We have been in Holland for an entire year now and I STILL have not written about how child friendly or unfriendly Amsterdam is.
While Amsterdam is known for their red light district and their coffee shops, you are still bound to see families out and about enjoying the more child friendly sights. Heck, I’ve seen toddlers stroll down the district. It’s a cultural norm here and I’m not here to judge.
HOWEVER, today I am here to judge how child friendly the city is. Check it out.
Stroller Friendly? – If you stay on the main roads then you are perfectly fine with a stroller. However, if you plan to venture off to the alleys and discover some hidden gems then you may find that your little one will be on a bit of a bumpy ride. The streets of Amsterdam get rather crowded as well and if you are as impatient as we are, we feel that having a stroller slows you down a bit. I may have or may not have purposely nudged people out of the invisible fast lane.
Restaurants – While the restaurants adore and welcome our Ittybot into their restaurant, the space is usually quite snug to say the least. If we have our stroller, we usually have to ditch it at the entry way and bring Ittybot inside. Our little guy is quite curious so he likes to check out the scene but unfortunately for him, there isn’t much to see or much space for him to wander.
Diaper Changing Stations – This may be the most frustrating part of Amsterdam for me. Finding a place to change Ittybot is such a huge pain! We have to a plan a special path and schedule in order to change him. Many restaurants don’t have a changing table, which is normally fine with me. I usually bring a changing pad with me so I can change him on any surface. But that’s the thing – the space is so snug that there isn’t much room for the both of us to fit, let alone for him to lay down for a diaper change.
There is good news though. “2theloo” is a paid restroom service located in the midst of Amsterdam’s shopping district. If I remember correctly, it was 60 euro cents to use the service. Another good place to visit for a diaper change is the “Bijenkorf” located across the street from Dam Square. Their restrooms are free to use and they have a big restroom with a changing table. YAY! We try to stop by the Bijenkorf whenever we can. Because we like free.
I’m not ashamed to say that on nice days, we laid down Ittybot in his stroller and changed him right there when we were in a pinch.
Activities – I can’t say that there is an abundance of activities for children in Amsterdam. At least, I haven’t discovered them yet! You can always hop on a boat and do a canal tour. You’ll have better odds traveling about an hour south to Rotterdam where there is a zoo and an aquarium for the tiny tots.
Transportation – The public transportation system is great. Getting baby from point A to point B using any train or bus isn’t bad at all. Most (not all) of the train stations have an elevator for your stroller.
I hope this was useful information when it comes to planning your next trip to Amsterdam!