This past bank holiday weekend we were invited by Hotel Pulitzer to visit Amsterdam and we jumped at the opportunity to explore the Dutch capital with the kid. I had never been to Amsterdam before this trip, so this was a first for me. Amsterdam is synonymous with tulips, beer, bikes, prostitution and smoking cannabis so it wasn’t necessarily at the top of my list of ‘places to go with child’, but I personally have always wanted to go and see what the fuss is about.
I am now sitting at home in Brighton just pining for Amsterdam, it was everything I love from a city and I didn’t even touch the surface of it. We spent two blissful days wandering, finding great coffee, eating, playing and photographing in awe. Everything from the history, the architecture, the culture and how easy it was to have a kid and experience the joy of a mini break was incredible. The city is much like NYC with it’s layout being a type of grid system, but instead of roads it’s broken up by canals. We found this really easy to navigate and I think we were incredibly lucky to of picked Hotel Pulitzer as it was located in the heart of ‘the 9 streets’ known to the locals as De Negen Straatjes, this special neighbourhood is filled with vintage and designer shopping, independent boutiques, restaurants and cosy coffee shops. There was enough in this area to make you feel really comfortable in Amsterdam, the streets are filled with locals and there are bikes everywhere, we also found some of the best coffee in the city here. If you can find a nook to hold up in and watch the world cycle by and the boats cruise through the canals then you my friend, will be living the dream.
So was it seedy? That was not our experience. We visited the infamous red light district at 10am on a Sunday morning so it would be fair to say that we didn’t ‘see’ it, but there are some very pretty lanes for shopping and tea leading up to the ladies in the windows. Even on a Sunday morning there were a few curtains open, but the ladies were scrolling Instagram, not the dam (see what I did there). There was rubbish and broken glass everywhere, but Max didn’t seemed phased – same could be said of Brighton or London. Then, along the water were the ‘coffee shops’ that you can frequent and smoke ‘the drugs’ with a side of Earl Grey. The ‘coffee shops’ didn’t look like obvious drug cafes (whatever you expect a drug cafe to look like) from the ouside, but it did smell like a ‘drug cafe’, so it was easy to not wander into one looking for a flat white with a 4 year old. So have no fear parents of small humans, you can easily go to Amsterdam and never see any of the above. If you do want to ‘see it’ – go anytime other than a weekend night – use your head, but take solace in the fact that it’s not shoved in your face.
Top Tips & Where to go with the kid/s in Amsterdam
Monkey Town (Soft Play)
I have far too many pictures to create just one post, so expect more about Amsterdam, but I honestly had the most amazing trip and with the kid. I am already itching to get back as soon as I can. Heads to AIR BNB and looks for boats to stay in*
If you do nothing else or only have time for one thing – bike it or boat it! It is a great way to take in more of Amsterdam and experience the local culture and different neighbourhoods.
Happy to answer any questions that you may have on the ‘dam – leave me a comment below or find me on Instagram.