There aren't that many hot days in the Netherlands so planning ahead for them actually makes sense. Especially if vacations in hot summer countries (like Greece!) aren't in the horizon.
For us Greeks, that loveeeeee summer, there are many solutions to enjoy our selves, feel the sun, get some tanning, drink frappe with friends and forget that there are no vacations for us this year.
In Amsterdam you can find many outdoor options, if you know where to look. One of the most obvious spots are the big open squares, Leidseplein, Rembrandtplein, Museumplein and Spui. For waterside views, try Café van Zuylen's sprawling terrace on the Singel or charming Café ‘t Gasthuys hidden near the main shopping district. If you want something extra special, you can visit Wynand Fockink for a liqueur near the Dam square.
At the end of the Utrechtsestraat, NeL offers shady trees and a beautiful atmosphere. Spuistraat and Nieuwmarkt is also circled by bars and cafés with outdoor seating. Last but not least, Vondelpark is the perfect destination for a long lazy day. The park has four cafés with large terraces, including 't Blauwe Theehuis.
In De Pijp, just around the corner from the Heineken Experience, Marie Heinekenplein is stuffed with tables from a variety of cafés located right on the square. In the heart of de Pijp by the Albert Cuypmarkt, visit the Gerard Douplein for popular hangouts.
In Amsterdam Oost, the most notable terraces, start along the Amstel River, with Hesp and De Ysbreeker offering the best views and the most tables. Near the Tropenmuseum, the stretch of Linnaeusstraat bordering the Oosterpark has a row of great options like East of Eden, Café Museum, Pata Negra 2 and De Biertuin. On the far edge of Oost, stop by Brouwerij ‘t IJ for a quintessential Amsterdam experience!
A sure-fire bet for a sunny day in West Amsterdam is the Westergasfabriek. This sprawling park and cultural area has a number of great spots for cold drinks in the sun, including Pacific Parc, the WestergasTerras and Toko MC. On the corner of the Marnixstraat, newcomer Brandstof is always full of good-looking locals, while just down the street Soundgarden offers outdoor tables and great view at the canal, cheap beer and openminded people. Attracts a more rock & roll crowd on their relaxed waterside patio hiding behind the bar. At the start of the Postjesweg, Edel is a rare find with a waterside terrace that wraps around the building.
Jump on one of the free ferries to Amsterdam Noord for the best views of the IJ River. By the NDSM Wharf, you’ll find IJ-Kantine’s terrace right by the ferry landing, while Noorderlicht is located in a former greenhouse just a five-minute walk away. By the Buiksloterweg ferry stop you’ll find De Pont and the Tolhuistuin, both with plenty of outdoor seating. Further down the banks of the river you’ll discover Wilhelmina Dok, with more tables outside than inside and memorable meals and snacks. A bit further into Noord, it’s worth seeking out Café ‘t Sluisje with a quaint village atmosphere, it’s hard to believe you’re still in the big city!
If you feel brave and you want to visit a beach, read our article The best beaches in the Netherlands.
Visit a swimming pool!
Visit to one of Amsterdam’s swimming pools in a hot day and if you want to have an active day out with the whole family or your friends. In addition to large pools for swimming laps, most of these locations have wading pool for toddlers as well.
The Zuiderbad, Mirandabad, Het Marnix and Optisport Sloterpark pools are covered indoor pools for year-round fun in the water. In the summer months, the number of pools in Amsterdam doubles when the outdoor pools open their doors at the Floraparkbad, Flevoparkbad and Brediusbad. The Mirandabad and Optisport Sloterpark also have outdoor pools that are open just few months each year.
Swim in BadBuiten with a view in this 18 x 5m heated boat-pool moored along the Amstel River with a bar and shaded terrace to enjoy food and drinks. A small fee is charged to use the pool and it is only open on warmer days (over 20ºC). Open: Wednesday to Friday from 13:00 to 23:00, and from 11:00 to 23:00 on the weekend. See more at their website badbuiten.nl
The Brediusbad is an outdoor swimming pool located in a green area next to the WestCord Art Hotel in Amsterdam’s Spaarndammerbuurt neighbourhood. Open: From the beginning of May through the beginning of September. See more here
The Flevoparkbad is an outdoor swimming pool located on the edge of the spacious Flevopark in Amsterdam Oost. Here you’ll find an Olympic-size (50-metre) pool for swimming laps, a much shallower pool for children, and a wading pool for toddlers. Open: Every year from the end of April through the beginning of September. See more here
The De Mirandabad is a subtropical swimming pool complex with a beach, palm trees, several indoor and outdoor pools, and wave machines. Some other amenities are included. Open: Outdoor pools are closed from 1 September to 1 May. See more here
Het Marnix is a modern, multifunctional sports centre right in the heart of Amsterdam. The complex was completely rebuilt in 2006, and now features two swimming pools, a large sports hall, a spa, health club and a café. Come to Het Marnix to swim alongside an old canal, exercise while enjoying the view of the Jordaan and relax in the sauna on the roof terrace. It's the perfect way to spend an afternoon on your own or with family or friends. See more at the official website www.hetmarnix.nl
Only a few steps from the Rijksmuseum, you will find Zuiderbad, in this art-deco building with a rich history. Inside, you will discover a delightful swimming pool. See more here
The Sloterparkbad is an indoor and outdoor swimming complex located next to the Sloterplas – a scenic lake and recreation area in Amsterdam. The indoor facilities include a 50-metre pool for swimming laps, a wading pool, slide, whirlpools and even a waterside bar for drinks and snacks. There is also a dedicated diving pool with 1-metre and 3-metre diving boards. In the summer months you can enjoy the 5-hectare outdoor swimming area with a 25-metre pool, wading pool and playground. The Sloterparkbad will unfortunately be closed for most of the summer due to extensive refurbishment. The swimming pool will reopen on 13 August 2013. See more at the official website www.sloterparkbad.nl
Enjoy the sun, it doesn't last long!
photos by: bartvanpoll, kalleboo, d_vdm, priittammets