We visited Amsterdam last summer and I feel like I messed up on the planning. We really only had two days there which was not quite enough. I feel like I missed some major things that I would have liked to see. So one of these days I'll have to get back!

Musts (IMO)

  • I don't usually put typical touristy things in my recommendations but the Anne Frank House/Museum is a MUST! And you have to order tickets well in advance.
  • One of the things I wish we had done was visit the Van Gogh Museum. I'm not a huge museum person, but when I'm in the birth country of an extremely famous artist whose work I like and there's a museum dedicated to that person, I try to get there. I've heard it's a great museum. -Next time!
  • Take a canal cruise of some sort. We actually rented a little motor boat that we drove ourselves. The canals are such a part of Amsterdam, it's nice to get some time on them. 
  • Rent bicycles and go on a tour. Again, bicycles are everywhere. I wish we had found time to do this but we didn't. When I go back, it'll definitely be on my list. 

We stayed at the Amsterdam Marriott which was really well located right in the center of the city!  If u walk out the front and straight ahead, you’ll find great shopping and lots of action. 



  • Amsterdam is known for it's apple cake and I had read about a place called Winkel 43. Definitely go here! I'd put a link to their website but it's not working right now so just google it, find the address and GO! It will not disappoint!
  • Pancakes: My friend had gone to a place called Mook for pancakes, which she loved. We couldn’t get a reservation so we went to a place called The Pancake House Upstairs. It was rather minuscule in a very charming way (if you're claustrophobic you might not want to go here).  The pancakes really good, but I’d try Mook first.
  • We went to a place called Lotti’s Cafe Bar & Grill I loved the vibe and thought the food was great. I think the kids liked it too but for some reason Andrew didn’t love it. I would still recommend it.
  • Our last night there, we ditched the kids and went to an Indonesian place called Restaurant Blauw Amsterdam. It had Indonesian food and it was good, but expensive. It had a fine atmosphere and we had a nice night, but just didn't love it.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND making reservations in advance in Amsterdam. I found it quite difficult to get into restaurants. We were also there in summer at prime tourist season, but still, why risk it?

One of my "travel quirks", is that if I'm going to pay to fly my family someplace far, I want to stay for a few weeks so I feel like I'm getting my money's worth for the flights. That said, we often have to do laundry a few times when we're on vacation. There's never a good time to do it, and it's always a hassle EXCEPT IN AMSTERDAM! If you have to do laundry, the greatest deal going is: Wash Place The service was friendly, we dropped it around noon, they washed and folded a ton of laundry for us for about 20 or 30€. Best of all, we did not have to waste valuable time sitting in a laundromat!