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If you are looking for a short, fun, and fascinating day trip from Amsterdam, I have just the place for you – Amersfoort! Discover all the best things to do in Amersfoort, Netherlands, which has photogenic canals, historical architecture, bicycles, and delectable eateries without the Amsterdam crowds!
AMERSFOORT TRAVEL TIPS: Keep your eyes peeled for serene reflections. Since the canals are smaller and calmer than those in Amsterdam and not lined with cars, many might assert they are more photogenic.
I’ve always had an affinity for medieval towns and Amersfoort, Netherlands, offers all the captivating elements you would expect in a place dating from the Middle Ages. After spending one day in Amersfoort, it’s now one of my favorite European towns.
While I’d initially been planning to visit Geithoorn, my guide, Frederik from Amsterdam Boat Adventures, piqued my interest when he said Amersfoort is an enchanting town without hordes of tour buses. If this sounds like your kind of place, read on for all the fascinating things to do in Amersfoort, Netherlands. While I loved my 10 days in Amsterdam, I personally relished not having to be on constant alert for distracted bicyclists while navigating the crowds in the main tourist areas.
Personally, I savor the solitude from 7-8AM before shops open and people are bustling about. Golden hour (one hour after sunrise) is my favorite time for photography given the soft light, calm waterways, and streets undisturbed by boats, bikes, and people. Check out my Photography Tips article to capture captivating imagery when you are traveling.
How Old is Amersfoort?
Amersfoort, Netherlands, dates from the Middle Ages. Initially settled in 1259, land and water gates as well as wall houses were constructed in the 14th century as the city continued to expand. Read on to discover the top attractions to visit in Amersfoort.
23 Fantastic Things to do in Amersfoort, Netherlands
Rest assured, I have you covered with this Amersfoort one day itinerary as I’ve outlined all my favorite things to do in Amersfoort, Netherlands, including the best shopping, restaurants, and Amersfoort attractions.
Amersfoort Stop 1: Breakfast at The Blueberry
Hours: 9 or 10AM – 5PM
Amersfoort has no shortage of superb places to fuel up with an indulgent breakfast.
My sister and I both loved our American style breakfast at The Blueberry, a bright and cheery cafe, chock full of Americana items adorning the walls.
I devoured my summer breeze smoothie decked out with mango, blueberry, and oranges and egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. My sister gobbled up her Denver-style egg scramble. They also offer pancakes (Red Velvet anyone?), French toast, and avocado toast.
I applaud the fact that all places in Netherlands offer paper straws and wooden cutlery for takeout to minimize plastic waste. If you are seeking eco-friendly travel products, check out my 41 favorite sustainable travel essentials.
Some other Amersfoort, Netherlands, breakfast options include:
- Livingstone Coffee – Address: Groenmarkt 11
- Corazon Coffee – Address: Krommestraat 18
If you are visiting on a Saturday, be sure to visit the market that takes place on Hof Square. Whenever I can, I try to time my visits to coincide with markets as I always discover many wonderful artisans, bakers, and food stalls.
Amersfoort Stop 2: Shop along the Krommestraat
After breakfast, mosey into some of the adorable shops along the Krommerstraat.
Some of my favorite shops in Amersfoort, Netherlands include:
Dille and Kamille
Address: Krommestraat 36
If kitchen and homeware stores strike your fancy, you’ll love this place. I would have brought home some of their innovative gadgets and bowls if I had the space in my carry-on luggage.
Tara Buddha Store
Address: Krommestraat 29
The intoxicating Sandalwood aroma wafting from this store transports me back to Bali.
Amersfoort Stop 3: Waterlijn Boat Tour
Cost: 7.50 Euro
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11AM-430PM from April to October. The boat tours last 45 minutes and depart every 30 minutes.
From May to September, tours are also offered on Mondays from 1-430PM.
Canal tours are an idyllic way to experience the essence of towns like Amsterdam, Ghent and Bruges. They give you an overview before you wander on foot.
The 45-minute canal tours in Amersfoort are in small boats with only 10-15 people rather than the boats of 50-100 that you see in other towns.
If you are visiting during the busy summer season, I recommend buying tickets in advance online.
