Let’s face it, when somebody mentions the word Amsterdam, the first things that usually come to mind are images of Rembrandt and Van Gogh, rows of elegant houseboats riding the water, the (in)famous Red Light district in De Walllen and of course, the amazing network of canals and waterways which have bestowed upon the city the sobriquet of being the ‘Venice of the North’.
Amsterdam has acquired quite a reputation for being very liberal-minded especially when it comes to issues such as the regulated use of weed and legalized prostitution but most people today probably tend to overlook that the city has a huge number of family-friendly attractions and tourist landmarks just waiting for you to discover and explore.
Take a look at some of the best family friendly attractions in Amsterdam:
1. Amsterdam’s Floating Flower Market- Probably the most famous of the Netherland’s flower markets, the Singel Canal is festooned with fresh flowers including Dutch tulips and myriad varieties of roses, ornamental plants and even different kinds of indoor cypresses. Children will be fascinated by the vibrant splashes of different colors and the smells of various flowers in full bloom. Flowers sold at the Floating Flower Market are carefully arranged upon rows of floating barges and the spectacular scenery seen here is great for taking breathtaking snapshots and photos of the wonderful time you had at Singel Canal. Curio shops and souvenir stalls also abound for those interested in finding bargains and mementos for friends and family back home.
2. Ann Frank House and Museum- Author Ann Frank’s moving account about the horrors and hardships she and her family endured while in hiding during the German Occupation leading to her eventual capture and death together with countless Jews during the Holocaust finally saw publication mainly thru the efforts of her father Otto Frank, the sole survivor of the Frank family in the year 1947. A visit to the Ann Frank House and Museum is a simple, yet moving experience and has touched the hearts of millions of visitors all over the world including teen star Justin Bieber.
3. Vondelpark- set right in the very heart of Amsterdam, Vondelpark is a national heritage monument attracting over 10 million visitors each year. There’s more to Vondelpark than just being a popular venue for a leisurely stroll/jog around the vast park grounds. Among the popular activities and things to do include biking along the park’s winding paths, picnics with the family, dining out or having refreshments at either the park’s tea house, the bar and its restaurant or simply just sit down and relax on a park bench or on the grass, and watch other people having fun. Performances at Vondelpark’s open air theater are also popular during the summer, lucky for you if your Amsterdam holiday apartments are only a short distance away. You’ll want to be there everyday, trust me.
4. Madame Tussauds Amsterdam- where can one rub elbows with famous sports personalities, a-list movie stars, popular world leaders and various heads of state in Amsterdam? Why, at Madame Tussauds’ of course! Have a wacky family picture taken with football greats such as David Beckham and Ronaldinho, meet and greet Pres. Barack Obama or share the limelight with Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson onstage. You can’t miss Madame Tussauds in Amsterdam, as the famous wax museum can be found right smack in the city center at Dam Square only a short distance away from the de Bijenkorf shopping mall. Don’t forget to keep your camera ready, else how would you be able to show the people back home you met all these famous figures during your stay in Amsterdam?