A weekend away with the kids is our favourite way to see and explore a new city. It is never an easy task but with lots of planning it can be so much fun for the whole family.
Living in London we are lucky enough to be so close to such wonderful European cities, all a short airplane ride away. With the added benefits of technology, checking in and getting to your destination could not be easier.
This past weekend we took the boys to beautiful Amsterdam, my darling husband and I had been before but it was an exciting first for the boys.
So here are my tips & recommendations for a fun weekend away in Amsterdam with kids!
Where we stayed –
We stayed at the Marriott Amsterdam, I got a great rate for a family room via booking.com. The room was immaculately clean, with two huge double beds. The location of the hotel is best for kids as it is right next to the Vondelpark and the two big museums – The Rijksmuseum & The Van Gogh Museum.
Where we ate –
On our first morning we went to one of our favourite cafes in Amsterdam – Das Bakkerswinkel. There are a few of these dotted around Amsterdam and they are so super child friendly, and the food is great. The boys tried the Dutch favourite – butter on fresh bread topped with chocolate sprinkles!
On the second morning we wanted to try something new so we went to Bakers & Roasters, a short stroll from our hotel. It didnt look like much from the outside, set in a quiet residential street, but inside ot was buzzing! Great coffee, amazing pancakes! The whole family was very happy.
Lunch / Dinner –
We had a fantastic dinner at the American Hotel Cafe. Dating back to the 1800’s this hotel is a National Heritage site.
Beautifully decorated in an art deco style. We booked for an early dinner, but they also serve breakfast & lunch. The food was great, I had a fish soup which was delicious, tge boys loved their choices from the kids menu.
Places to visit –
The Rijksmuseum – is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Van Gogh Museum. It is filled with the most amazing pieces of art & the dolls house section is definately worth a visit. The book ‘The Miniaturist’ was inspired by these houses.
The Van Gogh Museum – is an art museum dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. It comprises 200 paintings, 400 drawings, and 700 letters by Vincent van Gogh. The boys were very excited to see the masterpiece ‘Sunflowers’ in real life.
Anne Frank House Museum – is a writer’s house and biographical museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. The building is located on a canal called the Prinsengracht. I would recommend children 10 years and over attend this museum. I think younger children would not really gain or understand the true impact of the museum. It does show quite graphic images from Concentration camps which could be upsetting.
I went along with my older son who has been studying WW2 at school and found it very interesting.
Top tips –
Dont eat breakfast in the hotel, instead get out & explore. Eat where the locals eat. Hotel breakfasts are always the same.
Book museum tickets well in advance. I booked my tickets in January for our March trip.
Use you iphone maps app to get from place to place.
Hop on a boat trip to explore the canals. The tours last 1hour and a tour guide points things out along the way.
Book your train tickets from the airport to the city center in advance. The journey takes 15mins.
We are in sunny Antalya for the half term holidays! It was such a wonderful treat waking up late and seeing blue skies and sunshine.
The sun just lifts your spirits, making the world look so sparkling and fabulous! I took a long walk by the sea this morning. Breathing in the fresh sea air, it was so invigorating!
Every time I come to Antalya there are places I love to visit.
Ataturk’s home in Antalya is one of my favourites, and a must see for anyone visiting Antalya!
The Museum –
Atatürk’s House (Atatürk Evi ve Müzesi) is a museum that displays the visits the first president of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, made to Antalya in the 1930s.
The current building is an exact replica of the original house where Atatürk stayed and the exhibitions inside are very interesting.
Displays include original items of Ataturk’s clothing, books, furniture. The museum is located in the center of Antalya right beside the ‘Kale Ici’ area by the port. It is open daily and entrance is free.
A Must See –
The importance of Ataturk to Turkish people cannot be put into words. He is not only the founder of the Turkish republic, he continues to be an inspiration to Turks of all ages.
This museum is small but must be seen to just get a feel for what type of person this great leader was.
There is no oppulence in his residence. No glittering gold furniture or antiques that would be seen in the Ottoman palaces. The rooms are well furnished but sparce. Elegant and understated.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was a man of the people. He was well groomed and took pride in his appearance.
This past weekend was my second visit to lovely Amsterdam! This time with my darling mother, who is a fantastic travel companion as she is always up for any adventure no matter how tiring.
So for this two day trip I had a few ‘must dos’ on my list – a visit to The Anne Frank House & The Van Loon Museum being the top two. Followed by a boat trip and walks by the beautiful canals. Rain was forecast in Amsterdam a few days before our visit but luckily the light winds blew away the rain clouds and we were left with bright blue skies.
The Anne Frank house and The Van Loon Museum did not disappoint, you can read up about these two tourist hotspots on my previous blog posts. Just make sure you definitely buy your Anne Frank house tickets well in advance, as the new rule is no tickets can be purchased on the door, so to avoid disappointment buy tickets well in advance.
So my two new finds on this visit were –
The Amsterdam Flea Market – The Noordermarkt
A fantastic market dating back hundreds of years, first started in 1616. We were actually on our way to the Anne Frank House on Prinsengracht when we stumbled upon these quirky fun market. Filled with second hand clothes, antique goodies and delicious delights too!
My mother was over the moon as she loves antique hunting. The Dutch porcelain has always been a favourite of mine, I love the rich blue on the background of white, and the flowery patterns are so pretty.
My mother bought a beautiful Dutch painting, we are hoping it’s a long lost Rembrandt! I bought the prettiest antique Dutch soup bowls with a delicate blue flower design on the edges. I will treasure them forever and remember Amsterdam.
This market has been around for hundreds if years. Once a market where people sold pots, it then became a hat market, and today on the same site market goers meet up every Saturday & Monday to sell their goods and find treasures to take home.
Not to be missed!
Im not a huge fan of hotel breakfasts, I have always found that hotel breakfasts are the same wherever you go & it is so much better to venture out, find a local coffee shop or cafe and dine lile the locals.
In my past posts about Amsterdam I recommended Das Bakkerwinkel, a lovely little quaint cafe near Dam Square. I still love that place and visited it for brunch with my mother, but I also found another great place.
Vinnie’s is a lovely small cafe very near Central Station, it is perfect for those who want something healthy, and yet Dutch. It is not touristic and was filled was locals on our visit for breakfast there.
The menu is simple yet has everything you could want. We saw other diners ordering the poached eggs on toast, so decided to do the same.
But these were unlike other eggs on toast. They were super yummy. The toast was thick double toasted rye, topped with a thin slice of Dutch new Gouda cheese, the perfectly poached eggs went on top of the cheese, finally the eggs were topped with a handful of mixed fresh green salads – rocket, dill & curly lettuce. A fantastic combination which I will definately be making at home soon.
A great place to visit & a walking city so make sure you bring your walking shoes!
Im taking my boys on the next trip! So watch this space for tips on ‘Amsterdam with kids’…❤️