Do you remember reading Anne Frank’s diary when you were in school? Maybe you wished you could see where her family hid until they were captured. Maybe you simply want to visit the city of Amsterdam to learn more about Anne Frank, as well as see the beauty that is everywhere in the Netherlands. There is no right or wrong reason to take a family vacation in Amsterdam. As long as you plan ahead and add all the best things to do in Amsterdam to your itinerary. I can help with this part, as I am planning and personalizing your family vacation in Amsterdam. But first, let me share some of the best things to do in Amsterdam with you today. I guarantee they will all have you making memories with your family!
One of the first things your family should do when you arrive in Amsterdam is take a stroll alongside the canals. There are plenty of canals to choose from in Amsterdam. However, the four main canals create a horseshoe shape. Those canals are called Grachtengordel when speaking about all of them together. The actual names of the four individual canals are Singel, Prinsengracht, Herengracht, and Keizersgracht.
At some point during your stay, focus on the western side of the canals. That is where de 9 Straatjes, or The Nine Streets, can be found. It is a shopper and diner’s paradise. All nine of the little streets are filled with restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries.
Almost everyone chooses to visit the Anne Frank House when they are on vacation in Amsterdam. The Frank family, as well as four other people, spent two years and one month hidden in the annex of this home. During your visit, you can see the small hidden rooms where everyone spent their days and nights. The movable bookcase that hid the entrance to this space is also part of the tour.
I recommend securing tickets for this museum prior to arriving in Amsterdam. This is a popular attraction in the city and tickets sell out every day. I can arrange for your tickets, as I am planning your personalized family vacation in Amsterdam.
Not too far from the center of the city is Vondelpark. This open green space is a favorite of the locals and tourists. Walk along the winding paths to the ponds to enjoy a picnic lunch.
Van Gogh has long been a popular artist. He created numerous masterpieces, despite his tortured feelings about his life. This is one of the most popular museums in Amsterdam. Tickets to visit should definitely be purchased in advance if you want to see the largest collection of Van Gogh’s artwork.
More art can be seen at the Rijksmuseum. This museum is considered the greatest of all the museums in the city. Part of the eight thousand works of art and one million objects includes a massive collection of Dutch art.
I recommend taking a guided tour of this museum. This will ensure you don’t miss any of the important exhibits.
You will find the Albert Cuyp Markt in De Pijp. This street market is where the locals go to barter for the best prices for their food and clothing. You can do the same but check out the souvenirs during your visit too.
This is an excellent place to mingle with the locals, while getting a great price on everything you want to purchase for the day.
Yes, you can walk alongside the canals as often as you want while on a family vacation in Amsterdam. However, heading out on a canal tour will allow you to see the city from a different perspective. Find a tour guide near Centraal, then sit back and relax, as you float along the water.
Looking for a different way to explore the canals? Consider a dinner and cocktail cruise!
Brouwerij ‘t IJ is Amsterdam’s original microbrewery. You will find this brewery inside a working windmill. All the beers are served in smaller glasses. Therefore, it is simple to try a few of them before deciding on your favorite.
A word to the wise… Many of these brews have a higher alcohol content than what you are used to. Enjoy a few snacks from the bar to keep things from getting a little crazy.
Beer lovers may also want to visit Heineken. This beer has been a part of Amsterdam for more than one hundred and fifty years. Take the Heineken Experience to learn about the history of this beer and how it is brewed. At the end, you will have your very own beer tasting.
The kids will be in heaven if you manage to find the time to take them to Blast Galaxy. This arcade is located within a warehouse in Amsterdam Noord. There are more than one hundred arcade games here to play. So, you may even find one of your favorite games from your childhood to play while the kids play the newer games that are available.
Does your family love cats? Do you have a budding veterinarian in your family? Well, if you answered yes to either of those questions, you should stop at the KattenKabinet. This museum is full of works of art that focus on cats. You will see cat paintings, cat sculptures, and many other feline art pieces.
Basically, if someone can dream something creative about cats, you will find it here!
Flevopark is where the only outdoor swimming pool can be found in the city. If the weather is warm, you may want to head there for a day of fun in the water. Although, you can throw caution to the wind and make memories while swimming in the Nieuwe Diep too.
Not interested in the water? Walk the trails, play a round of tennis, or simply relax and enjoy the solitude at this park.
The oldest building in Amsterdam is Oude Kerk. This was the original church of medieval Amsterdam. Lots of its historical items were lost over the years. However, you can still see an organ, stained glass, and plenty of gravestones inside amongst the art on display.
That’s right. This is no longer a church. It is an art venue now. The exhibits rotate regularly. You may also catch a performance or workshop during your visit.
You will find this building in the Red Light District. Since that neighborhood can be a little off-putting at night, I recommend visiting during the day.
Some of the best views of Amsterdam can be found from the top of the A’DAM Tower. You can choose to simply use one of the observation points to see the views. However, one of the best things to do in Amsterdam is soaring on the Over the Edge Swing at the A’DAM Tower. This swing is three hundred and twenty-five feet over the ground.
This is one of the best ways to make thrilling memories with your family that you will never forget!
If your family wants to escape the city for the day, you can always head out to Zaanse Schans. This little town is more like a museum. During your visit, you can taste different cheeses and learn about the history of the area.
The most fascinating thing you will do there though is climb the windmills.
One of the oldest botanical gardens in the world is Hortus Botanicus. These gardens were founded in 1638. They served as a place to grow herbs for pharmacists and doctors.
You won’t find herbs in the gardens during your visit now. But you will get to see more than six thousand trees and plants. There is a butterfly greenhouse as well, so you can spend time with butterflies if you want.
Van Stapele Koekmakerij is the best place to get cookies while in Amsterdam. This bakery only makes one type of cookie. That cookie is a Valrhona chocolate cookie dough with a white chocolate filling. You may think it is strange to only sell one type of cookie, but they sell out quickly each day. So, they must definitely be loved by everyone!
I recommend either arriving early to ensure you miss the really long line or don’t miss out on available cookies. Or you can call to order cookies in advance and guarantee they will be there when you go to pick them up.
The Keukenhof Gardens are approximately an hour away from Amsterdam. The best time to visit these gardens is during the spring when the tulips are in bloom. Just be prepared for crowds, because everyone seems to visit at that time since the Netherlands are famous for their tulips.
If you happen to miss the tulips, don’t stress out! They have more than one hundred varieties of flowers within the gardens. Walk around to see those, as well as the sculptures and displays.
These are some of the best things to do in Amsterdam during a family vacation. I can add other things to your list as I am personalizing your family itinerary. All you need to do is let me know what your family is interested in, and I will share a few more ideas with you during our planning session.
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