Amsterdam might not simply come to mind as a family-friendly city recognized for its Pink Mild District, Heineken and its many “coffee shops”. My husband and I visited by ourselves many years ago and just lately, with our 13-year-old son. We discovered the town provided rather a lot for families on the lookout for a tradition, assorted meals, activities, unique experiences and fascinating day trips.
- 1 1. Cruise the Canals
- 2 2. Sample Cheese
- 3 three. Eat Dutch
- 4 four. Visit the Flower Market
- 5 5. See a Citadel
- 6 6. Go Buying
- 7 7. Study at Museums
- 8 8. Take Day Trips
- 9 9. Do a football stadium tour
- 10 10. See Amsterdam from Above
- 11 11. Discover Green Areas
- 12 12. Lease a Bike
- 13 Our Spring Itinerary
- 14 Ideas for Visiting Amsterdam
- 15 *Have you visited Amsterdam?
- 16 Take a look at these related posts:
1. Cruise the Canals
It is called the Venice of the North due to its many canals. We highly advocate starting an Amsterdam go to with a one-hour guided canal cruise as an orientation of the town and its historical past especially for first time guests. There are several styles of cruises provided from themed ones like pizzas, hamburgers to dinner inclusive. Many cruises start outdoors of Central Station so decide one which appeals to your family.
Read extra about our guided Amsterdam canal cruise.
2. Sample Cheese
Attention cheese lovers! You’ll love walking around Amsterdam. There have been several cheese outlets across the metropolis that provided many free samples. The shop staff have been very informative concerning the totally different kinds of cheese and how they have been made. Do not just move by the outlets. Go in, study and sample. My son was loving cheese sampling throughout the town all through our trip.
three. Eat Dutch
The Dutch will not be recognized for their food but Amsterdam gives many great alternatives to sample local specialties youngsters will take pleasure in. In addition to cheese, make sure to eat some stroopwafels(baked skinny waffle with syrup in between), kroket (deep fried roll with meat inside), Dutch pancakes (with numerous toppings) and sweet or salty licorice
Attempt different worldwide meals around the city too. We found that Argentinian and Indonesian meals is extensively out there in Amsterdam with many restaurants scattered round. Take a look at meals halls like De Foodhallen or road markets with many vendors like the Albert Cuyp Market.
four. Visit the Flower Market
Situated in the town middle, guests can explore the world’s solely floating market. The Amsterdam Flower Market is an excellent place to discover. The market has been around since 1862 and full of flower outlets on houseboats.
We loved strolling round here and seeing all of the colourful flowers, particularly the tulips, throughout our spring go to. It was an incredible place to buy reasonably priced and export ready flower bulbs to take residence. The outlets additionally bought many souvenirs from magnets to clogs.
The market is situated on the Singel canal between the Koningsplein and the Muntplein. It was a simple and enjoyable walk along the canals from Dam Square for us.
5. See a Citadel
We have been pleasantly stunned to discover a citadel just outdoors of Amsterdam. The 13th century Muiderslot was situated about 9.three miles (15 km) from the town middle however seemed straight out of a fairytale ebook. A moat with a drawbridge, turrets and towers surrounded this medieval citadel.
Unfortunately, the citadel was nonetheless closed throughout our go to. But, we have been nonetheless in a position to stroll the grounds. Visitors can be a part of guided excursions and explore the chambers inside the citadel that demonstrates the Dutch Golden Age’s richness and grandeur. These tours with numerous themes are often provided from April to October.
There was a phenomenal garden outdoors for households to explore. Take a look at the theater plays and workshops for teenagers. They will also participate in youngsters’s quest across the citadel grounds. Households may also visit the falconer and interact with the birds of prey too.
There are additionally other castles alongside the countryside. Take a look at the 14th century De Haar Citadel close to Utrecht if in case you have time.
6. Go Buying
My teen daughter wasn’t with us on this trip however I know she would have beloved Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat, that are the two primary buying streets. We spent a little bit of time at Kalverstraat’s cobblestoned road with the various outlets there. Pop into De Bijenkorf division store and Magna Plaza each by DAM Sq..
