I know what you’re thinking; Amsterdam, the home of the red light district and smoking weed – is it really a place for children? Well my answer to that is one million times ‘yes’ – it’s probably best steering clear of said activities and opting for something a bit more kid-friendly though!
Amsterdam was our first stop on our recent travels and with our 3 year old and one year old in tow we were on the hunt for everything Amsterdam had to offer for families.
Our first experience of Amsterdam was the incredible airport; it’s huge but so well organised with tons of cool shops and the taxi to our air bnb even had built in child seatbelts – oh the small things that make a parents travels amazing!
Whenever we go on city breaks we opt for air bnb’s as we can choose family friendly ones that meet our needs and this had to be one of our favourite ones. From our experience the more central you are in terms of an air bnb’s you tend to have to scrimp on accessibility as many central apartments are in old buildings, up steep flights of stairs with no lifts and with narrow doorways. So after a few failed accomodation choices we decided to opt for one a bit further away from the city centre, still close enough to get a quick taxi ride in but far away enough to be able to get a little more space for our money.
We had a whole ground floor apartment with a scandi design; it was very minimalistic and Ikea-esque and just felt like a home away from home.
We arrived late at night so settled in for the evening ready for our first full day in Amsterdam and our first tour with Withlocals – a trip to Zaanse Shans. In Zaandam, a small neighbourhood just 25 minutes outside of Amsterdam, Zaanse Shans is the most beautiful and idyllic 18th/19th century village but it has an incredible story. The historic windmills and green wooden houses weren’t actually built there, they were relocated from all over the Zaanstreek to recreate this quaint little village. The houses are all resided in and as long as you don’t mind tourists snapping away at your home – it’s a pretty stunning place to live!
We made hot chocolate in the chocolate factory, saw clogs being made in the wooden shoe factory and fed goats at the farm.
Our tour guide Karina was so knowledgeable about Zaanse Shans and not only taught us loads about the history but was also really patient when the boys wanted to spend a little extra time on certain activities or maybe speed up ones that they weren’t as interested in!
She then took us to an amazing bakery which happened to be right next to where we parked the car! They sold some delicious vegan pastries so with a sweet potato delight in hand we headed back to the car and Karina dropped us back to the city centre to spend the rest of our day exploring!
We tried amazing waffles coated in cream, strawberries and e-number fuelled green icing; accidentally took a wrong turn into the red light district (‘why are they naked mama?’ is a question I’ll remember for a long time haha), and played in the park before getting a vegan take away from Vegan Junk Food!
On our second and final day in Amsterdam we went on another tour with Withlocals, it was an introduction to the city tour and our host Silvino was just brilliant! Despite the rain we strolled along the canals, dipping in and out of churches and museums whilst learning so many interesting facts about Amsterdam. Did you know for example that every 20-30 years a new belt is built to the canals to accommodate for the growing population AND every year 15000 bikes are fished out of the canals – these are mainly down to vandalism and laziness of not disposing of broken bikes properly!
We ended our day with a fab vegan lunch at Esprit and a stroll through the flower market before heading back to the airport and onto our next destination – Paris!
If you’d like to see our vlog of our time in Amsterdam then definitely check it out below:
I hope you found this useful, let me know in the comments if you’ve ever visited Amsterdam with kids!
Thanks for reading,