Kids playing in Amsterdam city center
Amsterdam with kids

Visiting Amsterdam with kids: all you need to know for a perfect family stay

All you need to know to visit Amsterdam with kids. The best things to see, kid-friendly attractions, beat family hotels and travel tips for enjoying Amsterdam as a family.

Amsterdam is a fantastic city to visit with children.
Beautiful, safe, and family-friendly, Amsterdam offers a fantastic mix of activities suitable for kids, teens and grown-ups, often all wrapped up into one wonderful family experience.

Amsterdam is one of those rare cities where you don’t have to compromise too much between what the kids want to do and what you want to do: Amsterdam attractions are for everyone!

In this family guide to Amsterdam, I share my best tip to plan a fun family stay in Amsterdam with kids.

Safe travel planning!

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Why visit Amsterdam with kids

There are many reasons why I love Amsterdam as a family destination.

Amsterdam is a safe city, with a beautiful family-friendly vibe that makes kids feel welcome

The city center is easy to navigate and most people speak perfect English.

Amsterdam is a beautiful European capital, with stunning architecture that seems out of a fairytale and some of the most beautiful museums in the world (most of them kid-friendly!) – the type of place you must see at least once in a lifetime!

Amsterdam city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site: a perfect place to have a culture-filled break with the kids.

The city has a plethora of kids’ attractions to suit all ages: no matter how big or small your kids are, you will find plenty of ways to keep them entertained.

Where to stay in Amsterdam with kids

The best place to stay in Amsterdam with kids is the Canal Ring.

The canal ring is Amsterdam city center: this is the area Unesco recognized as world heritage, the place with the highest number of traditional houses and architecture and the highest number of attractions.

Family hotels I recommend in Amsterdam city center are:

  • Hilton DoubleTree Centraal (4* star hotel) – this is an excellent family-friendly hotel in Amsterdam city center, close to the central station and Nemo, one of Amsterdam’s premier children attractions. This is a modern, large hotel with interconnecting rooms for families.
  • Monet Garden Hotel (4* star hotel) – this is a beautiful, modern family hotel in Amsterdam city center, with good family rooms with canal views. This is a cozy hotel perfect for families who love a boutique hotel experience: the hotel lounge bar is perfetc if you want an evening drink without having to negotiate Amsterdam at night with kids.
  • Pulitzer (5* star hotel) – this is an elegant, five star hotel in Amsterdam in a beautiful, traditional house in a stellar location in Amsterdam city center. The hoel has excellent family rooms and a very Importan Kids Program that inlcudes the gift of a teddy on arrival, treasure hunt, travel diary and more.

How many days to see Amsterdam with kids?

Amsterdam city center is compact and you can see several of Amsterdam’s must-see attractions in a weekend.

However, I recommend you spend at least five days in Amsterdam with kids to enjoy the city truly.

With one day in Amsterdam, you will only be able to get a taste of the city center, visit a kids’ museum or, if you have small kids, see the zoo or the park.

In two days, you can see the zoo, Nemo Science Museum, and Amsterdam’s most central, historic streets.

With three days in Amsterdam with kids, you can visit the city center main attractions, take a cruise on the canals, visit the Zoo, Nemo and one of the city’s art museums.

In 4 days in Amsterdam, you can visit all of the above and relax in Amsterdam parks.

With five days, you can see all of the above, explore the adorable Amsterdam Noord and, in spring, take a day trip to see the fantastic tulip fields immediately outside the city.

The very best things to do in Amsterdam with kids

The top things to do in Amsterdam with kids are:

Discover Nemo Science Museum and its terrace

Nemo is Amsterdam’s Science Museum and one of the best Amsterdam attractions for kids of all ages.

Amsterdam science museum tops our list as one attraction specifically for kids but easy to enjoy for adults.

Hosted in a dedicated building in Amsterdam city center, Nemo develops over several floors and has hands-on exhibits, experiences and workshops for kids from toddlers up.

