Even though we are on Asia mode for our upcoming travel of firsts, Europe is a place that never leaves our mind. And thinking about our trip to Europe last summer, Amsterdam is a place that I really want to go back to. I remember that I didn’t even want to include Amsterdam in our list of places to visit because I didn’t think it would be that friendly to kids… but I was pleasantly surprised! My daughter loved the city and especially the food. Here is a laid back itinerary for a relaxing day in Amsterdam, that fits both families with children and adults visiting the city for the first time (check and check in our situation): Morning: start your day by having breakfast at a neighborhood café you stumble upon and head towards the Van Gogh Museum. It takes about 35 minutes walking from Amsterdam Centraal, but it is a good, leisurely walk. To get to the Van Gogh Museum, you walk through Rijksmuseum (more precisely through some sort of tunnel, so you don’t get to walk inside the museum). Once you go through it, you will find the Iamsterdam landmark! We decided to go for the Van Gogh Museum instead of the Rijksmuseum this time and we highly recommend it! You can see the whole museum in about 3 hours, maybe less if you speed through.
Afternoon: after visiting the Van Gogh Museum, a good option for lunch or for a snack is the Cheese Factory! There you can buy cheese and you can also go to their restaurant. We only bought cheese there and the service was amazing: from the many free samples to the lady that asked if we wanted her to cut our cheese (and even put them in small containers with dutch flags!) to the warm welcome… we will certainly be back. After you can explore the Warmoesstraat area and get prepared for an evening Canal Boat tour.
Evening: after all the walking (if you put these places on a map you will see there was a lot of walking), all you want is relax and the best way we could think of how was to go on a Canal Boat tour. We literally wanted a boat where we could sit and just see the sights, without having to think too much and just taking it all in and take some photos, too. We basically just followed the signs to a Canal Boat tour and hopped on the first boat available. It was a good way to relax and it fit the bill in the sense that it wasn’t giving us tons of information and we were able to just take it all in.
And that was it. It seems like very little was done on this first day, but trust me, we covered a lot of ground. Walking a lot is our “first day in town” strategy everywhere we go and Amsterdam is a city that you get to experience either by walking, by biking or by canal boat.
Have you been to Amsterdam? Which sights would you want to see the most on your first day?