Amsterdam is the “Venice of the North” with its maze of canals, flower laden bridges, and buildings with stepped gabbled facades. Amsterdam was the book-end destination for our summer trip. We planned an intentional stop-over in Amsterdam on our way to Marrakesh. It was not only a better deal, but it was a great opportunity to experience the culture, arts and food of a great city. It was nice to go back to Amsterdam after 18 years.
Taxis in Amsterdam can be pricey. Airport taxis are actually, usually lower priced than Uber. The public transportation is a great option and you can go to the city from the airport. They are very safe and convenient options. When you buy train tickets, be very careful to buy for the right train company. At the same train station there are several different companies selling tickets (kiosk) with different transport routes. Also, be sure to scan when you get on and off, or you will get a fine. There were a few times where they checked our tickets.
Our first stop was a Windmill of course! There are still 1200 windmills in Holland today. Windmills were used for many purposes: to pump water from lowlands, to press and grind all sorts of substances, to sawing wood.
For the evening, we decided to roam the streets of Amsterdam Centrum. Just outside of Central Station you see bikes parked for blocks, lots of water, and crowds of fun. We stopped for dinner at Cannibal Royale https://cannibaleroyale.nl. Yes, it is a fantastic name for a place with great meat dishes, and of course fries as well. I highly recommend the hamburgers at this place!
PS: For my looks, check my insta @hevilabajaj
The next day we visited the museum of Anne Frank in the lovely bohemian neighborhood of Jordaan. I highly recommend scheduling your visit on-line months before your visit, they open to buy tickets 2 months before your date. The kids prepared by reading the Diary of Anne Frank, of course… Plan on spending at least 1-1.5 hours visiting the house and museum. Be sure to bring your Kleenex.
For lunch we walked over to The Seafood Bar https://www.theseafoodbar.com. While there was a wait for a table, it was well worth it.
After lunch we took a stroll through lovely Vondel Park. After touring the streets of Amsterdam, we stopped for a drink at the Dylan Amsterdam.
The Van Gogh museum is a must visit in Amsterdam as well. The art collection was amazing and the kids loved the ability to customize their own audio tour and learn about each piece of wonderful art. I also bought the tickets online 2 months in advance.
The following day, we visited some friends and toured Leiden by boat. It is the “City of Discoveries” and the home of Rembrandt van Rijn.
Just outside of Amsterdam, there are some beautiful beaches with nice beach clubs and restaurants. We visited Noordwijk, and had lunch at Beachclub O., beautiful view and setting.
Rijks museum is a must see in Amsterdam, no need to purchase tickets in advance. I recommend the audio tour, it is very useful and captured the kids attention.
Our last day in Amsterdam, we enjoyed walking thru the city and of course eating the famous fries. What a great city to visit, lots of history.