Whilst staying at Duinrell Holland: An Exciting Easter Break on a Budget! a day trip to Amsterdam was high on the agenda! The link above will tell you all you need to know about budget travel to Amsterdam, as we were staying in Holland without a car, we relied on public transport. It was efficient, easy and always on time, but as a family of 5 could become quite expensive! I think if we travelled again I would hire a car to keep the costs down. Most Dutch people use an OV- chipcard which reduces the cost of travel significantly, unfortunately as a tourist ( if only doing a few journeys) the cost of buying one is just not economical. However, that said the opportunity to visit the capital was still well worth the cost of train tickets.
Getting to Amsterdam from Duinrell– There are a couple of public transport options. The Journey will take about 1 hour 20 minutes .
- The first option is to catch the number 44 or 444 bus from the entrance of Duinrell (they come every 15 minutes). The cost of the tickets is 4 Euro per person, you can’t use cash on the bus but can pay by contactless card. (Children pay 2 Euros, we went on a number of buses and they didn’t charge for the children). This bus will take you to the Hague Railway Station. Head down the escalator where you can buy tickets for the journey. Adults cost 25 Euros return, a children’s Rail Runner costs 2.50 Euros and lasts all day (total journey cost for 2 adults and 3 children, 80 Euros).
The scenery from the train into Amsterdam during April was beautiful, as we meandered past field of Tulips and Windmills, it was lovely to sit back on the clean and efficient transport watching the colours passing by:
- The Second Option is to walk for 1/ 2mile through the beautiful town of Wassenaar to the number 43 bus stop. The walk is straight forward and we managed it fine with three children, you even pass a windmill (Google maps will help you with the simple route).
From here take the bus to Leiden, and jump straight on the train to Amsterdam (total journey cost for 2 adults and 3 children, 60 Euro).
Taking into account the return journey time from Duinrell is 3 hours, our time in Amsterdam was limited and precious!! For anyone who has tried to rush children around a city, it rarely works, and isn’t much fun! With this in mind we thought about alternative options for getting around and seeing as much as possible! Given we were in Holland, the logical answer was ……. BIKES!!
I am bike offered the perfect solution, the bike big enough for 6 people allowed us to explore parts of Amsterdam we would never of known existed- with some exciting surprises along the way! Bike hire for 3 hours costs 70 Euro for the large bike, and 50 Euros for the smaller 4 seater option. Although this seems initially pricey, when broken down it was just over 10 Euros per person, but this included a trip to a clog and cheese making factory, a city farm with an awesome playground not to mention a beautiful picturesque windmill (high on everyones must see things in Holland)!
I am bike is situated in the famous Albert Cuyp Market, located 10 minutes from Central Station (take tram 16 from stop 4, and get off at Marie Heinekenplein, you can buy tickets onboard).
Margaret who works at I am bike is very helpful, and she will help you choose the self guided tour that suits your needs. Maps can be downloaded onto your phone and a paper version is also available. We managed 3 hours with only a small detour. We opted for the “cheese and clog tour”, which started in the local park before heading down a beautiful canal, only a very small proportion of this tour was on roads, so was perfect for our needs.
Top Tip: After a few minutes on the canal you will come across a gateway to Amstel Park, it is well worth stopping here. The park has a petting zoo with a number of farm animals that the children can walk around with and stroke. The park also has a large playground, which the kids loved. It was a great stop and added bonus to the tour… plus completely free!
The cycling is easy, and despite a full load and only 3 people with legs long enough to reach the pedals, we found it’s easy enough and enjoyable… there was minimal moaning as the kids ate snacks and took in the sights. Fifteen minutes further along the canal you will come to a lovely windmill, which was peaceful and quiet, and a great spot for a photo.
The final stop on our cycling journey was the Rembrandt Cheese and Clog Farm, a traditional farm, making Clogs and Gouda Cheese. Entry and tours are free.
The friendly tours and displays are just the right length for families and really interesting and informative. The children enjoyed seeing clogs being made from a solid lump of wood, and the cheese was good enough to take home. The gift shop has a number of affordable “pocket money” gifts for the kids to buy….or real clogs if you fancy it!
Using the bike tour really optimised our morning in Amsterdam, we saw a lot of great things, without exhausting ourselves or the children. We all thought the bike was really good fun, and would highly recommend it for those travelling with children. After a quick lunch, we were ready to head over to the NEMO Science Museum.