Europe

Amsterdam | six of the best family-friendly hotels for your next weekend away

Amsterdam is a city packed with so many opportunities to play, discover and learn as a family.

Visit Vondelpark where green parakeets squark happily as they fly through the trees. In Museumplein the contents of Amsterdam’s largest museums overspill into a green and fun filled grass square. Follow the canals lined with Amsterdam’s iconic skinny and slightly forward leaning houses. Or there’s trendy Amsterdam Noord district with the A-DAM city lookout and Europe’s highest swing. This is the city to placate hungry bellies with pancakes and Stroopwaffles while you take in Van Gogh, Vermeer and Rembrandt.

Here are six hotels with something special to offer families, and to help with that all important activity planning, the attractions each hotel is close to, and top tips for making the most of your trip.

An eco and family-friendly hotel perfectly situated between Vondelpark and the Museumplein

1/4

Conscious Hotels aim to make their hotels green but fun, to be hip rather than hippy, they make all the eco hotel decisions so you can relax. It feels light and airy – an easy place to be with kids.

After brekkie my two little ones loved running out into the small garden by the dining room to let off steam. The rooms were simple and comfortable, nothing to break or damage, just a lovely sense of humour and imagination. Each door has a message on it, ours said, ‘Behind this door lies your own special kingdom where you make the rules, just say the magic words’ and inside awaited a fabulous forest photo mural. We were also fascinated with the living wall of plants in the foyer.

Exploring Vondelpark

The Dutch just do parks really well. Vondelpark is no ordinary park, it has green parakeets, the descendants of pet birds that escaped in the 1970s. My kids loved the giant willow trees, whose collapsed boughs led out across the water and the outdoor theatre where we entertained a crowd of proud parents and passing Chinese tourists.

Reminiscent of a flying saucer, The Blauwe Theehuis (Blue Tea House) in Vondelpark is super kid-friendly, serving peanut butter or nutella sandwiches in baskets, as well as BLT and hummus sandwiches for us adults.

Exploring Museum Square

Museumplein is home to three of Amsterdam’s most famous museums: the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelik Museum of Modern Art, as well as smaller unsung heros like Moco Museum of Modern Contemporary.

It’s magical to watch adults and children clamber all over the i amsterdam letters: a giant metal sculpture and brilliant piece of selfie and tourist led destination promotion. My kids loved testing their parkour skills – and my blood pressure – by leaping across the 6ft high letters.

There are lots of one off art installations and quirky things outside in Museumplein. You can let off steam, eat and play, there are quickly served hot dogs and Stroopwaffles, a cafe right by a playground, you can paddle in the water feature and pick up table tennis bats from the Stedelijk Museum.

Conscious Vondelpark

Amsterdam, 8.3 km to Airport Amsterdam Schiphol
8.2 Very good (2222 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.7 / 10
Hotel CTA

A gorgeous family hotel suite overlooking the canal

1/4

Max Brown Canal District is the perfect hotel for book lovers, with its much instagrammed book wall and book swap library. The hotel occupies three historical canal side houses, the beds have beautiful patchwork quilts and look out over the canal for a truly cosy, authentic Amsterdam experience.

Families of three, or four with siblings happy to share a sofa bed, could book into an extra large room at Max Brown Canal District. For kids who have outgrown sofa beds, try Max Brown Museum Square for an extra large room with extra beds.

Exploring Amsterdam’s canal district

The 100km long canal network is lined with over 1550 monumental buildings. Amsterdam’s characteristic, skinny, towering houses nearly all have long arms jutting out from the top floor with hooks on, and a slightly disconcerting forward lean. Kids love to puzzle this out. Canal side houses were built tall to avoid flooding and narrow to maximise space, and hooks were used to hoist furniture to the top floor. And if the kids ask, the forward leaning of the buildings meant that the objects being hoisted were less likely to smash into them; how novel!

From smartly dressed cape and bowler hatted doormen of fancy hotels, to humble houseboats and floating decks with sofas and picnic tables, Amsterdam’s canals are full of fascinating sights. In the 1960s and 70s houseboats were a means to combat another housing crisis, but what was once a cheap option, is now the desirable way to live. There are even tours of some houseboats, perfect for kids, mine seem to have an inbuilt fascination with houses on either water or wheels.

Max Brown Hotel Canal District

Amsterdam, 11.7 km to Airport Amsterdam Schiphol
8.1 Very good (3653 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.2 / 10
Hotel CTA

A luxury canal side family-friendly hotel with its very own boats

1/4

The luxurious Pulitzer is an intricate maze of 25 interconnecting Golden Age canal houses. Quirky family rooms, like the one with a mezzanine floor with the children’s beds, a passport to a bit more rest and relaxation for all. There are garden courtyards to explore and beautiful swing seats,  although I think you’d need to make sure kids knew they were seats not park swings.

Children from four years can join a cruise on the Pulitzer’s own vessels, either joining a group cruise on the 1909 saloon boat “Tourist” with its polished teak and brass, traditional carpeting, marble, leather and beveled glass, or when the weather allows it, Pulitzer’s “Belle”, a 45 year old classic open tender made from teak can also be booked for a private cruise.

