12 Things to Do in Amsterdam This Summer

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Top 12 Things to Do in Amsterdam This Summer

Your summer guide to Amsterdam is here. Thinking of planning a trip to the Dutch capital this summer? Not sure what places to visit whilst there? Then fear no more. We’ve picked out the top 12 things to do in the capital during the summer months. From pretty parks and pancakes to outdoor markets and urban beaches, we’ve covered it all IN DETAIL...

1) Indulge in some traditional Dutch pancakes outside

Amsterdam is famous for its pancakes, so you can’t not try some while you’re here. Give your taste buds a treat! Here a three of our favourite Dutch Pancake houses in Amsterdam where you can sit outside in the sunshine while you scoff them down. The perfect summer sweet treat:

  • De Vier Pilaren       

The cutest, most charming little place to enjoy some top-notch pancakes and the INCREDIBLE pofferjes. Sit on the outdoor terrace overlooking the canal, a true Dutch experience.

  • Carousel Pancake House

The Carousel Pancake House is a round pancake restaurant located in an old carousel (right opposite the Heineken Experience)! Pretty awesome. Serving sweet and savoury pancakes -  and its popular poffertjes (mini pancakes covered in powdered sugar) you can't miss this place.

Carousel Pancakes

  • The Pannenkoekenboot

The Pannenkoekenbook (aka The Pancake Boat) is where you can treat yourself to all you can eat Dutch pancakes while you cruise around on a boat sightseeing for 75 minutes. There are a variety of toppings to choose from and great views while you eat. So yeah, how many pancakes can you get down in 75 minutes? Find out more

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2) Brave the views from the A’dam Lookout

Scale the 20 storey tall A’dam tower to observe the amazing panoramic view of Amsterdam. From the top of the building you can see the wonderful canals, the city’s historical centre and much more! If you’re feeling brave and fancy a rush of adrenaline try the “Over The Edge” swing which is Europe’s highest swing, swinging you 100 meters above the ground over the edge of the tower. Can you brave it? Or, if that’s not for you, enjoy a nice drink in their bar.

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3) Take a day trip to a beautiful castle

Here are some popular ones:

  • De Haar Castle

De Haar Castle is one of the biggest and most luxurious castle in the Netherlands, dating back to the 13th century. This stunning castle is situated in Utrecht near Haarzuilens and it’s pretty magnificent inside and out. The park and gardens surround the Castle covering over 135 acres of land is a perfect place for you to enjoy a nice walk or even a picnic during the summer!

  • Muiderslot

Discover seven centuries of Dutch history in Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot! Many say that it resembles one from a fairy-tale book. If you wish, you may take a guided tour around the castle where you can gain more historic insight. However, you may also roam around the castle! Located at the mouth of the Vecht river, in Muiden, the castle is only 15km away from Amsterdam’s city centre.

Find out more

4)   Enjoy a long walk in the best parks

Enjoy the summer weather whilst taking a stroll down these parks and admiring the beautiful sights that they offer - and don’t forget to go to Vondelparks free Open Air Theatre...


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Vondelpark is the largest and most famous city park in Amsterdam. Situated near the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, it welcomes around 10 million visitors every year. Head down during the weekend for the Open Air Theatre and enjoy many summertime performances including classical presentations, music, cabaret and the latest Dutch pop performers all for free!

You can also visit Vondelpark in a typical Dutch way by renting out a city bike tour.

Or even a bbq in the park...


Located in Amsterdam Oost, Oosterpark is considered the most multicultural park in Amsterdam. You’re allowed to light up a bbq at this park (BBQ’s aren’t permitted at Vondelpark), so it’s a great place to set up for the day with your friends to eat, drink and relax under the sun. It is filled with ponds and streams and is the home of many important monuments and sculptures. During the summer, many festivals take places in this park attracting a huge crowd of people.

5)  Cruise down the Canal

An exciting way to explore Amsterdam during the summer is by floating down Amsterdam on a canal boat. Beautiful weather and stunning views make the experience even more exciting! If you’d like to do some more sightseeing whilst on the canal, you can choose the “hop-on hop-off” option.

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6) Wander the streets of Jordaan and get lost in a market

Situated in central Amsterdam, Jordaan is the city’s most famous neighbourhood containing a mixture of restaurants, cafes and even art galleries. Jordaan is also very famous for it’s amazing markets that all foodies must visit:

  • The Lindengracht market, open every Saturday, is a great place for you to try out all the typical Dutch food that Amsterdam has to offer!
  • The Westerstraat market, open every Monday, is one of the biggest street markets in Jordaan with approximately 200 stands. This is a great place for you to enjoy traditional cuisine from around the world offered within the market!

