Reading books about the destination with kids enhances the trip so much. While this site has many kids travel books, I like to curate lists of children’s books for city trips. Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities and is one of the places we’ve had the most fun with our kids. So, I present to you the best children’s books for a trip to Amsterdam. Because I love and have visited Amsterdam so much, I also have family travel tips for Amsterdam, too. Just keep scrolling to the bottom.
I’m sure the saying is something like, Paris is always a good idea. But, in our home it’s Amsterdam. Amsterdam is always a good idea.
It’s why we opted to take the 2-hour each way trek from our home base in Germany when we were in Europe last summer to spend about 5 hours in Amsterdam.
And it’s why it’s about time that I get this post up.
Without further ado, let’s look at some awesome books for kids preparing for a trip to Amsterdam.
Please note that there are affiliate links below.
Favorite children’s books to prepare kids for a trip to Amsterdam
Learn Dutch with Books
I think a trip to a new country should always include spending time learning a little of the language. There doesn’t seem to be a good book/cd combo for teaching basic Dutch phrases to kids, so I’m going to recommend three items here.
Dutch for Beginners: Kids
by Amyas Andrea
Dutch for Beginners – Kids by Amyas Andrea introduces kids to the language. It includes very basic words and sentences. It’s also available in a kindle version.
Pimsleur Dutch Basic Course Level 1
Pimsleur Dutch Basic Course Level 1 uses a collection of CDs to teach the language. While not geared to kids, listening to the language is so important. Plus, the price is really good.
DinoLingo’s Dutch for Kids
DinoLingo’s Dutch for kids combines the two above. It’s CDs and flashcards geared for kids learning Dutch. It is, however, at a high price point.
Amsterdam children’s books – picture books and fun.
- Sophie Stork’s Amsterdam Adventure Book by Jacobine de Zwaan and illustrated by Tatiana van der Linden is perfect for the youngest Amsterdam visitors. It includes illustrations and poetry about Amsterdam’s Top 10 tourist sites for families. There’s also a bit of information for the parents planning the trip.
- KeeKee’s Big Adventures in Amsterdam, Netherlands by Shannon Jones and illustrated by Casey Uhelski follows KeeKee the cat on her trip to Amsterdam. Aside from seeing some of the great sites, there’s also a glossary and pronunciation guide, a map of Amsterdam, and a list of sites to see.
- Mission Amsterdam: A Scavenger Hunt Adventure by Catherine Aragon is a scavenger hunt adventure of Amsterdam. Anyone I know who has used these books on their trip has loved it. I especially love it because it reminds me of my husband and my’s first Amsterdam trip. I was pregnant with my first. It was also the first time we decided to do a photo scavenger hunt during our travels. So, I love a good scavenger hunt and I like this on that is geared towards kids/families visiting Amsterdam. (Ie. YOU!)
- Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems is technically not an Amsterdam-centered kid’s book. But, I included because kids love Mo Willems. And this takes the popular Knuffle Bunny series to Holland, where readers join the family on the way to the airport, on the plane, and around the country. Perfect for kids who are also preparing for their own trip.
Children’s books about the people behind some of Amsterdam’s famous sites
The Diary of Anne Frank
Many “things to do in Amsterdam” lists include a visit to the Anne Frank Attic. I, also, encourage you to visit, but only if you think it’s something your kids can handle. It’s a two-point thing. Are they mature enough to behave in a respectful manner? And is the Anne Frank story too sensitive of a subject? For our family, our trip to Amsterdam when my son was less than a year old meant that we let the visiting grandparents watch him while we took the tour.
Whether you decide to go or not, this abridged version of The Diary of Anne Frank is a good book to read about beforehand. Older kids may appreciate the unabridged version, while even younger kids may appreciate the Who Was Anne Frank book instead.
Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists
At Museumplein there are two museums that are definitely worth a visit. The Rijksmuseum and The Von Gogh Museum.
The Rijksmuseum showcases many Dutch artists and more, but my favorite is Rembrandt’s, the Night Watch. However, this is Amsterdam. Even if you skip the Rijksmuseum, you may run into Rembrandt. Like, you could visit his former home/current museum at Rembrandt House Museum in another area of the city. So take a moment to learn about his art. And the Rembrandt, Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artist, is a good place to start.
