Restaurateurs are sweeping their terraces, the parks have turned into a sea of green. Time to pack a picnic, dig out your swimsuit and soak up the warmth and joys of the great outdoors. In Amsterdam, that means lounging in the soft grass of a city park, going for a swim in the Amstel or people-watching on one of the countless terraces. See our July recommendations for all these activities below.
City parks for a (distanced) picnic
Amsterdam is one of the greenest cities in Europe, thanks to its large variety of parks and grounds. No matter where in the city you currently find yourself, there’s a luscious speck of green nearby. Take a trip to the west and discover the beautiful Rembrandt Park, with its number of ponds, playgrounds and picnic spots, as well as De Uylenburg, Amsterdam’s oldest petting zoo. If you’re exploring the east, why not take a peek at the Oosterpark and its impressive sculpture garden and charming pavilion.
De Hortus Botanical Garden
Plantage Middenlaan 2a
For a more curated nature experience, we recommend visiting the De Hortus botanical garden near Amsterdam city centre. Currently they are offering an interesting exhibition titled ‘Brilliant Plants’, which examines how exactly plants eat, sleep, communicate and reproduce. You can also stroll through the greenhouses, including one filled with hundreds of tropical butterflies. Be sure to book your visiting time online in advance.
Plantage Kerklaan 38-40
Lions, tigers, bears – but also giraffes, ostriches, zebras and countless botanic treasures are waiting for you at the ARTIS Royal Zoo in Amsterdam’s centre. The planet’s natural diversity is represented here, from the forest to the savannah, from the aquarium to the planetarium. Whatever lifeform you’re curious about, you can book a timeframe online in advance and look forward to a colourful day of monkeying around.
Charming outdoor terraces
For a different kind of zoo, we recommend sitting on one of the many gorgeous outdoor terraces in Amsterdam and doing some people-watching. Observe a parade of interesting passersby from the Brouwerij Troost in Westerpark or the terrace of cafe Brandstof in the Jordaan neighborhood. For a quiet drink, visit Bar Brasserie OCCO at The Dylan, which has a private secluded inner garden for ultimate relaxation after a long day of sightseeing.
Go for a swim
Dip your toes or take a full dive into the cooling waterways of Amsterdam. If you’re keen on going for a swim in the city this July, your options are practically endless. Though you could head to the beach in Zandvoort, we recommend getting your hair wet like a true Amsterdammer: in the ponds. There are many spots along the Amstel, like at the Martin Luther King Park, where you can jump from the pier and splash around in the mighty river. Or visit the popular man-made beach area in Sloterplas in Amsterdam’s Nieuw West for a tropical time without leaving the city.