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Ode aan de Amstel restaurant terrace
Image from Ode aan de Amstel

Best waterfront bars to arrive at 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.

Please note: you may not be able to moor at every location. But you can stop for a while to pick up food and drinks.

Ode aan de Amstel

Want to take a break from sailing? Then, head to Ode aan de Amstel for lunch, drinks and dinner. This restaurant is known for its international cuisine, a wide choice of different wines and a beautiful terrace on the River Amstel.

Ode aan de Amstel  | Amstel Boulevard 1 

Grand Café 4’33

Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ and BIMHUIS
Image from Nico Alsemgeest

The Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ concert hall is one of Amsterdam’s most spectacular buildings, and of course, it comes with its own waterside restaurant. Find a parking space for your boat underneath the footbridge and enjoy a lovely drink, delicious food, and the glorious view over the River IJ. Don't miss their summer concert sessions on the terrace. Whether it’s experimental jazz or a piano recital, bask in the sound of music over dinner and drinks while the river waves lap gently next to you.

Grand Café 4’33 | Piet Heinkade 1

Wolf Atelier

Wolf Atelier is a spectacular restaurant and terrace on an old railway bridge from 1920 perched above Westerdok. Dining here is an experience in itself, but come summer, there's nothing better than arriving at Costa del Wolf from the quay. If you arrive by boat, you have two options: lounge here to eat it on the benches or pick up something and take it away with you.

Wolf Atelier | Westerdoksplein 20

Klein Kalfje

Image from Geert Snoeier

For a jaunt downriver, along the Amstel - just after you pass Amstelpark - you will find Klein Kalfje. The ideal pitstop if you are on a boating trip to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel or on the way back. You can relax here on the riverside terrace before you continue sailing. This scenic restaurant is also an absolute must-stop for lovers of seafood.

Klein Kalfje | Amsteldijk 355

Amstel Hotel

View on terrace Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam
Image from Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam

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.

Amstel Hotel | Professor Tulpplein 1

Daalder Streetfood

Baro Daalder terrace overlooking Canal with man on boat
Image from Winnie Verswijvel

Daalder’s magnificent terrace is located where two canals meet in De Baarsjes. It is a perfect spot for a refreshing drink during your trip on Amsterdam’s waterways. Dock your boat and grab a seat by the water’s edge under the twinkling fairy lights. Pair your well-earned pitstop with their delicious street food dishes to share, like the Muku Fried Chicken and the Tuna Tarte. 

Daalder Streetfood | Postjesweg 1

Hannekes Boom

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. It gets busy on warm summer days, so if you can’t find a seat, just moor at the jetty and enjoy your beer on your boat while watching the sunset.

Hannekes Boom | Dijksgracht 4


Biggest Rainbow Flag of the world on the parking garage above Waterkant at the Marnixstraat.
Image from Jan de Ridder

With its vast waterside terrace that enjoys full sunshine despite being partially tucked under a multi-storey car park, 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.

Waterkant | Marnixstraat 246


Café-Restaurant de IJkantine interior and view through the window
Image from Café-Restaurant de IJkantine

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 that you can enjoy those first rays of sun of the year.

IJ-Kantine | MT Ondinaweg 15-17


Sunset at Amstelhaven bar terrace
Image from Koen Smilde

Time to take a break from all the boating? On sunny days, people tie up their boats at this great café-restaurant with 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.

Amstelhaven | Mauritskade 1