If you’re holidaying at Camping Duinrell in Holland this summer, the obvious choice for a day trip is Amsterdam. Easily accessible from the campsite, either on Holland’s super-efficient bus and train network, or by car (though we’d suggest park and ride rather than driving into the city), there’s loads to see and do.
While it would be impossible to cram everything in to one day, it is possible to see a lot as the city centre is fairly compact.
So here’s our suggestion for a day’s itinerary:
10am – Take to the water
If you’ve travelled by public transport, you’ll arrive at Amsterdam’s Central Station. From here, the best place to start is a by hopping on one of the many canal tours which depart here. It will save your feet, allow you to get your bearings and is a great way to see some of the cities highlights. Most tours last around an hour.
11am – Rijksmuseum
Home to the largest collection of Dutch art in the world, it would be easy to spend the rest of the day here. However, with careful planning, 2 hours should be enough to take in the main highlights. If you’re travelling with children, it’s worth investigating the Rijksmuseum multi-media family tour game. Lasting around an hour, you play as a group to solve eight ‘mysteries’ in the museum.
For more information, and to book tickets visit https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en
1pm – Time for lunch
Leidersplein is a great place to head for a bite to eat. It’s a lively square, awash with street performers on a sunny day, which is lined with bars and cafés.
If (like me) you’re travelling with younger children, and the thought of a restaurant with toddlers terrifies you (!) there are also plenty of lovely spots for a picnic nearby. The Vondelpark is one of Amsterdam’s finest and offers plenty of space for dining alfresco.
2pm – Anne Frank House
This is an absolute must-see on a visit to Amsterdam. Unfortunately, most other tourists also think this, so on a typical day the queues will snake along the street. If you’re well organised in planning your visit, it is possible to purchase tickets in advance and avoid the queues at http://www.annefrank.org/en/Museum/
If your chosen day is sold out, you could consider visiting here first thing, as the queues tend to be shorter the earlier you get there!
4pm – Retail therapy
No day out in a city is complete without hitting the shops! Start at Amsterdam’s amazing floating flower market, where the flowers are sold from barges on the canal. It’s also a good spot for picking up the obligatory Dutch souvenirs of clog and windmill key rings!
From here, the ‘9 Straatjes’ shopping district is just a short walk – it’s packed with vintage and designer boutiques, as well as a choice of cafés.
6pm – time for tea
As evening falls and tummies start rumbling, it’s time to think about heading home. Head to Dam Square and grab a bite to eat at one of the many eateries and soak up the atmosphere before you amble back to the train station for the journey back to the campsite.
Of course there are many, many more things you can do in Amsterdam. Share your top tips in the comments below – we’d love to hear them!