Amsterdam never comes to life more than in the summer, when the city’s parks, canals, and streets become a bustling kaleidoscope of activity. There are countless activities to choose from during the warmer months, whether you want to party all day at a festival, relax on the beach, take a boat out to explore the canals, or have a BBQ in the park. Here are a few explanations as to why the Dutch capital makes the ideal summer vacation spot.
1. Learn about the street food scene in Amsterdam.
When it comes to embracing street cuisine, Amsterdam doesn’t hold back. The city’s motto is “it’s never enough,” and festivals like Taste of Amsterdam, Rollin Kitchens, and Kwaku reflect this. If you enjoy a fine bottle of wine, don’t miss the Bacchus Festival.
You may also beat the heat by taking a tour of Amsterdam’s best ice cream shops. Visit Amsterdam’s greatest markets for a taste of the city for aged cheeses, fresh seafood, and distinctive poffertjes that will leave you stuffed… in a good way.
2. Be yourself without any restrictions.
This sentence might be accurate for every day in Amsterdam, then. However, throughout the summer, things pick up steam as the city is painted rainbow-colored in support of LGBTQI+ rights. One of the most well-known Pride festivities in the world, Amsterdam Pride takes over the streets, canals, pubs, clubs, restaurants, and everything in between.
3. Enjoy being on the water at the ideal time.
The summer is the ideal time to explore the canals and rediscover the city from the water, whether you rent a boat or a SUP. The summer breeze will carry you down the Amstel as you sail in a kayak or two under the bridges or into the canals at dusk.
Alternately, take in the striking architecture of Amsterdam as you sail past charming canals. We advise picking a small boat so you may dock at one of the several waterfront bars and eateries. You could make pit stops at Waterkant and Hannekes Boom, to name just a couple.
4. Visit museums in all seasons.
It’s the ideal time of year to swing from the top of the A’DAM Tower or take a stroll through the Hortus Botanicus grounds. Take a train to the Singer Laren sculpture garden or the Zaanse Schans, or visit the Rijksmuseum to escape the erratic Dutch weather. You can easily move from one museum to the next when you have the City Card in your possession.
5. On the canals, enjoy classical music.
One of the highlights of the summer is the Grachtenfestival, so make sure to stay for it! The audience is welcomed in August with ten days of classical music and jazz performances directly on the sea.
The shows sell out quickly, but there is no need to make plans in advance; simply come up and take in the music that can be heard all the way down the street, or rent a boat and wait on the sidelines for the best seats.
6. Spend time passing by in the Amsterdam Forest.
The Amsterdamse Bos, a city woodland, is even unique to Amsterdam. This lush paradise is three times the size of Central Park in New York and is home to several bird species, grazing highland cows, and wild animals. If you want to stock up on organic goat milk and cheese or test your zen during a session of goat yoga, there is a goat farm nearby.
It offers the chance for kid-friendly outdoor activities, such as kayaking on the lakes, zipping along zip lines in the Fun Forest climbing park, or driving an electric boat, in addition to walking and cycling across the green expanse.
7. Free performances of theater in the park
Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from May to September, a large outdoor theater in the midst of Vondelpark features dance, music, cabaret, comedy, and kid-friendly activities. Although donations are not required, it is completely free.
8. Enjoy a beach vacation in Amsterdam.
The beaches in and around Amsterdam are no exception to the popularity of beaches throughout the country of the Netherlands. There are several urban beaches in the city, each with their own appeals, from the golden sands of Sloterplas in Amsterdam Nieuw-West to the industrial surroundings of Pllek in Amsterdam Noord and Het Stenen Hoofd on the other side of the IJ River. Every one of them is exceptionally well-liked when the sun is out.
9. A celebration with animals
On Saturdays in June, July, and August, the ARTIS Royal Zoo hosts Zoomeravonden (summer nights), a late-night event featuring big cats and jungle creatures. Enjoy a picnic, go to a show, then tour the zoo at dusk.
10. There are numerous terraces to explore.
Amsterdam does a great job at outdoor dining and drinking for a city that isn’t particularly known for its pleasant climate. Amsterdam’s bars and eateries move their operations outside as soon as the sun emerges (and frequently even when it doesn’t), and locals and tourists converge to sip drinks al fresco.