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Day Train Trip Recommendation from Haarlem

My wife and I will have a full day to explorer before starting the Best of Europe in 21 Days Tour. We've never been to Europe.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a day train trip up to a couple hours away from Haarlem? We'd love to just walk around a new city, go to a museum, etc.

Thank you,

Posted by
914 posts

I really enjoyed Delft, and I'm sure that others will have great recommendations. As long as you know these day trip towns are on the quieter side and are more about walking around, looking in churches, and enjoying a cafe, etc. If you like history and a slice of life, places like Leiden, Delft, Utrecht offer an enjoyable start to your adventure!

Posted by
724 posts

My husband and I will have the same situation next spring....I'm going to take notes on your replies!

Posted by
11280 posts

From the "Pre Tour" section of the tour's web page:

"Here are a few suggestions for sightseeing in Haarlem and Amsterdam that we will not do as a group. Haarlem: Frans Hals Museum, canal cruise, Teylers Museum, Corrie Ten Boom House, Grote Kerk (main church). Amsterdam: Amsterdam Museum, Jewish History Museum, Dutch Resistance Museum, Tropical Museum, Heineken brewery tour."

I really liked the Amsterdam Museum, and the Dutch Resistance and Jewish History museums are very worthwhile as well. Canal cruises are great if you're feeling too jetlagged to see a museum (I find that going indoors worsens my jetlag immensely, and staying outdoors in the light helps minimize it). Almost every Dutch city has them.

I was not taken with Delft at all, but many others like it. I really enjoyed Utrecht (covered minimally in Rick's book) and Leiden (not covered in Rick's book). In your situation, I'd get a few guidebook on the Netherlands from the library, read about nearby attractions, and see what appeals. Rick does have good details about transportation from Haarlem to places he does cover, and he has lots of daytrip ideas (the Hague, Edam, open air museums, etc).

Posted by
48 posts

We also loved Breda. Definitely not a tourist spot. But where we stayed had bikes for guest use and we biked to the nice city center and a near by forest area. Picked up some food at a market and had a picnic. But if you only have one day, definitely explore Amsterdam.