Top tip: The museum has a beautiful terrace with additional installations, fountains and a cafe at the very top of the building. This area is free and fantastic with toddlers!

This is one of the best museums in Amsterdam for kids if not the very best!

Spend a day in Artis Royal Zoo and Micropia

Artis Amsterdam zoo is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands and its complex now comprises two attractions: the zoo itself and Micropia.

The zoo caters to kids with specialized workshops, zookeepers talks (in Dutch, but you can ask questions in English) and organized feeding times.

It also has a playground and, in summer, hosts special workshops for children and musical performances.

Top tip: you can bring your own picnic or order a pizza from their outdoor kitchen!

Artis Zoo gets pretty busy on a sunny day, so we recommend getting skip-the-line tickets if going at prime visiting time.

Take a canal cruise

A canal cruise is a fun activity for kids and adults in Amsterdam and a great way to see the city without having to walk.

You can choose several formulas, including:

Standard guided tour on a closed top boat – a great introduction to the city in summer and winter

Amsterdam light festival canal cruise – fantastic if you are in Amsterdam in November-December, when the light festival decorated the canals and the bridges of Amsterdam with spectacular installations

Amsterdam Canals Pizza Cruise – perfect if you are also looking for a different dinner idea!

Explore the Tropen Museum

The Tropenmuseum is Amsterdam’s ethnographic museum and is great for kids.

The museum has a special children route to allow them to experience as much of the space as possible and encourage them to interact as much as possible with what surrounds them to have a truly immersive experience.

You can find more info and get tickets here.

Visit The Houseboat museum

The Houseboats museum in Amsterdam is a fantastic place for kids to learn what living in a dutch barge is like!

The museum is an authentic houseboat now open to visitors and only takes a few minutes to visit.

Here, you can see the use of space, the creative use of space, the imaginative solutions for living and storage, and you have the excitement of being on the water.

Visit cats in the Cat Boat

If your children love cats, then they will love De Poezenboot, Amsterdam’s cat boat.

The cat boat is a shelter for cats and you can visit and leave a donation to help the cause. My cat-crazy kids adore it and the fact that you are on water adds to the fun.

You can find info and address here.

Play in Openbare Bibliotheek and Mouse Mansion

Openbare Bibliotheek is Amsterdam’s central library and one of the best places for toddlers in Amsterdam.

Located near the Central Station and Nemo, the library has a great kids section with books, colorful couches, a play area for smaller children and a fantastic dollhouse for mice: Mouse Mansion!

Access to the library is free.

Visit the Van Gogh Museum

The van Gogh museum is a must-see when in Amsterdam and it is child-friendly.

They have family tours, family guides, a children treasure hunt, and a corner with vincent’s traveling case’, a trunk packed with fun activities for kids and adults!

Make sure you stop at the entrance desk for all family information and materials.

You can buy fast track entry tickets to the museum here

Top tip! You can also combine a canal cruise with a visit to the Van Gogh Museum with this money-saving bundle.

Explore the Rijks Museum with kids

The Rijks Museum is one of the most important art museums in the world and it is very kid-friendly.

As well as being stroller friendly, the museum has regular activities for kids (drawing sessions, family tours) and a fun souvenir shop that always keeps my two entertained for hours.

A lovely garden outside is handy if you need to let them run a while after the visit.

You can get tickets in advance here.

Experience Anne Frank House

Due to the nature of the place, I recommend a visit to Anne Frank’s House to families with older kids and teenagers.

The house is in Jordaan, a beautiful area of Amsterdam, and operates a timed entrance system.

Make sure you book tickets in advance from the house itself here.

Visit the Maritime Museum

The Maritime museum teaches about the history of Dutch maritime endeavors and impressive empires and has something sure to pique the kids’ attention: a full-size replica of an East India Company sailing ship!

The ship is part of the museum and welcomes kids with a discounted price for kids 4 to 11 (kids under 3 go free).

You can buy skip the line tickets to the museum in advance here

Play in Vondelpark

There are many beautiful parks in Amsterdam and a family favorite is Vondelpark.

