Amsterdam has a reputation that precedes itself. The city conjures up images of lax rules when it comes to drug policy and all night escapades that gives meaning to the term “what happens in Amsterdam stays in Amsterdam”. Families may decide to eliminate this city on their bucket list with kids or worse never decide to visit at all. Big mistake. Amsterdam is a vibrant city built on elaborate canals, mostly navigable by boat, has a rich architectural history and an intense, diverse art scene. I can honestly say, it was one of my favorite and most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen. Here is a list of things we did this holiday break, and what we fell in love with.
STAY- DEL EUROPE
Our family spent four days in Amsterdam. We stayed at the del Europe hotel which overlooks the stunning Amstel River in the heart of Amsterdam and offers convenient access to several of the world’s heralded museums and Amsterdam’s key points of interest. One of the nights we were able to experience the “City of Lights tour” which is offered by the hotel, where we soaked up art installations which framed the breathtaking canals.
An illuminated Green House by Artist Victor Engbers.
My daughter Phoenix soaking up the lights.
SEE- ANNE FRANKS HOUSE
While I think my three year old, obviously, didn’t appreciate the history of this museum site, I still think it is one of the most imperative places to see in one’s lifetime. The pain is palpable and radiated from every wall in the house. I couldn’t even wrap my head around the events that had taken place. It was a great opportunity to talk to my daughter about gratitude and acceptace and compassion. One word of warning, if you don’t book beforehand you will be waiting outside for literally hours. A ticket is a must!
EAT- DE KAS
“A kitchen surrounded by fertile soil where vegetables and herbs thrive … Where daylight shines in from all sides and where the chefs are free to express their creativity daily using the best the season has to offer.
It seems an obvious concept, but I spent twenty years surrounded by white tiles under fluorescent lighting before I came up with it.”
De Kas is one of a kind. A restaurant situated off the beaten path in an outdoor oasis which forces you to take a breath. Offering seasonal menus, which come straight from the garden, De Kas is a unique, stand alone restaurant that cannot be missed. Come early, especially if you have kids, and marvel at the reflections that are created when the sun is hitting it’s peak just before lunchtime.
SHOP- NINE STREETS
We spent the afternoon perusing the nine streets in Amsterdam.
A shopping area of Amsterdam, that is the most trendy and is located within nine little streets of the Old Town. With home grown design shops and never too many chocolatiers, these streets are a must to see with your family. Tip – If the hubby and kids start getting fractious, let them sit and drink a hot chocolate while you pursue Amsterdam’s top designers.
DRINK- LOT 61
Coming from Australia, I’m a slight coffee snob, so it takes a lot to recommend a good spot to drink that liquid gold. Lot 61 is that place. The coffee is roasted in house and complimented with baked goods served in a space that is hip and relaxed with rustic woods & subway tiles. Tip – There is not a great deal of seated real estate so get your coffee to-go and stroll along the beautiful canals nearby.
Get your camera out the minute you step foot in Amsterdam. You do not have to be a pro to achieve great images. Buy a polaroid camera or a lomography camera with color filters and removable lenses, or any camera you please. Focus on the reflections on the water, at magic hour (5pm), and make sure your FStop is a large so everything is in focus. Above are some of my images 🙂
Amsterdam was one of my favorite cities of all time. Let me know below your thoughts on the city and where we should go next!
Lots of Love