Since we visited Amsterdam, so many people have said to me they had not thought of taking their children to the city, which I think is a real shame given that there are so many things to do in Amsterdam with kids. In the UK, Amsterdam still seems to have a reputation for being an adult destination to visit, but honestly that’s not the case. There are lots of fun things to do in Amsterdam especially for families with children, and it can be a place to visit with younger explorers.
My daughter picked all our Amsterdam tourist attractions, so I can assure you that these places to visit are child friendly and would make a great addition to your travel itinerary. If you are looking for things to do with in Amsterdam with children, these are the activities we did.
Things to do in Amsterdam with Kids
If you are going to Amsterdam with kids, Artis Zoo is a perfect place to visit. It was just a few tram stops away from our family friendly hotel which was really helpful. Our visit to the zoo was included with the i amsterdam card, but we still had to queue to to collect our entrance tickets.
Artis zoo is very open and gives a sense of space for the animals. Our favourite exhibit was the reptile house where you walked through the enclosure were constantly spotting the different creatures around you. There were also giraffes and penguins amongst many more interesting animals to see here.
Amsterdam Canal Cruise
An canal cruise is an interesting way to see the city and one of my favourite Amsterdam activities. It also gives tired little legs a well earned break from walking which can be helpful. If you go to Central Station there are lots of canal cruise stops.
A standard canal cruise takes about an hour to complete and are all fairly similar in duration and route. The boats are covered in case of rain, but they are also see through and have plenty of windows that can be opened on dry days. In the height of the season they can get busy, so you may want to be strategic about when you take your canal cruise and when to start queuing.
NEMO Science Museum
The NEMO Science Museum is quite possibly on of my favourite Amsterdam tourist attractions to visit with kids. The building itself is pretty unique, but inside is where it really comes to life. It’s a scientific interactive playground for children of all ages spread over 5 floors. Give yourself plenty of time to visit properly as I suspect that your children will not want to leave.
Visit The Cat Boat
I didn’t even know that such a thing existed until I visited here with my daughter. A visit to the cat boat was top of her list of places to visit in Amsterdam. I have to admit I was kind of curious too. On Singel, there is a cat boat sanctuary called Poezenboot. It provides a shelter for stray cats found in Amsterdam, and is worth a visit by any animal lover.
It opens for a few hours a day and we visited between 1pm and 3pm. It relies on donations so pop a few Euros in the box when you go in. You can take photos, but don’t use a flash. Some of the cats are friendlier than others so take a look at the pictures of who likes to be stroked and who isn’t quite so keen.
The Royal Palace
Another favourite place to visit for my daughter was The Royal Palace. It was 10 Euros to enter the attraction for the both of us as it’s not included with the i amsterdam card. They had a fantastic children’s tour guide and a puzzle to go with it. As we went round the Palace, we answered the questions and popped stickers on our medal when we found the answer.
We both used the same guide so that I could help my daughter if she got stuck. My daughter loved this activity and it was a fun way of exploring the Royal Palace and finding out more about it’s history. we would both recommend a you add the Royal Palace to your list of where to go in Amsterdam with kids as it’s interactive and a lot of fun.
The Flower Market
It surprised me when my daughter asked to go to the Flower Market but she had seen it in books and really wanted to visit this famous Amsterdam attraction. Colourful floating flower stalls surrounded by Dutch cheese shops are going to be a hit with most people I think. If you talk to your children about where they want to visit and get them interested before hand you might be surprised about what they add to the itinerary.
On our last day in Amsterdam we visited the Tropenmuseum. It’s Amsterdam’s museum dedicated to people and culture from all around the world. Amsterdam is an incredibly welcoming and tolerant city so it makes sense that they have a museum that celebrates all that the world has to offer.
We loved the children’s museum and ended up taking an unexpected flight to Morocco to explore a traditional medina. We also made an African pendant as a lovely keepsake before heading home. It was a lovely place to end to our trip to Amsterdam together.
This list is by no means exhaustive when it comes to visiting Amsterdam with kids and there are plenty of other parks, museums and activities in Amsterdam that children will find interesting. My daughter is 5 years old and in my opinion these activities were perfect for her age group.
If you had not considered Amsterdam for a family friendly break, I really hope this list has changed your mind and you’ll be off exploring the city sometime soon. There’s lots of things to do in Amsterdam with kids to keep you busy! Do come back and let us know if you try any of these Amsterdam attractions.
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