And from exploring a wonderful museum to discovering the city of Zwolle with a free walking tour. Zwolle is one of those cities that won’t bore you quickly, that’s for sure. Zwolle is one of the most fantastic day trips around Utrecht.

Find a full article on a free walking tour in Zwolle here.

cobblestoned street with old Dutch houses in Zwolle, The Netherlands

38. Deventer

Province: Overijssel

Travel time: 50 minutes

Where to stay: Deventer Boutique B&B en museumhuis Huize “De Worp”

Deventer is one of the most beautiful places in The Netherlands and is found in the Overijssel province. The city of Deventer is one of the many Hansa towns that we have in The Netherlands, which originated hundreds and hundreds of years ago. Deventer is one of those places that will leave you wanting more, and it has everything one can possibly wish for on a day trip and even longer. From some of the coolest and authentic stores in the country to visiting a Christmas market, Deventer is a perfect city to visit. And, if you’re looking for where to go from Utrecht by train, then Deventer is also an attractive option.

Find a full article on what to do in Deventer here.

39. Weesp

Province: Noord- Holland

Travel time: 35 minutes

Where to stay: Het Hart van Weesp

Weesp is a cute and picturesque small town in the Noord (North)- Holland province and one of many places in The Netherlands located alongside a river. This means that Weesp is one of those traditional Dutch towns with canals and old Dutch canal houses. Besides admiring that, one of the best things to do in Weesp is to visit Museum Weesp, which is found in the city hall of Weesp. In this museum, you will discover everything, and more, about the history of Weesp and its people. But, what is exploring a beautiful town in The Netherlands with a river without renting a boat in Weesp? You cannot leave Weesp without doing these activities. Weesp also makes for one of the best train trips from Utrecht.

View on the river that flows through the city of Weesp and its beautiful canal houses in The Netherlands

40. Leiden

Province: Zuid- Holland

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Travel time:  42 minutes

Where to stay: De Doelen

One of the things that I adore about the town of Leiden is that it’s filled with impressive monuments and beautiful streets. Leiden is the smaller (and, in my opinion, better) version of Amsterdam. One of the best things to do in Leiden is to admire the Burcht of Leiden, which is one of the oldest castle ruins in The Netherlands dating back to the 12th century.

But, pretty buildings isn’t all that Leiden has to offer for you. I can also highly recommend you to visit one of the many museums in Leiden. If you’re into history and archaeology, the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden is impressive to see or visit the Museum De Lakenhal, which is the art museum of Leiden. All of that is why Leiden is one of the day trips from Utrecht you need to explore.

a view on a dutch canal and old brick canal houses in the city of Leiden, The Netherlands

41. Den Haag

Province: Zuid- Holland

Travel time: 37 minutes

Where to stay: The Collector Hotel

Den Haag, also known as The Hague or Haga, is one of The Netherlands most important cities as it is home to the Dutch parliament and the Peace Palace. It’s a city that has a vibrant history and is an absolute delight to visit. One of the best things to do in Den Haag is to visit one of the largest markets in Europe: De Haagse Markt, where you can buy incredible produce and great food.

But, if you thought that was all The Hague has to offer, then you couldn’t be more wrong. One of the highlights in Den Haag has to be its museums, and I would certainly recommend you to visit the art museum Kunstmuseum Den Haag. And the best part? The Hague is only a short day trip out of Utrecht.

view on the Dutch parliament at night

42. Den Bosch

Province: Noord- Brabant

Travel time: 27 minutes

Where to stay: Uylenhof Hotel

If you’re looking for destinations to visit in the Noord (North)- Brabant province when you’re done with exploring the Utrecht region, then the city of Den Bosch has to be one of my first recommendations. This fortified Dutch city is located in the southern part of The Netherlands and is stuffed with things to do. From exploring the incredible canals (that flows underneath many houses) to enjoying one of the tastiest Dutch foods, Den Bosch truly has everything you’re searching for when you’re looking for a day trip in The Netherlands. You can also easily make your visit to Den Bosch into two-day trips from Utrecht, as there is so much to do.

Find a full article on what to do in Den Bosch here.

Medieval gothic Saint Johns cathedral of 's-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands.

43. Hilversum

Province: Noord- Holland

Travel time: 16 minutes

Where to stay: Gooiland Hotel

Hilversum is a town that many people often skip when they travel to The Netherlands, which is a shame. Now the reason for that is usually because Hilversum is the town where most of the Dutch broadcasters of television in The Netherlands are found, and it’s the only association many people have with the town. Now, in Hilversum, you can not only discover tons of fun museums, such as Museum Hilversum, Beeld en Geluid and Dudok Architectuur Centrum but also incredible nature.

Think of visiting a beautiful garden on an estate in Hilversum, for instance. Siertuin Gooilust is part of a beautiful estate in the Hilversum area and is filled with incredible sights. There are many rare trees, and they have a ‘siertuin’, or ornamental garden. Their walled garden is filled with the most beautiful plants and is opened from mid-March until mid-November on Thursday and Saturday from 13:00- 16:30. You can visit it for free, but a donation is definitely appreciated. If you’re looking for a surprising Dutch city and its surroundings, then Hilversum is one of the day trips from Utrecht, The Netherlands, you cannot miss.

