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Amsterdam, Netherlands
Fast Facts
ACTIVITIES
Museum
Music & Theatre
Market / Fair
Garden / Park
Waterway Cruises
Cycling
 
 
Tourist Attractions
 
 
Family-Friendly Tours

BEST

  for

KIDS

BEST

  for

KIDS

 
 

Bicycles, Amsterdam

 

Photo by Alfredo De Simone

Tell someone you're taking the tots to Amsterdam and they might candidly inquire if the kids aren't a little too young for such a risqué metropolis. Amsterdam may have a racy reputation yet bawds and weed aren't its only attractions. The Dutch capital boasts more than 50 museums. Concertgebouw is a world famous venue for classical music. The city's 17th century center has grand Golden Age houses and concentric canals. Amsterdam is small and is easily traversed in an afternoon. It has lots of green space and a great variety of restaurants. There's always something happening indoors and out. What's more, the red light district is easily avoided.
Getting There
 
Amsterdam is a transport hub with lots of direct flights from American, Asian, Australian and European cities. Though most travelers arrive by plane you can also get here by rail, road and sea from elsewhere in the Netherlands and much of Europe. Family Travel Tips: Low cost airlines have made getting to Amsterdam both easy and cheap from within Europe. No frills airlines, such as Ryanair, easyJet, Vueling and Transavia connect Amsterdam to cities throughout the Old Continent. Schiphol Airport is best reached by train. Trains to/from Amsterdam Central Station run every 15 minutes. The journey time is between 15 - 20 minutes. Train tickets can be purchased at train stations (ticket counters and ticket vending machines), in the airport (main arrivals hall), and in advance via the web (Dutch Railways website).
Getting Around
 
Walking is the cheapest, easiest and most convenient way to explore the Dutch capital. The bicycle is the preferred means of transport by most locals and many tourists yet Amsterdam isn't an easy city to cycle. Public transport - bus, metro, tram and ferry - is an ideal way to reach outlying areas and cross the center quickly but is only economical if ridden repeatedly. Hop-on hop-off canal cruises afford an opportunity to discover the city's wealth of waterways. Inline skates are available for rent in Vondelpark. The ever-present taxis are some of Europe's most expensive. Amsterdam is no place for a car. Family Travel Tips: The city center is flat and compact and most Amsterdam attractions are within walking distance of one another. There are roughly 400 km of cycleways in Amsterdam. Sunday is the best day to explore the city on two wheels. There are two types of public transport tickets - day tickets and personal OV-chipkaart. There are no single journeys. Children aged 3 and under ride free on the metro, bus and tram. While a reduced rate is available for children aged 4-11 on a personal OV-chipkaart, there is no reduced rate for one and multi-day cards. The I amsterdam and Holland Pass integrated museum and transport cards offer unlimited use of public transport. Arriving in Amsterdam by car? Park it in a Park & Ride facility and leave it there for the duration of your stay. Not only is parking limited in the center, the city's narrow streets are a challenge to negotiate.
When to Travel
 
Amsterdam is the dampest city in Europe yet it isn't the wettest. It drizzles 214 days a year but rarely receives a downpour. Winters are mild, humid and foggy. Spring is cool, damp and variable. Summers are warm and wet but boast the most hours of sun. Fall is chilly, moist and changeable. The warmest months are July and August with an average temperature of 17° C or 62° F. The coldest months are January and February with an average temperature of 3° C or 37° F. The driest month is March; July and August are the wettest. Don't leave home without a raincoat and umbrella. Plan to dress in layers whether traveling in June or January.
Health & Safety
 
Petty theft - pick pocketing and purse snatching - is biggest threat for families traveling to Amsterdam. Exercise caution on trains and trams and in central Amsterdam. Beware of fake policemen. Never leave your things unattended. Don't carry valuables or extra cash. Wear purses and cameras over your head so that the strap crosses your body. Don't sling handbags or daypacks over the back of the chair but rather wedge them between your feet and slip a strap under the leg of a table or chair.
Things to Keep in Mind
 
Look both ways when crossing cycle lanes.
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