I also loved window-shopping along The Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes) in the historic Jordaan canal district. There are various galleries, boutiques and classic stores that may hold many tween and teen women busy for hours.
7. Study at Museums
Amsterdam has so many distinctive and world-class museums that visitors can spend days exploring them. There are reportedly about 75 museums across the city that cater to anybody’s curiosity from artwork, science, cheese, tulips to cats or microbes. It is a matter of finding the time to explore as lots of them as you need within your itinerary.
- In case you’re an art lover, the Rijksmuseum presents an enormous assortment of masterpieces from Dutch powerhouses like Rembrandt and Vermeer to different prints, drawings, photographs and antiques from all over the world. For those who want trendy art, the Stedelijk Museum has one of the world’s greatest assortment.
- Another can’t miss attraction for artwork lovers is the Van Gogh Museum. It homes the world’s largest collection of his work that includes over 200 paintings and 500 drawings.
- One of the metropolis’s most popular attraction is the Anne Frank House. Guests can see the secret annex the place the young woman hid together with her family for 2 years throughout World Warfare II.
The museum features numerous reveals of an enormous assortment of historic paperwork, pictures and artifacts about Anne’s brief life, the individuals she was in hiding with and the wartime persecution of Jews. Her unique diary can also be on show.
There’s a free audio tour in 9 languages to improve the expertise. Get your ticket on-line as soon as potential and e-book your time slot. Tickets sell out months in advance.
- It was onerous to miss the NEMO Science Museum. The green copper building resembled a ship rising out of the water. The family-friendly museum has 5 floors of science and know-how reveals. Kids will love all the interactive and instructional activities and workshops from lab science experiments to building bridges.
8. Take Day Trips
Among the best selections we made on this journey was to lease a automotive and discover the outlying areas beyond Amsterdam. These locations are additionally accessible by public transportation.
In case you can solely do at some point journey from Amsterdam, we advocate going to Zaanse Schans, Situated about 12 miles (19 km) from the town middle, this was a terrific place to find out how this area’s residents lived and labored through the industrial revolution.
There have been many things to do here from visiting working windmills, watching clog making, cheese sampling and learning at several museums. Kids may even enjoy the small animal farm and collaborating in workshops.
Read extra about ideas and issues to do in Zaanse Schans throughout our day there.
In case you are visiting the Netherlands during spring, you can’t miss Keukonhof Gardens. It’s often only open between late March to mid-Might. The world’s largest flower park didn’t disappoint with its countless floral arrangements that would brighten anybody’s day. Over 7 million flower bulbs are planted here yearly.
It was a unprecedented place to visit. In fact, there was a windmill to visit here too. We extremely advocate renting a motorcycle and following a few of the bike trails to the colorful flower fields. It was a good way to see the world and see a number of the flowers up close.
Our visit to this quaint and historic fishing village was one in every of our favorites for a soothing approach to spend an afternoon. The previous harbor was lined with traditional Dutch ships, fishing boats and colourful picket buildings.
We loved walking down the previous harbor strip, De Dijk, which had many eating places, outlets and museums. Many souvenir gadgets together with sweatshirts which my youngsters love amassing have been truly cheaper right here than Amsterdam. We liked eating the recent and fairly priced seafood from the vendors. There were additionally shops to sample cheese and stroopwafels.
Throughout warmer months, there are some water sports actions to attempt. Guests with more time may also take a ferry to the nearby peninsula of Marken. This was a standard fishing village but homes have been on small hills or on stilts. There are a number of buses from Amsterdam Central Station that travel to Volendam or Marken and take less than an hour.
Our favorite day journey in our itinerary was the historic village of Giethoorn generally known as the “Dutch Venice”. Most of the previous village’s houses are solely accessible by boat, bike or foot. There were no roads however canals to get around.
We actually enjoyed renting one of the “whisper boats” to do a one-hour cruise around the village and on to the lake. It was a really peaceable and scenic method to see the 18th century thatched roof farmhouses whereas cruising beneath a few of the picket bridges.
