Enjoy these amazing Travel Tips for Amsterdam
by Flitter-Flutter’s busy mumma GUEST BLOGGER
We recently went to visit family in Amsterdam with our 4 boys for a long weekend. I had been there 10 years ago, remembering the boozy dinners, even boozier boat trips and long walks along the canals, I was convinced this was going to be a nightmare, especially with a pram. The red light district in itself had me wondering, but the seedier side of Amsterdam can be easily avoided and is just one of many aspects of this wonderful city.
So…. 4 kids between the ages of 7 months and 9 years old – how do you even begin to find activities that suit them all? To my surprise, Amsterdam has a lot to offer and the public transport system is clean and efficient. Below are some little tips and ideas for people travelling with children.
Activities with Children
Nemo Museum: This is a science museum like no other, it is completely interactive with some installations starting on the 4th floor cascading down to the entrance. Give yourself a good 2 hours as the kids will not want to leave. It is also worth checking when the “Chain Reaction” show is starting as it runs only 4 times a day. There is a cafe with snacks and coffee for much needed refuelling.
Voorlinden Museum: Well worth the 40 minute drive, this museum is in the countryside near the Hague. Although the exhibitions change, the permanent exhibition is very appealing to children. From “Open Ended” by Richard Serra – a vaulted steel labyrinth you can walk through- to the “Swimming Pool” by Leandro Erlich, the whole family will be entertained. There is a restaurant there with nice food and a massive garden to run around.
The Artis Zoo: Having lived near Regent’s Park Zoo in London, I am very picky with my inner city zoo’s, so I was sceptical… Artis is a perfect example of how to get it right and if like me you like a good gift shop, Artis doesn’t disappoint!
The Rijksmuseum: Ok so I know this is obvious BUT it really is worth a visit. We didn’t spend hours there but the children were desperate to see some Van Gogh ( they have a morbid fascination with the whole chopping off his ear story) and there was a lovely cafe to sit in and recharge.
Those Dam Boat Guys: This company organises private boat tours through the canals. The guides are really nice, funny and interesting and the boats are modern and clean, you can even bring your own picnic and snack away while they guide you through the main attractions from the water. There is even a small toilet on board for emergency wees
Maritime Museum: A must, with its covered inner courtyard (laced with LED lights so when the sun goes down you feel you are standing under a starry sky) and three masted replica of a Dutch East India Company vessel ( you can go inside and see how 350 people were housed on this ship) there is more than enough to excite and interest your children.
Where to Eat
Foodhallen: This is a super trendy food hall with stalls ranging from Tacos to Sushi and everything in-between. My son came back with a truffle infused cheese hot dog… a fantastic place to eat when everybody wants something different. I would have been happy to go back every day as there was so much on offer in such a cool atmosphere.
Pikoteo: Tapas with a twist, its not Spanish food really, the menu offers an eclectic mix of Spanish, South East Asian and South American inspired dishes. Truly memorable was the “Botanical Salad” with celery sorbet, I don’t like celery but we had to order another portion because it was so good. By the way, this is definitely a ‘date night’ place with a casual vibe.
Taiko at the Conservatorium: This is a Japanese restaurant in the ultra cool Conservatorium hotel, the food is excellent and the desserts are beautiful and tasty. This is another place that is definitely more adult friendly.
Amstel Brasserie: Offering a stunning view of the Amstel river, this Brasserie is in the Intercontinental hotel, it is great for the whole family.
Pho 91: Fast, casual and fresh Vietnamese restaurant, great for vegetarians and people who suffer from egg, gluten and dairy allergies as the menu has lots of options. Where possible produce is locally sourced.
Venus and Adonis: Trendy surf and turf concept with food served family style in the middle of the table on large wooden platters.
Rotisserie Amsterdam: Burgers and rotisserie chicken, great cocktails, great for a fun night out with friends or a lunch with the kids. This is high quality fast food, get the onion rings!
So that’s my list and I know for a fact it doesn’t cover the half of it. I personally can’t wait to go back and explore some more.