Amsterdam with Kids: A Complete City Break Guide

Planning a trip to Amsterdam with kids? This guide will take you through how to plan and make the most out of a city break in Amsterdam with children, from helping you discover the best things to do to recommending the top places to stay in Amsterdam for families and even the best day trips from Amsterdam so that you can have the trip of a lifetime!

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Is Amsterdam Good for Kids?

Amsterdam is a great city for kids.

The Dutch capital is full of fun things to do and see, whether visiting many museums or exploring its historic canal ring by boat. There are also lots of places to eat and drink, so you can make the most of your trip with your family by planning ahead. If you’re looking for things to do in Amsterdam with kids.


Is Amsterdam Good for a City Break?

Amsterdam is a great city for a family break. It’s one of the most popular destinations in Europe. There are many attractions to visit, plus plenty of shopping opportunities and activities for kids. You can easily spend a day sightseeing or take your time and see more of Amsterdam. The city is compact, so there’s no need to go far to find something interesting.


When is the Best Time to Visit Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is a great city to visit at any time of the year. The Dutch have a saying that goes, “Sunny days are rare, but so are rainy ones.” And with that in mind, there is no bad time to visit Amsterdam.

However, if you’re looking for a more lively city break experience, then I would suggest going during spring or summer. This is the time when most of Europe is on holiday an city during May.

The Amsterdam Tulip Festival takes place each year in May and draws thousands of visitors worldwide. During this event, you can participate in flower shows, watch parades and enjoy live music performances.

and there are lots of things to do in Amsterdam with kids. And if you want some peace and quiet then autumn or winter is also good.


Amsterdam in December

ducks, birds, pond, amsterdam with kids, amsterdam in december

December is a special month in Amsterdam. It’s the month of Sinterklaas, the Dutch Santa Claus. The city is filled with activities for children, like parades and parties.

The weather during December is usually mild, but there can be some cold days.


Amsterdam in May

amsterdam, canal, bridge, amsterdam in may

Perfect weather for cycling around town with your kids or visiting Amsterdam zoo. May is a great time to visit Amsterdam. The weather is generally very pleasant, with temperatures in the high teens or low 20s. Many events and festivals also occur across the


How to Get to Amsterdam

Getting to Amsterdam is easy, whether you’re travelling with your family or as a solo traveller. The city has an excellent public transportation system, including buses, trams, and trains.

Travelling by train is the most convenient way to get to Amsterdam from Schiphol Airport (AMS). From the airport, take the free shuttle bus to the station in front of Terminal 2. Trains frequently run between 6 a.m. and midnight every day of the week, taking about 20 minutes to reach Amsterdam Central Station (CS). Book your train here >>

Compare flights for your dates here.

You can also travel by bus if you don’t want to pay for parking at the airport or if you’re arriving late at night when all other modes of transport have stopped running. Schiphol Airport has a 24-hour service called “Schiphol Night Bus.”

Order an individual transfer A car of the class of your choice will be assigned to you. The driver will wait for you even if the flight is delayed and will take you to the address indicated in advance. Book your transfer here.


How to Get Around Amsterdam City

The best way to get around Amsterdam is by tram or bus. Trams run frequently and go everywhere, while buses cover some places trams don’t go — like the suburbs. Trams come in two varieties: regular trams and light rail trams (LRT). Regular trams are usually blue, while LRTs have a red stripe down the side; both types cost €2 per ride (one way).

There are also ferries across the IJ River to the mainland and cruise ships that dock at Central Station at Prins Hendrikkade next to Centraal Station. Ferries depart from behind Centraal Station or from the NDSM Shipyard on NDSM-terrein Island, which is just south of Centraal Station on Oostelijke Handelskade.

There’s no better way to get around Amsterdam than on two wheels. The city is flat, well-connected by cycle paths, and the weather is usually good. If you’re visiting with children aged under 12, you can rent a children’s bakfiets (bicycle trailer) from many places in Amsterdam or bring your own. Bakfietsen (literally “box bikes”) are the traditional cargo bikes used by many Dutch families to transport kids, groceries, or other cargo around town. They’re great fun but not practical for everyday use.


