City guide Amersfoort: all must-sees and hidden gems in Amersfoort, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

By winning the European City of the Year award, all eyes are focused on cosy and pleasant Amersfoort. This small Dutch city proves you don’t have to visit Amsterdam for that ultimate Dutch feeling. Amersfoort has a rich history, dreamy canals and several excellent museums, but above all: space, tranquility and no mass tourism. Read about all top things to do in Amersfoort and plan your trip to this delightful city.

About Amersfoort, The Netherlands

For me, it’s hard to believe that a city I live so close to, was already a settlement in Mesolithic ages. Remains of hunter camps from 1000BC have been found, as well as grave hills. Amersfoort, however, wasn’t formed until the Middle Ages when it was granted city rights in 1259. The city was mainly built along the Eem River and city rights allowed for the city wall and gates to be built, of which the majestic Koppelpoort still proudly watches over the city centre. Along the spot where the historic city walls ran, about 1,500 houses were later built with the residual materials: Muurhuizen (wall houses). A walk through this snug street is the perfect introduction to the city. Though don’t forget to visit the cities modern parts and pay tribute to Amerfoort’s most famous son Piet Mondriaan.

FUN READ! My article Amersfoort: The alternative to Amsterdam with all the charm, but fewer tourists that I have written for UK’s iNews.

Amersfoort, The Netherlands: top things to do in Amersfoort | Your Dutch Guide
Amersfoort, The Netherlands: top things to do in Amersfoort | Your Dutch Guide

How to get to Amersfoort

  • Amersfoort is a breeze to reach, as you simply fly to Amsterdam, then take a direct train to Amsterfoort. The train journey takes about 40 minutes. 
  • Amersfoort is even easier to travel to for those visiting from the UK, France or Belgium. The intercity and sprinter rail services to the city depart from Amsterdam Centraal, the same station to which you’ll arrive if you travel by train to Amsterdam.
  • If you visit Amersfoort by car, it’s wise to choose a hotel including parking as that will save you from the high parking fees in the city centre.

Hotels in Amersfoort

Saya Boutique Hotel

Saya Boutique Hotel

It’s an absolute joy to stay with Saya Boutique Hotel in the historical heart of Amersfoort. The hotel is within walking distance of all the sights in Amersfoort. The rooms are specious and so, so comfortable, with lovely bathrooms and some with their own terrace. Please do take the hotel owners up on their offer for the breakfast service, as it’s an absolute treat. 

De Tabaksplant

Hotels Amersfoort: De Tabaksplant

Amersfoort was one of the wealthiest cities in The Netherlands in the middle ages, due to textile and tobacco industries. If you’d like to travel back in time, staying at De Tabaksplant is just the ticket. This tobacco warehouse turned into a boutique hotel is, without a doubt, the nicest place to stay in Amersfoort. 

Top things to do in Amersfoort


Top things to do in Amersfoort, The Netherlands: Koppelpoort | Your Dutch Guide

Koppelpoort is probably the most beautiful historical site in Amersfoort and a fine example of a water and road gate. It was built in the 14th century as the city’s main fortification and it was never breached. Two towers guard the roads along the canal, while small boats are able to pass through the archway.


Amersfoort places to visit: Muurhuizen | Your Dutch Guide

Several historical Amersfoort streets follow the line of the outermost canal of town, making for an excellent walk. One of the prettiest of these streets is Muurhuizen, in the south of town. The street sometimes becomes so narrow that you feel completely closed in, while in other parts it opens up offering great views over the canal.

Flehite Museum

Photo courtesy of Flehite Museum

Flehite Museum is located in one of the most beautiful historical buildings in Amersfoort, with lovely gables and red and white painted shutters. Amersfoort’s city history is told through the paintings of Jacob van Campen and Matthias Withoos, the industrial developments along the Eem river and the stories of the Belgian refugees who lived in Amersfoort during the Great War.

