Great Ways to Spend Your Summer Trip to Amsterdam

I’ve only ever visited Amsterdam in the winter – it’s magical, not as crowded and so Christmassy, but absolutely bitter cold. For that reason, I’d love to be able to visit in the summer. In fact, I have a few days off work next week and I’m debating whether to A) go back to my hometown to see family and friends or B) take a cheeky trip to Amsterdam. I’ve literally been to two places this year: Grimsby and Sheffield. Exotic, right? So it’s safe to say that I’m seriously envying all those who have had the chance to leave the country this summer! Anyway, whether you’re getting ready for your trip to Amsterdam in summer, or if you’re just curious about what it has to offer, here are some really great ways to spend your time there.

Amsterdam in Summer: 5 great ways to spend it

Head to one of the festivals

It’s safe to say that Amsterdam is a bit festival mad. With over 300 festivals taking place throughout the year and the majority of these happening in summer, there really is something for everyone to enjoy. Party at a vibrant dance music event, or learn about local cuisine at one of the foodie festivals. You can check which festivals are on during your visit.

Amsterdam in Summer: 5 great ways to spend it: Amsterdam Waterfront
Amsterdam Waterfront by Guilhem Vellut on Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Make the most of the street markets

Amsterdam is renowned for its street markets, and every day there’s one taking place in a different part of the city. If you’re a bit of a sucker for vintage clothing, you’ll adore the Waterlooplein. Open 6 days a week from 9:30am until 6pm, this street market dates all the way back to 1885. Located next to Amsterdam City Hall, every stall has something different to offer. On the other hand, those who love all things floral will love visiting the world-famous Amsterdam flower market, where you can find tulips in every colour. It’s open daily throughout the summer from 9am until 5:30pm, and from 11:30am on Sundays.

Amsterdam in Summer: 5 great ways to spend it: Amsterdam flowers
Amsterdam flowers by John Nousis on Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Sunbathe on the beach

The Dutch capital probably isn’t the first place you think of when you envisage a European beach holiday, but just half an hour from the city centre, visitors to Amsterdam in summer can find one of the most unspoilt coastlines in Northern Europe. Bloemendaal is well-known for its hip beach bars and clubs to head to after the sun goes down, whereas its neighbour Zandvoort is more popular with tourists and families.

Amsterdam in Summer: 5 great ways to spend it: Zandvoort Hobie Catamaran at Sunset
Hobie Catamaran at sunset off Zandvoort by Udo Geisler on Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Go on a canal trip

It’s safe to say that Amsterdam in summer is undoubtedly the best time to enjoy a trip along Amsterdam’s canals. Whether you opt for a pedalo or a traditional glass-topped boat, most tour boats leave from the jetties in front of Central Station. If you don’t fancy a canal trip, taking a peaceful walk along the canals is just as enjoyable. Plus, it’s free!

Amsterdam in Summer: 5 great ways to spend it: Cruise on a Canal in Amsterdam
Cruise on a Canal in Amsterdam by Guilhem Vellut on Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Enjoy a picnic at Vondelpark

Amsterdam’s most famous park, Vondelpark is perfectly central and the best place to enjoy a picnic or barbecue in the summer months. It can get a bit crowded, though, so if you want to avoid the mass of people, head there in the morning before lunchtime.

Amsterdam in Summer: 5 great ways to spend it: Bikes in Vondelpark
Bikes in Vondelpark by Pablo on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

It’s fair to say that I’m having serious wanderlust now after writing this article, and a spontaneous trip next week to see Amsterdam in summer is becoming even more tempting…

About Lauren Davidson

Since 2013, Lauren has been writing for various travel and lifestyle websites. Her first piece of writing was a travel guide on the Algarve region of Portugal, where she lived for over a year. Currently residing in Sheffield, England, she is studying Journalism and has a blog at You can follow her on Twitter at @Lozikinz.

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