Amsterdam may not be often listed among the world’s top family destinations, but you’ll still find many family-friendly places to see and activities to do. Plus, there are several useful services that can make your stay easier, some of which we’ve listed in a previous post.
If you do plan on visiting Amsterdam with the whole family, here are some tips to consider.
1. Be meticulous in finding a family-friendly hotel
First, make sure the place you book is suitable for the family. It can make or break your trip, as this is where your Amsterdam adventure begins and ends. Check if it has spacious rooms that would not make you and your kids feel contained. And since you’ll be returning after a long day of touring, make sure the environment is conducive for sleeping.
Be aware of accommodations that have rooms facing the street. All the activities going on outside – including some of the ones listed below – can get the kids hyped and affect their sleeping time. Check as well if the area is properly isolated from outside noise.
In addition to comfortable beds, room temperature is also another component for good quality rest. To get an idea of the standard range, Leesa recommends 66 to 70 degrees F as ideal for sleeping. So inspect and test the air conditioning unit as soon as you arrive.
The last thing you want to deal with during a trip is trying to calm down cranky, sleep-deprived kids.
2. Row your boat
As they say, you haven’t seen Amsterdam if you haven’t seen the water. Since Amsterdam has many canals, boats are a common mode of transportation. There are even restaurants and houses on boats! There are numerous tours and a variety of boats you can choose from: there are canal buses, pedal boats and more. Unless one of your kids is afraid of water, riding a boat would be a fun experience for the family. These boat rides can even take you to other attractions in the city.
3. Go biking.
Amsterdam is frequently ranked high in lists of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. In fact, its bike lanes are considered part of its identity.
To fully immerse yourself in the ways of the Dutch, rent “bakfiets” (or family bikes) and pedal your way through the city. It’s relatively safe as the bike lanes are laid out properly, and four-wheeled vehicle drivers are very much accustomed to having bikes around.
The Guardian also suggests cycling through the countryside to enjoy postcard-like landscape views complete with windmills and waterways in the distance. You can even stop by a Dutch village and try some classic Dutch apple pie.
4. Visit Nemo.
A visit to the largest science centre in the Netherlands is a must for any family visiting Amsterdam. Nemo makes education fun with its various interactive exhibitions, demonstrations, as well as exciting kiddie activities like hands-on chemistry and toppling dominoes.
The museum also features a rooftop deck that offers a great view of Amsterdam’s city centre.
5. Play with animals at the Artis Zoo.
Artis Zoo is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands, but despite that, it’s a well-maintained establishment. The place houses over 900 species of animals.
It has an aquarium, botanical garden, planetarium and a butterfly pavilion. The zoo holds several activities throughout the year, making each visit different from the last.
Artis is a popular tourist spot for families with kids, so you might want to give it a try as well.
For more travel tips in Amsterdam, check out our other posts in the Traveller Tips section.