7 Fun Summer Things To Do in Amsterdam

When summer comes to Amsterdam this pretty city really shines! Girls in dresses ride by on their bikes, long hair flowing in the breeze. The canals are green with leafy trees and flowers adorn all the cute houses. People jump into nearby rivers and even the canals to cool off.

Here are some fun things to do on one of those cheerful sunny summer days in Amsterdam.

Head to the Park

Do what the locals do and head to one of Amsterdam’s lovely parks on a sunny day. Be sure to bring a picnic, a bottle of wine or some beers, a blanket and your best buddies. Going alone? Bring a good book or even your sketchbook. There is no lack of entertainment on a sunny day!

Some of my favorite parks to hang out in are the ever popular Vondelpark, Westerpark and Frankendael Park. Amsterdamse Bos is a great place to get some peace and quiet, and be sure to have a goat milk ice cream while you are there!

Go for a ride through Waterland

Just north of Amsterdam there is a lovely green area known as Waterland. You guessed it, there is a lot of water there. You’ll also find fields with frolicking sheep, cute villages and peace and quiet. Hop on your bike and take the free ferry across the river IJ and just start riding north. There are bike paths all along the way. You can ride all the way to Monnickendam or just stop at one of the villages like Broek in Waterland  for lunch and a beer on the terrace.

Not up to a bike ride? You can also take the bus to Monnickendam or Marken for a lovely day out. I recommend riding the ferry between Volendam and Marken.

You can rent bicycles for your ride here.

If you don’t feel like cycling you can also take the public bus or a guided tour that will bring you to several small villages along the way. Check out these tours.

Have a Biertje (or 2) on a Terrace

When the sun comes out to play the terraces fill up to the max. Find your own seat at one of the many lovely canalside cafes in the city. You can wander the city center looking for your perfect location or head to one of our favorite places with a large terrace along the water. Check out funky spots like Hannekes Boom, Pllek, WaterkantCafe de Ceuvel or Roest or perhaps check out THT.

Hop on a Boat

Of course nothing sounds lovelier than cruising Amsterdam’s canals on a boat. You can take one of the tourist boats or rent your own. Here are a few deals on canal boat tours!

But better yet, find a friendly person with their own watercraft and go for a ride. If you bring the beer they’ll probably welcome you onboard! Worst case scenario, hop on the ferry to Noord for a free boat ride. Why not make your way to Pllek or Cafe de Ceuvel while you are at it?

Take a Tour

Amsterdam has plenty of guided tours on any topic. A sunny day is a great time to take in the sights and wander around the city. Why not combine history with food tour, take a food tour of the charming Jordaan neighborhood, take an Amsterdam beer tour, go on private food tour, take a walking tour at night, or street art tour? For something unique, take marijuana tour! Better yet, learn about urban wildlife with Nature Walks Amsterdam!

Go for a Swim

If its really hot and sunny you’ll want to find a place to take a dip. Sure you can head to the beach, but on a hot day the trains are often crowded. Make your way to a local swimming spot instead!

Yes people sometimes swim in the canals but I don’t recommend it. They are a bit dirty and congested with boats, I’d avoid it! Head slightly out of the city instead and you’ll find lots of places to swim. If you cycle up the Amstel you’ll see lots of people jumping in the water, starting at the dock near the Hermitage Museum. You can keep going along that path and you’ll see the surroundings become more and more green as you head out of the city. It can be a bit difficult to access the waterside but these are great places to take a dip.

Another place in the city to go for a swim is right near Central Station at Stenenhoofd. The empty plot of land is often used for fun festivals and events but on sunny days you’ll find people leaping off the sides into the water.

Head to the forest at Amsterdamse Bos for swimming in the Nieuwe Meer and other bodies of water around the park.

Watch the Sunset at a Rooftop Bar

End your sunny day with a few drinks and maybe even dinner at a rooftop bar. There are more and more opening in Amsterdam all the time but a few favorites include Canvas at the Volkshotel, SkyLounge and the W Hotel Lounge. The W even has a rooftop swimming pool!

Amsterdam’s newest rooftop hotspot is the A’DAM Toren. You can even ride swing on the edge of the rooftop! Get your tickets here and skip the lines.

In addition to this list there are always plenty of festivals and events going on in the summer that you should be sure to take advantage of. Check a local guide like Awesome Amsterdam or A Mag for advice. We hope you enjoy your sunny summer day in Amsterdam!

Looking to explore other Dutch cities? Check out our tips for Haarlem, it’s less than 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam. Or go tiny bit further and visit Utrecht or Rotterdam!

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