There are so many more beautiful cities in the Netherlands to visit than Amsterdam! In this blog post I want to convince you why you should add Amersfoort to your itinerary in the Netherlands. This beautiful old town is one of the most photogenic places in the Netherlands. I had to take photos each step of the way. It was especially beautiful when I went, as it was in autumn and the orange brick houses looked really stunning with the orange leaves everywhere. I’ll also be telling you where to go for some delicious cakes and muffins here. To end, I’ll be telling you about a few more places well worth a visit in the Netherlands, as well as where to stay to keep costs low if you are staying in Amsterdam.
The public transport is great in the Netherlands and there are so many train connections there is really no excuse not to see more of the Netherlands even if you are staying in Amsterdam. I’ll even be telling you the exact streets where it is best to take photos in Amersfoort so it couldn’t be any easier to see it all! If you are in the Netherlands in winter, there is plenty to do in Amsterdam in winter!
We went to visit Amersfoort to get some content for a job we did with Samsonite – so some photos will be with my suitcase!
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Cities in the Netherlands to visit – Amersfoort
Where is Amersfoort?
Amersfoort is a city right in the centre/ a little bit west in the Netherlands. It is in the province of Utrecht and about an hours drive from Amsterdam. If you hop on the intercity train from Amsterdam Central it can take just 35 minutes. It is a great day trip from Amsterdam! It is a great contrast from busy Amsterdam full of tourists. Amersfoort has around 150,000 inhabitants, and it doesn’t even feel that way as it really is a very peaceful city.
Staying in Amersfoort? Check prices and availability here!
Where to park in Amersfoort?
There is a large parking here underneath a shopping centre. This is the easiest place to park as Amersfoort old town is very small with narrow streets and no place to park. We paid around 6 Euro here to park for a few hours. From here it is around a 5-7 minute walk to the main gates to the old town. You also walk along the large canal here and there are already some very pretty houses along the way.
Read more: The best hostel to stay at in Amsterdam
Why visit Amersfoort?
Amersfoort is a beautiful canal city with a lot of history. There are many medieval buildings here and a canal that runs right the way through. Everything is within walking distance, making it a great city to visit in one day! You could also hire a bicycle to get around here but I don’t think its necessary. I’ll be telling you all the best photography spots along with the exact addresses so you will be able to find them!
Best photography spots in Amersfoort?
From the moment you enter the old town there are photography spots all the way! These spots are all in order, so as you walk from the gate you will see these all in order along the way. From the main gate, I’ll be taking you on a photography guide right to the main square.
Read more: The best hike in the Faroe Islands
Koppelpoort – Main gate into Amersfoort
As soon as you enter Amersfoort old town, you walk through a huge medieval gate. This is called Koppelpoort and was built in 1425. It is a beautiful gate, and is a great photography spot from the outside and from the inside, once you enter the city. As you walk through the gate and to the left, there is also a small bridge with a beautiful house next to it.
Once you enter the city gates, there is a lovely road with a canal running through the centre. This is also lined with trees and the road itself is a great photography spot! At the end of this road, you can go left or right. If you walk straight on and over another bridge, you will come to the Museum Flehite. Apart from the many amazing exhibitions inside, the exterior is a great photography spot! The building has two parts that jut out with interesting patterns on the facade. It really is a beautiful photo spot.
B&B Amersfoort “De Ketelaarsbrug”
As you continue walking to the left of the Museum Flehite, there is another small bridge that leads to a B&B. This was one of my favourite buildings here! It is in a beuautiful spot, as it is right on the canal. Also as it is a wider canal than in most areas of Amersfoort, it makes for a beautiful photo as you can get far enough away to get the whole building in. Most of the streets are very narrow so this is one of the spots where you can get a great photo of the whole building. The B&B is located on the corner of Nieweweg and Muurhuizen streets.
Muurhuizen actually means wall houses. Apparently as bricks were so expensive, the houses were built with the bricks from the old wall. Now these houses are in a circular shape around the town, as this used to be the old wall around the city!
This exact photo was taken outside number 27 here. It is a small little bridge leading to more streets here. There are a few small bridges across the small canal that runs through here. We even saw some people doing a boat tour along the canal. Bear in mind that the streets are all very cobbled so not ideal for heeled shoes! I had a small heel on my boots and already it was harder to walk around. This street is quite long too so I would recommend walking along the whole street and having a look around.
Vismarkt – Old Fishmarket
This is a small spot where the former fish market was. Now its a nice place to sit down and relax for a bit. It is also where you should turn left after walking down Langegracht. Here is the main shopping street. I almost turned away here, as I didn’t want to do any shopping, but there are so many lovely side streets down here.