Onze-Lieve Vrouwetoren

Amersfoort, The Netherlands: Onze-Lieve Vrouwetoren | Your Dutch Guide

The gothic Onze-Lieve Vrouwetoren in the exact centre of Amersfoort is the only part remaining from a church that used to stand on this spot. A gunpowder blast blew up the rest of the structure in the 18th century. You can buy tickets to ascend the tower at the nearby tourist office, it’s one of the top things to do in Amersfoort. The church is accessible for free.


Top things to do in Amersfoort, The Netherlands: Koppelpoort | Your Dutch Guide

Town square Hof is set next to the Saint Joris church and filled with a huge amount of cafés and shops. It’s the place where locals get together to shop for groceries at the weekly market, chat and watch the world go by.


Photo courtesy of Mondriaanhuis

At the end of the 19th century Amerfoort’s most famous son was born: Piet Mondriaan. The pioneer of abstract and non-figurative art took his first breath in a picturesque, modest canalhouse in which today settles the Mondriaanhuis, where you are introduced to Mondriaan’s life and his lesser-known earlier work.

KaDe Museum

Photo courtesy of KaDe Museum

Just west of the city centre, next to the Eem river you simply must visit boldly designed museum KaDe Museum that hosts big exhibits dedicated to contemporary themes and artists. The café is very popular, but there are more lovely options close by.

Kamp Amersfoort

Amersfoort places to visit: Kamp Amersfoort | Your Dutch Guide

The National Monument Kamp Amersfoort is located outside of Amersfoort, near the village of Leusden and is now a memorial centre. Approximately 37,000 prisoners, mainly political prisoners, were incarcerated for varying lengths of time in this camp during the Second World War when it was under the command of the SS. After the war, the camp was dismantled and quickly forgotten, but nowadays you can visit and go on a tour. Highly recommended.

Beach on the Eem

Amersfoort places to visit: Beach on the Eem | Your Dutch Guide

The area around Eems harbour used to be a pretty heavy industrial area until a decade or so ago. But recently it has been restored to a new neighbourhood for living, working and shopping. And, along the river Eem there is now a beach. Called ‘Zandfoort along the Eem’ (after one of Holland’s most popular beach towns). Beach on the Eem is great place to dig your heels into the sand and order a cool drink in summer.

De Nieuwe Stad

Photo courtesy of De Nieuwe Stad

Factories used to stand just behind the harbour, but recently these old industrial buildings have been turned into creative workplaces, offices, shops and restaurants, giving the area De Nieuwe Stad a brand new façade whilst still celebrating the industrial past of the place.

Restaurants Amersfoort


Photo courtesy of Kroast

Kroast has a really interesting history. This place used to be one of the biggest soap factories in The Netherlands, but now it’s a great place to enjoy a coffee or a lunch, between the local artists that come there for a well deserves break. The terrace offers a nice view across the river.

BUUF in de Serre

Photo courtesy of BUUF in de Serre

The best cakes in Amersfoort, in the most beautiful old building (an old convent). BUUF in de Serre is run by Carmen and Cesare who are both friends and neighbours (hence the name) and you simply must taste the pear nut cake or orange almond pie with your coffee.

Livingstone Coffee

Photo courtsey of Livingstone Coffee

Having coffee in an urban jungle. Livingstone Coffee is filled with plants, plants, more plants and some excellent furniture. And the coffee is some of the best available in Amersfoort.

De Viszaeck

Phto courtesy of De Viszaeck

If you’re into fish, seafood, and oysters you better make a reservation at De Viszaeck. Their menu simply offers the best from the sea, but you can also order pretty decent fish and chips.

Hoog Vuur

Photo courtesy of Hoog Vuur

Hoog Vuur in De Nieuwe Stad is my favourite restaurant in Amersfoort. All dishes are prepared with local produce and you can see into the kitchen, and watch the chefs do their magic. If you go there for lunch, you simply pay one price and use the buffet as many times as you like.

Top things to do in Amersfoort, The Netherlands
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Amersfoort, The Netherlands: top things to do in Amersfoort | Your Dutch Guide
Amersfoort, The Netherlands: top things to do in Amersfoort | Your Dutch Guide

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