Amsterdam isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think of family vacation, but that is where we found ourselves last summer with ten of us in age range from my 14 year old son, to Yaya. However, no matter what your stereotypical impression of Amsterdam may be, it was PERFECT.
Our trip took place in June of 2019. We all met in the City after traveling from our various locations. This was actually the first step of our trip before boarding a train to Denmark, where my sister and her husband call Home.
We immediately found this city to be beautiful with its canals, houseboats, medieval style architecture, cafes, pubs, art museums and full of history. Even being a couple of miles from the Central station area, we had no difficulty walking from place to place, and if we weren’t feeling the walk, it was easy enough to jump on one of the City’s trams.
There are canals everywhere around the City. Fun fact, there are more canals here than in Venice, Italy. Boats tied up along the canals range from row boats and kayaks to sailboats, motor boats and pontoon boats, as well as barge style house boats. Boating appears to be as much a way of life in Amsterdam, as bicycling. Bicycling is the locals main mode of transportation around the city. We joked when crossing the street, you had to first get past the hectic, wide bicycle lane, then the tram track, then look again to make sure no buses or cars were coming. Crossing a busy intersection can take some time. A boat tour from Centraal Station takes you around the cities canals providing a detailed history of the city, canals, architecture and it is definitely something you do not want to miss.
Rijks museum and the Van Gogh museum are in the same area surrounded by a large open space park (called museumplein) full of people relaxing and taking in the beautiful day. Both museums were pretty busy and purchasing tickets in advance is a good idea. Between the two museums are a number of street vendors selling souveniers and food. We ate at one of the lovely hotdog vendors, while some of our party searched the souvenier stands for the perfect thing to take home. Thee is also a supermarket just below the hill where you can buy picnic supplies for your time in the park.
We hit the supermarket for snacks, energy drinks and beer and headed to Vondel park for some more relaxation time. Vondel Park was full of people of all ages, walking, bicycling, chilling, napping and someone walking through park playing music, which part of our group followed.
Amsterdam definitely offered something for everyone and was a great place for our family vacation.