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Amsterdam + which other European city with a toddler?

Everyone on these Rick Steves forums were so helpful and kind when we were honeymoon planning, now we have a travel question with regard to a toddler in tow. :)

Trying to plan a 2 week trip in the spring (april or may) with our toddler (he'll be about one and a half then) - hoping to fly into or out of Amsterdam (flying from the Pacific NW).

Questions:
1) which other city (or cities) should we consider? (I'm not being overly ambitious due to the little one...).

2) how many days should we consider spending in Amsterdam?

For proximity and convenience, Paris and London come to mind. Both the husband and I went to Paris on our honeymoon 2 years ago, but are aware that it's Paris, and of course there's always more to explore. Both of us have been to London, but not in the past decade (what gives us pause is cost...).

Any feedback and advice welcome. Thank you very much in advance!

Posted by
26 posts

London is the pick i think! You have the famous Hamley's toy store, Harrods plus Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace and all the family friendly pubs to eat at. Try and stay reasonably near the city with good access to the Piccadilly Train line as this is so great to hop on straight from Heathrow. We stayed about 40 mins on Tube out of central London and it would be too long a journey for a toddler to bear! Don't forget to buy a visitor Oyster card for all your transport needs. Made everything so easy. Then you have Museums and the London Eye etc Have fun!

Posted by
1804 posts

If you choose London as your other city in addition to Amsterdam, do take into account that you will want to fly open jaw into London and then fly out of Amsterdam. If you do the reverse and fly home from London, there are some extra fees you'll have to pay which will jack up your airfare.

London has a lot of major sights that are free admission, so that can help offset some of your costs. With a toddler, do try to stay as central as you can afford. There are London lodging options that are quite affordable - budget business-class hotel chains like Ibis, university lodging (ex. London School of Economics has both dorm rooms and apartments they rent to tourists with locations all over the city), or consider some of the private, ensuite family rooms at hostels which can be really good since you'll have access to a kitchen, laundry facilities and various lounge areas where your family can stretch out instead of being crammed together in a single room. Some of the newer "boutique" hostels are really nice and some chains (like those run by Hosteling International) are very popular with families. Read over the reviews on sites like Hostelworld.com to hear what other guests have to say about the hostel - avoid the ones whose websites or reviews tout a "party" atmosphere.

Since you just recently went to Paris, I'd suggest London for 5-7 nights (maybe include a day trip outside of London in the middle of your stay), then train into Brussels and grab one of the commuter rail trains that goes to a place like Bruges or Ghent and spend 1-2 nights. Belgium has some nice smaller cities and a place like Bruges or Ghent can be a good place to unwind a little as they are compact and very walkable - and prices for lodging and food are pretty reasonable. Catch the train to Amsterdam and spend about 4-5 nights (depending on how long you want to stay in London).