Best waterfront bars to go by boat
Summertime means boating time in Amsterdam. This watery city has a pretty special feature: cafés, bars and restaurants where you can moor your own boat - the perfect way to take a break from navigating the canals and rivers. At some spots, you might not even have to disembark to enjoy your food and drinks.
Grand Café 4’33
The Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ Concert Hall is one of Amsterdam’s most spectacular buildings, and of course, it comes with its very pwn waterside restaurant. Find a parking space for your boat underneath the footbridge and enjoy a lovely drink, some delicious food, the glorious view over the River IJ and, if the mood strikes you, a contemporary or classical concert for dessert.
The Harbour Club
Miami, Amalfi Coast, Côte d’Azur… Amsterdam? Absolutely, if you and your crew sail to the Harbour Club and chill out on the gorgeous terrace while scoffing Zeeland oysters and tuna sashimi.
The terrace of the Amstel Hotel remains the most famous of all of Amsterdam’s waterside establishments, and not without reason. The splendour and rich history of the five-star hotel, which opened in 1867, is unmistakable. Docking here is practically a rite of passage for any Amsterdam boater.
Baro's magnificent terrace is located where two canals meet, so what better endpoint for a trip on Amsterdam’s waterways? Dock your boat and clamber up to grab a seat by the water’s edge under the twinkling fairy lights.
Constructed from reclaimed wood and salvaged materials, this shack-style waterfront café near Central Station exudes bohemian charm. Despite its proximity to the station, Hannekes Boom is still very much a hidden gem, passed each day by hundreds of commuters and travellers who have no idea of the joys that lie across the water. Having said that, on warm summer days it does get busy, so if you can’t find a seat, just moor at the jetty and enjoy your beer on your boat while watching the sunset.
With its huge waterside terrace that enjoys full sunshine despite being partially tucked under a multi-storey carpark, this colourful Surinamese café and bar attracts an arty crowd of locals and in-the-know visitors. Settle on the quay and enjoy a beer from Paramaribo and a roti.
Taking the ferry across the IJ is mighty nice, but crossing the river in your own vessel is even better. Once you’ve arrived at the post-industrial glory that is the NDSM Wharf, moor your boat at the IJ-Kantine’s very own pontoon and enjoy a drink and/or a meal on the fabulous terrace of this spacious and striking brasserie and bar. A bonus for seasonal early birds: said terrace already opens in March, so you can enjoy those first rays of sun of the year.
Loetje aan ’t IJ
Loetje has gone from carnivorous insiders’ tip to formidable steakhouse empire, having expanded to eight branches all over Amsterdam. And the one on the IJ has a jetty. No, no need to get up: they serve your steak right to your boat.
Time to take a break from all the boating? On sunny days people tie up their boats at this great café-restaurant which boasts an impressive deck terrace. Enjoy a light lunch or just drinks and snacks as you take in the views over the water. There is live music every Sunday.