How do you enjoy great weather in Amsterdam best? Have a drink on a terrace, dust off the barbecue, or head to the beach? These are my favourite things to do when the sun is out in Amsterdam. My top 7 summer spots in Amsterdam.
IJburg Beach “Blijburg”
You don’t even have to leave the city to go to the beach. Less than half-an-hour bike ride from Amsterdam Central Station is IJburg, a new district built on an artificial island in the lake IJmeer. The beach Blijburg led a somewhat nomadic existence at first, shifting location four times in 12 years as the area developed. But this year it finally settled at a permanent site.
The perfect spot for swimming and sunbathing is near beach cafe Blijburg. Now the beach has come to rest, other cafes are popping up, like Klein Blijburg, a mini version of the original. The atmosphere is as fun and relaxed as ever!
There are parks all over Amsterdam where you can picnic and barbecue with friends. My favourites are the Vondelpark and Westerpark. Beautifully green with plenty of shade, when the sun gets too hot, and always full of life. These are two of the parks where you’re allowed to barbecue. The Vondelpark also has a huge fountain – great for cooling down!
Hotspots on the water
When the temperature turns tropical, Amsterdam has the perfect hotspots – especially on the water! In Amsterdam North there is Cafe de Ceuvel and Pllek, where you can chill and eat well. In the east, the cooly industrial city beach Roest is a big favourite. And in the city centre you mustn’t miss Waterkant, where you can savour Surinamese beer and snacks.
With the first sign of sun, Amsterdam seems to take to the water. There is nothing better than bobbing around the canals in a boat and sailing across the river IJ! Take a bottle of wine and some nibbles, or moor at Hannekes Boom cafe and soak up the summer. If you don’t know anyone with a boat, you can always rent one for a couple of hours!
It’s all very well being on the water, but on a really hot summer’s day, it’s even better to be in it. The famous swimming pool Mirandabad has an outdoor pool throughout the summer. But, perhaps even better is the newly transformed, high-tech and beautifully lit Floraparkbad in the north. This pool is fabulous for swimming lengths, or simply just splashing about.
From east to west, Amsterdam is full of terraces! Mossel & Gin, with its lovely garden, is the hidden gem of Amsterdam West. In the East, I love Bukowski, where the beer is always good and the menu brims with bar snacks. And if you’re in Amsterdam North, you mustn’t miss the terrace outside film museum EYE, with its wonderful view across the river to Central Station.
When it’s really hot, I like to take to the roofs to catch a breeze. The highest roof in Amsterdam is atop the Ramada Hotel. At 85 metres up, the 17th floor gives you a stunning view across the city. Alternatively, you can go to the fancy Sky Lounge at the Double Tree Hilton. The roof of the Volkshotel in Amsterdam East is always great – Canvas, on the 7th floor, is a guarantee for relaxed summer vibes.
Have you got a favourite summer spot in Amsterdam? I’d love to hear about it!