TravelWeekly Scoop Top 10 things to do in Amsterdam with Kids By Kensington Mums - December 9, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest WhatsApp Eurostar launched its direct London to Amsterdam service last year, connecting the two cities by train in just over four hours. With Eurostar planning to launch a direct service from Amsterdam to London at the end of this year (at present, you have to take two trains on the return leg) visiting the Dutch capital is easier than ever. There are also many daily flights from London, taking just 40 minutes, and with the airport just a short ride away from the centre of town, it’s an easy journey to make with the kids. There’s plenty of choice when it comes to accommodation too – from boat ‘hotels’ to more established five-star brands to boutique properties lining canals and family-friendly apartments.The city’s compact size is also great for kids – it doesn’t take long to walk to most of the sights but even when those feet get tired, the public transport system of trams, subway and buses is easy and convenient to use. 1 Take a leisurely canal cruise The 100 Highlights Cruise drifts past many of Amsterdam’s sights in an hour in an enclosed boat, or take a more leisurely open boat tour, which lasts just over an hour. We took a night cruise, catching many of the city’s sights lit up in all their splendour. Get your cameras ready for a must-see photo opportunity – boats slow down at a spot where you can see seven of Amsterdam’s bridges all lined up. 2 Explore Anne Frank’s house If there is one place you must make time for, it’s the Anne Frank house, where the Jewish writer Anne and her family hid from the Nazis for two years during World War Two. Her experience was recorded in The Diary of Anne Frank. The house is now a museum dedicated to her life; you can visit the annexe and learn about her legacy. Tickets can only be purchased online and often sell out. We opted for a ticket that included an inspirational half-hour talk on Anne Frank’s life (most suited to children over 10, although our nine-year old enjoyed it). 3 Visit Tony Chocolonely’s superstore If you haven’t heard of Tony Chocolonely, then you’re in for a treat. His chocolate, produced in Amsterdam, is committed to being made 100% slave-free. At his superstore, just a stone’s throw from the city’s main square, you can overindulge in style by trying out many of the existing flavours and some limited editions too. There’s also an area where kids can learn more about improving cocoa farm standards and you can also customise your own chocolate bars with the minimum of mess. You design it on an iPad and it’s normally ready to pick up a couple of hours later. Sometimes you may have to wait longer so best not to leave a visit to your last day. 4 Learn about Van Gogh and other Dutch artists Amsterdam’s Museum Quarter houses three outstanding museums – one entirely dedicated to Vincent Van Gogh, the Rijksmuseum, which houses the Dutch Masters and the Stedelijk, featuring modern art. At the Van Gogh Museum shop, there is a space where kids can have a go at creating their own version of the artist’s celebrated ‘Sunflowers’ painting, while treasure hunts can be arranged at the Rijksmuseum. 5 Take a day trip You can easily explore the outskirts of Amsterdam and beyond – trains are quick and convenient. We spent a day in Den Haag (The Hague), around an hour by train. The Mauritshuis museum features works from the Dutch Golden Age, including Jan Vermeer’s celebrated Girl with a Pearl Earring. If you’re there on the last Sunday of the month, you can sign the kids up for workshops (hosted in both Dutch and English), giving you time to explore the museum. Kids will also enjoy the museum dedicated to Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, with a floor dedicated to optical illusions. For a trip closer to Amsterdam, visit the medieval city of Haarlem, just fifteen minutes away by tram. 6 Enjoy the view at Nemo Science Museum If you have science buffs in the family, head to the Nemo Science Museum. It’s worth a trip alone for the spectacular views over the city from the museum’s rooftop – the highest city square in the Netherlands. The rooftop has an exhibition with water features that kids can interact with and there’s also a cafe located here, serving light snacks and more substantial meals. 7 Cycle around VondelparkFor a safe and easy way cycle in Amsterdam, go for a leisurely ride in Vondelpark, the city’s largest city park. There’s plenty to see, including sculptures dotted around the park, grand buildings and a rose garden, alongside free concerts in the summer. There’s also a small playground in one of the cafés – perfect if the kids need to let off more steam. 8 Feast on cookies, apple pie and pancakes Head to Van Stapele, a tiny cookie shop in the canal district, where you can try some mouth-watering biscuits with melted white chocolate inside. There are daily queues and once the batch baked for that day has sold out, that’s it for the day. They make a great gift too as they keep fresh for up to four days and you easily reheat them in a pan (the biscuits come with colourful instructions). Winkel 43 in the Jordaan area is home to some of the best apple pie in Amsterdam, even more delicious topped with some cream. Pancakes – or pannenkoeken as they are known in Amsterdam are also a must-try. We also enjoyed ‘poffertjes’, mini pancakes with a bit of butter and dusted with sugar or chocolate. 9 Browse the markets If you head to Winkel 43, you’ll be right in the thick of two of the city’s most colourful and buzzing markets. There is a flea market every Monday nearby while the Lindenmarkt, held on Saturdays, features stall after staff of food, including some classic Dutch fare. The Albert Cuyp market is open Monday through to Saturday and is located in the De Pijp area. 10 Ride on Europe’s highest swing At A’Dam lookout, you can try Europe’s highest swing (suited to those at least 120m in height). You can swing back and forth at a height of 100 meters while enjoying some great views of the city. About the writer: Kim Benjamin has a girl aged 11 and a boy aged 9, both of whom go to school in the borough. She is a writer and blogger, contributing content on a range of topics, including travel, events, parenting, marketing and finance.