A Child Friendly Weekend In Amsterdam- Part One.
When you think of Amsterdam what do you think of? Stag and Hen parties stumbling out of ‘coffee shops’? Men dressed as Borat roaming widely along the red light district? Or perhaps slightly prettier things such as tulips or clogs? I thought all of these things about Amsterdam until this past weekend, although I knew it was beautiful I didn’t exactly imagine it to be a particularly family friendly city. Having been briefly before, staying one night in my early 20’s, and a couple of times because my old head office was there for work where I literally saw a desk and my hotel room, I didn’t really know exactly what the city had to offer. Therefore when we were invited to stay for the weekend on behalf of KLM and their #KLMFlyLocal campaign we jumped at the chance to get to know the real Amsterdam.
I hadn’t flown KLM before but we were so impressed. Flying from Norwich airport to Schiphol airport (KLM’s original home!), our check in was smooth, easy and without the hassle often attached to larger airports. Once on the plane our flight only took 35 minutes, which is pretty amazing and even within that time we got a biscuit and a drink included. Whenever I fly I always think of the larger airports, but we will definitely fly from our regional airports again, in fact KLM fly from 16 local cities including Aberdeen, Manchester, London City and Newcastle. It was just so easy and much less stressful with two young children.
All I can say is Wow. Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful, vibrant, colourful and quite frankly amazing cities I have ever been to. It is relaxed, the Dutch are so incredibly friendly and it is so family friendly, with my girls having the time of our lives over the course of our long weekend. Both myself and Mr E were blown away with the city and wished we could have stayed longer. Obviously travelling with small people can sometimes be stressful, but our girls were impeccably behaved all weekend, with us not having to have one cross word with them. They loved it and so did we, we made so many memories as a family and we will remember it for a long time. I have taken so, so, so many photos that I am going to have to split this into a few posts, but here is our wonderful weekend in photos…
We arrived into Amsterdam really early and by 9.30am were in our hotel room which is quite frankly so quick and amazing. We were thrilled with our Junior Suite at the Movenpick Amsterdam City, especially because they allowed us to check in when we arrived and not wait until the usual time. This meant we could have a freshen up and a relax in our room after a 4am start.
Our first morning was spent walking around the canal area and getting our bearings. The canals are just so beautiful, with street after street of waterside shops, restaurants and quaint coffee shops. We spent hours looking at the old Dutch buildings and the girls waved at all the boats going past.
We took our single buggy and a buggy board but Mads decided to have a really long sleep in the buggy on the first day so this little one walked a lot. She was in her element, waving at people, smiling and loving the attention from passers by.
As a family we have a *little* obsession for pancakes, so were excited to try out some Dutch ones as they are a speciality over there. I had heard the best place to go was Pancakes! Amsterdam so after much map orientation we managed to find it.
We had to queue outside for almost an hour as it is so small inside. LL wasn’t sure whether it was worth the wait!
But it most definitely was! We shared a traditional savoury ham and cheese Dutch Pancake, plus two sweet chocolate, whipped cream and ice cream ones, with a little sneaky American style maple syrup and bacon stack as well. They were honestly the most delicious things I have ever eaten, definitely worth a trip if you are ever in the area.
We were so lucky with the weather, the sun shined the whole time and it was so beautiful in the afternoons when it began to set. I love this photo of Mr E and LL.
I absolutely love this photo of us- she really is a ray of sunshine.
We got on a tram and went to the area behind the Rijksmuseum so the girls could run around in the park area and we could see the ‘I amsterdam’ sign.
They loved running around and playing on the sign.
I love the light in this photo.
M is for Mads. And random Man.
Throwing stones in the water. As you do.
I love this photo of us- I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to take them on adventures.
The rest of the day passed in a blur of sightseeing in the beautiful streets, before we headed back to our hotel bar for dinner as the girls were so tired after their early start. A couple of other families were also there at the same time as us, so it was lovely to meet Fritha and Laura’s family for a drink in the Executive Lounge at the Movenpick, where snacks and complimentary drinks are served for Executive Room guests. We all went to bed really early, with Mr E falling asleep at 8.30pm!
Here is a little video of our adventures in Amsterdam and Day 2 and 3 of our photos coming up soon!
NB: Thanks to KLM for flying us to Amsterdam as part of their #KLMFlyLocal campaign, as always opinions and content are completely my own.