What to do in Amsterdam on a Hot Day
You may think we’re biased, but there’s definitely nowhere better in the world to be than in Amsterdam in the summer. Locals, expats and visitors make a beeline for Vondelpark to get high in the sun and eat burgers off a barbecue. Then the canals fill with boats cruising through the city with people drinking on board and taking in the views. The list of things to do in Amsterdam when it’s hot out is endless! Beach bars, public pools, bike routes in and out of the city… Check out these awesome things to do in Amsterdam on a hot day in summer.
Need a bed in Amsterdam? Check out the Flying Pig hostels
Chill out in one of the Best Beach Bars
Amsterdam’s day drinking spots really give the rest of Europe’s cities a run for their money. In the summer, the canalside bars are always buzzing with people eating, drinking and soaking up the sun. If you’re in Amsterdam on a hot day, heading to one of the beach bars is one of the best things to do, where you can sink your toes in the sand and get involved in the unreal atmosphere.
Open for lunch, dinner and midnight snacks to soak up the summer-fuelled alcohol intake, Hannekes Boom is one of Amsterdam’s top summer spots. Cycle over to the edge of the River IJ (or bring your boat round) to the right of Centraal Station, and you’ll find the canalside energy buzzing from 10am until even earlier hours of the morning. The arty outdoor space with river views paired with great value food, beer, cocktails or even coffee makes for the ideal summer’s afternoon out.
Just a quick free ferry ride away from Centraal Station, Pllek sits on the banks of the river IJ. Sink your toes into the sandy beach and pull up a deck chair to bask in the sun with a beer in hand. The proper chilled vibes at Pllek is one of the main draws to head up to Amsterdam Noord in summer, plus the food is some of the best in the city. So sit back, relax with your pals and enjoy a summer at Pllek.
A local and expat favourite to spend the summer months, Roest was closed for a while but it’s now back and better than before. There’s always something going on at Roest, whether it’s live DJs, salsa classes or yoga, so you know you’re always gonna have the best time. Don’t expect to be able to head there for ‘just one’, as you’ll always end up wanting to stay ‘til close, making friends with random strangers and loving the lively buzz.
Hire a boat and cruise the canals
Get a group together to chip in and rent a boat for a few hours - one of the absolute best things to do in Amsterdam when it’s hot. Nothing beats the feeling of the sun on your face with a little breeze as you drink beer and take in the sites from what makes Amsterdam famous. There are loads of different companies that let you rent out a boat, Canal Motorboats, Eco Boats, Boaty, Mokumboat… The list goes on. Pack a crate of beer for the journey (do not forget your sunscreen) and join the locals as they wind their way around Dam, seeing the city in true Dutch style. It’s worth every penny!
Smoke in Vondelpark
It wouldn’t be a summer’s day in Dam without a smoke in Vondelpark. While the coffeeshops are great for chilling out on a cold or rainy day, don’t hide away indoors to smoke when there’s a park like Vondelpark just down the road. Find a spot in Amsterdam’s biggest and best park to set up camp, play music and chill with some weed. While it’s not technically allowed in public, if you don’t smoke around kids and you don’t make a scene, you should be fine.
Check out our Ultimate Guide to Coffeeshops for Beginners in Amsterdam
Light up a BBQ
But don’t just do it anywhere! When it comes to barbecues in Amsterdam’s parks, there are a few rules you need to follow. First of all, BBQs are not allowed in Vondelpark which is a bummer but there are loads more great parks in which grilling a burger or two is perfectly fine. So either buy a disposable BBQ from a nearby shop or buy your grillable goods and hope you can bag one of the park’s permanent BBQs to get your chef on. Westerpark, Noorderpark and Flevopark are the largest three where you’re allowed to grill up, and that are nearest to the centre. All are still ideal spots for a chilled picnic and some hot, tasty food.
Go for a dip
Another option is North Amsterdam’s favourite outdoor pool, Floraparkbad. Right at the top of Noorderpark, you’ll feel a little like you’re outside Amsterdam, with a pretty scenic backdrop to your swim. Just hop on a free ferry from the back of Centraal Station with your bike and in 5 minutes you’ll be in Amsterdam Noord, then a 10 minute cycle later you’ll arrive at the pool.
The swimming pools in Amsterdam are perfect for cooling off on a hot day in the city. The indoor pool at Mirandabad is huge, but the outdoor pool is ideal for a hot day. So escape the crowds, don your swimsuit and cycle south of the city to take a dip in one of the best public pools in Amsterdam.
Is there anything better than sipping a cold drink on a hot summer’s day? Yep, doing exactly that from one of the highest points in the city. Amsterdam has its fair share of rooftop bars where you can sit back with a cocktail and take in some seriously great views. Bar Hopp is one of the top options as it’s been designed to feel like a summer garden with an open top roof. The rooftop bar on top of the Nemo Science Museum is another awesome option with super chilled vibes and some proper tasty food.
Take a bike ride
Getting on a bike in Amsterdam is as natural as walking, so when it’s a bright summer's day heading out on your bike is a must. Whether it’s just pedalling your way along the canals or following a route out into Amsterdam Forest, bike riding in Amsterdam is the best way to see the city and more. From beginner routes to those for proper bike riding enthusiasts (although bare in mind it’s all pretty flat), the city has it all!
Check out these great Cycle Routes in and Around Amsterdam
Article by Darcy King