Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and is famous for its beautiful and elaborate canal system as well as the 17th-century houses lining the canals which are a legacy of the city’s Golden Age. The city has a number of fascinating museums in the Museum District, including the Van Gogh Museum, with works by the famous artist and Rijksmuseum, with exhibits of the art of Rembrandt and Vermeer. Modern art can be viewed at Stedelijk. The city is an ideal place to explore on a bicycle, due to the many bike paths throughout Amsterdam. While it has many attractions all of its own, the city is the ideal starting point for some idyllic and exciting road trips. Here we’ve listed the top road trips from Amsterdam, Netherlands. Scroll down to find out more.
1. Paris, France
Start out in the early morning for an enjoyable, 8-hour and 35-minute (640 km or 398 mi) road trip to Paris, France. The route will take you through The Hague to Belgium, where you will drive through Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, and Bruges on your way to the City of Light. Paris is renowned for that well-known landmark, the Eiffel Tower, which you can ascend to enjoy 360-degree views over the city. Explore the wonders of the Louvre art gallery. Marvel at Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile, a national monument standing tall on the Champs-Élysées. Not to forget, enjoy the delicious cuisine of Paris in its many restaurants and cafes, many with tables on the pavement for people-watching fun.
2. Weimar, Germany
A road trip to Weimar in Germany via the most direct route takes around 6 hours and 35 minutes to complete the 605 km (376 mi) journey. Head across the Netherlands on the A44 highway all the way to the border with Germany. The journey will take you through Essen and Dortmund to Weimar. Weimar is renowned for being the birthplace of the Weimar Classicism, which was a humanistic cultural movement. The two writers involved in the movement, Goethe and Schiller, are celebrated with a monument in front of the German National Theater. An interesting visit is Goethe National Museum, which is set in the writer’s baroque residence, and Schiller Museum, which is located next to the writer’s home. Bauhaus Museum Weimar is another fascinating visit with works by famous architect Walter Gropius.
3. Lucerne, Switzerland
A road trip from Amsterdam to Lucerne, Switzerland by the most direct route will take approximately 8 hours and 54 minutes to travel the 839 km (521 mi), via the A3 and A5. Head out from Amsterdam to the German border where you will travel through Cologne, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart all the way to the Swiss border. Lucerne is roughly located in the center of the country. This small city sits among beautiful, snow-capped mountains on the shores of Lake Lucerne, and is famous for its beautifully preserved medieval architecture. A visit to Altstadt, the Old Town takes you to the Museggmauer (or Musegg Wall), a rampart dating from the 14th century. Another site of interest is Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge), a covered bridge that was constructed in 1333 and spans the Reuss River.
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4. Giverny, France
The road journey from Amsterdam to Giverny in France takes around 6 hours and 39 minutes to cover 565.2 km (351 mi) on the A1 highway. Head from the Netherlands through Belgium and pass through Brussels along the way before crossing the border into northern France. Giverny is a village in the Normandy region, known for being the home of impressionist painter Claude Monet. He lived and worked in Giverny from 1883 until he died in 1926. Visitors can explore Fondation Claude Monet Museum, which is set in the artist’s former home and garden, pictured here. Close to the museum, Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny offers exhibits and highlights relating to the impressionist art movement.
5. Nuremberg, Germany
Head out of Amsterdam on the A3 for the start of a 7-hour, 11-minute drive, covering 662.3 km (412 mi). Cross the border into Germany and head through Cologne and Frankfurt to reach Nuremberg, which is a northern Bavarian city. The city is known for its striking medieval architecture, including the stone towers and fortifications of its Old Town (Altstadt). On the edge of the Old Town stands Kaiserburg Castle, surrounded by buildings with pretty red roofs. Visit Schöner Brunnen, a beautiful gilded fountain in the Hauptmarkt square. The fountain is close to the 14th-century Frauenkirche Gothic church.
6. Zurich, Switzerland
Driving from Amsterdam, head down the A3 at the start of an 8-hour, 38-minute drive to cover the 820.7 km (510 mi) to Zürich in Switzerland. Again, you will pass over the German border and drive through Cologne and Frankfurt on the way to the Swiss border, right at the bottom of the country. Zürich is a beautiful city, set at the end of Lake Zürich in the north of Switzerland. The city is known as being a global center for banking and finance. The city’s Altstadt (Old Town) runs on both sides of the Limmat River, including beautiful architecture dating from before the medieval era. Visitors can enjoy a stroll on the waterfront promenades along the river, one of which heads to the 17th-century Rathaus, or town hall.
7. Amboise, France
The journey follows the A1 and A10 motorways on an 8-hour, 22-minute drive across 727.2 km (452 mi). Cross into Belgium and head towards Brussels, before driving to the border with France. Pass through Paris before heading to the beautiful town of Amboise. Located in the Loire Valley of central France, the town is famous for the Château d'Amboise (pictured here), the grand royal residence of King Charles VII in the 15th century. The palace features exquisite royal chambers, beautiful gardens, and intriguing underground tunnels, as well as Leonardo da Vinci’s tomb. Da Vinci’s former home, Château du Clos Lucé, is located outside of the town, where he lived until he died in 1519. The home features a small museum, exhibiting working models of the artist’s designs.
Journeying from Amsterdam on the A1 Highway to Lübeck, Germany takes around 5 hours and 47 minutes to travel the 532.2 km (331 mi). Heading across the Netherlands and then crossing into Germany, the road travels through Bremen and up to Hamburg before finally reaching Lübeck on the northern coast. The city is known for its Brick Gothic architecture dating from when Lübeck was the capital of the Hanseatic League in medieval times. The symbol of the period is the Holstentor, which is a protective red-brick gate in the Old Town. The Marienkirche in the city is a 13th- to14th-century church that was rebuilt after World War II.
Duration: 1.5 hour
9. Pilsen, Czechia
Heading now on the A3 highway to Pilsen in Czechia, this 8-hour, 40-minute journey covers a distance of 853 km (530 mi). The journey first heads across the German border and crosses the country, passing through Cologne and Frankfurt. Next is the Czechia border and Pilsen. The city is famous for the Pilsner Urquell Brewery, which has been brewing and bottling the popular beer since 1842. The Cathedral of St. Bartholomew makes an interesting visit. It was built in the 16th century and features a tall spire with a viewing gallery offering panoramic views across the city. The city is surrounded by pretty parks and an interesting landmark in the center of the Old Town is the 19th-century Great Synagogue, which is also used as a concert venue.
Heading from Amsterdam to Prague, a different route can be used along the A14 highway which takes 8 hours and 48 minutes to complete an 884.9 km (550 mi) journey. Driving through northern Germany, the road heads through Hanover, Leipzig and Dresden before crossing the border into Czechia and heading to Prague. If driving direct from Pilsen, it will take 1 hour and 38 minutes to cover the 98.4 km (61 mi) of road. Prague bears the nickname “The City of a Hundred Spires” for its beautiful architecture, including Gothic churches, baroque buildings, and the Old Town Square, the historic center of the city. The medieval Astronomical Clock in Prague offers an animated show on the hour. Prague also features some fascinating modern architecture, including the Dancing House pictured here. Designed by Vlado Milunić with architect Frank Gehry, the building is dedicated to famous dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Duration: 2.5 hour
Explore Europe by road
Europe is a fascinating destination that can easily be explored on a number of road trips. One of the best ways to do this is to base yourself in a city and head out from there in varying directions. Here we’ve listed some of the top road trips from Amsterdam, Netherlands to help you kickstart your exploration of this wonderful part of the world by road.
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