View on a Dutch forest, with green blooming trees and brown leaves on the forest floor

44. Soest

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 19 minutes

Where to stay: Stayokay Soest

Soest is the perfect town to visit if you want to enjoy nature and one of the items that should be on your Dutch bucket list. The Soesterduinen, or dunes of Soest, is a beautiful nature reserve found on the edge of Soest and is stunning. One of the other things you need to do in Soest is to visit Vliegbasis Soesterberg. This is home to the Nationaal Militair Museum, where you can discover the past, current and future of the Dutch military, and a beautiful place to walk and cycle (only allowed on the paths as it is a former Dutch military base). The southern runway is closed from the 15th of March until the 15th of August due to the breeding season. The whole area around the town of Soest is perfect for exploring some walking routes and cycling in Utrecht.

dunes in soesterduinen near the town of soest in the Netherlands

45. Eiland van Schalkwijk

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 23 minutes

Where to stay: Boerderij de Zalm

The Eiland van Schalkwijk, or the Island of Schalkwijk, is an island surrounded by the Lek river, Lek channel and Amsterdam- Rijn channel. This polder area was used as a part of the defence line between Muiden and the Biesbosch National Park, which was used between 1815 and 1940. Big pieces of land could be inundated if the enemy was coming closer, making it difficult for them to conquer regions. The thing you need to do in Schalkwijk is to visit the ‘Verdronken Bos’ or the drowned forest. This is where you will find exactly how a region would’ve looked like when it was inundated, and that makes this one of the best side trips from Utrecht.

Defensive military fortification in a meadow near Schalkwijk, The Netherlands

46. Canoe in the Utrecht region

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 12- 60 minutes

Where to stay: Stayokay Utrecht – Bunnik

One of the things that I love about the Utrecht region is green and filled with forests, meandering rivers and small towns. One of the best ways to explore this part of the centre of The Netherlands is by canoe. That is why I would recommend you to rent a canoe nearby the estate of Amelisweerd via the company Rijnstroom to explore Rhijnauwen and Amelisweerd by canoe. Or, explore the town of Leusden and its surroundings and rent a canoe via Kano Recreatie Boederij Berg. Both options are fantastic and will leave you with the best memories of your The Netherlands vacation. Combine nature and beautiful, calm surroundings, and you have one of the most fantastic day trips out of Utrecht.

View on small river during sunrise surrounded with greenery in Utrecht province, The Netherlands

47. Langbroek

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 45 minutes

Where to stay: Kasteel Sterkenburg

One of the destinations I recommend you to visit in the Utrecht region is the area around the village of Langbroek. You will find many estates, Dutch castles (and even castle hotels!) here, as well as a traditional Dutch landscape. To make the most out of your visit to this Dutch region, you must visit the following streets and surroundings: Langbroekerwetering, Langbroekerdijk and Weerdensteynselaan. Langbroek is one of the villages near Utrecht that you should visit.

Find a full article on castle hotels in The Netherlands here.

Sterkenburg at sunset near langbroek with a great and strong tower in orange light.

48. Vreeswijk

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 30 minutes

Where to stay: Het Koekoeksnest-Nieuwegein

Vreeswijk is currently a part of the town of Nieuwegein, but it was an independent town for a long time. And in this case, Vreeswijk is still home to its charming parts and hasn’t lost any authenticity. One of the must do’s in Vreeswijk is to walk along the Oude Sluis area, where you can find the historic part of Vreeswijk. And I also recommend you to visit the Museumwerf in Vreeswijk. This museum will show you everything about the inland shipping industry that you want to know. And you can even take a ferry to Vianen from Vreeswijk. All of that, and more, make Vreeswijk one of the top day trips from Utrecht.

view on a sluice and harbour and canal houses in Vrreswijk, The Netherlands
Photo by duimdog / Flickr

49. Rhenen

Province: Utrecht

Travel time: 40 minutes

Where to stay: Bed & Breakfast Trouwborst

Rhenen is a town located on the edge of one of The Netherlands largest rivers and is home to one of the most beautiful views in the country. One of the things you have to do in Rhenen is climbing the tower of the Cunerakerk, or Cunerachurch. During the summer period, you can climb the tower from Wednesday until Saturday at 14:30. Construction for this tower first started in 1492, and it’s 82 metres high. During very clear weather you can even see the cities of Den Bosch and Nijmegen.

You can buy tickets in the Cunerakerk. Outside the summer season, you can climb the tower every second and fourth Saturday of the month at 14:30; then, you can buy the tickets at the VVV (tourist office) in Rhenen. It is also located at the edge of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park. So, if you want to visit a Dutch town and nature on one of your day trips from Utrecht, then Rhenen is a great pick.

view on the river and the town of Rhenen seen through bushes in The Netherlands
Photo by Frans Berkelaar/ Flickr

50. Harderwijk

Province: Gelderland

Travel time: 47 minutes

Where to stay: B&B Het Vogeltje

One of my favourite things about visiting Harderwijk is that it’s such a cosy but bustling town. The city of Harderwijk is filled with the most idyllic Dutch streets, small shops and incredible views. Whichever corner you’re turning, there will be something otherworldly waiting for you to admire. And it gets better because Harderwijk is filled with things to do. Maybe you’re a fan of visiting museums, local shops or exploring a city and its surroundings via the water. Whatever you like, there’s something for you to do in Harderwijk, making a visit one of the things you have to do outside Utrecht.

Find a full article on what to do in Harderwijk here.

A curved cobblestoned street with old dutch brick houses in Harderwijk city The Netherlands

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I hope you enjoyed this blog on day trips from Utrecht and that you’ve explored what Utrecht and its nearby places have to offer. There are cities near Utrecht, but there is so much more around Utrecht that you can visit. These best day trips from Utrecht have hopefully shown you where to travel from Utrecht. If you want to go on day trips from Utrecht to see windmills, you can head to Kinderdijk or Molendriegang Klompwijk.

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