Top 10 things to do in Amsterdam with Kids

Amsterdam is a city that never sleeps, but it also has a lot to offer families with children. From visiting the zoo and riding bikes to taking in the city’s spectacular architecture, Amsterdam has plenty for kids to do.

amsterdam, channel, netherlands, amsterdam with kids

1. Nemo Science Museum

the nemo science museum, amsterdam

Located in an iconic building overlooking the eastern docklands, NEMO Science Museum is a must-see place to visit with kids of all ages. There are five floors of fascinating science and technology activities to enjoy, including exhibitions, experiments, demonstrations, and workshops. Don’t miss the rooftop terrace for the water feature in the summer months, great food, and an amazing view.


2. Amsterdam Canal Cruise

amsterdam canals

Take a canal boat tour with your family. One of the best ways to see Amsterdam is by canal cruises along one of its famous canals! Amsterdam has canals running across the entire city, so a canal cruise is a perfect activity for the kids to see the city from a totally different viewpoint. You can hire your own electric boat or take one of the organized tours if you prefer.


3. Maritime Museum

maritime museum amsterdam

Located next to the NEMO museum, the maritime museum takes you back to the 18th century to learn about Amsterdam’s rich history with the sea. There are many interactive exhibitions, a great VR tour, and a cafe under the stunning atrium. The museum is also home to an amazing replica of a huge cargo ship that sank off the coast of England, complete with cannons and living quarters for 200 sailors.


4. Vondelpark

vondelpark amsterdam

A popular park in Amsterdam, covering 120 acres and with lots of great play areas, a splash pool, fountains, and a film museum. The park is perfect for cycling around, and in the summer months, the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre has free shows for children. Kinderkookkafe is a must-visit with the kids for lunch – where they can become chefs and create their own meals!


5. Artis Royal Zoo

Amazing city-center zoo with diverse animals, a fabulous playground, an aquarium, and a planetarium. Don’t miss the Butterfly House and sea lions! Check out the website for daily feeding/training times and guided tours. The Artis Summer Nights event (July to August/late opening on Saturdays) has loads of great family activities and live music and is great for a picnic.


6. Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum

Close to Vondelpark is the world-famous Rijksmuseum, with over 8K works of art on display which you can enjoy with the kids via guided tours, digital games, workshops, and scavenger hunts. The museum also has stunning gardens, fountains, and play areas for the kids to enjoy. Highlights for the kids include model ships, The Dolls House (a miniature replica of a 1st-century house) by Petronella Oortman, and Rembrandt’s famous painting, The Night Watch.


7. Van Gogh Museum

van gough museum

In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, there is a museum devoted to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries. It is situated in the Amsterdam South neighborhood’s Museum Square, close to the Concertgebouw, Rijksmuseum, and Stedelijk Museum.

The museum opened on June 19, 1973. It is located in buildings designed by Gerrit Rietveld and Kisho Kurokawa. The museum’s collection is the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings worldwide.


8. Dam Square

dam square, things to do in amsterdam with kids

Kids love to explore the city, so let them. Dam Square in Amsterdam is one of the most popular places for families with children.

Dam Square is a beautiful public square in the center of Amsterdam, and it is surrounded by some of the most important buildings in the city. It’s also a great place for kids to explore for a few hours.


9. Amsterdamse Bos

Amsterdamse Bos

Get back to nature at Amsterdamse Bos: a 1000-hectare forest and nature park in the southern part of the city with working farms, playgrounds, a lake, a wading pool, and the Fun Forest Climbing Park (kids 6 and over). The goat farm allows the kids to feed, milk, and play with the animals. Bike hire is available so you can properly explore the nature park.


