How to Spend Summer in Amsterdam


Summer in Amsterdam is such a delight. We loved our trip to Amsterdam over New Year’s Eve a few years ago so we were super excited to meet our friends there in July. The crowds and heat are no joke but summer still has its perks.

amsterdam netherlands

amsterdam evening

What to Do During Summer in Amsterdam

Rent a Boat

Amsterdam’s notorious canals are practically begging you to come in during the hot summer days. Renting a boat is such a fun way to see the city and it’s not as expensive as it sounds! We rented from Boaty and while the boat was not glamorous, we were zipping through the canals for less than $100. For a group of four this isn’t too bad! Stop by one of the many Albert Heijn grocery stores to pick up some charcuterie and wine and you’re in for a fabulous afternoon on the water.

boat tour amsterdam

canals in amsterdam

Try Yummy Restaurants

We had some great meals during this trip to Amsterdam. Waterkant is right on the canal and the perfect setting for drinks and apps. Foodhallen is indoors but its trendy market style setup is not to be missed. We recommend the sticky buns from the punny BaoWowoW Yippie Yo Yippie Yay but you can’t go wrong with any of the vendors. They often have live music too!


For a trendy brunch head to De Pijp’s Coffee and Coconuts. Its Instagram-worthy decor and drinks are great, however, the food was subpar. That being said, we did see several people working and it looked like a digital nomad dream. Nearby cafe Stroom is a cute spot for iced coffee.

For tapas towards the touristic area check out Catala. They are open later than other restaurants which is nice as we kept trying to go to restaurants after they closed! And of course when in Amsterdam you must go cheese tasting! We went to Reypenear Proeflokaal for the second time since we loved it so much on our first trip to Amsterdam. We didn’t make it to Noorderlicht but it is supposed to have a fabulous vibe in the summer. As long as you avoid restaurants on Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein you’ll be fine. Looking for a traditional coffee shop? Tweede Kamer and New Times had a nice aesthetic.


rembrandt square amsterdam

Have a Picnic in Vondelpark & Rent Bikes

These are two things we didn’t do, but I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer in Amsterdam! A picnic in Vondelpark is a dream. And what is more quintessential Dutch summer than riding a bike across the canals? Although, as a timid biker, I must say that due to the volume of bikes it looks like it could be a little challenging. Something we did but wish we didn’t? Bloemenmarkt. There are few flowers mostly seeds. It’s pretty weak but always fun to get a photo in clogs!

dutch clogs

Visit the Van Gogh Museum

Cool off while culturing yourself with a visit to the Van Gogh Museum. While Starry Night is in New York, (who knew!?) you can still enjoy Vincent’s fabulous work and learn a lot about his history. We totally recommend the audio guide.

van gogh museum

Go to the Pool

It’s hot. Very hot. Head to the pool to cool off. Staying at an Airbnb or not so glamorous budget hotel? I’m looking at you, Sharm Hotel. Visit the pool at the W Hotel for city views and a fun vibe. Buy a drink and you can stay a while.

w hotel pool

Sip Craft Cocktails

What better way to cool off than sipping a cucumber gin smash? Head to Tales and Spirits. I LOVED this place. It’s a bit crowded and you may need 30 minutes to read the menu (it’s quite thick) but it’s totally worth it. Miss Moneypenny has a nice vibe too but I didn’t love my drink. We tried to enjoy Amsterdam nightlife but we couldn’t find it! From asking locals to googling, we still came up short. We briefly went into Sugar Factory but it was meh at best. We heard good things about Disco Dolly but didn’t check it out, let us know if you find something good!

Amsterdam is so quaint and lovely all year round but summer has an especially special feel. Read about our entire summer in Europe here.

amsterdam bicycle

Want more information to plan your Summer in Amsterdam? Check out the Amsterdam Lonely Planet here.

Always loving Amsterdam,



Amsterdam in the summer

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