When you’re heading to a new city with your family, it’s important to plan things out in advance. You need to know what you’re going to do and what’s there for your family to do. The same applies to Amsterdam. Of course, many of the things that people associate with this city are, shall we say, only suitable for adults. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not a great city for families to visit with plenty to keep the kids entertained.
If you’ve never been before, Amsterdam can be a little daunting at first, but it’s a city that has a lot to discover and a lot to offer families like yours. You don’t need to have been there before to sample everything it has to offer in an efficient way. It’s easily one of the most easy to navigate cities in Europe too, which is definitely a bonus when you’re travelling with kids. So read on to find out more about how you should approach this trip and what you should do while you’re on it.
Rent Some Bikes and Cycle Together
One thing that Amsterdam is very clearly known for is the bikes. You should make the most of the biking infracture in the city and rent some for your family. There are many options for people with young kids who can’t ride a bike of their own too, so this shouldn’t put you off. The cycling lanes here are fantastic and very safe, so you won’t have to worry about being close to the road or anything like that. Cycling together can be the best way to see Amsterdam. But if you don’t fancy it, the tram system is great too.
Take a Guided Tour
If this is your first ever visit to Amsterdam, you should think about taking a guided tour of the city. This is useful because there’s so much to learn about the place, and listening to someone who truly understands the city allows you to discover its complexities in a less formidable way. Have a look at the range of tour options out there and remember to choose one that’s suitable for families and children of the ages of your children. Some of them can be a little too dry for young ones.
Spend Some Time in Vondelpark
Despite it being one of the biggest and most impressive capital cities in Europe, Amsterdam has plenty to offer when it comes to outdoor spaces. It’s the kind of places that you can explore and then just happen across parks and quiet spaces, and that’s what’s really nice about it. The best park in Amsterdam is generally considered to be Vondelpark. It has a lot going for it, and there’s even a paddling pool for kids to use during the hot summer months, so it’s definitely worth checking out for your whole family.
Stay in a Canal House
If you’re wondering where you should stay during your time visiting Amsterdam, you could definitely do worse than to spend your visit in a canal house. Amsterdam is all about canals, and what better way to experience the place than to literally spend your time staying in a floating house on the canal? It’s a unique experience that’s specific to the city, so it’s definitely something fun to look into and consider while you’re planning your stay in Amsterdam.
Go to the Tropical Museum
Tropenmuseum, also known as the Tropical Museum, is one of the best museums for kids that you’ll find anywhere in the city of Amsterdam. It’s the kind of place that your kids will want to spend hours in, and it’s full of things for them to learn and discover, so it ticks so boxes from a parental point of view as well. What’s not to like? It covers culture, art and many other things from around the world, and it started out as a museum about the Dutch colonies.
Take a Boat Ride on the Amsterdam Canals
It wouldn’t be much of a trip to Amsterdam unless you took a boat trip around the canals and water surrounding Amsterdam. There are plenty of tour guide companies that operate these trips, and you can buy tickets relatively cheaply. It can be a relaxing way to see the city from a different point of view. You will also learn a lot about the history of the city and the stories behind its streets if you’re lucky enough to get a tour guide who knows what he or she is talking about.
View the Works of Dutch Painters and Artists
There are lots of galleries and museums focusing on Dutch art in Amsterdam, and you should make the most of this while you’re visiting. From Rembrandt House to Van Gogh museum and the massive Rijksmuseum, there’s so much Dutch art to see and learn about when you’re visiting Amsterdam. It would be a real shame not to expose your kids to these incredible works of art while you’re all there enjoying what the city has to offer.
Head to Anne Frank House
If you want to get serious and offer your kids something educational that they can really learn from and get something out of, your family should think about visiting Anne Frank House. This is the house where Anne Frank hid before being captured by the Nazis during WWII. It’s place that’s well-kept and very movingly presented to the public. If your kids are old enough to appreciate it, you should definitely visit.
Visit the Zoo
Not everyone knows that there is a really impressive Zoo in Amsterdam. It’s found right in the middle of the city and is known as Artis. As far as city zoos go, this is one of the best in the world. It has a wide variety of animals, and it’s pretty affordable if you buy the family ticket too. So if your kids love animals and wildlife, this is definitely somewhere that should be on your list of places to visit while you’re in Amsterdam. It’s a nice little surprise and you’ll probably come away impressed by what it offers.
Go to the Miffy Shop
If you have young children, you should definitely take time for a quick stop off at the Miffy shop. The Miffy character was created in The Netherlands and it’s one of the most famous children’s characters in the country. It’s a cute shop with plenty to look at. Just make sure that you’re willing to come out a little poorer than you went in because your kids will almost certainly want something to take home with them.
Head Out of Town to find the Tulips and Windmills
You do have to head a little further out of Amsterdam, but not too far, if you want to see some of the things that we think of as being quintessentially dutch. In particular, you will want to seek out the tulip fields and the windmills. There are places just outside the city that cater for this stuff. You can take a train or bus there. Or you can cycle out of the city with the family if you want to.
Amsterdam is a city that’s totally unique, so you’ll want to dive into the culture. And don’t forget to try the local food either; kroketten are particularly tasty. Each of the activities and ideas mentioned here is worth your time when you’re visiting Amsterdam, so make the most of it all. There’s plenty more to see and do on your second visit too.