Around Amsterdam – Escape the city within 30 minutes by train

Hiking Collection by Pauline van der Waal

With beautiful weather, it’s no surprise that you are eager to go outside. To help you plan a spontaneous getaway, this Collection includes seven walks that are under half an hour away from Amsterdam. As most Amsterdammers don't have a car, the thirty minutes starts when you hop on a train from Amsterdam Central Station. Of course, you can start from another station if it's easier for you or just hop on your bike.

You can enjoy lots of walks near Amsterdam to help you get away from it all for a while. Just north of the city, for example, Het Twiske recreational area offers winding paths along the water’s edge. Here, you can also come face to face with Scottish highlander cattle and take to the waters in a canoe.

From Amsterdam Oost, you can cross the Orange Locks (Oranjesluizen) via the Zeeburgereiland. Here, you can travel back in time a few centuries in picturesque villages such as Durgerdam, Ransdorp, and Schellingwoude.

You can also find plenty of nature within a stone’s throw of Amsterdam. The town of Weesp’s polders and historic canals, the circular walk Ronde Hoep below the town of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, and of course the woodland and water of the Amsterdamse Bos offer a great escape into nature.

Many walks lead past ancient forts, some crumbling, and others in pristine condition. This may come as no surprise as the Military Water Defence Line (Stelling van Amsterdam) was built around 9.3 to 12.4 miles (15 to 20 km) from the city. You can reach this UNESCO World Heritage Site within precisely 30 minutes.

For all walks, you'll find a café or shop along the way to enjoy refreshments. However, I recommend bringing a bottle of water and some snacks in your rucksack, especially if you choose one of the longer walks.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    10.9 mi
    2.5 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The Twiske is a wetland area just above Amsterdam. The nature reserve consists of 650 hectares, about a third of which consists of water. To get a good look at the whole area, walk the 16-kilometer red route. It is clearly marked by red posts along the path.

    From Amsterdam Central you take the bus to Oostzaan. I have therefore plotted the route from the bus stop and not from the official starting point. Thus, the red route is about a kilometer longer.

    You walk from the village of Oostzaan over the bridge into the Twiske and walk on small and rustic paths. They follow the course of the ring dike around the area.

    You pass the harbor, where you can rent a boat. Boating is very popular with all that water. You can also discover the Twiske from the canoe. Highly recommended!

    Now you have your walking shoes on, so you continue on foot. At the natural Roemersveld you have the chance to meet Scottish Highlanders. You walk past willows, hawthorns and endless blackberry bushes.

    Birds also love this place. You will also see sparrowhawks, jays, woodpeckers and chiffchaffs here. With binoculars you can see hundreds of swallows nesting on the sand martin wall on an island in the Stootersplas.

    There are numerous wonderfully quiet spots along the way to take a break or just enjoy the surroundings. If you want to buy something to eat or drink, you can do so at Twiske Haven, Kiosk de Does, Zorgboerderij De Marsen or Paviljoen Het Twiske.

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    11.0 mi
    2.5 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The picturesque villages of Durgerdam, Ransdorp and Schellingwoude are located on the north bank of the IJ just east of Amsterdam. You will visit all three in this varied walk from Muiderpoort station.

    From the station you first walk in the direction of the Flevopark. This park borders Amsterdam on the east side and is largely located directly on the water. You walk through the park towards the bridge with which you cross the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal. You will see the famous Camping Zeeburg on your right.

    You walk via the Zuiderzeeweg to the Zeeburgereiland. The name of this road recalls the time when the sea started here. Zeeburgereiland used to be a silt site. It was built in the early 20th century with dredging sludge from the IJ and the Eastern Docklands. After that it was used as a military site for a long time, but about ten years ago the first houses were built.

    You cross the high bridge over the Buiten-IJ. Below you sail the ships that have sailed through the Orange locks from Amsterdam, or are on their way there. From here you can already see Durgerdam, your next stop on the route.

    Durgerdam has a protected village view. The houses and the Church of Durgerdam are therefore typical and recognizable.

    You continue your way towards Ransdorp. You can recognize the obtuse tower of the church from afar. You walk through a typical Dutch landscape. Very rural and yet so close to the city.

