Hi all, my two daughters will be in Amsterdam in early June, spending 5 full days in Amsterdam. Planning on a day trip one of those days, I did Haarelam when I stayed in Amsterdam but I hear Utrecht and Rotterdam are also good. What are your recommendations? Thanks.
They'll find Utrecht, a university city, having a more lively centre than Haarlem (mind the spelling!).
Rotterdam, heavily bombarded during WWII, is a modern city and not so typically Dutch.
Of those three, I vote Utrecht, unless they're interested in modern architecture, in which case Rotterdam.
Rick has descriptions of all three, and many more day trip options, in his Amsterdam & the Netherlands book, complete with goof-proof transit directions from Amsterdam. They should take a look and see what interests them most. They may want a more rural destination, or else have a specific interest.
As for why I choose Utrecht, I love the vibe of the city, and the dual level canals are very pretty. Plus, there are several wonderful museums, including the unique Museum Speelklok, which has all kinds of mechanical music makers from music boxes to huge fairground organs (you see them on a one hour tour where a docent demonstrates how they work).
The Hague and Delft can also be done as a day trip from Amsterdam.
The Hague, Delft and Leiden are all perfect for day trips.