10. Anne Frank House

anne frank house

A museum with a compelling story and not to be missed if you are visiting with older kids. Located on Prinsengracht, the building looks like any other until you enter and learn about wartime diarist Anne and her amazing story. The museum has an audio tour, photos, videos, and original items to engage the kids. Booking tickets online in advance is a must.


Where to Stay in Amsterdam with Kids

Amsterdam is a very kid-friendly city. You can stay in the center, or if you prefer, there are plenty of options just outside the city that offer a quieter, more family-focused experience.

The best areas for families are:

Centrum – This area is right in the middle of the city and has everything you need; shops, restaurants, and bars. It is also very close to most of the major tourist attractions, such as Vondelpark and Amsterdam Museum (Oude Kerk).

De Pijp – This area is slightly further away from the town center but still within walking distance (10-15 minutes). It is quieter than Centrum but still has many attractions, including Albert Cuyp Market and De Hallen shopping center.


Budget: Rembrandt Square Hotel

The Hotel Rembrandt is situated in the heart of Amsterdam, close to the historic city centre. The hotel offers comfortable rooms and suites with free Wi-Fi.

This hotel provides children’s cots free of charge and includes babysitting services at an additional charge. There is also free Wi-Fi throughout the property for families travelling with children.


Mid-Range: The Lancaster Hotel Amsterdam

The Lancaster Hotel Amsterdam is close to the zoo, making it perfect for families with children. It also has a terrace on the roof where you can enjoy drinks or food in the evening.


Splashing Out: Ambassade Hotel

Located in the centre of Amsterdam in 17th Century canal-side building, The Ambassade Hotel offers elegant rooms, modern facilities, an excellent restaurant, and family-friendly amenities (cots and babysitting services available on request)


Where to Eat with Kids in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has loads of great family-friendly restaurants. The kids will love Stamppot (mashed potatoes, sausage, bacon, and vegetables), Poffertjes (small pancakes in powdered sugar), and Stroopwafel (waffles and syrup).

  • Restaurant Moeders, Rosengracht – Moeders is actually Dutch for mother. This traditional and cozy restaurant serves tasty Dutch cuisine (including Stamppot). View on TripAdvisor Here >>>

  • Pancake Bakery, Prinsengracht – Amazing pancakes, a great historic venue, and the opportunity to have savory, sweet, or your own unique pancake creations. View on TripAdvisor Here >>>

  • The Butcher – Great family-friendly place to stop for lunch with four branches across the city center, serving mouth-watering burgers, popcorn chicken, hotdogs, and milkshakes. View on TripAdvisor Here >>>

2 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary

A 2-day Amsterdam itinerary is great for a quick visit to Amsterdam. It’s enough time to see the highlights while still having time to relax and explore at your own pace.


Day 1: How to Spend a Day in Amsterdam

Morning: Take a bike tour to see the city and hear about its history. Biking is one of the best ways to see Amsterdam, and you can rent a bike for as little as €1 per hour at several places around town. Book your bike tour tickets here >>>

Afternoon: Enjoy one of Amsterdam’s many museums or art galleries. Check out the Rijksmuseum, where you can see masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer; the Van Gogh Museum, which has Vincent’s paintings; or the Anne Frank House, where you can learn about her life during the Holocaust.


Day 2: 48 Hours in Amsterdam with Kids

Morning: Explore Jordaan, a neighbourhood with a beautiful canal view, and take a stroll through the city’s Vondelpark.

Afternoon: Take the train to Amsterdam Central Station. Once you arrive, head to Dam Square and explore the Royal Palace, National Monument, and Royal Palace.


Day Trips from Amsterdam with Kids

Amsterdam is a beautiful city, bursting with things to see and do. However, if you’re visiting with kids and want to get out of the city, there are plenty of day trips. You can visit a windmill, go on a canal cruise or explore nature reserves in the area. Here are some of our favourite day trips from Amsterdam:


Keukenhof

Keukenhof

The Keukenhof Gardens are one of the most popular tourist destinations, especially during spring when they open their doors to visitors worldwide. These gardens are located in Lisse, which is a small town about 20 minutes outside Amsterdam by train.

