Your family travel assistant

Amsterdam is a city that has loads to offer for a family break, but many families who come here don't venture outside of the city. I spent a large part of my young childhood living in Holland so I’ve listed some of my favourite places that are really easy to get to from Amsterdam.



1. Muiderslot Castle

Source: holland.com

How to get there: Bus
How long it takes: 40 minutes

Castles probably aren’t the first thing that pops into your head when you think of things to do in Holland, but Muiderslot slot castle is a must see, and it’s only a 40-minute bus ride from Amsterdam. This castle dates back to the 12th century and even has a moat surrounding it. There’s plenty to do here for kids too – interactive exhibitions, costumes for them to try on and at the weekends they even bring in falcons. Best yet, if you have the iAmsterdam City Card then entry is free.



2. Efteling

Source: efteling.com

How to get there: Rent a car
How long it takes: Around an hour and a half

Holland's biggest theme park caters to children of all ages (even adult sized ones ). There are rides aplenty at Efteling, catering for your littlest ones, the whole family and the real daredevils. The Fairytale Forest is as enchanting as it sounds. Take a stroll through it and you may come across giants, trolls, Pinocchio, Hansel and Gretel, and even a dragon or two. They also have a hotel and holiday homes on site if you fancy spending more than a day here.



3. Volendam, Marken & Edam

How to get there: Rent a car
How long it takes: 30 minutes

Three for the price of one! These three traditional Dutch towns are incredibly close to each other so we would recommend that you hire a car and see all three in the same day. Volendam is a picturesque fishing village full of colourful buildings, old Dutch ships and locals in traditional clothing. Marken, a tiny peninsula just off the shore of Volendam, was separated from the mainland in the 13th century and was only reconnected to the mainland in the mid 20th century. Given its relative isolation, it’s retained much of its authentic historic character. A visit to a shoemaker is a must here. Edam, is…well…famous for, you guessed it, cheese. If you happen to visit here in July and August make sure to visit the cheese market held on Wednesday mornings.



4. Giethoorn

Source: iamexpat.nl

How to get there: Rent a car
How long it takes: Around an hour and a half

Giethoorn is best imagined as the Venice of Holland. There are no roads or cars here, but canals and boats. This village is always quite busy but don’t let this put you off as it’s a family must-see whilst you are here.



5. Keukenhof

Source: keukenhof.nl

How to get there: Rent a car
How long it takes: 40 minutes

I have such fond memories of Keukenhof as a child. Running amongst the endless fields of vibrantly coloured flowers with my Grandparents in tow. It’s only open for 2 months of the year so if you are in Amsterdam in April and May, make sure you go. The best time to visit is in mid-April when most of the flowers are in bloom and be sure to arrive in the morning before many of the day trips arrive and the crowds build.