Cities with kids: Amsterdam

As part of a new series here on Simple Family Travel, we are featuring a different mum writing about her favourite city each month. You'll find tips on where to eat, what to see, best places to play and even what to do on a rainy day. 

Our first mum is Karlien from Holland.  Karlien is the author of the Dutch Blog Reistips met Kids. A mum of two small children, Karlien lives in a town near Amsterdam and she loves to explore the city with her kids. 

Why choose Amsterdam to travel with your kids?

Amsterdam with kids Photo: Karlien

Amsterdam with kids Photo: Karlien

Amsterdam is the capital of Holland. It’s a beautiful city with great architecture. It also is a good city to explore with your kids. It’s busy but not too busy. There are a lot of playgrounds, just walking through the city and you’ll stumble upon them. Amsterdam also has a lot of family-friendly restaurants, fun museums and indoor playgrounds. I'll share with you my favourite things to do, but before we get to that, the most important tip is transportation.  If you want to explore Amsterdam like Dutch people do, why not rent a bike.  It’s cheap, quick and a fun way to discover the city. Check out Black Bike Rental, with its 13 locations to rent all over Amsterdam, you will for sure find a location that suits you. 

What are your favourite Restaurants with kids? 

It’s hard to pick just a couple of restaurants, since Amsterdam is filled with so many good ones. But I'll share my favourite ones.

Amsterdam Central: Check out Blue Amsterdam, which is a rooftop restaurant with a  360° panoramic views. If you go, be sure to get there early before it gets too busy. While you are there, why not try the delicious pie, “De drie Graefjes”.

Amsterdam Noord: I really like Fashion & Tea (Van der Pekstraat 40HS). They have good coffee and they sell clothes as well. Added bonus is they also have toys for the kids to play with. 

Amsterdam Oost: La Fucina, (Javastraat 99, 1094 HC) is a little Italian restaurant that is surprisingly good. The food is good, it’s cheap and they have a lot of toys to keep the kids entertained.

Amsterdam West: At Wijs West, you can drink coffee, shop and your kids can play! Blender Kids Concept Store is also a good place to visit in this area. 

What are your favourite things to see and do?

I really love the junior Veretsmeusem (The Dutch Resistance Museum Junior) which covers different aspects of the occupation of the Netherlands during World War II.  Kids should be at least 9 years old in order to understand and appreciate the information provided. Free audio guides are provided. 

Another great Museum that will be a hit with the kids is the NEMO Science Museum, where kids are encouraged to discover science through hands on activities. They can learn how to make clean water, find out interesting teen facts, and learn about energy.

Museum “Op Solder” is tucked away in the heart of the city and is not to be missed. In the attic of this 17th century house you will find a hidden church. Dating back to 1663 when it was not allowed to practise religion, the authorities turned a blind eye to this church and it enabled Catholics to attend mass. Apart from the church, explore the narrow corridors and stairwells of this historically furnished house. The kids will like the treasure hunt that is available for 1 euro and helps them to learn as they search for the ladybirds. There is also an audio guide aimed at older children.

What are your favourite playgrounds? 

Throughout Amsterdam, you will find a lot of outdoor playgrounds and for the rainy days, some indoor playgrounds as well. 

Check out the many playgrounds in Amsterdam Photo: by Karlien

Check out the many playgrounds in Amsterdam Photo: by Karlien

Amsterdamse Bos is huge park with lots of things to do including a couple of great playgrounds. Check out the Fun Forest Climbing park, Goat Farm, or the electric boats. For the warmer months take your swimmers along and dip in the two paddling pools.

Close to the city centre you will find the famous Vondelpark. Loved by tourist and Amsterdammers a like, it will be filled on sunny days with people relaxing in the grass. Rent skates near the Amstelveenseweg entrance or visiting one for the six play areas. 

I also really like Amstelpark with is mini train and mini golf. 

For indoor fun try Tun Fun in the centre of Amsterdam near the Waterlooplein. Or try Race Planet near Westpoort or Ballorig near the Ajax Stadium. 

What are your tips for a rainy day?

The public library of Amsterdam, close to Central Station, is where we go on rainy days. It’s a lovely place to relax and play. Upstairs there is a restaurant with a nice view over Amsterdam.

If you are a soccer loving family, don’t miss a visit to the Ajax Stadium tour and museum. Right next door is a big shopping area as well as the indoor playground Ballorig.

Amsterdam in the rain. Photo: Karlien

Amsterdam in the rain. Photo: Karlien


Thanks Karlien for sharing your ideas for visiting Amsterdam with kids. I love the idea of exploring a city on bike. Renting a Cargo bike from Black Bike looks like a lot of fun. 

Want to hear more about Karlien? Check out her blog and instagram account

If you would like to be a guest blogger and share your best family tips about your home city in our series Cities with Kids we'd love to hear from you! Email us at hello (at)