This is a gorgeous little side street! Full of lots of lovely tall Dutch houses, they are also covered in plants so in autumn when we were there it was just stunning! There is also an interesting white house with red balconies that is worth taking some photos of. The architecture is great down this street.
Zevenhuizen – Market Day
As you walk further down the shopping street, as you turn left, you will reach the main square here in Amersfoort. There is a small fountain in the middle and lots of lovely houses and cafes along the square. There are a few days where they have markets here in Amersfoort. At the Friday market you can get all of your fresh produce. They sell vegetables, fish and fruit as well as fresh flowers. The flower market is located on the Lieve Vrouwekerhof from 8am to 1pm. The fish market is located on the Groenmarkt, The farmers market can be found on the Eemplein. On Saturday there is also a market day. This is located at the Hof, which is the largest square in Amersfoort.
Onze Lieve Vrouwetoren
From every street in Amersfoort you will most likely see this famous tower. The tower was completed in 1500 and is called the Miracle of Amersfoort. From April until October you can climb the 346 steps up and see the view.
This is another gateway into Amersfoort. It is a very beautiful spot on the exact opposite side of Amersfoort to the previous entrance I mentioned at the start of this section.
Where to eat in Amersfoort?
This lovely cafe is near the main entrance to Amersfoort, near to the Museum Flehite. Here you can get lunch and all sort of delicious cakes and desserts. We came here for a snack and I can definitely recommend the salted caramel and double chocolate muffins.
Another great place for those with a sweet tooth!It It is located on the main square – The Hof. It is described as a place for breakfast and lunch with an ‘American Twist’. You can get New York cheesecake, cupcakes and pies. They also do milkshakes, smoothies and of course tea and coffee.
How long does it take to visit Amersfoort?
I would say you need a few hours here at least. There aren’t many cities in the Netherlands to visit that are this beautiful and not that long to walk around! Take your time to wander around and enjoy all the little streets, houses and canals. There are lots of shops too, so you may want to do some shopping. There are lots of lovely places to eat lunch, and of course the bakeries for dessert! Park the car or hop off the train and give yourself around 3 hours here at least.
What else to do in the Netherlands? And which other cities in the Netherlands to visit
Whether you have a weekend here or a week, there are plenty of things to do, beside going to Amsterdam! Amersfoort is definitely a great alternative to Amsterdam. It is much less touristy and much more peaceful, but just as beautiful.
Cities in the Netherlands to visit: Amsterdam
If you are staying in Amsterdam during your time in the Netherlands, I would recommend staying in a hostel if you want to keep costs down! A few of my favourite things to do in Amsterdam is visiting the NDSM Wharf. I like to do less touristy things, so head to my Amsterdam blog for some great ideas on what to do!
See prices and availability of accommodation in Amsterdam: HERE
See the windmills at Zaanse Schans
Zaanse Schans is around 30 minutes away from Amsterdam by train. You can also get a bus here which is what I did. The train is faster, but it is a longer walk to the windmills from the train. As I was here in December and it was freezing, we opted for the bus as from the bus stop it is just a few minutes and you are at the windmills.
3 Hidden Gems in the Netherlands
If you want to see some real hidden gems in the Netherlands then read on!
The inland beach at Henschotermeer
This place is perfect in summer! You can either head to the beach, which also doesn’t take long if you are staying in Amsterdam. However, this inland beach is also a great place to spend the day. Beautiful white sand is surrounded by lush forest. There is a small island in the middle of the water here that you can reach by bridge. It is a very unique place and really a lovely place to go for the day in summer. It is a 20 minute drive away from Amersfoort.
The hidden pyramid
This is the only pyramid in Europe! It is nestled away in the forest and you can even go inside it and climb up it. A perfect spot for photographers, and very unique. It was built a long time ago and is still not a very well known place in the Netherlands.
Netherlands purple fields
End of August is the perfect time to see the Netherlands’ very own Valensole! These are actually fields of heather though, and not lavender! Still as beautiful and very purple. I would recommend getting here at sunrise if you can to fully appreciate the beauty of this place. You will be joined by a few other photographers, but otherwise it is very peaceful here. You may also encounter a few wild cows or horses. There are so many cities in the Netherlands to visit but sometimes its nice to explore the nature too!
Read more: 3 Hidden Gems in the Netherlands
I hope you enjoyed this post on cities in the Netherlands to visit. I also hope I have shown you a great place to see while you are staying in Amsterdam. It really is a beautiful city with all the canals and charm as Amsterdam, but with fewer people for sure! It is perfect for a photographer and for people who want to explore some more of the Netherlands.
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