The Hollandsche Manege translates to ‘The Dutch Riding School’, and the manner in which it is spelled (in Dutch) conveys that we are talking about an OLD riding school here. The building, based on the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and located on the Northern edge of the Vondelpark, dates back to 1882 and was meant to serve the recreational needs of the rich and/or aristocrat inhabitants of Amsterdam. Membership was expensive, and you can still tell by the heavy decoration and the feeling of grandeur!
Nowadays you don’t have to be rich or aristocratic to enjoy the Hollandsche Manege…
Classes are open to everybody, and you can always walk in to have a look at the horses (there is one horse, Queenie, who is extremely sweet toward children and is always happy to be caressed)! My kids love it, and I make sure to take them every now and then. There’s a lovely tearoom on the first floor overlooking the arena.