Exploring Anne Frank House

Hotel Pulitzer is very close to Anne Frank House, and like many of Amsterdam’s attractions, make sure you book online and save time. 80% of tickets for any date are released exactly two months in advance, and the remaining 20% are released on the official Anne Frank House website on the day. Word of caution; tickets are not sold at the door. Do read the book again before you go, so you can help guide the kids through this difficult subject.

Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam

Amsterdam, 62.4 km to Airport Amsterdam Schiphol
8.9 Excellent (2387 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.5 / 10
Hotel CTA

A quirky family hotel close to the Maritime and Science Museums.

1/4

With the upmarket Eastern Docklands at the front and access to the city centre at the back, Lloyd is conveniently located at the eastern end of Central Station. What makes this iconic riverside hotel so unique, is that it has 117 rooms in all shapes and sizes to suit any budget. And every room is completely different. For instance, there is one room with a bed that can sleep seven people, one with a hammock, and even one with a swing!

Exploring the Maritime and Science Museums

Lloyd Hotel is well placed for the Maritime Museum where kids can clamber aboard the famous replica of the Dutch East India Company ship ‘Amsterdam’. Nemo- the Science Museum- is also close by and has a water playground on the roof which is good for taking a lunch break in the sunshine, Lloyd staff recommend heading there later in the day to beat the crowds.

Lloyd Hotel

Amsterdam, 13.7 km to Airport Amsterdam Schiphol
7.5 Good (2321 reviews)
Very good Cleanliness 8.1 / 10
Hotel CTA

A convenient family-friendly hotel great for dipping into Amsterdam Noord and the A-DAM lookout

1/4

With views over the city and river, its central location and only a twenty minute journey to Schipol, the Movenpick hotel is super convenient.

The hotel does offer a babysitting service, for an extra charge, which might be just the ticket once you’ve worn the kids out! Little ones up to six years eat for free and children of seven to twelve years get a 50% discount. A great way to save the pennies.

Explore Amsterdam Noord and A-DAM

If you have daredevils in the family you are also well placed at Movenpick for trendy Amsterdam Noord and the A-DAM lookout featuring ‘Over The Edge’, Europe’s highest swing. This is the place to put the whole city in perspective. You can also checkout the Pekmarkt street market and Nooderpark for family activities, and De Ceuvel is a great place to stop for a chocolate milk and learn about sustainability.

Movenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre

Top rated
Amsterdam, 12.8 km to Airport Amsterdam Schiphol
9.1 Excellent (11852 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.9 / 10
Hotel CTA

Funky family-friendly apartments

1/3

Larger families looking to avoid the cost of multiple hotel rooms, or those who like being able to self-cater, would be well-suited to the fun and colourful ID Aparthotel

Here you won’t find the usual bland city apartment offering; the apartments are funky and brightly decorated, and most of all, welcoming for kids. With high speed internet to research your activities for the day and a kid-friendly restaurant, these apartments are just as convenient and secure as a hotel – and there is no need to arrange a time to pick up a key either.

Space to lounge, cook and hang out separately will be appreciated by many families. The only catch is the apartments are a little further out, but also only 200m from Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station.

Amsterdam ID Aparthotel

Top rated
Amsterdam, 10 km to Airport Amsterdam Schiphol
8.9 Excellent (3733 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.9 / 10
Hotel CTA

My family-friendly top tips for your trip to Amsterdam

1/3

Before I leave you to book and enjoy your family trip to Amsterdam, here are some final tips that should help make this a holiday to remember!

Safety first

Before you start exploring Amsterdam with kids, have a bike safety chat. Amsterdam’s bike lanes are very fast and in heavy use, it’s easy to forget and to wander into a bike lane, but kids need to get used to treating them as roads.

Foodies rejoice!

Amsterdam is the place to come for kid-friendly street food! In particular, make sure you leave room for pancakes and Stroopwafels.

Amsterdam in Spring

Spring is a lovely time to visit – everything is in bloom. Kids can move happily from indoor attractions to letting off steam outdoors without being hot and bothered, appreciate the amazing parks and paddle in the squares. Plus the famous tulips, which bloom from March to May are at their best in mid April.

Make time for the surrounding nature

Escape the city if you have time. Amsterdam Forest is a beautiful place not far from the city with a pancake house. Make time to see the tulips if you go in spring. Cycling outside the city is definitely far easier with children too!

Plan ahead

Book attractions in advance and make the most of timed entry tickets – queuing with kids is no fun and many Amsterdam attraction queues can be notoriously long.

Hotels in Amsterdam

4926 Hotels
from 60
Destination CTA

Penny Alexander

Penny Alexander is a multi award-winning blog writer and author, her blog Parentshaped was runner up in Family Traveller Best Travel Blog 2016. She recently relocated to the Peak District with her husband, two children and two dogs where she runs two successful holiday lets.
Parentshaped