FUN FACT: My day trip to Amersfoort resulted from my Amsterdam canal cruise guide’s recommendation. So, there is much to be learned and hot tips to be gleaned during canal cruises!
Amersfoort Stop 4: VVV Amersfoort Tourist Information Center
Hours: 10AM-5PM Everyday
To pinpoint all the fun (and free) things to do in Amersfoort during an Amersfoort day trip, stop at the tourist information center and snag an Amersfoort walking tour map for 3.95 Euro . While I only had a day, I plan to return and spend an entire weekend in Amersfoort!
Not only does this map help direct you, but it also provides a brief background and history about all the Amersfoort places to visit on this 90-minute walking tour that covers 2.8 miles (4.5 km).
After initially meandering amongst the various streets aimlessly and noticing that others were referencing a map, my sister and I appreciated how this mini Amersfoort travel guide deepened our understanding and appreciation of Amersfoort’s charm and history.
Amersfoort Stop 5: The Marienhof Town Convent
Address: Kleine Haag 2
This peaceful courtyard is open to the public and a lovely Amersfoort attraction to stop for a rest and admire the flowers surrounding it.
Amersfoort Stop 6: Waterpoort Monnikendam (Monk’s Dam)
If you’ve already taken the Waterlijn Boat Tour, you glided beneath this watergate dating from the 15th century, which is one of the top things to see in Amersfoort.
Amersfoort Stop 7: Het Huis met de Paarse Ruiten (House with Purple Windows)
Address: Zuidsingel 38
Wandering along Zuidsingel Street, you’ll come across a historic house dating from 1780 that was built by Benjamin Cohen, a tobacco merchant.
AMERSFOORT TRAVEL TIP: Appreciate the windows from both near and far. Depending upon the time of day and the light and shadows, the purple color may be easier to discern closer or farther away.
Amersfoort Stop 8: Muurhuizen (Wall Houses)
Rambling through this area is absolutely one of my favorite things to do in Amersfoort, Netherlands. These architecturally divine houses wind along the Stadskern Canal on Muurhuizen Street.
I encourage you to stroll down the streets between the homes and then appreciate their backsides as you amble along the Stadskern Canal.
Amersfoort Stop 9: Mondriaanhuis (Mondriaan House)
Cost: 13 Euro
Hours: 10AM – 5PM Tuesday-Sunday
Explore Mondriaanhuis, one of Amersfoort’s top tourist attractions. This museum resides in Piet Mondriaan’s birth house. Delve into how his art evolved with a five-minute video as soon as you enter the museum.
Amersfoort Stop 10: Plompetoren or Dieventoren (Thieves Tower)
Address: Muurhuizen 97
Continue meandering along Muurhuizen to a tower dating from the 13th century, the Plompetoren tower. Admire the turret and clock perched atop the building. A small walkway allows you to walk beneath the tower and traverse a bridge on the other side, taking you to Grote Sint Jansstratt.
Grote Sint Jansstraat is chock full of shops to peruse for gifts, jewelry, and artwork.
Amersfoort Stop 11: Anna’s Smaakatelier
Address: Grote Sint Jansstraat 4
If you are craving a snack or coffee during your Amersfoort day trip, stop into Anna’s Smaakatelier, which offers a mouth-watering selection of cookies, meringues, cakes, and tarts. Their chai latte, which is my go-to drink, is on point. They kindly gave us a delicious mini oatmeal cookie to accompany it.
If you are visiting on a Friday or Saturday, opt for a leisurely seated breakfast. Next time, I want to try their high tea service, which is one of my favorite indulgent activities no matter where I travel.
As you may have surmised from my Missoula and Whitefish articles, I adore loose leaf teas and have a collection of 30-50 different kinds that I’ve amassed throughout my travels. Louren’s in Amsterdam also has a creamy chai tea latte that I sipped on many mornings while roaming around Amsterdam.
Amersfoort Stop 12: Kamperbinnenpoort City Gate
Address: Kamperbinnenpoort 7
Built in the 13th century, the only remaining part of Amersfoort’s first city wall has a small jewelry shop in the base that is worth peeking into (Jewels Forever). Given its historical importance, don’t miss this spot on your first trip to Amersfoort.
I personally have an addiction to moseying through all city gates, imagining what it must have been like during medieval times with horses and knights clomping past the guards.
