Our visit to Amsterdam and Keukenhof in April
Amsterdam is one of our favorite cities in the world. We spent four nights in the city with another family in April and had a wonderful time. Our goal was to see the tulips at Keukenhof, but of course any excuse to visit Amsterdam is always welcome. Our girls walked the canal streets of Amsterdam for two entire days just chatting away and never once mentioning being tired. Such a great key to traveling is going with friends. Our kids stayed busy excitedly chatting all around town while we got to catch up as well. I feel like as long as our children are fed, they are quite happy. Of course, sensible shoes always make sense when going on a city trip. When walking the gorgeous streets of Amsterdam, there are wonderful cafes to stop and eat. Here are some of our favorites from this trip.
Favorite places to Eat in Amsterdam
This was an amazing discovery for us on this trip as it was just down the street from our AirBnB. Foodhallen has a wonderful choice of food options set up in a food hall with communal seating. We ate dinner here each night and we were all happy with our choices. I ate the fish and chips from The Butcher and it was absolutely delicious. My girls loved the dim sum restaurant for steamed buns and the sushi restaurant. The girls loved to get mango sorbet at the ice cream shop after dinner. There is absolutely something for everyone here from Vietnamese and Indian to Japanese and Mexican.
I really love this tiny lunch spot with a gorgeous canal view. The windows from the street show you everything they have to eat from sweet to savory. We have been here time after time and absolutely love their food. The best seat in the house is in the back corner with a view of the canal. They serve soups, sandwiches, different types of polenta and savory bread pudding plus every kind of dessert you could dream of. And I love the old-fashioned feel of the decor while still feeling like a hip place to meet for lunch. Our girls sat outside on the balcony overlooking the canal while we stayed warm inside.
We like to revisit The Pancake Bakery when we come to Amsterdam. The girls both ordered the princess pancakes which comes with a crown and wand to wear which is always fun. And my husband and I both got their enormous omelettes which are so good. It’s located just down the street from the Anne Frank House and Museum.
While we were walking around the streets of Amsterdam we happened upon a pop up Lululemon shop. The shopkeepers were so friendly that we asked them where we should grab lunch and they suggested the best apple pie down the street at Winkel 43. Every single person at this restaurant ordered the pie. It’s delicious. We also had great soup and sandwiches and our girls were happily playing board games and chatting it up after their lunches.
I read about Puccini years ago as one of the best chocolate shops in the world, so we love to revisit this shop when we are in Amsterdam. They have gorgeous chocolates. My favorite chocolate they have is the fig.
In April, Dam Square has a fun carnival with a large ferris wheel and all sorts of other rides, candy shops, and places to spend your money. Bring cash as your kids will love this place. We rode the ferris wheel and then quickly found a children’s H&M which the kids were thrilled about wandering through. The Dam Square was a bit busy with the carnival so we were ready for a bit of quiet shopping.
We scheduled a van pick up from our friend’s hotel to take us all to and from Keukenhof. This was, after all, the busiest day of the year because of the annual Keukenhof Flower Parade so we wanted to go all together in a van. Two years ago, we drove from Zürich to Keukenhof so we had our own car (and parking is about 6 Euro). Our van this year was 160 Euro for all 7 of us. It ended up being worth it to us.
There are many places to grab food at Keukenhof. There are food trucks in the center between the playground and the windmill. I got a delicious panini from an Italian truck while we got kid meals from the playground for the girls. The Dutch frites truck was very busy as was the pulled pork sandwich truck. And make sure to stop by the windmill for the hot stroopwaffles after lunch. We bought hot dogs and large cups of strawberries for the girls as well. It’s amazing how hungry they were that day!
Most of our time at Keukenhof was spent at the playground. We walked around the entire garden with the kids as navigators with their maps, through all the exhibits, the hedge maze, petting farm, and up the windmill. But our girls enjoyed the playground the most.
The only part of our visit that I was bummed about was not taking pictures in large colored fields of tulips, as I used to do every year growing up in the tulip field town in Mount Vernon, Washington. Next time we go to Keukenhof I would like to rent bikes and go find the beautiful rows of tulips and take endless amounts of pictures to relive my childhood.
Click here to buy online tickets to Keukenhof. Please note that they are open for a very short amount of time each year, from March to May depending on weather.
Do not go to Keukenhof on the Parade day. We went and we still had a wonderful time, but the park was very crowded and the lines for the bathroom were incredibly long as if we were waiting for a ride at Disneyland.
Here is my post from our trip to Amsterdam and Keukenhof two years ago.