Visit a festival or market in the park
Westerpark is home to the Westergas cultural complex, which forms the heart of regular festivals and markets throughout the year – especially in the summer months. From anything-goes music festivals like Milkshake during Amsterdam Pride and Bevrijdingsdag on Liberation Day or major cultural events like Unseen Photo Fair, there’s always a reason to head over to Westerpark, so check the agenda to see what’s on.
Browse for local products and vintage items
For a more relaxed experience, head to the Sunday Market Westergas on the first Sunday of every month, when the Westergasterrain and market hall fill with stalls, food trucks, live bands and plenty of opportunities to shop for vintage items and unique gifts from amongst some of Amsterdam’s finest makers. When the festive season rolls around, its also the place you'll find one of the cosiest Christmas markets in town.
Marvel at architectural gems in the Spaarndammerbuurt
Like a church in the centre of a village, Museum Het Schip forms the centre of the Spaarndammerbuurt. The building, designed by architect Michel de Klerk, is the epitome of the Amsterdam School architectural movement and was originally a public housing complex. Today it serves as a museum that offers excellent exhibitions and various guided tours around the area where you can learn everything about architecture and design from the early 20th century.
Take an Amsterdam beer tour
Two of Amsterdam’s best loved breweries have recently opened locations in Westerpark neighbourhood, meaning that you can conduct your very own mini beer tour of the neighbourhood. Troost takes over a cavernous space in the Westergas complex, where its large beer vats loom over a double-height restaurant and bar area where visitors can work their way through the varieties of craft beer brewed on site, accompanied by a tasty burger or flammkuchen. Guided tours are also available. Next, head to De Prael brewery in the Houthavens harbour to taste more than 10 regular varieties (watch out for the 11.5% ‘Quadrupel’ – ouch) plus a selection of seasonal ales and collaborations with other Dutch brewers.
Dine out with a difference
Westerpark is one of Amsterdam’s most exciting foodie hotspots, with dining options to suit all tastes and budgets. Links to the neighbourhood’s seafaring past can be felt at sunny seafood hotspot Mossel & Gin. But for something even more unique, head to the iconic Cafe-Restaurant Amsterdam to dine in the expansive dining room - housed in the former engine room of a 19th-century pumping station - with high ceilings that never fail to delight. Check out our dedicated guide to restaurants and bars in Westerpark for more culinary delights.
Go gaming at Ton Ton Club
Who said arcade games are just for kids? Trade your Euros for tokens and enjoy some quality gaming time at this retro arcade bar and restaurant in Westerpark. The concept is simple: get a drink, get some tokens, and work your way through a nostalgic mix of arcade classics like Mortal Kombat, Dance Dance Revolution, Mario Kart: Arcade GP and hands-on games such as pinball, claw machines and ticket-churning redemption games. The restaurant serves a great Japanese themed menu, and there’s a terrace interspersed with hands-on table top games for warmer days and evenings.
Soak up the beachy vibes at het Stenen Hoofd
Jutting out into the IJ from Westerdok, this grassy stone harbour pier (the name translates to ‘Stone Head’) has become something of a cultural hotspot in recent years, with regular food and film events (check out outdoor film festival Pluk de Nacht) and outdoor theatre shows. Even if there’s nothing happening, head down there on a hot summer’s day to find locals sunbathing and swimming, relaxing with picnics or enjoying a spot of lunch from the beach shack café, which is open throughout the summer months. From here, you can jump onto a ferry to NDSM to explore more of Amsterdam's urban beaches.
Dance the night away
Single-function destinations sometimes just don’t cut it as often you can’t put your finger on the exact type of entertainment you need. De Marktkantine – once a canteen for food-market workers – houses everything you could want: a theatre, club and a restaurant. There’s an excellent events schedule on which you’ll find anything from a bumping techno party to an inspiring masterclass or workshop. Alternatively, Radio Radio is a pop-up DJ bar that plays sets all night long every Thursday to Sunday. You can expect a curation of the coolest sounds from all over the world, and they live stream too.
Sample delicacies from across the world
The free Rollende Keukens (Rolling Kitchens) food festival sees dozens of mobile kitchens and food trucks pop up at Westergas to create one enormous open-air restaurant. Sample a little of everything from the festival-sized smorgasbord including cuisines from Thai to tapas and Texan BBQ. Bands perform to exuberant crowds looking to dance off the delicacies they’ve divulged in throughout the day and the event runs late into the evening.
Get into nature
Westerpark makes the heart of many sports enthusiasts beat faster - literally, because it is one of the most beautiful places in the city for jogging. Within the park itself, you can take a 5k run through diverse scenery including plenty of paved and unpaved paths, along the water, wooded areas, a hill here and there, and several laps for interval training. Hard-core runners and walkers can even head in the direction of Spaarnwoude via the Brettenpad - which leads to the beautiful De Bretten nature area. After a bracing loop, feel free to settle down at one of the Westergas cafes to pant and refuel.