As the sun finally shows itself in the rainy city of Amsterdam, locals are starting to welcome the long-awaited summer. But with summer also comes the question of how to spend the day. If you want to make the most of the rare nice weather this year in Amsterdam, here’s a list of things you could enjoy in the summer of 2023.
Summertime is beach time
It might come as a surprise to hear that there are many beaches to enjoy near Amsterdam. Coming out of an exceptionally rainy spring, most people yearn for a day of sunbathing and swimming under the sun. Especially during the occasional hot days in the city, most people will take a short trip to the coastal towns of Zandvoort, Leiden, or the Hague. Depending on how long you want to travel, the closest being Zandvoort, you can visit many beach towns just 1-2 hours away from Amsterdam Central.
Whether you are visiting a chic beach club or just taking a walk by the seaside, grab a friend and enjoy the Dutch coast this summer!
Picnic in the park
Grab your favourite snacks, drinks, and a blanket! Warmer and drier days often mean picnic days for the locals of Amsterdam. As the city is filled with beautiful parks, taking a walk or having a picnic on the grass is a simple and popular activity to enjoy this summer. Although Vondelpark is the most common choice, there are many other parks to choose from. If you are near De Pijp, consider the Sarphatipark. Are you closer to the east side? Then Oosterpark is your choice! Although it’s not a park, the conveniently located Museumplein is also a popular attraction for picnic lovers in the city.
Did you know? Some of the parks in Amsterdam offer barbecue areas for all the BBQ fans out there to enjoy.
The floating flower market
Are you a fan of the flower culture in the Netherlands? Then this activity is perfect for you. The Bloemenmarkt along the Singel Canal offers a unique shopping experience for flower enthusiasts. So if you want to spend a calm day and take some beautiful pictures this summer, don’t miss this ultimate Dutch activity!
Tip If you are not a fan of flowers, Amsterdam offers various street markets throughout the city.
Festivals of Amsterdam
Music festivals are a big part of Dutch culture, and joining one is essential to experiencing a true Amsterdam summer. So if you are a music lover and looking for an exciting activity, join Amsterdam’s various festivals this summer. Some of the most popular and big festivals of the summer, like the Awakenings, Amsterdam Open Air, or Loveland, attract many tourists and locals every year.
Tip For the best overview of what’s going on around town, keep a close eye on Iamsterdam’s festivals and events calendar no matter the time of year.
Aside from music festivals, the Amsterdam Pride Festival at the end of July is often one of the most anticipated events for the locals. Partly also a canal parade, Pride in Amsterdam consists of DJ set-ups all around the city’s canals, attracting everyone to dance, sing, and celebrate.
Did you know? Amsterdam Bos’ beloved open-air theatre offers a packed list of events during the warmer months, so you can combine live performances with nature.
Enjoy the canals the right way
What is Amsterdam without its canals? This beautiful feature of the city is enjoyed by tourists at any time of the year. But when the sun comes out, and with the right app on hand, all the locals rent or take out their own boats to cruise along the canals. Summer days in Amsterdam fill the canals throughout the city with friends and family coming together to experience Amsterdam from a different perspective. So bring some drinks, snacks, a speaker, and party (or relax) in the canals of Amsterdam this summer!
Did you know? If boats aren’t your cup of tea, how about combining some exercise and sustainability by enjoying Amsterdam’s canals in a pedal boat (i.e waterfiets)
Bike, swim, hike, or kayak
If you prefer staying active during your free time, various outdoor activities are accessible and popular in Amsterdam. The most popular activity in Amsterdam is, of course, biking. As this form of exercise has become almost synonymous with the city, locals also enjoy cycling in the summertime throughout the countryside. If you want to exercise in true Dutch fashion, grab your bike, choose from one of the various routes and get cycling!
Did you know? The city compiled a handy map with all sports facilities throughout Amsterdam. Whatever your choice of sport is this summer, a location can be spotted there.
Whether it’s in a lake, next to the harbour, or on an urban beach, you have many options when it comes to swimming outdoors in Amsterdam. From Sloterplas in Nieuw West to Nieuwe Meer near Amsterdamse Bos, you can soak up the sun and swim within/around the borders of Amsterdam.
For people who prefer to exercise in nature, the Dutch capital offers a few destinations for hiking or wandelen. You can visit the Amsterdamse Bos or the Rembrandtpark for a quick escape from the city during the hot days of summer.
If renting a boat to tour the canals doesn’t sound exciting enough for you, you may consider kayaking through Amsterdam’s canals under the sun. For people looking for a more fast-paced kayaking experience in nature, visiting Amsterdamse Bos will be a great choice.
Tip If you are a fan of the seaside, the harbours of Amsterdam along the West, East, and Noord of the city offer beautiful settings that will transport you to a coastal Amsterdam. You can choose from the many restaurants along the IJhaven (IJ-port), grab a bite, or simply do some boat-watching.
Grab a drink at a rooftop bar
Amsterdam is filled with rooftop bars to enjoy a drink under the sun. If you want to experience the Amsterdam scenery from a different perspective, whether it’s the Nemo Museum or the A’dam Tower, you have many options for popular rooftop bars and restaurants.
Would you rather enjoy the views in a more private setting? Many locals enjoy the rooftops of their apartments near or around the city centre. So grab some friends, and drinks and watch the sunset over Amsterdam.
Make the most of the sun
The often rainy and cloudy city of Amsterdam offers much during the long-awaited summertime. Whether you choose to kayak through the canals or simply enjoy a book in Westerpark, make the most of the sunny days during your stay in Amsterdam. Plan ahead and don’t miss out on the great experiences the city offers.
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