Amsterdam is a gorgeous city – with a huge canal system, amazing architecture, and more museums and galleries than you can shake a stick at. Despite common misconceptions, it’s not only a place to visit with a group of friends when in your 20s. It’s a fantastic city to take the family to, and if it’s your first time there, here are a few tips to help make the most of it.
- See the museums
Anne Frank, Van Gogh, the list is endless. Amsterdam prides itself on its culture and has some of the best museums in Europe.
These museums are mostly situated along the infamous canal route – and you can certainly make a day out of it. Just make sure you pre-purchase tickets online to avoid the lengthy queues.
- Try an I Amsterdam card
If it’s the art and culture you’re interested in, but you’re worried about it all adding up in terms of cost, there’s something that can help – the I Amsterdam Card.
Yes, there is a card which gives you access to 70+ popular museums and attractions (including a castle and a zoo). Not only that, but you’ll also enjoy unlimited transport (bus, tram and metro), including canal cruises. Depending on your itinerary, you can save around 50 Euros, which is great if you’re travelling with the family.
- Take advantage of photo opportunities
Due to its little streets, canal system, and bright and quirky houses, Amsterdam is packed full of photo opportunities – you just need to take advantage of them.
As well as snapping houses, fountains, boats, and the infamous tulips, you can also head to the Koninkliik Paleis, which overlooks Dam Square. It’s a hit with tourists, and plenty of opportunity for that picture perfect snap.
- Hire a bike
Amsterdam involves a lot of walking, but cycling is actually a much more fun way of getting around.
Visit a cycle hire shop, get the family measured up, and off you go! Venture down the canal sides, head to one of the parks (Vondelpark is a must-see), and pack in more of the city.
Or, if you really want to walk, make sure you pack a sturdy pair of shoes. This is especially important when travelling with kids, as TUI’s top travel tips point out.
- The Red Light District really is a sight
Well, we couldn’t cover Amsterdam without mentioning it, could we?
The Red Light District is (as you can imagine) a sight to behold, so I wouldn’t recommend taking the kids there in the evening, but a swing by with your other half after a few drinks is sure to result in a few giggles.
Just don’t take any photos – it’s illegal to do so.
- Be wary of coffee shops
If you’re looking for a coffee shop, you might want to be careful how you word it, especially if you’re not after the kind which serves cannabis along with your morning cappuccino…
Cannabis cafes are rife in the city, so just familiarise yourself with the terminology beforehand and you’ll know what to ask for (and what not to ask for, too).