Is summer the best time to travel in Amsterdam?
Summer is one of the best times to visit Amsterdam!
The city might have a reputation of being rainy but summer days can get really hot! This combination creates humid weather that sometimes feels quite heavy. During the day, temperatures also fluctuate from 11ºC in the morning to a comfy 22ºC on a beautiful day. Summer months in Amsterdam start from late June up to early September and the hottest month in Amsterdam is usually August.
Best places to go on a sunny Amsterdam summer day
Popular hotspot for a cooling sea breeze. Newly branded as Amsterdam Beach the Dutch strip of coastline is only an hour away by public transport from the city of Amsterdam. Here you can enjoy nature, the wild dunes and the North Sea, sipping cold drinks at one of the beach bars in Bloemendaal or Zandvoort. Little known fact is that there are even some waves sometimes to hang loose at Wijk aan Zee!
Some of the best parks of Amsterdam are Westerpark and Vondelpark. These two areas are home to extensive green fields with picnic and BBQ spots as well as a great selection of bars and cafés all around. Fun cultural activities are held frequently such as festivals and concerts. The open-air theatre in Vondelpark hosts concerts, drama and dance performances for free!
if you want to really explore the local (country)side of town, after a 30 minute bike ride from Amsterdam you will find man-made beaches around this park. On your way there, run into the local green landscapes filled with cute cows.
We all know the amsterdam canals, but summer in Amsterdam is a great time to head out of town and enjoy the lakes. One of the closest lakes to Amsterdam is the Nieuwemeer, about a half hour/hour boat ride from town. Here you can (literally) immerse yourself in the Dutch culture by taking a refreshing splash in the fresh water. Pure Boats offers day trips to the Nieuwe Meer
Cross the IJ on a free ferry from Amsterdam centraal to Noord and head to this unkempt but trendy industrial area.This cultural hotspot is home of festivals, vintage markets, street art and cafés to chill along the water. Here are some of the best spots in Amsterdam Noord:
- Pllek : Relax at this waterside bar with your feet in the sand. Have a laid back time and a festival vibe with live music (on the weekends) for a great Amsterdam summer day. Don’t forget your swimming suit!
- Noorderlicht: You wouldn’t expect a bohemian summer in Amsterdam in this huge greenhouse. From their decorations to their tasty (vegetarian/vegan) menu, this waterfront bar offers a sustainable way to enjoy Amsterdam in summer. Both inside and outside you can enjoy live music shows.
Summer Festivals in Amsterdam
The summer months are the stage of many unforgettable festivals in Amsterdam. From hard techno to the best oysters, we have made the best list of festivals in Amsterdam in summer!
This is the largest techno event of the world and is held every summer in Amsterdam! With a line-up of more than 100 DJ’s and up to 8 stages this 2-day festival is an unforgettable one.
Have a blast at this wonderland festival. Magical creatures roaming around the Sloterpark in Amsterdam during the summer will make your experience even more magical. Explore this electronic music festival in the heart of Amsterdam.
From street parties to circuit parties, these days of celebration are some of the most festive in the world. One of the highlights of this event is the famous Canal Parade that no one wants to miss!
Aalsmeer flower festival
In Aalsmeer, not far from the city, discover art, food, fashion and workshops inspired by flowers. If you are a fan of beautiful plants check our blog about the tulip season in Amsterdam or the Floriade Expo 2022!
This food filled weekender dedicated to delicious food will make your summer in Amsterdam . Wander around this food festival with food stalls on wheels (hence the name rolling kitchens) and choose as many tasty bites as you want! No entrance fee, only a big restaurant courtyard at the Amsterdam Westergasfabriek. Check out their page for this years edition here !
Cool down on the canals – Rent a boat for your Amsterdam summer break
Summer in Amsterdam is the perfect time to sightsee the city, especially from the water! Whether you want to be your own captain or enjoy an all-inclusive cruise, you can explore the waterways with these companies:
Mokum boats: go aboard one of their easy to steer electric boats and explore the city by yourself.
Starboard boats: this young company offers quality trips with fun captains. Ask them about their canal clean up cruises!
Pure boats: of course we have to be in this list 😉 Book a private cruise in Amsterdam or a shared boat tour with us! For summer in Amsterdam we recommend our cocktail cruise, morning cruise or a boozy brunch cruise!