Myriad shops flank De Kamp Street. Colorful dresses and jackets called to me like sirens from various window displays. Luckily, I abstained as my carry-on bag had already reached its limit and had to be expanded and checked for my flight home.
Amersfoort Stop 13: Hofje Armen de Poth
Despite seeking out numerous hofjes in Amsterdam, I failed to find them or arrived outside of visiting hours. So, I delighted in immersing in the Hofje Armen de Poth’s solitude in Amersfoort, Netherlands.
Since 49 private residences surround the courtyard, please be respectful and quiet when visiting this secret garden in Amersfoort.
Amersfoort Stop 14: Koppelpoort City Gate
Something about moss- and ivy-covered city walls punctuated by turrets and surrounded by moats has always spoken to me. Without fail, I always imagine scenes from Game of Thrones with knights laden in armor galloping through the gates on horseback.
Check out both sides of the gate as one side has the “Mezenkouw,” where hot oil would be rained down upon those who didn’t heed staying far from the city gates. This is a top spot to see during your one day itinerary for Amersfoort.
One of Amersfoort’s secret places is an AirBnB room that you can rent that shares a bathroom with another room on the same floor. Imagine getting to admire Koppelpoort and the River Eem from your room. I plan to do this on my next Amersfoort weekend visit!
Amersfoort Stop 15: Gula Delicatessen
Address: Grote Spui 5A
One minute from Koppelpoort is an outstanding chocolate shop, Gula Chocolade Delicatessen. Knowing that I have an insatiable sweet tooth, my sister spied a sign indicating truffles and chocolates. Of course, we had to satisfy my curiosity and follow the sign.
The proprietor here is both knowledgeable and passionate, focusing on sourcing mouth-watering chocolate offerings from bean to bar chocolatiers from around the world. He is adamant that all the creators from which he sources are paid a fair wage, which I applaud and appreciate. Don’t miss this stop on your Amersfoort travel itinerary!
Without fail, I seek out and inquire about spicy chili chocolate bars in every chocolate shop. Gula delighted me with its myriad options of these and more. My sister chuckled when I bought seven chocolate bars from different makers in Jamaica, Uganda, and Madagascar.
How can I resist when the owner enthusiastically shared the flavor profile and back story about the various bars on his shelves. Given my marketing background, I’m always enticed by colorful and creative packaging.
Amersfoort Stop 16: Museum Flehite
Cost: 13 Euro
Hours: 10AM-5PM Tuesday-Sunday
Seeking a museum fix? Look no further than the Museum Flehite.
Amersfoort Stop 17: Havik
The enchanting, stepped architecture throughout the Netherlands is quintessential Dutch. The Havik area is a historic neighborhood in Amersfoort. The building at No. 25 dates from 1664 while the buildings at No. 33 and 35 are brewers’ buildings where brewers trained to perfect their craft, which is a fun thing to see in Amersfoort.
Amersfoort Stop 18: Biergilde
Address: Havik 11-13
If you are a beer aficionado, you might enjoy another quick stop by the Biergilde to admire the building’s exterior. The Havik port in Amersfoort served as an important area for creating and shipping beers until the 17thcentury. Although I’m more of a wine gal, I value learning about and seeing historic elements anytime I travel.
Amersfoort Stop 19: Onder de Linde Café
Address: Groenmarkt 9
When we were stopped outside this historic café, a friendly local couple stopped to chat with us and introduced us to the café’s proprietor. He kindly gifted us a postcard of the place when he saw us taking a picture of the exterior.
Amersfoort Stop 20: Onze Lieve Vrouwetoren (Our Lady’s Tower)
If you adore bird’s eye views and terracotta tile roofs in European cities like I do, it’s worth climbing the 346 steps in the Belfry with a one-hour tour. Purchase a ticket at the VVV Tourist center across the square for 8.50 Euro for the 2PM tour offered daily. Only 14 spots are offered, so it’s best to make a reservation in advance if you want to see this top Amersfoort attraction. Additional tours are offered during high season.
FUN FACT: Our Lady’s Tower is the second highest medieval tower in the Netherlands, standing 321 feet (98 meters) tall. Constructed between 1444-1500, it is located at 0’0, the Netherlands geographic center.
