Family Vacay? Choose Amsterdam!

When you think about going on a trip with your family to Europe, Amsterdam isn’t exactly the first destination that comes to mind. After all, the city has earned a reputation for its red light district, liberal coffee shops, and other attractions that draw an adult crowd. However, with proper planning and research, you can have the perfect trip to Amsterdam with your family

Compared to other European cities, Amsterdam is relatively small and easy to navigate. Additionally, the Dutch city has a host of museums, historical landmarks, outdoor spaces, and other fun attractions for all ages. Burdened with shopping bags and backpacks? Stow your gear at an Amsterdam luggage storage facility before going about the rest of your day.

Best Amsterdam Hotels for Families

When planning a trip to Amsterdam with your family, one of the first things that you have to consider is accommodation. Luckily, the city has a wide array of family-friendly hotels that cater to all budgets. Here are some of the best hotels according to price range:

Budget (Under $100)

  • Ibis Styles Amsterdam City: Ibis Styles is a chain of economy hotels that originated in Australia and has since spread in various cities all over the world, including Amsterdam. It is a hotel that’s value for money with a central location; the tram stop is right outside the hotel and the ride to the city center only takes 10 minutes. 
  • Amstel Botel: If you’re looking for unique accommodation that your kids will love, then this 3-star boat hotel is an excellent choice. The Amstel Botel is located on the NDSM wharf and has an array of affordable rooms. The area is also buzzing with flea markets, events, restaurants, and other modern establishments.
  • Lloyd Hotel: Located in the Eastern Docklands area, the Lloyd Hotel has a unique concept – it is the only hotel in the world that allows you to stay from 1-star to 5-star rooms. The 3-star rooms at the Lloyd Hotel are perfect for families on a budget; the rooms are spacious enough and include basic amenities such as WiFi and flat-screen TVs. 

Mid-range (Ranging from $100 – $300)

  • Linden Hotel: Located in the trendy Jordaan district is this equally-hip hotel housed in a flatiron building. The family rooms here are spacious and the hotel is walking distance from attractions such as the Anne Frank House and the Noordermarkt.
  • NH Amsterdam City Centre: This 4-star hotel has plenty of family room options featuring a modern, minimal style. As its name suggests, the hotel is located within the city center and is surrounded by numerous attractions and establishments. NH Amsterdam also has its own fitness center and restaurant.
  • Hotel Estherea: Situated along the Singel Canal, this charming guesthouse was founded in 1942 by a World War II widow named Maria Flieger-Gruyters and has become one of the city’s most beloved boutique hotels. The hotel’s location is central and the family rooms are extremely comfortable. 

Luxury ($300 and above)

  • Pulitzer Amsterdam: Undoubtedly one of Amsterdam’s most popular hotels, the Pulitzer is a great choice if you have the money to splurge. The hotel is made up of 25 interlinked canal houses that overlook the beautiful Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht canals. The Pulitzer goes above and beyond for families; they offer complimentary amenities such as Amsterdam travel diaries, children’s activity books as well as Naif natural skincare products for infants. 
  • The Dylan: If you want the ultimate luxury stay in the city, The Dylan Amsterdam is a fantastic choice. This sophisticated boutique hotel is centrally located and each room here is outfitted with high-end amenities such as Frette bathrobes, Zenology toiletries, and Bose sound system. You can even ask for a tailor-made itinerary from the front desk. The Dylan is also home to one of Amsterdam’s best restaurants – the Michelin-starred Vinkeles.
  • Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam: Found in the heart of the Old Centre, this upscale hotel has 177 rooms with modern features such as flat-screen TVs, Nespresso machines and more. The Sofitel Hotel has a spa, fitness center, a swimming pool, and a number of dining options, including the Michelin-starred restaurant Bridges. 

Family-Friendly Things to Do in Amsterdam

  1. See the city’s best museums: One of the main things that Amsterdam is known for its vast collection of museums that you and your family can enjoy, including:
  • Rijksmuseum: Amsterdam’s most popular museum is home to works by artists like Rembrandt and Vermeer. They offer special tours for families with kids daily from 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM.
  • Van Gogh Museum: Home to some of Vincent Van Gogh’s most renowned artworks, the Van Gogh Museum is perfect for getting your family to appreciate art. The museum also offers kid-friendly activities such as weekend workshops, coloring pages, and treasure hunts.
  • NEMO Science Museum: One of the best science centers in the world, NEMO specifically caters to visitors aged 6 to 16. The five-story science center has an array of interactive and hands-on exhibits for children to enjoy (book your ticket here.) 
  • Anne Frank House: For an impactful and educational experience for your children, bring them to the Anne Frank House. It’s a great way to introduce your children to a major event in history.
  • Tropenmuseum: This ethnographic museum has various exhibits from different world cultures. Kids can enjoy the array of art images, objects, photographs, and other displays.  

To save some money on the entrance fees and transportation costs, you might want to consider getting a City Card, which includes access to public transport, boat cruises, and over 70 of the city’s most well-known attractions. 

  1. Explore Amsterdam’s outdoor spaces: Amsterdam is filled with fun outdoor spaces where your kids can play, including the famous Vondelpark. The public park is filled with amenities that are specifically made for families to enjoy; there are running and cycling paths, playgrounds, and even Kinderkookkafe, a child-friendly restaurant where kids can make their own food. Another good spot is TunFun, an indoor playground that’s filled with kids’ rides, inflatables, and even a children’s disco.
  1. Join a canal cruise:

The city is renowned for its beautiful canals and one of the best things you can do with your family is to explore the waterways on a canal cruise. There are hundreds of tours available, including hop-on-hop-off tours and even themed tours such as the Pizza Cruise. For a comprehensive list of canal cruises in Amsterdam, visit this website

  1. See amazing animals: There’s nothing more family-friendly than a zoo and Amsterdam is home to one of Europe’s oldest and most prominent zoos – the Artis Zoo. Located right at the city center, the zoo also features an aquarium, planetarium, bird house, and the sole microbe museum in the world. Entrance to the zoo is free if you have the City Card or you can book tickets here.
  2. Eat amazing food: The restaurants in Amsterdam are extremely family-friendly; the city is filled with “Kindercafes”, which is essentially a restaurant and play space all in one. While there are lots of traditional Dutch foods that you should try, you and your family will surely love items such as stroopwafels (waffle cookies with sweet syrup), poffertjes (mini pancakes) and frites (Dutch thick fries).


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About Lanna World

About Lanna World

Lanna World is a travel blog mixed with a lifestyle blog. Sadly I can't be traveling all the time, so while I'm at home - saving for travel - I'll write lifestyle posts. Right now, I'm living in New Zealand, planning to travel to Europe at the end of 2015. I can't wait.

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