Best things to do in Amsterdam on a Family Trip

In August 2022, our little family relocated from London to Amsterdam! In our time here, we have come to truly enjoy our new city of residence. A huge part of loving the city has been figuring out our daily routine, as well as identifying places to eat that we enjoy and that are manageable with our young kids (four and two-years-old), as well as experiencing different activities with our visiting family and friends. I have summarised our list of top places to enjoy doing in Amsterdam on a family trip!

1. Transportation in Amsterdam

Amsterdam offers several transportation options that are suitable for families with kids. Here are some of the best options:

Transport Option Details
  • Biking is my husband’s favorite part about living in Amsterdam!
  • This is the main mode of transport in Amsterdam and is the most efficient
  • There are dedicated cycling paths throughout the city, making it (mostly) safe and enjoyable for families.
  • You can rent bicycles with child seats or attachable trailers for younger children.
  • Here are examples of sites that rent bikes. 
  • The tram network covers most parts of the city. 
  • Trams are convenient for families as they are easily accessible, and kids often find them fun to ride. 
  • Trams are easy to enter with strollers and also have designated areas for strollers which helps to provide a smooth and comfortable journey. 
  • If you enter your destination into Google Maps, it is easy to follow the tram instructions. 
  • Not as extensive as the tram network, but it can be useful for getting to specific destinations quickly. 
  • Generally stroller-friendly, and children will enjoy the underground experience.
Rent a car
  • Renting a car in Amsterdam can be a convenient option if you plan to explore the surrounding areas or if you prefer the flexibility of having your own vehicle.
  • For car rentals, if you are renting longer than a day, we use Avis, Hertz, or Sixt (and they have car seats for rental)
  • If renting only for a few hours, we use the hourly rental car company, MyWheels, as it is the most economical. It may take some time to get approved for MyWheels so register your license in advance if you want to do this! I have not been able to rent any with a carseat from this site. 
  • Remember to plan your routes in advance, as Amsterdam’s historic city center has narrow streets and limited parking options. 
  • In some cases, public transportation or alternative modes of transport might be more convenient for getting around the city itself.
  • Amsterdam is a relatively compact city, and many attractions are within walking distance of each other. 
  • Walking allows you to explore at your own pace, and kids can stop to admire interesting sights along the way. 
  • I usually walk anything under 25 minutes.
  • Although there are taxis around the city, it is not always easy to hail them down.
  • For this reason, I prefer using Uber to taxis. At times there can be a wait, but for the most part, they are convenient. They are generally relaxed about not using car seats. 

2. Where to stay in Amsterdam

When choosing a place to stay in Amsterdam with kids, it’s important to consider factors such as proximity to family-friendly attractions, access to public transportation, and the availability of amenities suitable for children. Here are some recommended areas for families visiting Amsterdam:

Neighborhood Vibe
Museum Quarter (Museumkwartier)
  • This neighborhood has some of Amsterdam’s most famous museums, including the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. 
  • It has a relaxed and upscale atmosphere with beautiful parks, such as Vondelpark, which is great for families to enjoy outdoor activities. 
  • The Museum Quarter has a range of family-friendly accommodations and is well-connected by public transportation. 
  • Known for its charming canals, narrow streets, and picturesque houses, Jordaan is a family-friendly neighborhood with a relaxed vibe. 
  • It has numerous shops, cafes, and restaurants, along with playgrounds and parks like Westerpark and Noordermarkt. 
  • Jordaan provides a good balance between tranquility and proximity to the city center, making it a popular choice for families.
De Pijp
  • Located south of the city center, De Pijp is a lively neighborhood with a vibrant atmosphere. 
  • It offers a mix of residential areas, trendy shops, cafes, and the famous Albert Cuyp Market. 
  • Families can also visit Sarphatipark, a beautiful park with a playground. 
  • De Pijp has various accommodation options, including apartments and guesthouses.

While choosing the right neighborhood is important, keep in mind that Amsterdam is a compact city, and most attractions are easily accessible by bike, public transportation or on foot. Additionally, consider the specific needs and preferences of your family when selecting accommodation, such as the availability of family rooms, kitchen facilities, and proximity to grocery stores. Simply Google Mapping and reading hotel reviews should be a great start!

Some hotels, which our family and friends stayed at and liked, include the following:

  • We had a great experience at Park Plaza Vondelpark Hotel, which is about a 15-20 minute walk to Museum Quarter
  • The Hilton Amsterdam is located in the neighborhood, Apollolaan. While it’s not directly in De Pijp, it is relatively close by and easily accessible from the hotel.
  • The Amsterdam Marriott is near Leidseplan and in closer proximity to other historic buildings, canals, shops, and restaurants. It is a vibrant and bustling area that offers easy access to various attractions and is well-connected to public transportation networks.

