Living in Central Europe is very convenient for visiting various countries just by train. That is exactly what the family and I did over the weekend. In just a few hours by train from Paris, we arrived into the center of Amsterdam. Thanks to Macbike Rentals, we were able to discover several fun, kid-friendly spots in just under 48 hours.
As there are so many places to visit in Amsterdam, we didn’t have enough time to do everything. However, here is a short list of what to do in Amsterdam when travelling with young kids.
1. Rent a Bike : We rented a Parent-Child Tandem bike at MacBike. There are several different companies that rent bikes which are suitable for carrying 1, 2 or 3 kids! There are bikes with the famous cargo wagons and also two person tandem bikes available. I recommend reserving them in advance just in case they are in high demand.
2. Boat ride on the canal : We started our trip with a private boat ride on the canal. This was an excellent way to get a feel for the city and the canal system. Travelling around all of the different neighborhoods in the center of Amsterdam, and navigating from the canal to the river was very interesting. On board we saw various birds, animals in the zoo, a few museums and interesting house boats where people live. There are various ways to travel on the canal. The most typical and inexpensive is the Amsterdam City Canal Kid’s Cruise that is catered with kids in mind. However, an off the beaten path idea for travelling on the Amsterdam canals and not taking the typical tourist boat is to volunteer with Plastic Whale. With this company, you can cruise the canal, clean the waterways by picking up trash and also be in good company with a group of friendly volunteers. The kids will love it!
3. Eat waffles at Lanskroon : Taste these delicious Stroopwafels either with honey or coffee caramel. This family recipe is the best! These waffles are not too sweet and they are a great souvenir idea for bringinf back home. You may even be lucky enough to snuggle up with one of their adorable cats who have their own Facebook page. 😉
4. Visit one of Amsterdam’s petting zoos : We visited the Kinderboerderij De Pijp which is centrally located. The petting zoos are not actual zoos but rather parks with farm animals and also jungle gyms. There is even a café area with wifi to sit and drink a hot drink while the kids play.
5. Shop : There are several kid-friendly shops located throughout the city. Some favorites include De winkel van nijntje, the famous Miffy Shop. Even if you are not a diehard Miffy fan, this shop is very fun to visit. Other shops include Unicorn Amsterdam with an excellent selection of kids fashion, Die Kleine Parade, the Archive Store, By Popular Demand, Gray Label, Teuntje Kidsstore, Meys and Co., inc., and Rarebird. Hema originates from Amsterdam, so a short trip here is also fun.
6. Outdoor Farmer’s Market : Walk the outdoor market and take in the sights including tulip flowers, cheese, and smoked fish. In the outdoor markets there are several stands for eating on the street and getting a true taste for Amsterdam. The most famous market happens to be Albert Cuypmarkt.
7. Dine : A favorite family friendly restaurant includes the Café Restaurant Amsterdam which was an old water pumping station. For seafood lovers, this is the place to be! Another fun restaurant to dine at is the Pllek made of shipping containers and also offering a gravel style beach. Pllek can be reached by free ferry from Centraal Station to the NDSM Wharf. The Koffiehuis ‘De Hoek’ was also very nice for brunch!
And of course if you happen to have a bit of adult time there is the fabulous Sauna Deco Spa for relaxation and the Hotel Droog a café, garden and one room hotel that is not too expensive for the original experience. Among many famous museums and art galleries (Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the FOAM Photography Museum …) I recommend buying tickets in advance and going early in the morning. Several museums happen to be free for under 18 year olds!
Overall, the best thing to do in Amsterdam is to bike around, get lost, hang out in the park, and explore the hidden gems that the city has to offer. We can’t wait to go back!
1011 PG Amsterdam
tél: +31 20 428 7005
1012 WL Amsterdam
Phone:+31 20 623 7743
Kinderboerderij De Pijp
Lizzy Ansinghstraat 82
1072 RD Amsterdam
tél: +31 20 664 8303
De winkel van nijntje
1078 GH Amsterdam
tél: +31 20 664 8054
Tweede Tuindwarsstraat 1
1015 RX Amsterdam
tél: +31 20 626 2953
1012 MT Amsterdam
tél : +31 20 623 4176
1051 PA Amsterdam
tél: +31 20 68 22 666
Tt. Neveritaweg 59
1033 WB Amsterdam
tél: +31 20 290 0020
Koffiehuis ‘De Hoek’
tél: +31 20 625 3872
1015 BE Amsterdam
tél: +31 20 623 8215
Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX, Museum Quarter
0031 20 674 7000
€15; children 18 and under, free
If you happen to have any other recommendations, please feel free to add them in a comment below!
This post is also available in: French