Please learn extra about our day trip to Giethoorn here.
Situated a mere 30 minutes from Amsterdam and referred to as the “City of Flowers”, Haarlem was an enthralling city to discover. We enjoyed walking its quaint streets and hanging out at Grote Markt Sq.. The gorgeous St. Bavo Church looms over the town middle.
There are fascinating museums, plenty of shops for purchasing, green spaces, charming squares and even the prospect to discover its canals. We found the town to be vigorous and a incredible method to see another part of Holland. This is also simply accessible by practice from Central Station to Haarlem’s Artwork Deco practice station.
Like lots of our journeys, we often have a restricted time to explore cities. Here is a record of different family-friendly activities we might love to do throughout a return journey. Hopefully, you’ll be able to do them together with your households.
9. Do a football stadium tour
In case you are soccer/soccer followers, visiting the Johan Cruijff Area and doing a stadium tour could also be on the itinerary. This was The Netherlands largest stadium. My husband and son are soccer fans and needed to do the 75-minute behind-the-scenes guided tour of exclusive areas. However, we couldn’t match it into our schedule and they have been already touring a number of UK football stadiums the next week. They each regret it now.
This is the house of Ajax football staff. Attend one among their video games or perhaps the Dutch Nationwide group for those who’re here throughout their season. We’ll always remember coming out of the ArenA practice station which was by our lodge and being greeted by lots of of the Dutch national staff’s fans sporting orange gear after an enormous recreation.
10. See Amsterdam from Above
Whereas the town is understood for sightseeing utilizing its canals, seeing it from above would also be an exquisite perspective. The A’DAM Lookout remark deck is situated on prime of the A’DAM tower throughout from the Central Station. It presents 360° panoramic views of Amsterdam 22 floors excessive. There is a revolving restaurant right here too. For daredevils, you’ll be able to swing 100 m “Over the Edge” of the tower.
11. Discover Green Areas
Exploring the cities’ inexperienced spaces have all the time been an enormous part of our trips. Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s largest park and situated near the Museum quarter. There are many areas for strolling, picnicking, biking and chook watching. Kids can take pleasure in a number of play areas and a big playground. There are free live shows throughout sure occasions of the yr.
Amstelpark is one other favourite park. Situated along the river Amstel, it was full of gardens and broad paths for strolling. It appears very household pleasant with a mini golf course, a practice, pony rides, petting farm and a maze. There’s additionally the 17th century Rieker windmill to see.
12. Lease a Bike
Amsterdam is called the “Bike Capital of the World”. There are about 1.91 bikes per household here. The small streets are very bike friendly and you’ll be among most of the locals biking round. It is among the greatest methods to discover the town’s neighborhoods and points of interest.
There are numerous guided bike excursions for families like withalocal on a clog bike or with BajaBikes (ages eight and up). Most excursions are about three hours. I might feel confident doing these bike tours with guides particularly with teenagers. We completely beloved our guided bike excursions around Paris and Versailles.
Families may also do their own tour by renting bikes from some vendors should you really feel confident sufficient with the visitors and crowds or when you’ve got older youngsters. Search for many rental bike outlets (bike is “fiet” in Dutch) close to Central station, Leidseplein or Dam Sq.. There are tandem bikes or carriages hooked up to bikes for youthful youngsters.
Our Spring Itinerary
This was our springtime itinerary that was fairly busy and full of extra day journeys since we had a rental automotive. You’ll be able to do many issues in Amsterdam in a couple of days especially should you’re visiting through the summer time with longer days. We mixed our day journeys to see more cities and close by points of interest. I hope you should use it for some inspiration beyond exploring the town middle.
Day 1:Amsterdam Sighteeing
Start your Amsterdam sightseeing at the Central Station. We advocate starting with the one-hour guided canal cruise as an orientation of the town.
Stroll by way of Kalverstraat for some purchasing and will take you to DAM Square. There are lots of restaurants alongside the aspect streets.
