We’ve visited the historic city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands many times, and while there’s certainly an adult component (coffee shops and the Red Light District), the city is a wonderful place for kids and families. Here are some of our favorite activities for kids in Amsterdam:
Day Trips Outside the City
One of the reasons we like staying in Amsterdam is the proximity to other interesting locations in Holland. We like to visit the small city of Haarlem and also to take the kids to the flowery world of the Keukenhof Gardens, about 35 minutes from the city center.
Amsterdam’s Artis Zoo is a fun place for kids and adults. To enhance the experience, take the Artis Zoo Express canal boat that takes travelers directly to the zoo from Amsterdam Central Station.
Canal Boat Tour
Amsterdam is a canal city, and the buildings and architecture were designed to be seen from the water. A canal tour shows kids the beauty of this very old city. Tours also visit the huge, modern harbor, which shows how the city and country earn revenue today. Canal Company is one of the large tour operators we’ve used before.
Science Center NEMO
NEMO is the Netherlands’ largest science center and a fun (and educational) place for kids. It’s a huge green building, kind of like a ship, built above a large highway tunnel. It’s an easy, 15-minute walk from Amsterdam Central Station. Kids under 3 are free; everyone else pays EUR 13.50 per person. For a discount, travelers can use the Dutch Museum Card.
Eat at The Pancake Bakery
A great Amsterdam dining experience that’s great for the whole family, The Pancake Bakery offers a huge menu filled with both sweet and savory pancakes. They also have a range of international and more dinner-like selections with toppings similar to a pizza restauant.
Amsterdam is a biking city, and with the tiny roads and canals, most citizens use bikes to get to work and school. Families can ride and explore the city easily and safely. Aside from regular bikes, we’ve rented Hybrid/ATB bikes with small electric motors on them to really make it easy. Basic bikes are around EUR 9 per day, and powered bikes are around EUR 20 per day. We’ve used Rent A Bike; they have well-maintained bikes and a convenient location near Central Station. They will also deliver to your hotel for free.
You can follow travel writer Ted Sherman on Twitter @travel4seniors and check out his blog travel4seniors.com.
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