The sun shines brightly only for a few months in Amsterdam. Under the circumstances, it is only natural that, when sunshine finally breaks through the grey clouds during spring as also in summer, the whole city emerges as if from hiding, to take advantage of the warm weather and enjoy a drink or two alfresco at the city’s many terraces.
Due to Amsterdam’s northern location, the city is blessed with very long summer days, with the sun setting as late as 10:00 PM at the beginning of summer. During these extra-long days, basking in the sun, holding a drink in one’s hand can be city’s favorite summer pastime, so that it might not be possible to get a table at the very first outdoor café you come across. So it is always better to have a few choices before venturing outdoors to have your favorite drink on a sunny terrace. Here are a few tips for finding that perfect terrace bathed in warm sunlight and a drink in store with you in mind:
Terrace at Restaurant Daalder
One of the finest terraces in Amsterdam is Restaurant Daalder is conveniently situated on the scenic Lindengracht at the heart of Jordaan district. It boasts of a Dutch traditional bar, patronized mainly by young hipsters. The menu provides something for everyone, with fresh and biological ingredients.
With the arrival of Guillaume de Beer, the new chef, there is a clear change in the menu which has become very elaborate. Now, the emphasis is on a menu that contains many items remaining on the card for many months, rather than a menu featured with a few dishes and changed rapidly. Chef de Beer likes to surprise the guests with dishes done to perfection.
Lobby at Nes 49
The Lobby is part of the famed Hotel V Nesplein, a place for the local inhabitant and overseas visitors to converge and meet. It features a fine restaurant offering Dutch, gastropub and international cuisine, a striking wood fireplace, and a scenic terrace right adjoining Nes Square, and a mini stage for events. The Lobby focuses on providing premium quality dishes as well as drinks duly served in an unassuming manner by the funky staff, to make your stay a memorable experience.
Terraces in central Amsterdam
The heart of Amsterdam is full of the finest outdoor options, if you have a good idea as to where to look. The most evident locations are of course the vast open squares such as the Leidseplein, Spui and Rembrandtplein. But, if you’d rather prefer one with a real local flavor, begin looking in the not-so-apparent side streets. If you want to find a terrace with a fine water view, try visiting the extensive terrace of Café van Zuylen on the Singel or the delightful Café ‘t Gasthuys discreetly located close to the main shopping area. Then there is the quaint De Jaren equipped with twin levels of tables offering splendid sights of the Amstel, whereas the sublime terrace of Zouthaven will make you feel that you are afloat on the IJ.
NeL, located down the Utrechtsestraat, provides you with the peaceful ambiance of a picturesque square full of shady trees. Then there is the Nieuwmarkt which is surrounded by scores of cafes, with the fashionable In de Waag in the center of the square. Finally, there is the Vondelpark, the ideal setting to spend an idle afternoon. This scenic boasts of no less than four cafés with wide terraces, that included the ‘t Blauwe Theehuis. Other perfect terraces include Westerkerk at Werck in the Jordaan, the traditional surroundings of Café ‘t Smalle or Café Thijssenwander near Noordermarkt, a favorite with the locals.
Amsterdam Zuid and De Pijp
Located near the Heineken, the Marie Heinekenplein area there are several cafés in the square itself. In the middle of de Pijp near to Albert Cuypmarkt, there is Gerard Douplein, the favorite meeting place of De Pilsvogel. Or you can take a short walk to the Sarphaat or Krull to enjoy the scenery of Sarphatipark. Near Museumplein you can find the large terrace of Wildschut right on Roelof Hartplein or the peaceful upscale terrace of The College Hotel. And if you can make it to Zuid, the Gent provides delicious snacks at calm quiet waterside locale at the back of the Vondelpark.
There are some remarkable terraces situated on the banks of Amstel River, with De Ysbreeker and Hesp providing the finest vistas and a lot of tables. Seen from the entrance, none would even suspect that the Canvas situated on the Wibautstraat has an extensive terrace high up the 7th floor. Close to the Tropenmuseum, along the Linnaeusstraat and adjoining the Oosterpark, there are a plethora of fine eateries such as Café Museum, East of Eden, Pata Negra 2 as well as De Biertuin. On the other side of Oost, Brouwerij ‘t can offer you a typical Amsterdam experience as it is situated in a windmill, from where guests can lounge alfresco sipping the organic beers that are brewed in situ.
A sure-fire bet for a sunny day in West is the Westergasfabriek. This sprawling park and cultural area has a number of great spots for cold drinks in the sun, including Pacific Parc, the WestergasTerras and Toko MC. On the corner of the Marnixstraat, newcomer Brandstof is always full of good-looking locals, while just down the street Soundgarden attracts a more rock & roll crowd on their relaxed waterside patio hiding behind the bar. At the start of the Postjesweg, Edel is a rare find with a waterside terrace that wraps around the building.
Jump on one of the free ferries to Amsterdam Noord for the best views of the IJ River. This up-and-coming district is hiding quite a few gems, including the brand new EYE Film Museum with a long narrow terrace on the first floor. By the NDSM Wharf, you’ll find IJ-Kantine’s terrace right by the ferry landing, while Noorderlicht is located in a former greenhouse just a five-minute walk away. By the Buiksloterweg ferry stop you’ll find De Pont and the Tolhuistuin, both with plenty of outdoor seating. Further down the banks of the river you’ll discover Wilhelmina Dok, with more tables outside than inside and memorable meals and snacks. A bit further into Noord, it’s worth seeking out Café ‘t Sluisje – with a quaint village atmosphere, it’s hard to believe you’re still in the big city!