Amsterdam with Travel Mom Julie
Julie, her husband and their 3 year old daughter were off to Europe this summer spending time in the Alps and 3 weeks in Amsterdam. We sat down with Julie to hear all about their summer sabbatical in Amsterdam!
How long was your trip?
We spent over a month in Europe this summer, a little time in the French Alps, and 3 weeks in Amsterdam.
What made you pick these places?
The Alps because I love the mountains and wanted some rocky peaks. Then we wanted a place to just live for 3 weeks. Amsterdam was recommended by many as super easy for families.
How did you find the information for your trip?
We found a family-friendly townhome through Kid & Coe. We stayed in Oud West near the southern part of Vondelpark. It felt very neighborhoody, and on a bike, you can get anywhere.
We rented bikes, including one with a baby seat, for the whole stay and used them to get everywhere.
What was the BEST part of the trip for you?
Being outside most of the day. Amsterdam is easy to get around, and biking is joyful. Having the opportunity to see how people live. We weren’t rushed and quite literally rolled with it during our time there.
Also, I sprinted through the Rijksmuseum on the last day for two hours. My favorite part was biking through the tunnel that goes through the museum and hearing the musicians playing.
What was the BEST part of the trip for the family?
Groot Melkhuis in Vondelpark. It’s a café and awesome playground with pretty good food and drink at totally reasonable prices. Win-win for kids and adults.
I love the way the Dutch live outdoors, and everything is designed that way.
We ate out a ton as we were on the go. Some of our favorites…
- Pancakes at Meerzicht Farm at Amsterdamse Bos. Then go feed the goats!
- Appel pie at Winkel43.
- Apple pie at Café Papenaliend was the BEST! It’s a family-friendly brown bar (old school Dutch pub) in the Jordaan.
- Vanilla ice cream at Bankbakkerij Van der Linde. They only serve vanilla and it’s the best ice cream I’ve ever had!
- We also loved the Foodhallen – so many delicious things to try!
Top Tips and Advice
- Get a babysitter. We had a great experience with Charley Cares and a lovely New Zealand woman. She was so great we used her 4 nights a week after our daughter went to sleep so my husband and I could go out.
- Don’t worry about getting things in—just go on kid-time and see what you see. It’s all marvelous!
- We rented a bike from Swapfiets—it was 16 Euros for the full month (so even if you only use it for a week, it’s still a more affordable option than other bike rentals). Easy experience, though they don’t have kid seats, so you’ll have to rent that elsewhere. And bring your helmets from home for the kids.
- You can take lots of day trips from Amsterdam (like Utrecht below) as the trains are super easy and fun to use.
- Book Anne Frank House tickets in advance.
Where would you go back to?
- There are so many parks to explore, which was super fun.
- I’d spend more time in North Amsterdam. You can take the ferry across from Central Station. Pllek is supposed to be a cool spot right on the water.
- Amsterdam Public Library is the best library I’ve ever seen. It has a huge kids’ space and even a bar.
Why do you travel with the kids?
It’s good for me, so it’s good for the family. Early on, we traveled with her, and it’s made it super easy. It opens horizons for her. We know from the studies around literacy, the more contextual knowledge you have, the better reader you are.
Next trip you’re planning or dreaming about?
3 weeks in Crested Butte, Colorado, or in Maine next summer to escape the heat. My ‘dreaming of trip’ is to go to Portugal (without the kids).
Dank u wel, Julie! 🇾🇪
For more on Amsterdam, visit the Amsterdam section of the website.