Summertime activities in Amsterdam

Summertime in Amsterdam. Clipart via
There’s a heatwave in Amsterdam! Yesterday it got up to 31º C (88º F) and today it’s looking hotter. You might be accustomed to more heat, but for the Netherlands, this is really hot. Here’s what you can do to make the most of the fleeting Dutch summer:

  • Eat ice cream! There are lots of  “ijs” or “softijs” places around town! Splurge on a double scoop. Or, get a box of popsicles at the grocery store and keep them in the freezer at home for later.
  • Go to the restaurant at the top of De Bijenkorf in Dam Square, make a custom magnum ice cream bar, and eat it on their rooftop patio.
  • Head to the beach at IJburg or Diemerpark. IJburg and Diemen are always windier than Amsterdam, and the little beaches are cute and just a (sweaty) cycle ride away. Bring a towel to lay on, a small picnic, and a good book!
  • Go to the beach at Zandvoort aan Zee. It’s a 30 minute train ride from Amsterdam Centraal, and I think the trains go twice an hour. Beware, it’s PACKED. Bring your own beach umbrella and something to lay on, and lots of sunscreen (as well as the usual towel, swimsuit, picnic, book). The water in the North Sea is extremely refreshing!
  • Go to the Amsterdamse Bos. It’s a great little forest just south of the city that you can cycle to, and it has a cafe and a small lake you can go for a dip in. Definitely bring snacks, if not a portable barbeque. If you don’t want to be by the little lake, hang out in the shade of the trees elsewhere.
  • Sit outside at a cafe on a canal, river, or dijk. Oostpoort has some nice ones, and the Jordaan neighbourhood is chock-full.
  • Hang out on the banks of the Amstel river. Bring a blanket to lie on if you’re fancy.
  • If you have a hammock, go in it immediately.
  • Sit on your balcony with your feet in a tub of cool water and sip a cold drink. Least amount of effort, decent payoff.