Having been here a little while now, I've started to gather some favourite cities! Don't get me wrong, I love Amsterdam! I think it is a great city to visit (for none of the reasons you are imagining), but everyone already knows about it. So I figured I would suggest 3 alternate cities, all of which you could visit as a day-trip from Amsterdam!
1. Den Haag (The Hague)
The Hague is the nations political capital where both the Parliament and the Royal Family are located. It has tons to do and it is a beautiful calm break from the bustle of Amsterdam. It's not tiny though, it still has lots of night life, and lots to keep you busy during the day, including:
- The Escher Museum
- Mauritshuis Museum (holds many famous classics!)
- Binnenhof (Dutch Parliament)
- You can walk by the Royal House, aka Palace (heads up: it's much more modest than the English one!) and near the end of the street you can stop for some Bagels & Beans a delicious dutch chain.
- For even more ideas, check out their amazing tourism website: The Hague
This is a small city quite close to Den Haag, and could likely even be done in the same day. From The Hague you can catch a street car and head to Delft, it's about a 20 minute ride, and costs under 3 Euros! It is such a cute, and quaint little town, I highly recommend popping in! For lots to do check out it's Trip Advisor page. However, if you're not in the mood for attractions, just sitting and having tea or a beer along one of the canals is a great way to spend an afternoon!
Utrecht is awesome. It is such a fun and lively city, and the first city that I visited where I actually imagined myself living there. There are so many patios/terraces to sit and have a beer; as the dutch would say, it's very gezellig! Aside from just enjoy a nice afternoon lazing with a beer, there are a few touristy things to see and do, including:
- Visiting and climbing the Dom Tower in the city center
- If you happen to be there on a Saturday, you can do the free walking tour
- The Central Museum & Dick Bruna House
For Utrecht, I would just keep in mind it is much more of a relaxing break from the go-go-go of travel then it is a tourist hot spot. It's a fun and really unique town within The Netherlands, as one of (or the only?) cities where you can go down at the canal level to have dinner, a walk, or a beer.
So those are my 3 recommendations for now. I still have many more places to visit, and lots more to explore; so if you have any suggestions of your own, please leave them in the comments below!