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. Make sure you also check out the top terraces in your neighbourhood.
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 | tt. Neveritaweg 33, NDSM Wharf, 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 | Marnixstraat 246, 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 hangout on the banks of the Oosterdok. Built entirely from salvaged materials, Hannekes Boom exudes a quirky vibe 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.
Hannekes Boom | Dijksgracht 4, Amsterdam
Pacific | Rock ’n’ roll bar in the park
Located at the western end of the Westergas cultural complex in Westerpark, Pacific 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, 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 | Polonceaukade 23, Amsterdam
Eye | Culture and cuisine in Amsterdam North
Looming commandingly over the IJ from Amsterdam Central Station, the Eye Filmmuseum is one of Amsterdam’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 Filmmuseum | IJpromenade 1, Amsterdam
Edel by Dennis | Fairy-lit hideaway in de Baarsjes
Located in het Sieraad, one of the most iconic monuments of the Amsterdam School movement, this canteen style café 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 by Dennis | Postjesweg 1, Amsterdam
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 | Staalmeesterslaan 410, Amsterdam
In de Waag | History and people-watching
Housed in a 15th-century city gate house, In de Waag is a centrally located venue that 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 Nieuwmarkt.
In de Waag | Nieuwmarkt 4, Amsterdam
Café 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 Café 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.
Café de Sluyswacht | Jodenbreestraat 1, Amsterdam
Tolhuistuin | Arty hangout on the IJ
Exceptionally easy to reach and boasting 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, at the back, 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 | IJpromenade 2, Amsterdam
SkyLounge | Rooftop cocktail lounge with a view
Perched atop the luxurious Hilton Doubletree hotel and a short stroll 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 | Oosterdoksstraat 4, Amsterdam
Café de Jaren | Buzzing riverside terrace
A popular meeting spot on the banks of the Amstel, Café De Jaren is an elegant café, restaurant and 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 | Nieuwe Doelenstraat 20, Amsterdam
Riva | Riverside cuisine
Time to take a rest from all the boating? Riva is the place to boost your energy with lunch, snacks or dinner. This restaurant is know for its international kitchen, with a wide variety of wines and a beautiful terrace on the River Amstel.
Riva | caferestaurantriva.nl | Amstelboulevard 1, Amsterdam
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 windmill and 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 | Funenkade 7, Amsterdam
Pllek | Urban beach in Amsterdam Noord
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 waterfront.
Pllek | tt. Neveritaweg 59, Amsterdam
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 most famous green space. As well as plenty of open space for a picnic, Vondelpark boasts four fantastic bars with beautiful outdoor terraces.
At the park’s north side, Vondelpark3 is located in a grand, beautiful building with a spacious terrace. In the centre of the park, the Blauwe Teehuis (Blue Teahouse) is a striking modernist pavilion not unlike a giant teacup in appearance. With a large ground floor garden surrounding the building plus a panoramic balcony terrace upstairs, this iconic bar has outdoor seating for more than 700 people, and it’s run by the Brouwerij ’t IJ brewery. 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. The playground next door makes it a great choice for families, too. Further inside the park, the equally family-friendly Groot Melkhuis café boasts a terrace by the water, surrounded by a natural pond and plenty of rural charm. City? What city?
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 | Oosterdok 2, Amsterdam
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, but 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 hotspots is the perfect place to escape the crowds and soak up some lovely sun.
Hotel de Hallen | Bellamyplein, Amsterdam
Accessed by a tunnel of reclaimed windows and mirrors, Meneer Nieges is a colourful waterfront world serving wonderful food and drinks all day long. The Hannekes Boom team are behind this hotspot in Amsterdam West, and its large terrace has kitsch country-garden furnishings, fire pits to huddle around when the temperatures dip and splendid views across the IJ.
Meneer Nieges | Westerdoksdijk 40, Amsterdam
Out back, this punk rock haven on the Marnixstraat has a surprisingly idyllic, peaceful waterside terrace where an eclectic bunch of regulars enjoy the sunshine, beer in hand. While away the hours looking out on to the canal, or take a quick breather before returning indoors to your pool tournament/pinball game.
www.soundgarden.nl | Marnixstraat 164-166, Amsterdam
De Vergulden Eenhoorn
Not your typical bustling inner-city café terrace, De Vergulden Eenhoorn used to be a city farm, and that’s still very much what the vibe is like. Despite the easily accessible location near Amstel station, being here feels like the middle of nowhere – in a good way. The lovely garden features deckchairs, chirping birds and a playing area for jeu de boules, plus a fireplace for the evening hours.
De Vergulden Eenhoorn | Ringdijk 58, Amsterdam
Ready for the sun? See our complete guide to terrace bars in Amsterdam.
Find terrace bars in your neighbourhood: