The best terraces in Amsterdam

Thanks to its northern location, Amsterdam has extra-long summer days - the sun sets at 22:00 at the start of summer. Soaking up the sun with a drink in hand is one of the city’s most popular summer pastimes, so here are more than enough suggestions to get you started.

Noorderlicht

Hippy hangout on the banks of the IJ

Hop on the free ferry from behind Central Station to NDSM Wharf, and before you know it you'll be basking on the grassy banks of Noorderlicht; one of Amsterdam's most unique bars. Essentially a huge greenhouse draped in fairy lights and festival bunting, this magical venue is a wonderful place in any season, although summer is when it really comes into its own thanks to its large waterside beer garden with outdoor bar, regular live music on the open-air stage and large campfire for cosy summer nights. Noorderlicht, NDSM Wharf

Noorderlicht Amsterdam 

Waterkant

Tropical vibes by the water

With its huge, waterside terrace that enjoys full sunshine despite being partially tucked under a multi-storey building, colourful Surinamese café bar Waterkant attracts an arty crowd of locals and in-the-know visitors. The perfect spot for sunny weather, yet also cosy when the temperature drops, Waterkant exudes tropical vibes in the heart of Amsterdam, just on the edge of the canal ring. Order yourself a Parbo beer and some spit-roasted chicken and join the fun. Waterkant, Amsterdam Oud-West

Waterkant Amsterdam

Hannekes Boom

Bohemian waterfront shack

Just 10 minutes’ walk from Central Station, yet blissfully hidden away from the beaten tourist track, this colourful waterside shack makes for a charmingly eclectic hang out on the banks of the Oosterdok. Built entirely from salvaged materials, Hannekes Boom exudes quirky cosiness and boasts one of Amsterdam’s best beer gardens, where locals and savvy visitors gather on sunny days to enjoy the funky vibes, good music and home-cooked BBQ food. Hanneke's Boom, Oostelijke Eilanden 

Hannekes Boom Amsterdam

Pacific Parc

Rock n Roll bar in the park

Located at the western end of the Westergasfabriek cultural complex in Westerpark, Pacific Parc is a lively restaurant, bar and late night rock n roll club which just so happens to have one of the best terraces in Amsterdam. Surrounding the bar on three sides and spilling out into the park, the colourful beer garden has a mish-mash of outdoor furniture made from reclaimed materials, cosy fire-pits to keep you warm after sundown and enough space for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors on summer days - which means less time fighting for a table and more time soaking up the sun.  Pacific Parc, Westergasfabriek

Pacific Parc terrace Amsterdam

EYE

Culture and cuisine in Amsterdam North

Looming commandingly over the IJ from Amsterdam Central Station, the EYE Film Institute is of Amterdam’s most impressive modern landmarks and a must-visit attraction. Also impressive is the centre’s stunning bar and restaurant, which boasts one of Amsterdam’s finest outdoor terraces; the ideal spot to bask in the sunshine while discussing the finer points of Dutch avant-garde cinema. Hop on the free ‘Buiksloterweg’ ferry behind Central Station, which will get you there in just three minutes. EYE Film Institute, Amsterdam Noord

Edel

Fairy-lit hideaway in de Baarsjes

Located in het Sieraad, one of the most iconic monuments of the Amsterdam School movement, this canteen style cafe restaurant enjoys one of the most beautiful terraces in Amsterdam. Right on the water, wrapping around two sides of the beautiful building, the terrace makes a wonderful spot for brunch, lunch, dinner or just drinks. And while it's ideal on sunny days, the terrace also offers a snug, covered area under an open teepee; the ideal place to curl up and watch the world go by. Just don't tell too many people about it. Edel, de Baarsjes 

Floor 17

Chic rooftop lounge in the clouds

Looming over Rembrandtpark in Amsterdam West, the Ramada Hotel’s 17th floor rooftop terrace bar Floor17 offers 360 degree views of Amsterdam and a peaceful haven in the sky. Luxuriously furnished, with a good selection of cocktails and dishes served straight from the outdoor grill, Floor 17 is a superb spot to while away an afternoon or evening. The venue also hosts outdoor rooftop film screenings in the summer months and an ice rink in the winter – take a look at the website for details. Floor17, Amsterdam West

Floor 17 Amsterdam

Restaurant-Cafe In de Waag

History and people-watching 

Housed in a 15th century city gate house, Restaurant-Cafe In de Waag is a  centrally located venue which offers a heady mix of historical charm, fantastic food and drink, and that all important terrace. Nestled between the turrets of this landmark building, a vast outdoor seating area offers one of the finest spots for al fresco dining in Amsterdam, as well as ample people watching opportunities on Niewmarkt. Restaurant-Cafe In de Waag, Amsterdam Centrum

Amterdam night Waag Nieuwmarkt, Ellen Martens

Cafe de Sluyswacht

Crooked canal-side charm

Perched on a corner of Jodenbreestraat just a stone’s throw from Rembrandt House, this former lockkeeper’s cottage is now the charmingly crooked Cafe de Sluyswacht, with its picturesque canalside terrace on the historic waterway. It’s a lovely place to sit on a summer evening with a beer and bitterballen, and when the sun goes down simply move indoors to the inviting pub which oozes old-world appeal with its stone floor, wooden benches and ceiling beams. Cafe de Sluyswacht, Amsterdam Centrum