Be aware this tour is only conducted in Dutch. English and other languages are not offered. To me, it’s always a luxury and a bonus if English tours are offered, but I don’t expect them.
If you’ve climbed belfries in Utrecht or any other towns in the Netherlands or Belgium, you’ll already be familiar with the history of bells, carillons and the belfries serving as lookout posts, so you won’t miss out on much without an English-speaking tour. The largest bell in this tower weighs 4,400 lbs (3,000 kg).
Relax and recharge after your climb up the Tower
Amersfoort Stop 21: Long John’s Pub and Hotel
Address: Krankeledenstraat 22
If you are parched after your stair climber workout at Onze Lieve Vrouwetoren, pop into Long John’s Pub and Hotel for a coffee or beer.
TOP TIP: Head to the back patio and sip your drink while enjoying a lovely view of the canals.
Amersfoort Stop 22: Stadscafe Amersfoort
Address: Lieve Vrouwekerkhof 3
If treating yourself to apple pie after burning all those calories sounds good, this is your spot!
Best Places for Dinner in Amersfoort
As I’ve mentioned in other articles, bakeries are my go to spot for soliciting restaurant suggestions as bakers have discerning palates and often know the best local spots. Anna’s Smaakatelier recommended several places to us, which I’ve summarized below.
Amersfoort Stop 23: Madonna
Address: Krommerstraat 32
We had a scrumptious Italian dinner at Madonna. My sister and I split a Caesar salad, margarita pizza and lemon meringue dessert with ice cream. This restaurant, located in a historic building, was hopping with locals the entire time we were there.
Some other places to consider are:
- Miyao – Asian Address: Krommerstraat 32
- Dara – Middle Eastern Address: Grote Koppel 5
- Hoog Vuur – Address: Oude Fabriekstraat 26
- Ninh Binh – Vietnamese Address: Hof 23, Krommestraat 13
- Stadscafe – Café with homemade veggie burgers Address: Lieve Vrouwekerkhof 3
TRAVEL TIPS FOR VISITING AMERSFOORT, NETHERLANDS
Is Amersfoort Worth a Visit?
Absolutely! After spending one day in Amersfoort, this beautiful city is one of my favorites in Europe. It has only 150,000 residents as compared to Amsterdam’s ~800,000.
How Far is Amersfoort from Amsterdam?
Amersfoort, Netherlands, is only 30 minutes from Amsterdam Centraal train station.
Trains leave every 30 minutes from Amsterdam Centraal train station and cost 21 Euro roundtrip.
Personally, I love being able to explore via train and not worry about having to rent, drive or park a car in Europe while traveling. Given that I deal with bonkers traffic in San Francisco, I much prefer to relax and stare out the window, admiring the landscape along the journey.
How much time do you need in Amersfoort?
While Amersfoort is an easy day trip from Amsterdam, my sister and I both commented an Amersfoort weekend getaway would be perfect to immerse in all the popular things to do in Amersfoort. Find a cute AirBnB or hotel and extend your time to explore.
Amersfoort Travel Packing and Logistics
Weather in Amersfoort and throughout the Netherlands changes quickly and frequently. Since rainy days are common, it’s important to always be prepared. Fortunately, even if rain is forecast, it tends to be intermittent rather than long-lasting deluges. For your day or weekend in Amersfoort, I’d recommend bringing the following:
- Small travel umbrella
- Rain jacket
- Waterproof shoes
- Small reusable bag for shopping – Chico is my favorite
- Tissues to use as toilet paper – in case your toilet stall is out
- Change to use for toilets. Most places in Netherlands (and Europe for that matter) charge 1 Euro to use the bathroom. Fortunately, many take credit cards, but have change on hand for those that don’t.
- Credit card – very few places take cash so bring a Mastercard or Visa that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees with you. I use my Chase Sapphire Reserve card 100% of the time when traveling as I get 3x points for all travel related expenses, including hotels, restaurants, airfare, rental cars, trains. This helps me quickly accumulate points I can use to fund airline tickets with points for travel all over the world!
Whether you spend a day or weekend in Amersfoort, I hope my Amersfoort travel guide helped you find and plan all the best things to do in Amersfoort Netherlands. I’d love to hear your favorites in the comments below!