3. What to do in Amsterdam

General Things to Do:

Activity Description
Boat ride Can rent/sail on your own via Sloepdelen or Mokumboat or go on a tour on Flagship or Those Dam Boat Guys
Bike ride Rent bikes (use Black Bikes Rental) and go around city or VondelPark. You could take this Bike ride tour option, which some of our visitors really enjoyed! 
Walk the de9straajes (the nines) Picturesque canals and houses
Canal photoshoot (15 minutes, 35 euros to get 10 pictures) This Get Your Guide Canal Photoshoot Experience is a 15-minute photoshoot, generally with a photographer who is starting out their career. It is not fancy photoshoot, but for 35 you receive about a dozen photos.
Visit a museum Van Gogh, Moco, Anne Frank, Rijks (My kids aren’t old enough to enjoy too much) 
Explore Museumplein Area Enjoy the landscape around the museums and shop high end stores
Explore Leidseplein and Kalverstraat and Dam Square Walk through canals, shops, and restaurants
Browse Albert Cuyp Market Food and shopping stalls 

Day Trips from Amsterdam:

Destination Description
Lisse for Tulips Day Trip Idea for March-May: Easier to rent a car (maybe on MyWheels) and drive there for the day (about a 30 minute drive from Amsterdam). There are fields to drive by. Keukenhof is a curated garden, where there are food stalls, playground, farm animals to look at, and a windmill for photos. There are also open fields that people park near and hop in for photos. Full guide on experiencing tulips in Lisse is coming soon! 
Zaan Schans Zaanse Schans is a neighborhood in the Dutch town of Zaandam, about a 25 minute drive from Amsterdam. It is full of historic windmills and distinctive green wooden houses. 
Noordwijk Beach  This sandy beach is a 45 minute drive from Amsterdam! Our favorite spot to go to for food on the beach is the TULUM Beach Restaurant and enjoy pretty views. 

Things to do with kids: 

Activity Description
NEMO Science Museum Interactive museum for kids; It is super fun but note that the weekends are usually quite busy! Try to book tickets for weekdays, if possible, to avoid less crowds and enhance the experience for the kids
VondelPark Playground Standard playground in a pretty park; next to a decent restaurant. There are numerous playgrounds scattered around the city. It is fun for the kids to even run around the different green areas by the water and water fountains.
De Pijp Petting Farm Check website for ‘petting bunnies/guinea pigs’ hours
Kid-Oh Small indoor play area for kids while parents can sip coffee/chat
Goat Farm Further out, but variety of animals and people can feed baby goats 
Lego Store Let the kids play around the stations with legos
Wondr Experience This venue is an ‘experience playground’ and very Instagram worthy. If you have kids, book the time slot for ‘kid hours’ so it feels more manageable when they want to run around and play.


Wondr Experience

4. Where to eat in Amsterdam

There is a vast and diverse cuisine in Amsterdam. I pulled together a list of some of our favorite spots, listed below. You can eat in the restaurant or order most on delivery on Uber Eats.


Name What to get 
LeVain Coffee Cinnamon Roll
Uncommon Chai Latte and Chocolate Croissant
Scandinavian Embassy
Chun Cafe Bubble Tea + Korean style toast sandwiches 

Brunch or Lunch:

Name What to get
Biscuit Baby
Staring at Jacob
Bakers & Roasters Rancheros Haveros and Pancakes 
Tapi n’ Bowls Acai

Chicken and cheese flatbread with jalapeno sauce

Zero Zero Sandwiches

Dinner (or could do for lunch):

Name What to get
FoodHallen We love the shawarma pita stand
Xi’an Delicious Foods Spicy hot noodles with chicken
L’antica Pizzeria Da Michele Marinara/Margarita Half/Half Pizza and Truffle Pizza
Pizza Bakkers Family friendly 
Spaghetteria Family friendly
Beste Doner Food truck style, limited benches
Royal Thai  Soups are great
Fulu Mandarijn Sweet and sour chicken is delicious 


Name What to get
Fabel Friet Fries with spicy mayo and onions
Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx 
Manneken Pis Damrak


Name What to get
Massimo Gelato
Waldo Pecan tart
Winkel 43 Apple Pie
Het Koekemannetje Chocolate chip cookie
Van Holland Stroopwafels

For groceries, the primary grocery store is Albert Heijn, which can be ordered for quick delivery on Flink.

Fries at Fabel Friet



The Netherlands is very family friendly destination. If possible, when traveling with young kids, we recommend coming in the spring, summer, or fall – as many of the activities that the children will enjoy are outdoors oriented,

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