Month Visited: November
Description: As cities go Amsterdam is fairly small in size, but visitors to this city will find a lot of culture and incredible beauty here. The streets are generally peaceful and the city is quite clean. There are many historical buildings and homes that line the streets of Amsterdam, bike paths are well laid out, and the canals also help keep traffic along the roadways to a minimum. There is a lot to see, do, and experience in this city and one of the best ways to do it is on foot.
Our Experiences: We took a walk around Amsterdam and enjoyed the chance to see everything up close and personal. This city was well planned and laid out, so reaching different areas by foot was a snap. We all enjoyed our walk and we saw many terrific buildings, homes, and structures along our route. The people in Amsterdam were really friendly, and the entire city had a laid back feel that was refreshing after the rush and bustle of most cities. We recommend a walk around Amsterdam so that visitors can get the true feel of the city and take in all of the culture and history here.
Description: The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam is a museum today, and the story behind this building is inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time. Anne Frank was a young Jewish girl who went into hiding with her family and others because of Nazi persecution during WWII. Anne’s father Otto Frank has a secret annex created in his factory building so that his family and other Jews had a place to hide from the Nazis when Amsterdam was occupied. For over 2 years two families existed in secret, thanks to the help of the workers at the company who provided food, other necessities, and moral support. Young Anne Frank kept a diary of her time in hiding with her family, and this was saved when someone betrayed the hiding spot of the Franks and others to the Nazis. Otto Frank was the only person from the secret annex to survive the war, Anne, her mother, and her older sister were sent to the camps where they perished. Today the Anne Frank House has been renovated so that visitors can experience what life must have been like in the hidden rooms, and the diary that Anne Frank kept during here years in hiding has been read by millions of people around the world.
Our Experiences: The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam was fascinating for our entire family. Seeing the hidden annex made us realize just how closed off these families were from the outside world, and just how small the rooms were that they shared even though these rooms were considered spacious compared to what other Jews in hiding had available to them during WWII. There were photos, letters, and other items on display that Anne Frank had written or used to decorate her walls. The entire museum was dedicated to the discrimination and the persecution that forced Anne Frank and her family to go into hiding, and this was a very educational stop for us although young children may not understand the historical significance of the museum.
Description: Less than an hour away from Amsterdam is a tourist area that has numerous attractions, and this is a popular stop for tourists and residents both. There is a medieval castle, windmills that the Dutch are famous for, a cheese factory, and a place where clogs and clogging are displayed. All of these featured attractions play a part in the history of this country and the Dutch population, and they are all located in one area so visitors can experience many things in one stop
Our Experiences: We loved our trip outside of Amsterdam to the countryside, and everyone had a lot of fun on this stop. There was a medieval castle that we explored, and the kids were thrilled to see and experience a real live castle. The windmill was fascinating, and the cheese factory was educational and fun at the same time because we were allowed to see how quality Dutch cheese was made. The clogs were unusual, and we learned about these wooden shoes and how they are made. We also learned why the clogs were so popular and how they were used properly. This was one of the highlights of our trip, and there were no complaints from any of the kids while we were here. This is a must see and do for almost all families who visit Amsterdam, and the ride to reach this area outside of the city only took about 40 minutes.