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9 Of the Best Summer Activities in Amsterdam

One of the best vacationing spots, especially in the summer months, is the tourist location of Amsterdam. Not only is the weather great, but the streets and tourist hot spots are bustling, and everyone seems to be enjoying the city’s joyous atmosphere.

If you are interested in visiting this city and are curious about how to best spend your time there, we’ve got a great list of summer activities for you. Whether you’re interested in festivals, must-do events, or the regular list of tourist hot spots, Amsterdam in the summer is definitely one of the best places to be. 

Urban Beaches 

One of the things that many visitors will be surprised to learn about Amsterdam is that it has a

 of overlooked but definitely worthwhile urban beaches. One of the reasons they are often overlooked is because they tend to be hidden. T

hese beaches include zwemstrand at Sloterplas Lake, Blijburg aan Zee, and the man-made beach bars such as Roest and Pllek. 

So, if you are visiting Amsterdam and it’s a particularly hot day where you need some reprieve, consider chilling out and enjoying the cool water and warm sand between your toes at one of Amsterdam’s urban beaches. 

After you have wisely secured luggage storage in Amsterdam, you will be better able to enjoy yourself during a day at the beach.

The Van Gogh 

While visiting Amsterdam, you absolutely must visit the Van Gogh Museum. This location is home to some of the Netherlands painter’s most famous masterpieces. Located in Museumplein, the museum is very nature friendly in that it sits atop a large green space. Oftentimes, while visiting inside the museum, you can find tons of locals and visitors sitting in the green space enjoying a budget-friendly picnic or drink.

Outdoor Sculpture and Street Art 

If you are a fan of the outdoors and public art, then Amsterdam is the place for you. As a place with plenty of street art, you can find the highest concentration of public art in Amsterdam Noord, which is just a short ferry trip from Amsterdam Centraal – this area’s largest railway station. 

If not here, you can also check out great (and free!) street art at Rijksmuseum’s gardens and Vondelpark.

Amsterdamse Bos 

Visitors also like to check out the Amsterdamse Bos (otherwise known as the Amsterdam Forest). Located in a wooded oasis, this is considered the city’s largest green space. Visitors to the forest can explore using their two feet or a bike, and they can also get in a quick swim at the Amsterdamse Bos’s lakes.

Food Festivals 

Like many tourist locations, Amsterdam has also got a number of great food festivals each summer. One of its most popular is Rollende Keukens (Rolling Kitchens in English), given that it marks the top of the foodie season. 

When attending, you can find a wide variety of culinary surprises, food trucks, and parties.

Another great festival option is Taste of Amsterdam in Amstel Park, where a number of restaurants offer the public fine food at affordable costs.

Theatre Festivals 

If you are more of the theatre type, you might instead enjoy taking in a theatre festival. Many visitors often suggest taking in De Parade Theatre Festival or checking out the productions put on by Vondelpark Open Air Theatre.

Music Festivals 

In addition to theatre, there are also great music festivals that visitors like to check out. Interestingly, the Netherlands is notorious for generating more top DJs – especially in the genres of Techno and House music – than any other place in the world. 

This is but one of the reasons to check out some of the more popular festivals in the area, which include Awakenings, Milkshake, Loveland, and Dekmantel.

Experience Amsterdam By Boat 

If you are worn out by checking out Amsterdam on foot, why not check it out via its waterways. If you visit during the summer months, Amsterdam is well-known for its historic waterways, and on any given day, you can find tourists and locals sailing along the water. 

As a tourist, the easiest way for you to do this is to gather a group of friends and rent a boat, or alternatively join the likes of a luxury boat. Not only will you get a different view of the sights and sounds, but you can travel through the city’s famous canal belt with a beer or glass of wine in hand.

Red Light District 

Finally, one of the major reasons many travel to Amsterdam is for its naughty Red Light District. This infamous location especially comes to life in the hot summer months as visitors take in the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the area. Surprisingly, other than its more naughty attractions, this district has a lot in the way of beautiful houses, cobbled streets, and quaint bridges.

Once the sun descends, the Red Light District is the place to be if you are looking for overall debauchery – especially if you are hoping to look into the windows of its many brothels.

While you are in this area, we also recommend climbing atop the tower of Oudekerk to take in a great view of the city.

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