There’s no denying it: Amsterdam knows a thing or two about making the most of the summer months. The whole city sheds its layers at the first hint a sunshine and sets up camp in the ‘Dam’s pristine parks, terraces and waterways. There’s no better time to embrace the Dutch way of life. Bike or boat? Whichever takes your fancy, spend sun-kissed days exploring under your own steam. From the Nine Streets’ swish boutiques to the hippest watering hole, here’s our guide to a perfect day in Amsterdam.
The world’s only floating flower market lines one side of the scenic Singel canal, in the city’s historic heart. Take time to smell the fresh flowers and stock up on bulbs – especially the Netherlands’ renowned tulips – and seeds to take home. Many of the vendors also sell other souvenirs, and, in winter, holiday decorations.
Plucky by name and by nature, this lofty café makes an enticing pit stop during a shopping spree in the Nine Streets neighbourhood. Downstairs, farm-fresh fruit and veg for the virtuous sit alongside a sinful spread of brownies, tarts and other frosted cakes. Sip on an iced coffee while you browse the in-house collection of illustrated totes, delicate jewellery and embroidered espadrilles.
With its neon lights, powder-pink walls and oversized plants, this boutique on the Prinsengracht canal ticks all the millennial boxes. The brand’s designer – an Amsterdam local – keeps her finger on the street-style pulse. Stop by for slogan tees, keep-forever basics and eye-catching swimwear.
On the grounds of a former gasworks, this multi-purpose venue is all about its Westerpark views. You’ll find beanbags scattered on the sprawling terrace and lake-straddling deck – the setting for many a pop-up event and dance-off in the summer. Feeling peckish? Snack on pulled pork tortillas, mango-flecked salad or a colourful poke bowl.
You’d be hard pressed to find anyone not at Hannekes Boom on a sizzling summer day. With a laid-back picnic vibe, live music and tasty Dutch snacks, this boho waterside hangout is the perfect place to catch some rays and watch the boats go by.
Needless to say, with no neighbours to fret about the noise, the party here goes with a swing until way past sunset. Plus, you can try out a wide selection of local beers from the likes of Two Chefs and Oedipus breweries.
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Vendors from all over Holland converge on Amstelpark once a month for this popular outdoor market. Expect designer and vintage goodies alongside tempting displays of organic beer and street food (try the Surinam roti or a freshly shucked oyster).
Amsterdam’s canals come alive with the sound of classical music during one of the summer’s most charming events. The culmination is the Prinsengracht Concert: a crowd-pulling free show on the pontoon by the Pulitzer Hotel.
The unofficial opening ceremony to a new season of culture, the Uitmarkt is one of Holland’s most popular events. Whether you’re a book-lover, an art aficionado, a jazz fiend or just looking to distract the kids, you’ll find plenty to please.