Choose a strolling path that may take you to the previous canal district and to the Flower market. We adopted the street that took us the Anne Frank Home. Stroll somewhat further and you’ll get to the Tulip and Cheese Museum. You’ll be able to take the tram back to Central Station.
My guys didn’t need to go to the most important museums so we spent extra time strolling around the city. In the event you’re going to be visiting museums and/or the Anne Frank Home, I might save that for the second day.
Day 2: Amsterdam Sightseeing or Day trip to Zaanse Schans
Visit any of the museums and spend a while in Vondelpark with the youngsters afterwards or you possibly can do a day journey.
We spent our second day by going to Zaanse Schans by way of our rental automotive with a fast cease in Zaandam to see the quirky Inntel lodge. It appeared like it was made up of stacked traditional picket houses.
We have been in Zaanse Schans for about three.5 hours right here together with eating lunch and leisurely strolls via the world, visiting a windmill and some museums.
Drive about 12 miles (20 km) to the charming town of Edam recognized for their cheese. Stroll around their cobblestone streets and sample their distinctive cheese. It was such a picturesque town to discover. Stop by Peter Gorter De Echte Bakker for some scrumptious pastries.
We took a detour based mostly on one of the native’s suggestion and drove a number of miles to Henri Willig Cheese Farm. It was fascinating to see how this cheese firm began. We additionally saw the place they stored the cows and how the machines milk them. There was a showroom on how cheese was made and loads of samples for visitors.
Finish your day by driving about 2 miles miles (three km) to the fishing village of Volendam from Edam. Store and have dinner at one of the many restaurants or seafood distributors. Eat a stroopwafel or buy a Dutch pancake full of fruits and sweets for dinner.
Day three: Day trip to Giethoorn and Haarlem
We advocate starting this present day trip early especially in the event you’re here in the course of the busy season. Do the one hour guided boat tour or lease your personal. Spend a while to walk around the previous village and have lunch at one of the restaurants.
We stopped at Muidesrlot Fort in your approach back to Amsterdam. Because it was nonetheless closed, we didn’t spend plenty of time right here. It’s straightforward to see households spending a few hours here with the gardens and actions.
Visiting the town of Haarlem, which was lower than 30 minutes away, was a spontaneous choice. We planned to stroll around the Museum Quarter and Vondelpark in Amsterdam but decided to discover the outskirts. It was nice to walk round Haarlem and have dinner there.
Day four: Keukenhof Backyard
This flower backyard was the primary purpose I needed to go to Holland throughout Spring. It was well worth the three hours we spent right here and even the teen boy enjoyed it. We liked seeing the nearby flower fields up shut with our rental bikes. You possibly can lease them right by the Keukenhof parking zone.
Ideas for Visiting Amsterdam
- Put on snug footwear. We did lots of strolling regardless of the various tram routes across the metropolis. It was the easiest way to discover and see a number of the smaller canals.
- Save time and cash by comparing these numerous sightseeing packages and passes.
- I amsterdam city card. This gives a free canal cruise, unlimited use of public transportation (bus, tram and metro) inside the city limits of Amsterdam. Guests can see 50+ museums and points of interest free of charge or at a discount. Playing cards are valid and may be bought in increment of 24, 48, 72, 120 hours.
- Amsterdam Holland Move. There are three packages obtainable: Small, Medium, Giant that embrace tickets and divides points of interest into two categories (Gold and Silver). The tickets are used at no cost entry to museums, points of interest, canal cruises, guided Hop On Hop Off city sightseeing.
- Amsterdam Cross. This provides free entry to over 30 points of interest and museums including Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) bus tour. It is out there in 1,2,three,5 day durations. It comes with a digital guidebook and sample itineraries.
- Look into the Transportation cross. Since we didn’t have many Amsterdam museums or points of interest in our itinerary however was profiting from the native transportation, the GVB day ticket with limitless journey on the bus, tram and meter labored nicely for us.
Additionally it is out there for multi-day uses and legitimate for 24 hours after the primary examine in. Tickets might be purchased on-line or in merchandising machines at metro stations or resorts.
*Have you visited Amsterdam?
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