Independent apartments in Jordaan
With the large Westerstraat market (held every Monday), and the organic Noorderkerk market (held every Saturday), the neighbourhood of Jordaan has a pleasant bohemian-village feel that sets it apart from the rest of the city, yet most of the major attractions are still within easy reach. Given these family-friendly credentials, we’ve picked several apartments in the area that offer a practical base from which to explore Amsterdam. The Quarenta Studio and the Bohemian Jordaan Apartment (each sleeping up to four people) are well-equipped and tastefully decorated, plus both enjoy calm canal-side locations. For bigger groups, the one-, two- and three-bedroom Jordaan Noodermarkt apartments sleep up to six guests in an elegant, homely environment.
Houses in Amsterdam are notorious for their steep, winding staircases, which can be problematic for visitors with reduced mobility. The small WestViolet B&B (from €85) proposes just two bedrooms, one of which is located on the ground floor, resolving accessibility problems for older or disabled guests. Visitors can also make use of the fully-equipped kitchen to prepare their meals.
Eco-friendly and offbeat hotels in Southern Amsterdam
Located in the cosmopolitan De Pijp neighbourhood, the Bicycle Hotel Amsterdam is close to the Albert Cuyp market and is also within easy reach of the city centre, especially if you hire a bike from the hotel. Those wary of their carbon footprint can sleep soundly in the knowledge that the hotel uses solar power and recycles its rubbish. The facilities are basic but affordable, with quadruple rooms from €80 (including breakfast).
Right next to the major museums, the Conscious Hotel Museum Square proposes family rooms and the possibility of adding a cot or camp bed. The organic breakfast is a great way to start the day according to past guests, but the higher level of comfort is of course reflected in the prices. For an authentic Amsterdam experience, why not stay on a houseboat? Located in a quaint setting at the foot of one of Amsterdam’s last-remaining windmills, the homely decoration of the Houseboat Under The Mill (up to four guests, from €115) makes it feel like a floating family caravan. For a similar price, the Hotelboat Ideaal offers 55 square metres of warm, wooden interiors, three bedrooms and a top-deck terrace. Moored close to the city centre on the river Amstel, it’s a functional, original solution for families visiting the capital. At the more luxurious end of the scale, the Houseboat Prince William & Houseboat Prince Arthur both contain two bedrooms, sleeping six to eight guests (from €170). Modern furnishings and features such as a free-standing bath and a raised dining area with views across the Brouwers canal give these boats a stately feel.
Classic hotels in the Plantage neighbourhood
Plantage, a leafy oasis in the heart of Amsterdam, is an ideal spot for discovering the city’s attractions with children as many sites are accessible by foot. From the Eden Lancaster Hotel, for example, you only have to cross the road to arrive at the entrance to the zoo, and the Tropenmuseum is also just a few minutes’ walk away. The hotel’s historic façade hides surprisingly modern rooms that can accommodate up to four people. The Bridge Hotel’s main appeal is its friendly atmosphere and its proximity to the Hermitage museum. Families generally opt for a triple room (from €150) or the self-contained studio apartment (around €280), which sleeps four. Once you’ve decided on where to stay, you can turn your attention to planning your activities. Excursions beyond the city limits to visit attractions such as the Zaanse Schans windmills, the typical village of Marken, the Hoom steam train and the Efteling theme park are all worth the detour if you have the time.