    Schellingwoude is located next to the Orange Locks. These locks ensure that the water level of the North Sea Canal remains at the correct height. In addition, they prevent salt water from flowing into the sweet interior from the sea. Pedestrians and cyclists can return to Amsterdam East via the locks.

    You walk back to Muiderpoort station via the edge of the Zeeburgereiland and across the Zeeburgerdijk along the canal.

    From Amsterdam Central, the train takes you to Muiderpoort in just five minutes. Various trams and buses also stop there.

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  • Intermediate
    6.55 mi
    2.5 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    A little east of Amsterdam is Weesp, beautiful on the Vecht. The train takes about 15 minutes from Amsterdam Central to Weesp. The station is the starting point of the walk of just over ten kilometers.

    When you leave the station you will see the Vecht almost immediately. You walk in the direction of the marina with all kinds of boats, from large to small.

    Behind the marina you can see two mills close together. These are De Vriendschap and De Eendracht. The Friendship was rebuilt in 1900 after the old mill burnt down in 1899. It is a flour mill only 80 meters away from De Eendracht.

    The Eendracht is a lot smaller and an old sawmill. Together, the Weesp mills give a special and recognizable appearance. Molen De Vriendschap is regularly open to visitors.

    You continue along the winding Vecht until you reach Fort Hinderdam. This fort is part of the Defense Line of Amsterdam and is located on an island in the middle of the Vecht. The fort is owned by Natuurmonumenten. Many bats live there and therefore unfortunately cannot be visited.

    Just past the fort, turn right into the polder roads. A typical Dutch landscape with ditches, meadows, cows and sheep. You walk a bit along the edge of Weesp and end at the station again.

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    5.70 mi
    2.5 mph
    50 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This route is one of my favorites. I love the winding narrow roads along the idyllic Gein. Moreover, you do not have to pay attention to anything other than the environment, because it is practically impossible to go wrong.You leave and end at Abcoude station. It takes 20 minutes from Amsterdam Central Station. From Amstel station it is even only 12 minutes.You walk past the station and the track until you can cross the track a little further. You start on the right bank of the Gein and keep following it until Fort Nigtevecht. You can also cut off a piece via the Liniedijk.Fort bij Nigtevecht is located right on the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal. From the water, however, the fort is quite hidden in the green. Large parts of the fort are still intact, which makes it worth a visit.After the fort, head towards Proeflokaal Anna Haen, a nice place for a break. Especially taste the local products sold here and bring something to take home.You walk back to Abcoude via the other bank of the Gein. If you want you can also take a look at Fort Abcoude.Fort near Abcoude is made of brick. That is unique for a land fortress of the Defense Line of Amsterdam. The outer walls of the fort are 1.80 meters thick. From the viewpoint you can see Fort Nigtevecht. You can visit the fort, check the website for opening times.

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    12.1 mi
    2.5 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    The Ronde Hoep is a popular piece of polder just below Amsterdam. On beautiful days you will encounter many walkers and cyclists from the city.

    No wonder, because you walk on picturesque winding dikes and have a fantastic view over the polder. Along the way you will also see two fortresses of the Defense Line of Amsterdam.

    You start your walk from Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, easily accessible by bicycle or bus. From there you follow the meandering course of the Amstel and the Wavre back.

    The Ronde Hoep consists almost entirely of grassland on peat soil. Although a lot of land consolidation has been applied here, just like in all of the Netherlands, you can still see the old ditch pattern. These go back to 1100, when the mining of this area was started.

    At Nes aan de Amstel you can see the 65 meter high hexagonal tower of the Sint Urbanuskerk. This Roman Catholic church is a stately landmark in the open polder.

    During your walk you have a wide view of the open polder. In addition to agricultural land, there is also a section designed for nature. Due to the low location with relatively high water level, it is quite swampy here. Ideal for water and meadow birds, such as geese, lapwings, black-tailed godwits and golden plovers.

    A little further you can already see Fort Wavre. This fort belongs to the Defense Line of Amsterdam, a defense line that was built about fifteen to twenty kilometers from the city of Amsterdam.

    The Fort in the Botshol is less noticeable. The fort is never completed and you can only see an elevation in the landscape. Bunkers were never built here. Botshol is now a nature reserve where you can spot many birds and orchids.

    You will automatically return to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel via the Wavre. You can puff out on one of the terraces on the water on the Amstel side. Nice view, boats and rowers passing by and a snack or drink to end the day.

