Travelling with children but on a budget is a huge challenge. I got the chance to present at a conference here, and since my husband and children had never set foot on this part of the world; I thought why not bring them along?
The first challenge was finding a budget hotel room that fit 2 adults, 2 children and a baby. Boy what a headache. Most places offered either dorm beds or 2 separate rooms, which wouldn’t work for me. So, after hours of extensive searching on the Internet, we found a hotel near tourist attractions, near public transport and near a place where we could buy groceries. This place is called The Concert Hotel. We got a quadruple room (baby gets a free cot although she didn’t use it), free wifi, and excellent plus friendly lobby/check in services. It has one lift that is a huge help for us. They even let us borrow their adapter and iron (along with ironing board).
In the room there is a private bath/shower with plenty of clean towels and shower/shampoo gel. It also has tea/coffee making facilities, although it doesn’t have a fridge (for my baby’s milk for when I go to conferences- I’m nursing my baby) but they let me keep it in their fridge- just pass it at the counter. The rooms are cleaned daily and the quadruple room is a nice size. We paid around €280++ per night. I guess not so budget but with kids, there has to be compromise.
I don’t have much complain about this hotel. It was a pleasant family stay for family and me. Maybe just a heads up that the single beds are smaller than the ones we’re used to but comfy for us anyway.
For transportation, tram no 16 is just a stone throw away in front of the hotel and a 2 minute walk from other trams and busses. Museumplein (where all the museums are) is about a 5 min walk from the hotel; it is also where the “I Amsterdam ” sign is. On the way to the sign and the museums there is an Albert Heijn store where you can get cheap groceries so we didn’t get the breakfast set at the hotel, which is €9.50 per person.
We got round mostly by walking and public transport. You can buy a 24 hour travel card for €7.50 or a 48 hour one for €12.50. There is also a 72 hour ticket as well but I’m not sure how much it is. Because I knew my children couldn’t commute that long in a day, I only bought an hourly ticket which is €2.90 to get from A to B. It was mainly to get to the conference at the RAI auditorium or to get food at our favourite halal restaurant. Halal restaurants you can find scattered around the city but there were plentiful at Van Woustraat.
The public transport was easy enough to manoeuvre, especially if you Internet access to Google. Plus, locals have perfect English, which made travelling a breeze. It is mostly baby stroller friendly too hence another big problem solved.
For travel from the airport to our hotel we took the 197 bus which costs €5 per adult and €1 for children 4-12 years old. Below is a clip of the bus. You can buy a ticket in a stall opposite the bus stop or on the bus itself.
**We travelled via Veuling airlines, which was baby friendly and pleasant. Even though it was a budget airline it gave priority boarding to babies and also let us use a stroller.
We didn’t visit any museums but just the architecture is just amazing and it was fun taking pictures and watching tourists take pictures at the “I Amsterdam” sign. Plus, I felt the kids were too small to appreciate the inside as the outside had green, green grass for them to roll on! Anyway, as I mentioned, there were plenty of museums around Museumplein. The museums included the Rijksmuseum, which is the Dutch National Museum, and the Van Gogh Museum. There are actually more than 100 museums in Amsterdam- so if you’re a museum buff-this is the place for you!
On our last day, we went to the Dam Square and flower market to see the main city centre sights (and to get some last minute souvenirs).
Key chains like the wooden clogs costs around €1.50 each and magnets were 3 for €5 or €3 each. The cheapest wooden flower (which I just had to get), I found were €0.99 each at the flower market but €7 for 6 stalks.
It was a nice day. So I hope you enjoyed the view as I did 💕
Short video of whar the square looks like 👆🏼
I absolutely enjoyed this trip. I will be doing separate entries on our day trips and also our canal cruise ❤️
I am a Malaysian currently based in London. I blog on modest fashion, events and travel.
Hijabiinlondon@gmail.com or @hijabi_in_london ( instagram) for contact and collaborations 💕