Tolhuistuin

Arty hangout on the IJ

Exceptionally easy to reach and enjoying one of the best terraces in Amsterdam, Tolhuistuin is a funky bar, restaurant and cultural venue with a bohemian vibe and sweeping views of Amsterdam from across the IJ. With a huge beer garden out front and a secret garden which often hosts live events behind, Tolhuistuin is one of the most colourful spots to enjoy a sunny day in Amsterdam. The free ‘Buiksloterweg’ ferry from behind Central Station will drop you off outside the door in just three minutes. Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam Noord

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Tolhuistuin Amsterdam

Skylounge

Rooftop cocktail lounge with a view

Perched atop the luxurious Hilton Doubletree hotel a short stroll away from Central Station, this award winning rooftop bar offers unrivalled views of the city skyline from its panoramic roof terrace – not to mention some of the best cocktails in Amsterdam. The bar is open to non-hotel guests for food and drinks – just take the elevator to the 11th storey (and don’t forget to pick your jaw up off the floor when you arrive). SkyLounge at the Doubletree by Hilton, Amsterdam Centrum

Cafe de Jaren

Buzzing riverside terrace

A popular meeting spot on the banks of the Amstel, Cafe De Jaren is an elegant restaurant bar with a casual Italian inspired menu and a buzzy, continental ambience. A vast riverside terrace at the café’s rear and large balcony overlooking the water make De Jaren one of central Amsterdam’s most popular summertime hangouts – so be prepared to wait for a table. Café de Jaren, Amsterdam Centrum

Amsterdam Roest 

Post-industrial city beach

Located in a series of post-industrial buildings and dockland in Amsterdam's eastern islands, the sprawling Amsterdam Roest is one of the city's most exciting cultural venues, hosting a series of culinary events, festivals, markets and club nights. There's a restaurant bar and a vast warehouse space for events, but it's in the summer that the place really comes into its own thanks to its popular city beach and creative junkyard garden. 

Amsterdam Roest

Brouwerij't IJ

Craft beers under a windmill

In the trendy east of the city (cycle there or hop on tram number 10 or 14 from the city centre), independent brewery bar Brouwerij ‘T IJ, nestling underneath a windmill, is a firm favourite among locals and beer-loving visitors alike. The bar serves an impressive selection of home brewed, organic beers, best enjoyed on a warm day out on the huge terrace that sprawls out from the foot of the windmilland wraps around the side of the brewery. An outdoor barbecue serves up tasty morsels during the summer months; ideal for soaking up all that delicious beer. Brouwerij ‘T IJ, Amsterdam Oost

Pllek

Urban beach in Amsterdam North

No list of Amsterdam’s best terraces would be complete without a mention of Pllek; the hip, industrial hangout on the banks of the IJ. Located across the water in Amsterdam Noord, Pllek’s al fresco watering hole isn’t so much a terrace as an entire beach – which becomes awash with Amsterdam’s trendy young things as soon as the sun rears its head. Get the free ferry headed for ‘NDSM Werf’ from behind Amsterdam Central – from here it’s a short stroll along the waterfrontPllek

Vondelpark

Terraces galore amongst the trees 

There’s no better place to kick back in Amsterdam when the sun is shining that in one of its many beautiful parks. Vondelpark is the city’s largest green space, with vast expanses of grass for lounging around with a picnic on warm days. 

"As well as plenty of open space for a picnic, Vondelpark boasts three fantastic bars with beautiful outdoor terraces."

In the centre of the park, the Blauwe Teehuis (Blue Teahouse) is a striking modernist pavillion not unlike a giant teacup in appearance. With a large ground floor garden surrounding the building plus a panoramic balcony terrace upstairs, this iconic restaurant bar has outdoor seating for more than 700 people. At the southern tip of the park, the quirky Vondeltuin is an idyllic haven watched over by pink flamingos and a tiny thatched cottage, which will have you reaching for your Instagram filters the moment your artisan pizza arrives. Further inside the park, the family friendly Groot Melkhuis café boasts a boardwalk terrace by the water, surrounded by a natural pond and plenty of rural charm. City? What city? Vondelpark, Amsterdam Oud-Zuid

NEMO rooftop

Top-deck basking and city view

It’s hard to miss NEMO - the giant green structure rising like the hull of a cruise liner from the Oosterdok (just east of Central Station). The building houses an interactive science museum – definitely a great thing to do with kids in Amsterdam – but if you’re looking for somewhere to bask in the sun then head straight to the building’s top-deck roof terrace, where you can enjoy beachy vibes with magnificent views of the city centre. Access is free and you can even take your on picnic. NEMO Science Museum, Amsterdam Oost

Nemo Amsterdam Edwin van Eis

Remise 47

Industrial-chic courtyard dining 

Situated in a former tram depot in the south west of the city, the chic Remise 47 restaurant boasts a spacious terrace dotted with plenty of greenery and surrounded by 100-year-old industrial architecture. The restaurant forms part of the Hotel de Hallen boutique hotel, however it welcomes non-residents for breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails. Attracting a good mix of local residents and tourists, this hidden oasis at one of Amsterdam’s newest hotspots is the perfect place to escape the crowds and soak up some lovely gin sun. Hotel de Hallen, Bellamyplein, Amsterdam Oud-West

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Feeling summery? Check our 10 top reasons to visit Amsterdam in summer.

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