For those heading to the Van Gogh Museum, the Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artist has a book for you, too. You can find out more about it here.
Children’s books for a trip to Amsterdam with older kids
While many of the books above can still be fun for even older kids and tween preparing for a trip to Amsterdam, I wanted to point out a few longer chapter books, too.
Melanie Martin Goes Dutch
by Carol Weston
This is a fun chapter book that states it’s for kids in grades 4 – 6, but I think it works for
The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
Please note two things about this book. One, it’s only partially set in Amsterdam. Two, it’s a really sad book and, according to Common Sense Media, most appropriate for kids 14+.
My favorite Holland travel book for kids, also my favorite travel book
Of all the books that I’ve seen via working on this site (and that’s well over 3,000) this one is actually my favorite. It’s not specific to Amsterdam, but there are a lot of Amsterdam sites. I love that it’s wordless so it gives kids an option to create their own story. I think it belongs on the bookshelf of any Netherlands fan. There’s a companion book to go with it that I need to check out some time.
This is what I have right now for children’s books for families visiting Amsterdam. However, you can also check out the Netherlands section of our Global Bookshelf to get an idea of the country as a whole.
And bookmark this page because I always add more.
Tips for visiting Amsterdam with Kids
I love to include a few tips for visiting cities when I can. Amsterdam is definitely one of my favorite places to give tips about.
First of all, know that it’s very child-friendly. Between the delicious food (pancakes, poffertjes, and the stroopwafels), the gorgeous attractions, and easy transportation – you can’t go wrong.
Here are some of my favorite things to recommend to families visiting Amsterdam:
- CRUISE THE CANAL: There are so many options for cruises. You can rent a small boat, go on an hour tour (there are several places to pick up an hour tour, near Centraal Station and near the Hard Rock Cafe.) Definitely go on a canal cruise. If you can swing it, make it even more fun by doing a pancake or pizza cruise. Check
ou tViator for many options.
- BOOK A ROOM WITH A VIEW: The DoubleTree may not be my favorite hotel chain, but the DoubleTree next to Centraal Station is one of my favorite hotels. The rooms have floor to ceiling windows looking out over the city. They’re modern with all Apple products. The ground floor has a playroom for the kids, and, of course
,the famous DoubleTree cookie. It’s also located right next to Centraal Station, Amsterdam’s Library, and a short walk to the awesome NEMO Science Museum. You can book a room here.
- BUY TICKETS IN ADVANCE FOR SKIP THE LINE ACCESS: If you want to go to some of the places I mentioned in this post, save yourself the hassle of seriously long lines and buy your tickets in advance. The lines WILL be long. The only time I remember seeing short lines for the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum was on January 1. All the other times of the year, no such luck. Amsterdam is way too much fun to spend too much time in lines. (Side note – When we were at the Rijksmuseum we were able to skip the line simply because we had a stroller… I wonder if that’s still the case.) You can order skip the line tickets on Viator for the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, or the Rembrandt House. You can purchase Anne Frank House tickets directly on their website.
- LEARN ABOUT THE CITY: I love walking tours and the information you can learn about the city with one. There are several options available from a Free Walking Tour to a Ph.D. led tour via Context Tours to or a food tour and all things in between. The tour you pick depends on your budget, time constraints, and what your children can handle. My children tend to be walking tour champs. However, if the weather or their demeanor has you wanting to learn about the city another way, the Amsterdam Museum is a great stop.
- GET OUT OF AMSTERDAM: Oh, I love Amsterdam. But, if I’m being honest, I just love the Netherlands. There are so many amazing places to visit as an easy day trip from the capital. Some of my favorites include Zaanse Schans – an old windmill town not too far via train, Den Haag – make sure to add Madurodam and Scheveningen to your itinerary, Rotterdam – awesome modern architecture and the second largest port in Europe, and Arnhem – slightly farther away, but with one of the best Open Air Museums, a National Park, and more, it’s worth the trip.
Read more in our “best children’s books for a trip” to series
- Children’s books for Paris
- Children’s books for NYC
- Children’s books for London
- Children’s books for U.S. National Parks
- Children’s books for Venice
- Children’s books for Italy’s Motor Valley
Thanks for reading our children’s books for a trip to Amsterdam post. For more tips for families visiting the Netherlands, check out my post about Family-Friendly NL.
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