7) Try the local beer!

Indulge in the taste of the local beers whilst enjoying the sun this summer at Brouwerij: one of the most famous breweries in Amsterdam. It offers some of the best seasonal beers and has a huge terrace and all of this under a windmill! A great place to go If you want to get into the local spirit.

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Participate in the Heineken experience

Born in Amsterdam, Heineken is one of the most well-known beers worldwide! This experience allows you to learn more about the history and the secrets behind the brand with a free tasting finale. There is also a rooftop bar at the end of the tour where you can enjoy a beer in the sunshine whilst admiring the view.

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8) Rent out a bike and cycle in the sun

Where better to cycle than a city that has more bikes than people? Take the Original Free Bike Tour around the city to experience the beauty of Amsterdam by bike. You can either bring your own bike for free or use the ones available at the tour meeting point for 5 euros. You’ll ride at a nice easy pace, so this is perfect for beginners with plenty of stops to take photos. On this tour you’ll get to pass landmarks and places of interest such as the VOC Ship, The Skinny Bridge, Windmills and Vibrant alley’s. The 3 hour tour meets everyday outside the Maritime museum at 10am.

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9) Have a blast at Amsterdam Pride 2017

Pride returns from 29 July till 6 August 2017 celebrating sexual diversity and gender variance. Every year multiple events are organised to do so. This year, the festival will start with a Pride walk at 11am on the 29th July. The meeting point will be at the Homomonument. On the same day, Vondelpark will be filled with a number of LGBT activities. The festival will end with a concert in Dam square on the 6th August 2017. However, there are many more exciting activities during Amsterdam Pride 2017 such as Canal Pride and Beach Pride for you to enjoy!

See the best photos from London Pride 2017 here

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10) Head to one of the rooftop bars or terraces

Amsterdam is brimming with brilliant summer spots to relax with a drink. Our favourite rooftops and terraces include EYE, Floor 17, Sky Lounge, Cafe de Jaren, Noorderlicht and Pacific Parc.

11) Fancy a festival?


  • Milkshake Festival

Located in Westerpark, the Milkshake festival is the perfect place to go this summer to enjoy music from top name DJ’s to drag acts and performance art.

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  • A Day At The Park

Located in a forest in the south of Amsterdam, this festival which takes place on the 15th of July is perfect for deep-house,disco and techno lovers. This is the 10th and last year for the festival - so don’t miss this.

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  • Buiten Westen

This festival which takes place on the 15th July is organised by Next Monday’s Hangover and Pleinvrees. Situated in Amstel, this festival’s primary focus is electronic and house music.


  • TREK Food Truck Festival

For a tasty meal on wheels head to the outdoor Trek Food Truck Festival in Amsterdam. You can also enjoy some live music and entertainment whilst treating yourself to some traditional Dutch food.

Find out more 

  • Happy Sushi Festival

If you’re a sushi lover don’t miss out on the Happy Sushi festival which is on the 28th and 29th of July. This festival will give you the chance to try over fifty different sushi plates!

Find out more


  • World Cinema Amsterdam

This summer don’t miss the open air screening of some independent films from Latin America, Asia and Africa from the 17th of August until the 26th August 2017. On warm evenings who wouldn’t want to sit outside and enjoy a movie?

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12) Hit the urban beach

Never thought you could come to Amsterdam for a beach holiday did you? Well, pack bikinis and swim shorts backpackers because Amsterdam has some pretty cool urban beaches you’ll want to check out this summer.

  • Plekk

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Open from 9:30am until 1am, Plekk is the perfect place to spend your morning, afternoon or even evening. From enjoying a nice relaxing time on the man-made sandy beach, to watching a movie screening in the evening, this cool laid back hangout overlooking the water is a great place to be this summer.

  • Blijburg aan Zee

This beach is the perfect place to go to when you want to catch a tan or do a bit of swimming during the day! There’s also a beach bar/lounge which offers some good food and drink to keep you going through the day. You can also enjoy the nightlife with some fun beach parties that go on in the evening.

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Don't forget to book yourself in for a stand up paddle board lesson at Blijburg beach with M&MSUP. Book here.

And there you have it. That's your summer itinerary covered while you're in Amsterdam!

Want to know where to party at night? Check out the best clubs in Amsterdam here

Article by Katie Nichols

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