Amsterdam

amsterdamIt’s hard not to have fun on a trip to Amsterdam – and our kids would wholeheartedly agree.  With parks on every corner and kid-friendly restaurants, we highly recommend a family getaway here!

This city is loaded with character – with an elaborate canal system, world class museums, ridiculous amount of bicycles, laid-back bars and delicious food, there’s never a shortage of things to do and see.  Be sure to have Euros with you – as several local grocery stores and restaurants do not take credit card.

We have compiled a list of the three A’s: Accommodations, Adventures, and Appetite!  If you have any questions about Amsterdam or our trip please shoot us an email!

Accommodations

We stayed at an Airbnb in the De Pijp neighborhood of Amsterdam.  It is located south of the city center, and was close to the metro line.  We really enjoyed this area of Amsterdam, but would have preferred to be closer to the city center.

When we arrived there was no one at the home, so we ended up having to wait about 40 minutes in the rain before they came to let us in – not the best way to start our trip, but we are resilient!  The home was nice and they have a small child so there was plenty of toys for our children to play with.

We had an issue with checkout as well, being rushed out of the home.  We typically enjoy our Airbnb stays, it was unfortunate to have a negative experience with this one.  However it did not impact our fun or adventures in this great city!

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Adventures

Vondelpark – This is a stunning 120 acre park in Amsterdam and a must do in this city.  There were more parks than we could stop at, beautiful views, cafes, and it was a nice escape from the hustle and bustle.

We ate lunch at Kinderkookkafé, a fun spot where kids can make their own food.  Our daughters enjoyed it very much, and while they wait for their food to cook there is a play ground outside.

vondelpark amsterdam

Rijksmuseum/iAmsterdam Sign – This museum is gorgeous – and although we did not go inside and tour, we enjoyed walking around outside. There were lush gardens and fountains, and of course the iAmsterdam sign.  If you have high hopes of getting a great photo in front of this iconic sign – I’m sorry to tell you that probably will not happen.  It is packed with people all trying to get the perfect shot, and was more frustrating than fun.  Still worth seeing, and maybe later in the day wouldn’t be as busy.

iAmsterdam sign

Anne Frank House – Another iconic part of history in Amsterdam is Anne Frank.  We opted out of going inside the home, but we did stop by to see the building.  It was more modern looking than we had expected and there was a very long line. I would buy tickets ahead of time if you plan to visit.

Red Light District – No we are not bad parents, yes we did want to see the Red Light District!  You hear so much about it, so we went mid-morning.  You hear stories about this area, and honestly it felt more like a tourist trap than anything else. There were hotels, restaurants, and shops like anywhere else in Amsterdam. The only difference was there were windows with some girls in bikinis on their cell phones not even paying attention to you.  Our daughters never noticed, and we got out of that area fairly quick.

Albert Cuypmarkt – We highly recommend this laid-back street market with nearly 300 vendors.  This multi-cultural market has everything from fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, spices, chocolate, cheese, flowers and plants to clothes, shoes, jewelry, bedding, and fabrics.  You must get a stroopwafel here and there is a vendor that has yummy smoothies for €1.50.

albert cuypmarktstroopwafel

Begijnof, Amsterdam – One of the oldest hofjes in Amsterdam – inside is great hidden courtyard with a church and chapel.  Very peaceful and quiet inside, and it is free!amsterdam

Bloemenmarkt – The world’s only floating flower market!  It is worth going just to see the variety of flowers, seeds, and bulbs that they have to offer. The prices were great, but there are so many restrictions with bringing that stuff back to the USA so we were browsers, not shoppers.

bloenmarket

Canal Cruise -Clearly something you HAVE to do in Amsterdam – we hopped on a one hour canal cruise with Rederij Kooij.  I wouldn’t recommend this type of boat cruise – it was fairly crowded and SO hot.  It felt like a greenhouse in there and everyone was pretty uncomfortable.  Opt for an open air boat with fewer people, you will find that way more enjoyable.Amsterdam canal cruise

Appetite

Kinderkookkafé – As previously mentioned, we ate here in Vondelpark.  Great place for kids to be the chef and make their own food! We did not see any sandwiches for adults on their menu but saw other people eating them, so we asked!  Highly recommend – so much delicious melty cheese and pesto and fresh tomatoes, mmm it hit the spot!

Omelegg – You will not be disappointed eating at Omelegg.  Their food is made from seasonal fresh ingredients, and we all got a different omelette and they were all equally delicious.  The staff was fun and our kids had a great time eating there.unnamed-1 20-53-22

Original Stroopwafels – Located in the Albert Cuypmarkt, you have the option to have your stroopwafel half dipped in belgian chocolate – mmm mmm yes please.  Though I wouldn’t say they offered the best stroopwafels, we tried another vendor in the same market which we agreed tasted better.

Van Stapele Koekmakerij – If you take one thing away from this entire post please let it be this – the cookies at Van Stapele are quite possibly the best cookies ever created.  There is only one type – a chocolate cookie with white chocolate on the inside.  Do not miss this place!  They were super sweet to our daughter, and gave her a “prize” which was a tiny flashlight that she loved.

Brouwerij ‘t IJ – A brewery next to a windmill! This place was a popular spot, and we enjoyed a few of their beers, cheese, and sausage.  They had a great selection of their own brews, and all were very good.

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pllek – If you are thirsty, hungry, and want a panoramic view of the River IJ – this is your place. You will have to take a ferry to get here, and that alone is a unique experience. Our kids loved being outside and playing with other children there – they call it a “beach” but do not go there thinking there will be sand (just a lot of rocks).  The menu is limited but very tasty.  Dan said this place may be the “crunchiest” place he has every been, and I might have to agree.unnamed-12

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