    It is best to cycle from Amsterdam to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. The route along the river is already beautiful. You park your bicycle in Ouderkerk.

    You can also take the bus. You first travel by metro to Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena or to Amstelveen. There you take bus 300 to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, which is in the middle between station Bijlmer and Amstelveen.

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    5.94 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    For a brisk walk literally on the outskirts of the city, go to the Amsterdamse Bos. You can easily cycle, but by car or public transport is also possible.

    The Amsterdamse Bos is also known under the old name Bosplan. Incredible but true: the entire forest has been created by hand. The forest was an employment project of the Municipality of Amsterdam that was conceived in the late 1920s. In these crisis years, the city of Amsterdam alone had 50,000 unemployed. By getting started in the Forest Plan they got their wages paid, partly financed by the state. More than 20,000 people worked on the forest between 1934 and 1940.

    Various walks have been set out in the Amsterdamse Bos. With my route you grab all the highlights of the forest.

    You start at the Bosbaan. In addition to planting the trees, human hands excavated the rowing course during the crisis years. The first rowing competition was held in 1937 and the Bosbaan is still regularly the battleground for international rowing competitions.

    You walk on the north side of the Bosbaan, the part that is often skipped by hikers. A shame, because this part of the forest has a beautiful open character. You also have a beautiful view of the water of De Nieuwe Meer.

    At the end of the Bosbaan you will see Meerzicht Farm. As a walk in the woods and eating a pancake are inextricably linked to me, I definitely recommend making a stop here.

    A little further south is Goat farm Ridammerhoeve. You can see the goats here and taste cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt and even ice cream made from goat milk. Buy an extra supply for your home in the farm shop.

    You continue your way via the Hazenheuvel, which is the central location in the Amsterdamse Bos. It will no longer surprise you that the hill was also constructed manually. It was first planned to make the hill as much as forty meters high. This became a bit too much for the alderman of Amsterdam and that is why the hill got stuck at sixteen meters.

    You end this walk at Grand Café De Bosbaan. Have a nice drink on the terrace and enjoy the view of the water. You will probably see rowers training or even participating in a competition.

    For the average Amsterdammer, the forest is just within cycling distance, but you can also go by car. You can park it for free for the first three hours at the large parking lot at the Bosbaan. You can also put it on other parking spaces in the forest. That is usually completely free.

    If you prefer to come by public transport, take the metro / light tram to Amstelveen. Get off at the A.J. Ernststraat and walk ten minutes to the entrance of the Amsterdamse Bos. You can also take the bus. There is a bus stop directly in front of the entrance.

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    6.48 mi
    2.5 mph
    50 ft
    75 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This walk from Halfweg-Zwanenburg station is an absolute undiscovered gem. You will be there in no time and it is completely unknown to many Amsterdammers. You can take a lovely walk in the forest of Spaarne / Houtrak.The seawall used to be here. After all, the IJ was still connected to the salty Zuiderzee, which made the water briny here. When the North Sea Canal was constructed in 1876, this area was reclaimed. The forest where you now walk was 150 years ago so just water.You start your walk in the green Spaarnwoude. Recreation area Spaarnwoude is a lot bigger than you will discover today. Now we walk through the section called Houtrak. You follow the winding paths and probably see horses on the bridle path. They come from Manege Spaarnwoude a bit further.After the riding, you continue through the semi-open forest. You will now officially leave Spaarnwoude and enter the Geuzenbos. This section has only recently returned to nature.Konik horses and Scottish highlanders walk in the Geuzenbos. In season you can hear the concert of the frogs sitting in the pools here. You climb the Spaarndammerdijk.You now come to the Amsterdam ban pole from 1624. This pole was placed back on this spot in 2006 and was recorded in 1650 by Rembrandt on one of his paintings.You now slowly walk back to the station, with the old sugar factory in the background. You take the train back to Amsterdam and most likely intend to recommend this fantastic area so close to home to your friends.You can easily take the train to Halfweg-Zwanenburg. From Amsterdam Central you are there in ten minutes. From Sloterdijk station it will even cost you five. After that you are within a minute in the forest that starts right behind the station.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    58.7 mi
  • Duration
    23:53 h
  • Elevation
    550 ft