The gardens are open from March 21st until May 13th every year and feature over 7 million tulips in bloom! There are other flowers on display and fun activities like pony rides and mini-golf courses.

The gardens also host music concerts throughout the season, so keep an eye out for these events if you want something extra special to do while you’re there!


2. Efteling Theme Park

 Efteling Theme Park

Train and bus travel to Efteling Theme Park from Amsterdam takes two hours. Families with both young children and older youngsters should visit The Efteling, one of the best Netherlands theme parks.

The Pandadroom and the Fairy Tale Forest are two of the park’s kid-friendly rides. However, older kids will adore Villa Volta, Fata Morgana, and Flight of Dreams. The park is a great day excursion for the whole family because it is filled with both indoor and outdoor roller coasters.

View more of the best theme parks in Europe here>>>


3. Zaanse Schans

This is an open-air museum in Zaandam, which is about 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam Centraal station. It offers many authentic Dutch experiences, such as seeing how bread was baked in the old days, visiting an old windmill, and taking a canal boat ride through the Zaan River area. Our kids loved this place!


What is Amsterdam famous for?

Amsterdam is famous for its iconic canals, vibrant Dutch tulips, Baroque townhouses and amazing museums. Known as the ‘Venice of the North, this beautiful city is home to floating flower markets, beautiful townhouses, Van Gogh’s art, and the house of Anne Frank.

What is the most visited place in Amsterdam?

The top tourist attraction in Amsterdam is a visit to the canals. Built in the 17th Century, a boat ride across the 100 canals, crossed by thousands of bridges, is a great way to enjoy the city and lots of fun for the kids as many child-friendly tours are available.

Is Amsterdam cheap to visit?

Amsterdam can be extremely affordable if you plan ahead and book in advance. You will save a lot if you book accommodation on the city’s fringe. Get the I Amsterdam City Card too, which offers free entry/great discounts on museums, transport, restaurants, and shops.

What is Amsterdam famous for?

Amsterdam is famous for its iconic canals, vibrant Dutch tulips, Baroque townhouses and amazing museums. Known as the ‘Venice of the North, this beautiful city is home to floating flower markets, beautiful townhouses, Van Gogh’s art, and the house of Anne Frank.

What is the most visited place in Amsterdam?

The top tourist attraction in Amsterdam is a visit to the canals. Built in the 17th Century, a boat ride across the 100 canals, crossed by thousands of bridges, is a great way to enjoy the city and lots of fun for the kids as many child-friendly tours are available.

Is Amsterdam cheap to visit?

Amsterdam can be extremely affordable if you plan ahead and book in advance. You will save a lot if you book accommodation on the city’s fringe. Get the I Amsterdam City Card too, which offers free entry/great discounts on museums, transport, restaurants, and shops.

What’s close to Amsterdam by train?

Don’t miss a trip to Zaanse Schans. This traditional Dutch town is only 35 minutes via train and is like being in a Disney movie! Quaint houses, unique shops, and a truly stunning setting. Muiden Castle, Keukenhof Gardens, and The Hague are all about 1 hour via train from Amsterdam and well worth visiting too.

What can a 1-year-old do in Amsterdam?

If you are traveling with a 1-year-old, they will love riding around the city in a bakfiet and sampling the amazing pancakes (poffertjes). Add to that a family-friendly canal cruise, numerous playgrounds, a zoo, a nature park, and many toddler-friendly museums.

Is Amsterdam toddler friendly?

Amsterdam is often thought of as the ‘Sin City of Europe,’ but it is actually super family-friendly and great for toddlers. There are numerous activities for babies and toddlers to enjoy, both indoors and outdoors, so don’t miss out on this vibrant and fun European city.


Plan Your Trip to Amsterdam with Kids

Find Family friendly Accommodation >>>

Find the best flights for your dates >>>

Book your bus and train tickets >>>

Reserve Your Private Transfer >>>


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