My little red pepper and I love to travel in the Netherlands. We often go by train because of several reasons. First of all it’s because of the view. She loves to see the sceneries and just gaze out the window for a half of hour (exaggerating? Ok, 10 minutes or something). Secondly, it is cheaper. I have a special abonnement which allows me to get 40 % discount if I travel outside the rush hours. My daughter has her own card which allows her to travel for free. I only applied for the card and payed €7, 50 after that it’s €0, 00 until she is 11 years old. Thirdly, because … “it’s fun, mommy!” She enjoys the time on the train when we do a little bit of book colouring, a little bit of chatting, singing and snacking. Fourthly, it is quite safe and child friendly.
I have my own unique respondent / critic / travelling partner (you name it) whom I call my daughter. I often discuss with her the places we should go. Today I ask her which cities she loves to visit in the Netherlands and why. She comes out with many answers (she is as chatty as Miss Piggy). Here are the top three according to the little red pepper in random order.
Mainly because my best friends live in Rotterdam and they have kids the same age as mine. So most of the time they play together. However, Rotterdam has seriously many nice places where you can go with your child. First one is Blijdorp zoo. The location of this zoo is very unique. It is located at the city centre, not that far away from the central station. Because of the location you would probably think that the zoo would not be that big. No, it’s huge! I went there with my daughter and we walked the entire park the whole day. It was quite tiring for me and I was sure for her too, but she did not complain. Blijdorp has a great collection of ocean animals in their Oceanium. On hot summer day, Oceanium is a great place to cool down.
You can also go to Euromast, the eye catcher of Rotterdam. From Euromast you can see Rotterdam from above. Near the Euromast there is a large city park. We went there once to take a rest and had a picnic. Take the tram number 8 from Euromast to the Beurs at the city centre. Walk from there towards the new trendy place in town, the Markthal. It is an indoor market with trendy shops and restaurants, such as Jamie’s Italian. You can enjoy as many food as you like here and your kid will love it too. The design of the market is pretty impressive. It is like a giant snail house. About 200 meters from the Markthal towards the Blaak station, you will see the Kubuswoning (Cube houses). It is an architectural icon of Rotterdam created by a Dutch architect Piet Blom. The entry fee is very cheap and the museum of Cube Houses is open the whole week from 12:00 – 17:00.
“I want to go Utrecht again, mommy!” she said. Why? “Nijntje!” In English she is called Miffy. A small little rabbit which loved by every child in the Netherlands. There is a Miffy / Nijntje Museum in Utrecht. It is a small museum where children can play and learn a little bit about the history of Miffy. From Utrecht central station you just take the bus number 2 that goes around all the museums route. The bus stop is right at the front door of the museum. About 800 meter from Miffy museum there is the train museum (Spoorwegmuseum). Another cool place in Utrecht is de Oudegracht, where you can sit down near the canal at one of the cosy restaurants there. At the Oudegracht you can also rent a paddling boat. This a very fun interactive activity to see the entire city centre. If you do not want to paddle, you can also go with one of those touristic boats.
It is the capital city of South Holland (Zuid Holland) but not the capital city of the Netherlands. The government runs the country from this city. The Hague is situated near one of the famous beaches of the Netherlands, Scheveningen. It is a very bustling city. The residents of The Hague are very international which make the city so diverse in… well… in everything.
Why my daughter choose The Hague? The beach and food of course. The white sandy beaches and the long boulevards makes it just complete. On the boulevard you can see hundreds restaurants, cafes and beach clubs where you can sit back, relax and enjoy your cold beverages while building a sand castle with your kid. If some actions you seek, then go to a city adjacent to The Haque, Wassenaar. You can go to an amusement park there. Also fun is to visit Madurodam, a park where you can see the landmarks of the Netherlands in miniature version.
Why does she not choose Amsterdam? Well… for the two of us, Amsterdam can be… too crowded sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, we have been there, by car and by train. We enjoyed it, but it has not given us that great memories so far. After all, The Netherlands is not only Amsterdam.