My husband and I are visiting Amsterdam for 6 days at the beginning of July. We have never been to Amsterdam or to The Netherlands. We love walking, seeing sights, museums, dining, culture and meeting the locals. We are experienced travelers. Can we see all the highlights of Amsterdam and then have time to see other parts of The Netherlands? And which cities/areas outside of Amsterdam are worth a day trip? Or should we stay a few days in Amsterdam and relocate to another city for the next few days? We fly out of Amsterdam so we would have to be back on the last day. Any helpful suggestions are welcomed!
The best place to start with a general question like yours is to read some guidebooks; then, if you have specific questions, come back here to ask them. I would look at Rick Steves Amsterdam, Bruges, and Brussels, as well as a few others, to get ideas. The RS book has lots of daytrip options, complete with detailed directions on getting there from Amsterdam.
I think that you can do a lot of day trips to other cities in the Netherlands. I did love day trip to Haarlem when I was last there. We did a walking tour. I am sure others will chime in with suggestions. The Rick Steves Guide book was helpful for me. I haven't been, but I think that Delft is a good city to visit as well. Also, I wonder about Den Hague?
Nearly everything described at http://www.ricksteves.com/europe/netherlands and in the Netherlands portion of Rick's Amsterdam book are all reasonable day-trip options from the city. Therefore, I think I would not split the 6-day stay between different hotels or towns. You might do 3 days in the city and 3 days for "tripping out." I would stay within walking distance of the train station, or else near a tram line.
Many thanks for your information. It looks like we will stay in Amsterdam for the full 6 days and combine seeing Amsterdam and then do some day trips. I do have Rick's DVDs and books to use as sources. While I love Rick's work, I have found that sometimes the information is old (restaurants that are closed) and hotels that are not up to anyone's standards (a terrible place in Switzerland!) so it is always great to get current information/opinions. Happy travels to all!
Amsterdam is a wonderful city to walk around in. Really easy to use trams throughout. We are planning our 3rd trip there. Recommend a trip to the resistance museum while there. I would stay the whole time there and do day trips.
If you want an easy, inexpensive way to see some of the countryside, try the Waterlands Bus, which you can catch behind the train station (just walk through to the back and up some stairs). For 10 euros you get an all day bus pass. We went first to Edam, then Volendam, then took the ferry to Marken (extra charge) then caught the bus back to Amsterdam. You can stay at each stop as long as you want; just check the schedule at the bus stop to see when the next one leaves.