Visit a festival or market in the park
Westerpark is home to the Westergasfabriek cultural complex, which forms the heart of regular festivals and markets throughout the year – especially in the summer months. From culinary fairs like Rollende Keukens (Rolling Kitchens) to anything-goes music festivals like Milkshake and huge dance events such as Awakenings, there’s always a reason to party at Westerpark, so check the agenda to see what’s on. For a more relaxed experience, head to the Sunday Market 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 unique gifts from amongst some of Amsterdam’s finest makers.
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 Westergasfabriek 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 culinary hotspots, with restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. Links to the neighbourhood’s seafaring past can be felt at fish & chip restaurant De Gouden Hoek or sunny seafood hotspot Mossel & Gin. But for something even more unique, head to the iconic REM Eiland – a striking red and white rig (once a pirate broadcasting platform) looming high over the harbour – to dine in an unforgettable industrial structure with far reaching panoramic views.
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, Brandendzand, 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.
Explore more of Westerpark, or check out some other Amsterdam neighbourhoods!