Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Help in Planning a Trip in Amsterdam & ???

Help in Planning a Trip in Amsterdam & ???

Old May 25th, 2010, 10:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Help in Planning a Trip in Amsterdam & ???

I am interested in getting advice on how to plan a trip starting in Amsterdam.
Background info: Family of 4 with 2 adventurous girls, ages 12 & 9.
We will be moving overseas to Saudi Arabia for my husband's job. We will
live on an American Compound for approx. 5 years. We plan to take this
oppurtunity to travel MANY places. We actually will move over their by August 11th.
We should be traveling the end of July--first week in August.
Our flight (that is co. pays for) will go from Houston, TX. to Amsterdam--lay over
in Amsterdam--then fly to Saudi. We would like to add a mini vacation in between
those 2 flights. Im hoping we can plan a week in between if my husband can get
the vacation time. So I know there will not be time enough to plan a huge European
vacation but we definately plan to return again. We have never been to Europe and
do not know much about the cities, attractions, etc.
So that leads to my question and much needed advice.
How long should we stay in Amsterdam? I think the Anne Frank House & Van Gough
museum may be great for the kids. What else would be a must see/do?
Should we visit another city/country--maybe Begium? (I think that is close by).
If we do visit another country, should we buy the eurorail pass or is there something
cheaper/easier. I dont think we would like to be on a train or in a car for very long.
We also dont want to buy plane tickets since this is just a "bonus" trip we are
fitting in. I know my husband has been told that Germany is great--but I think that
may be too far and not enough time to really appreciate it??? I would rather focus
on quality then quantity right now. So Im needing help on what would be
reasonable to fit in around and in Amsterdam in a weeks time. We will have to end
up back in Amsterdam for the other flight. My girls are very active/athletic. They are
not afraid of many things (except for trying new foods sometimes) LOL. At their
age they dont seem to be "into" achitecture and art too much. Although they do
appreciate the beauty of new places--just not too interested in doing a 3 hour museum
tour. I have seen some posts about castles??? I dont know anything about those so
I'm wondering where those are located and if that would be "cool" for kids???
Thanks for helping this "clueless mom"!!!
monicaluvs2fly is offline  
Old May 25th, 2010, 11:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,257
Received 33 Likes on 2 Posts
Definitely see the Anne Frank House. I'd suggest preparing the girls for the experience, as it can be emotional. And yes, I think they'd like the Van Gogh Museum. Other options: the Amsterdam History Museum - very enjoyable and some really interesting exhibits - and a canal boat ride. You would likely enjoy renting bikes - I'll bet you've never seen a city with so many bicyclists. There are companies that offer bike tours that allow you to get outside the city to the countryside (we didn't do it, but wish we had).
As for another city, you may want to consider Brugge. It's incredibly picturesque. It doesn't take that much longer, though, to get to Paris - so that might be worth considering if you truly have a whole week. If you end up with less time, consider a side trip in the Netherlands -- Harlem, Delft, etc. -- lots of possibilities. You don't need a Eurail Pass - it sounds like you'll only be doing one round trip. Just buy the tickets for that trip (you can get them in advance online, but you can also wait till you get to Amsterdam and get them at the station, preferably a day or two in advance; second class is fine - very nice. I think Germany, although your kids would love the castles, is too far given that you have to go back to Amsterdam. Good luck with the planning!
althom1122 is offline  
Old May 25th, 2010, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,473
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There are many interesting places to visit in the Netherland for more than one week, it's not necessary to plan other country if yo don't want.

For young girls, they might find the 17th Century doll house at Rijkmuseum interesting, http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/aria/aria_...M-1010?lang=en
JudyC is offline  
Old May 25th, 2010, 01:49 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When I was young, I was really frightened by seeing the Diary of Anne Frank as a movie, and it was pointless trauma that it took a month of nightmares to get past, so that's something to think about. A lot of people get very dogmatic that all children should have such things drummed into them, but I think it depends on the individual child, and you know your kids best.

If your kids are very athletic, would you all enjoy bicycle riding? The Netherlands is the all-time, all-flat great cycling country, and you can enjoy towns like Delft and other places in the country that way.

If they don't like museums, are they going to like the van Gogh museum?

There are fun active museums for children in Amsterdam, like the NEMO museum.


Do they at all like movies? The Tuschinski theater is one of the most beautiful movie theaters in Europe and it can be a nice rainy day break.

I think Brugge is little else other than an open-air museum. It's very fairy tale and car-free, but I don't know that it appeals to kids. But perhaps your kids would enjoy Belgian waffles, chocolates and the Atomium in Brussels.


Were it me, I would take the kids to Paris for part of the trip, which is not far from Paris. They won't care about the art and architecture, but it is filled with a million things to do, including climbing Notre Dame to see the gargoyles.

You know your girls best, but I wouldn't think too much in terms of "girly" attractions.
zeppole is offline  
Old May 25th, 2010, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry for the typo! I meant Paris is not far from Amsterdam by train.
zeppole is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Jan 17th, 2016 11:50 AM
Aug 1st, 2011 09:27 AM
Jul 10th, 2011 12:37 AM
May 23rd, 2008 12:55 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -