The Netherlands is a great place to visit with kids! With its iconic windmills, lush countryside, charming cities, and delicious food scene, this small country has a big reputation for being an ideal family-friendly vacation destination. Whether you’re visiting Amsterdam, Rotterdam, or any other area of this beautiful country, you’ll find a lot to keep entertained, from one–of–a–kind museums to fairytale-esque towns. Kids will also love riding bikes throughout the country and exploring all of the canals. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that the Netherlands is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe! So if you’re planning a trip with kids or simply want some inspiration for your next family getaway, read on to discover our top picks for the best places to visit in the Netherlands (Holland) with kids!
The Netherlands vs. Holland & Why Visit With Kids?
Before getting into the best places to visit in the Netherlands with kids, let’s talk a little more about the country’s geography. Home to twelve different provinces, the Netherlands is a relatively small country in northern Europe that’s well-connected by public transport. By non-Dutch speakers, it’s often colloquially referred to as “Holland,” a generalization that most likely stems from the names of two of its most famous provinces, North Holland and South Holland. North Holland is home to Amsterdam, the Dutch capital and most famous city in the Netherlands, while South Holland boasts iconic destinations such as Delft.
Either way, depending on how long you’re staying, it’ll be pretty simple to traverse most of the country and enjoy everything it offers, from world-famous museums to idyllic towns. Generally, the Netherlands has a pretty kid-friendly culture too, and you’ll find lots of ways to keep entertained even beyond the traditional kids’ museums or playgrounds. And, of course, let’s not forget the windmills and all the delicious Dutch food that your little ones will love! Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly city break or a more rural getaway, the Netherlands has something to offer everyone.
Best Places to Visit in the Netherlands with Kids
As previously mentioned, the Netherlands is well connected by public transport and relatively small compared to other European countries, making it easy to explore all of the Netherlands tourist attractions it has to offer. Though many families like to make Amsterdam their home base, you could easily spend more than a day or two in the following destinations. Keep reading to discover the best places to visit in the Netherlands with kids!
If you’re looking for an amazing European city to visit with your kids, Amsterdam is a great choice! The Dutch capital is full of kid-friendly activities, from boat rides on canals to exploring world-famous museums. And with its compact size, it’s easy to get around and see all the Amsterdam attractions for families without spending a lot of time on transportation.
The Anne Frank House is one of the most popular things to do in Amsterdam, and for a good reason. Families can see the Hideaway Annex, where Anne and her family lived for two years, and learn about her life and her tragic death during the Holocaust. (Please note we don’t suggest this for sensitive younger kids.) For a more upbeat museum experience, families with young kids can check out The NEMO Science Museum, which features hands-on exhibits about science and technology. For tweens or teens, check out the Rijksmuseum, The Moco Museum, or The Van Gogh Museum.
Of course, don’t miss the chance to take a canal tour! Families can also visit the Artis Royal Zoo and explore the Plantage District with its various green spaces. Or, visit one of Amsterdam’s many sprawling parks, like the famous Vondelpark!
For families who love history and culture, Rotterdam is one of the best places to visit in the Netherlands with kids! This vibrant Dutch city south of Amsterdam is less than an hour away by train and has plenty to do with kids. Plus, one of the best things about Rotterdam is that it’s easy to get around. The city is well-served by public transport, and many of the attractions are within walking distance of each other.
Start off by exploring the city’s iconic landmarks, like the Erasmus Bridge and the Cube Houses. Rotterdam’s harbor is also one of the busiest in the world, and it’s one of the best things to do in Rotterdam with kids. You can take a water taxi ride, go on a harbor tour, or even just walk along the docks and check out the ships. The Maritime Museum is also fantastic for learning about Dutch history and culture, showcasing various vintage ships.
Or, when you want to escape the city, check out the Arboretum Trompenburg, Rotterdam’s botanical gardens. When you get hungry, visit the Rotterdam Foodhallen. This public marketplace has a ton of stalls with Dutch food, dessert, and other local delicacies, so everyone in your family can pick their favorites!
Families looking for an exciting and educational place to visit in the Netherlands with kids will love The Hague! Home to the Dutch government and the royal family, this laidback city south of Amsterdam is also home to many museums, parks, and historical landmarks. Plus, it’s easily accessible on public transport via the train and less than an hour away from Amsterdam!
The Mauritshuis is a must-see for any art lover, and younger kids will enjoy seeing the paintings by Vermeer and Rembrandt up close. The Museon is another great option for families, with interactive exhibits on topics like history, science, and culture. For something truly unique, head to Madurodam – an interactive, miniature park where kids can learn about Dutch history and culture. There’s plenty of green space to explore, like the Peace Palace and its gorgeous manicured gardens. Other fun places for kids in The Hague include the Panorama Mesdag, with its 180-degree panoramic painting, and the nearby Scheveningen Beach for sunbathing, swimming, and building sand castles.
And finally, don’t forget to treat the kids (and yourself!) to some delicious pancakes at one of The Hague’s many pancake houses.
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If you’re looking for the best places to visit in the Netherlands with kids, Maastricht is definitely one of them! This charming city in the southern Netherlands is known for its picturesque setting on the Meuse River,
The historic Old Town is a great place to start exploring Maastricht, with its narrow streets and pretty buildings. And if kids are feeling adventurous, they can even try their hand at climbing the stairs up to St. Servatius’ Church – one of Maastricht’s most iconic landmarks. Bonnefanten Museum is one of the top museums in the Netherlands, and it has an excellent collection of ancient and contemporary art, especially for kids. The museum even offers interactive activities to keep kids entertained! Then, the Centre Ceramique Visitor Centre also has an on-site archaeological museum with all kinds of ceramics.
Kids will also love exploring the city’s many parks and playgrounds, including Stadspark along the riverfront. Or, check out Fort Sint Pieter, a 17th-century fortress overlooking the city.
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Families who want to visit one of the Netherlands’ most historic and charming cities should check out Utrecht! This charming city in north Holland is filled with fun things to do and see, making it the perfect destination for a family trip. It’s also only an hour away from Amsterdam via train.
One of the best things to do in Utrecht with kids is to visit the Dom Tower. This ancient structure is one of the tallest towers in the country and offers stunning views of the city below. There are also several excellent museums in Utrecht, including the Centraal Museum, which houses an impressive collection of Dutch art. The Dutch Railway Museum, aka Spoorwegmuseum, is another great option for families with kids. Explore the interactive exhibits and take a ride on a real steam train!
Another must-see attraction in Utrecht is Máximapark, showcasing a kids’ playground area and a butterfly garden. Of course, no visit to Utrecht would be complete without spending some time on the canals. Hop on a canal boat tour or simply stroll along the banks for an enjoyable afternoon activity!
The Dutch city of Delft is a great place to visit with kids! With its charming canals, quaint cobbled streets, and centuries-old architecture, there are plenty of things to see and do, and the city is very family-friendly. Plus, it’s easily accessible in under an hour via train from Amsterdam’s Sloterdijk Station, though there’s enough to do here that you could easily spend a day or two!
Start your visit to Delft at the Royal Delft, where kids can learn about the history of this iconic Dutch pottery on a guided tour. You can even browse some to take home in the gift shop! Next, head to the Oude Kerk, which is Delft’s main church. Its stunning Gothic architecture will amaze your kids, and the church is also the burial site of famous Dutch master Johannes Vermeer, who lived and worked in Delft his entire life. And, no trip to Delft would be complete without seeing the Vermeer Centrum Delft, which is dedicated to the painter’s works.
Families should also save time to see Delft’s main square, the Markt, which is home to The Delft Town Hall (Stadhuis) and the Nieuwe Kerk. Delft is also a great place to sample Dutch food like stroopwafels (syrup waffles) and poffertjes (mini pancakes)!
Best Small Towns or Places to Visit in the Netherlands as a Day Trip from Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the Dutch capital and, as such, offers a variety of public transportation. For families looking to take a day trip or a weekend excursion, there are lots of cute towns and smaller cities within a few hours of Amsterdam that are easily accessible via trains or public buses. Keep reading to find out more about the best places to visit in the Netherlands with kids on a day trip from Amsterdam!
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There’s no place quite like Giethoorn in the Netherlands! This idyllic village looks like something straight out of a fairytale, and it’s the perfect place to take your kids for a magical day trip from Amsterdam. This car-free town is located around 2 hours away from the city, though it’s a bit tricky to reach on public transportation. You can either take a train from Amsterdam Central Station to Zwolle Central Station and then take the Number 70 bus to Giethoorn, or you can drive, which is more direct and convenient.
Giethorn is famous for its picturesque canals and beautiful bridges, which families can explore during the summer by renting a boat. This is a super popular activity among locals and tourists alike, however, so be sure to snag your rental early to make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity. When you want to explore on foot, the village is very quiet and peaceful, making it a great place to relax and enjoy nature.
Families can also visit one of the town’s museums to learn more about its unique history, like Museum Giethoorn ‘t Olde Maat Uus. There are also plenty of shops and cafes where you can grab a bite to eat or do some souvenir shopping.
When it comes to finding the most beautiful villages in the Netherlands, Zaans Schans definitely ranks high on the list! Modeled after traditional 18th and 19th-century Dutch towns, this adorable destination is full of charming windmills and quaint wooden houses, and there are plenty of activities for kids of all ages. Plus, it’s only a quick, 15-minute ride on the train from Central Station to Zaans Schans.
Zaans Museum is a living history museum where you can learn all about this traditional Dutch industry, see how windmills work, and even go inside one to see how it operates up close. Kids will love all the workers in traditional costumes and the chance to watch a chocolate-making demonstration! Or, learn all about the significance of Dutch clogs at the Wooden Shoe Workshop of Zaanse Schans, which also has a museum on-site and demonstrations. Then, remember to check out the Cheese Farm, aka “Catharina Hoeve.” Families can attend a cheese-making demonstration and sample a cheese selection from the shop! Several shops and cafes dotted around Zaans Schans also sell traditional Dutch products such as clogs, cheese, and delftware pottery.
Several monuments and historic sites in the city offer interesting insights into its past. Visit the Zandvoorts Museum to learn more about Dutch culture and customs, then check out one of the many traditional Dutch restaurants in the area.
The Netherlands is a great place to visit with kids, and Hoorn is one of the best places to see in the country. This charming town is located on the IJsselmeer, a lake just north of Amsterdam, and its canals and medieval architecture provide a perfect backdrop for a family holiday. Plus, it’s an ideal day trip since you can reach it in 30 minutes on an intercity train from Central Station!
Hoorn has a fascinating history dating back to the Middle Ages, and it’s filled with architectural gems like The Hoofdtoren, an old guard tower with great views of the city. There are also plenty of fun things to do in Hoorn with kids. Highlights include the
On-site at the railway station in Hoorn, there’s a small museum where you can learn a little more about its history. There are also boat tours available in Hoorn, which are a great way to see the city from the water with your kids!
Abcoude is definitely one of the best places to visit in the Netherlands with kids! It’s a small town located just outside of Amsterdam (around 40 minutes east of the city via train), and it’s full of history and culture.
Around Brugstraat in the town center, families can visit the village’s church, the oldest building in town. Then, further onto the Kerkplein (which features a variety of 17th and 18th-century buildings), you can also visit Kerkstraat, Gein Noord, and Gein Noord 33. Abcoude is also home to the Broekzijder Molen, a traditional Dutch windmill dating back to the 17th century. Though you can’t go inside, it’s still nice to look at and maybe snap a picture!
Families can also check out the Oostzijdse Molen (Molen Delphine), an old mill made famous by the painter Piet Mondrian, who used Abcoude as a setting in his work multiple times. Other things to do in Abcoude with kids include checking out all the historical manors or visiting Hugo de Vriespark, a small city park.
We hope you liked this list of the Best Places to Visit in the Netherlands (Holland) with Kids! From traditional Dutch towns with old windmills to bustling cities with art, history, and culture, this picturesque country has something to offer every member of your family. Enjoy your vacation to the Netherlands with your kids!
*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision.
*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.
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