Where to eat during a sunny summer in Amsterdam
During summer in Amsterdam you will definitely want to be outside. Stop by these spots while you are sightseeing the city and head to one of the parks in Amsterdam.
Almost each neighborhood has one. Come across delicious options to eat in stands selling Dutch, Thai, Surinamese and many other foods, all very typical cuisines in Amsterdam. Some of the best markets are the Albert Cuyp, Noodermarkt, Nieuwmarkt, De hallen or the Ten Katemarkt
Best ice cream in Amsterdam
This is an interesting restaurant for a tasty and organic meal by the water. Check their menu and online boutique here .
Amsterdam during summer is a synonym for picnics ! To plan a perfect occasion with friends or with your lover reach out to Wild Thyme Picnics. They will arrange an all included set up for you to enjoy a comfortable and delicious picnic loaded with local fresh food. “You bring the drinks, they’ll do the rest!”
Best rooftop bars in Amsterdam for a summer sunset
Did you know the sun sets around 10pm in summer in Amsterdam? Catch a front row seat and relax for sundown at one of the best rooftop bars in Amsterdam. We made a selection of hidden gems in Amsterdam around the city for you to see the day turn to night.
Floor 17: This tucked away location has the highest rooftop bar of Amsterdam, and offers a spectacular view of the city.
Skylounge : At this award-winning rooftop lounge you will make the most out of a panoramic view of Amsterdam and a super classy atmosphere
W lounge : Enjoy a large variety of cocktails watching over the Palace of the King inside this hotel’s sophisticated lounge
Level Eleven : At their 360º Skybar you will eat and drink with a perfect view of the city. If you are near Central Station, here is where you should head.
Astonishing view from the 360º Skybar
Pure Boats Evening Cruise (link)
Not in the sky but in the water. This is a special extra to also make the most out of a sunset: navigate Amsterdam in summer under the soft and tender colors of the sunset. Book a private canal cruise including snacks and an open bar or fully customize a tour for a special occasion you want to celebrate!
What is there to do in Amsterdam when it rains during summer?
Even if Amsterdam during summer has plenty of outdoor activities to offer, sometimes it can rain. Lucky you, there are famous must-see museums and art galleries.
Have a walk through the Museumplein (museum square) to check the majestic buildings around and then head to the renowned museums there: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Moco Museum
If you’re more of a pop-culture lover we really recommend the WONDR -instagram museum, and for some local influences the sexmuseum, cannibismuseum can’t be missed
Amsterdam Art Galeries
Koch X Bos : visit this rewarded art gallery in Amsterdam presenting intellectual and aesthetic pieces
Spiegelkwartier : this is the antique quartier of Amsterdam. It is home to more than 70 art galleries and antique collectors. Wander between the Rijksmuseum and the Herengracht canal, you will certainly find what you are looking for.
Put your raincoat on and walk through the Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat to shop at big brands fashion chains or head to The Nine Streets for designer clothes. If you wish to have a shopping day indoors go to De Bijenkorf luxury department store or the Magna Plaza mall.
Eat and drink sheltered from the rain at the famous Foodhallen of this renovated tram depot. Have a feast at this food market offering all kinds of dishes to wait comfortably until the rain fades away.
Hotspots to have a drink in Amsterdam during summer
Is it getting too hot? Do you crave a refreshing beverage whilst sightseeing? We got you covered with the best places in Amsterdam to cool your summer down.
When the sun is out, head to a terrace with your friends like a local
Nieuwmarkt : the best people watching spot while relaxing with good drinks and snacks in the middle of Amsterdam. This square is full of terraces perfect for summer.
Meneer Nieges : this terrace is spacious and sunny. Being along the IJ with a great view on the Eye film Museum and ADAM tower this spot will bring a beachy vibe to your summer in Amsterdam
Strandzuid : for a more private and classy spot, sit by the water at this local restaurant in the middle of the city. Enjoy your drinks with a view over the Beatrixpark in Zuid.
Grab your healthy shot at Joe and the Juice (yes, they really sell shots!). From juices to bowls, this is your healthy heaven. Vegan friends, they also offer a variety of original vegan shakes! At Pluk, grab a juice on your way or drink it inside their stylish interior store. Some of the decorations are for sale 😉
Did your Amsterdam summer bucket list just get longer? We hope so! Summer in Amsterdam is one of the best seasons to have an unforgettable holiday. Visit original art galleries, go to all kinds of festivals, savor delicious food and much more all in the same city. We wish you a great stay!