We desire to travel more but spend less, one of the ways many of us achieve the travel dream is cheap flights! Cheap flights these days often involve long stop overs. With many budget airlines offering partnered long haul flights and also going the distance themselves, long stop overs are inevitable.
I’ve decided to create a series of stop over posts based on our own experiences. Rather than sitting in an airport for hours on end, can you pack in some sightseeing and culture whilst waiting for connecting flights?! Starting with 8 hours in Amsterdam with kids.
Firstly let me say that you absolutely need to check the visa requirements for any country you are transiting through. Particularly if you plan to leave the airport as you will go through immigration and passport control!
8 Hours in Amsterdam with kids
Getting to the city (1st Hour)
If you need to drop bags off at Schipol Airport there are handy luggage lockers available. At around €7 for 24 hours it’s cheap and handy for your whirlwind tour on Amsterdam. I recommend using the lockers near the main plaza, they are easy to access when returning to the airport. There is also a luggage depot available.
Schipol Airport is around 14km from the city centre. You can take a taxi or an uber but that will set you back €25-30. The best way to get to the action is on the train. The trains conveniently run directly underneath the airport and are super easy to use. A single journey is around €5.40 each way. Trains depart from Platforms 1 and 2, the journey takes just 20 minutes to Amsterdam Centraal.
Grab a boat (2nd and 3rd Hour)
As you leave Amsterdam Centraal you are greeted by views of the iconic and beautiful canals. There are a fair few options for exploring the canals we recommend the hop on hop off service. Little people will love the sights and sounds on the canals and life on the edge. You can do the full circuit which takes around and hour and a half or you can hop off at points around the city to explore sights such as Museum Square (where you’ll find the Rijkmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum) and Anne Frank’s House.
Hit the city (4th Hour)
It’s just a 5 minute walk from the station to heart of the city. Amsterdam is one of the most aesthetically pleasing cities I have ever visited. Just spending an hour exploring the canals, getting lost in the alleys and cobbled streets and visiting quirky shops is a great way to introduce kids to the Dutch life. Wandering is our favourite things to do in a new city. Beware of the cyclists though (no really!).
Eat Pancakes! (5th Hour)
You simply can not spent any time in Amsterdam (particularly with small people) without being enticed by the smell of freshly cooked pancakes or pannenkoeken. It’s pretty much mandatory to eat your body weight in pancakes when in Amsterdam. There are so many pancake houses and cafés including the famous Pancake Bakery, you definitely won’t be short of choice. There is even a Pancake Boat!
The Pannenkoekenboot is a 75 minute river cruise that is basically a 75 minute unlimited pancake free for all. We didn’t do this but I couldn’t not tell you about it. Oh and the waffles are pretty in Amsterdam as well.
Dam Square and Madame Tussauds (6th and 7th Hour)
No visit to Amsterdam would be complete without a visit to the famous Dam Square. This lively bustling square is home to the stunning neoclassical Royal Palace as well as the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), National Monument and Madame Tussauds. Culture, history, architecture and the Avengers (it all makes sense below). There just happened to be a travelling fair in the square when we visited.
Madame Tussauds Amsterdam has an impressive collection of wax works including a fantastic selection of Avenger characters. Pose with famous film stars and take a selfie with your favourite pop star. The museum is bound to keep you busy for a couple of hours before heading back to Amsterdam Centraal.
Amsterdam is a very family friendly city. There are so many great things for families included the amazing Vondelpark, Artis Zoo, Anne Frank’s House and NEMO the largest science museum in the Netherlands.
Stop overs definitely don’t have to be dull. I hope you enjoyed this blog and find it helpful in planning your visit to Amsterdam.
Thanks for reading.
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