The park is large and a pleasure to visit with kids: you can stroll or cycle and several playgrounds make it a favorite for local families and visitors alike.

You can bring a picnic to the park but you also have several food options for a family-friendly meal, including hot dog stands and filly fledged restaurants.

Get your kids make dinner at Kinderkook Cafe

Kinderkook Cafe is a special cafe in Vondelpark where kids are in the kitchen!

The idea behind this kids’ cafe is to give them a taste of what’s it like you run a restaurant and, if your kids love cooking as much as mine do, will love it!

The cafe is fantastic for an afternoon of fun and a great place to meet other kids too. You can find all info here.

Take a Stadium Tour

Soccer lovers may be excited by the idea of visiting the stadium of legendary Ajax.

The stadium is open on most days and welcomes kids. Special kids tours are available in Dutch only, including playtime on the pitch. A perfect and fun opportunity for cultural immersion through play!

You can find info and tickets here.

Explore secret ‘Our Lord in the Attic’ church

Our Lord in the Attic is a church but with something special: it is hidden inside a historic home!

This hidden church is ”in the attic”, hence its name, and was built during the Reformation, a time when Catholics were forbidden to hold public services.

This is a great place to discover with kids: a fun family discovery tour leads the kids along different stations marked with Nan The Ladybug, the museum mascot and teaches them about the secrets of the church, its organ and more.

Visit Miffy Shops

Miffy (or Nijntje, as she is called in Dutch) is Amsterdam’s most famous bunny and you can find her in many shops that are a dream for kids.

In her dedicated stores, you find Miffy books, teddies, trinkets, slippers, pajamas and more! her biggest store is on Scheldestraat 61 but you will find Miffy pretty much everywhere; just tell your kids to keep their eyes peeled!

Tony’s Chocolonely Chocolate Bar

If your children love chocolate, then you can treat them to a stop in Tony’s Chocolonely Chocolate Bar, which is just what you think: a cafe for chocolate lovers!

The cafe has a super fun, colorful decor, it is open from breakfast to dinner and it also organizes workshops and events that are fun for the whole family. Find info here.

Explore Amstedam Bos

If you fancy a little bit of a break from the city, you and the kids can immerse yourself in nature in the wonderful Amsterdam Bos (Forest).

This large park has family trails with different child-friendly themes depending on the season, lots of water activities, an adventure course, a goat farm, a vintage tram and of course a cafe with pancakes!

Visit the Eye Film Museum with kids

The Eye Film Museum is in Amsterdam Noord, a lovely area of Amsterdam to discover with kids, and it has some cool family activities for little ones.

Kids age 7 and up can explore the museum following the fun ‘puzzle tour’, while kids age 4 and up can enjoy ‘shorts for kids’, short movies for children with related assignments to experience in real life what you see on the screen. Find all info here.

What and where to eat in Amsterdam with kids

Amsterdam city center has many excellent restaurants and food establishments for all your needs.

Thanks to its international vocation, you can find in Amsterdam local specialties such as pancakes, cheese and herrings, delicious Indonesian cuisine and anything from Italian specialties to burgers and ramen.

Amsterdam is very family-friendly, and kids are welcome in almost all establishments, even if not specified.

Some places we enjoy mainly are:

  • Nemo’s Restaurant terrace, pefect for a snack or lunch, with or without the museum visit
  • The Hoxton hotel bar – perfect for a family-friendly brunch
  • Burgermaaster – a gourmet burger chain with a casual atmosphere, excellent meat and ‘mini burgers’ for smaller appetites
  • Il Pecorino, a fantastic family-friendly restaurant Amsterdam Noord

You can find here >>> my favorite family-friendly restaurants in Amsterdam

How to get around Amsterdam with kids in tow

The best way to get around Amsterdam with children is on foot and by tram.

Amsterdam has an excellent network of trams that allow safe and efficient movement around the city.

You can find here >>> my complete guide to use Amsterdam public transport with kids in tow

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