An Amsterdam summer of a lifetime
16 June 2023
Are you ready to experience the summer of a lifetime in Amsterdam? We are ready to help you explore the city this summer with the best canal cruises and other attractions. Prepare to make some unforgettable Amsterdam memories! These are our tips for the summer months of June, July and August.
Enjoy a Semi-open Boat Cruise
The Semi-open Boat cruise is possibly the very best summer canal cruise option available. On sunny days, the boat is open to give you unrestricted views of the merchant houses and city architecture in the sunshine. And when the Dutch weather turns, the boat is easily closed with a glass-top, ensuring you continue to delight in Amsterdam’s unique charm.
The Semi-open Boat Cruise lasts about one hour and takes you to the most important sights in Amsterdam. On this boat tour, you’ll sail down the UNESCO World Heritage-listed canal belt, which date from the 17th century; then wind past not-to-be-missed attractions such as the Western Church, the Anne Frank House or the Hermitage.
Do you prefer to travel through the canals in a smaller group? Than we recommend the open boats from the Cruise like a local canal cruise, which departs near the Anne Frank House. Because this canal cruise makes use of smaller boats, you will also reach those canals which cannot be cruised with the big canal boats.
Cool down in the Amsterdam Icebar
There are summer days in Amsterdam when it is just too hot to be outside on the city streets or in the parks, such as the Vondelpark or Amsterdamse Bos. A great place to cool down is the Amsterdam Icebar, literally the coolest bar in town. At the Amsterdam Icebar you join the crew of 16th century Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz on his journey to Nova Zembla, an island in the Arctic.
A visit to the Amsterdam Icebar includes 3 free drinks and they’ll provide you with a warm coat and gloves so you don’t lose all of that nice summer warmth when you are surrounded by ice. From the walls, to the sculptures and the glasses you drink from, everything in the icebar is made from ice!
Snack on a pizza or enjoy a wine tasting while cruising
If you prefer your canal cruise later in the day, then why not enjoy a delicious New York Pizza while you watch the city go by. The New York Pizza by LOVERS cruise gives you a chance to add an extra dimension to your canal cruise. It is the perfect combination of dinner with a view, as you sail through some of the city’s 100 kilometres of waterways.
You’ll have your choice of mouth-watering pizza and even the drinks are included, from an ice cold Heineken beer to wine and soft drinks. And dessert hasn’t been forgotten either, you’ll finish this cruise with a Cookie Dough Chocolate Chip ice cream.
Another option later in the day is the Wine & Cheese Cruise. During this cruise you can choose between multiple red, white and rose wines and switch whenever you want. Along with the wine there will be a selection of local cheeses, grapes, bread and figs to enjoy. The Amsterdam Wine & Cheese Cruise is truly the perfect way to enjoy a unique and fun evening in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam Pride on the canals and everywhere else
The biggest party in the city happens at the end of July and the start of August. During the nine days of Amsterdam Pride, the city and everyone in it celebrates freedom in Amsterdam, the freedom to truly be yourself and to love who you want. The festival has grown into a world-renowned event where the LGBTQIA+ community truly sets the standard in the city.
There are different events every day, with street parties, art, shows, a Pride Walk to draw attention to the situation of LGBTIs in countries where homosexuality is illegal and, what is often considered the main event, a big parade on the Amsterdam canals, which usually goes from Westerdok over the Prinsengracht, the Amstel river, the Zwanenburgwal and the Oudeschans to Oosterdok.
Music festival on the canals
The yearly Grachtenfestival is a ten-day festival in August spread out across the city. It’s the summer festival for classical music, jazz, as well as music from other cultures. Young musicians from all over the world surprise you with their own musical story. If you want to get to know the rising stars of the future, the Grachtenfestival is where you need to be.
Throughout the festival there are concerts in parks, popular tourist attractions, hotels, churches and, yes, concert halls and other traditional music venues. Past, present, and future come together in contemporary combinations of musicians, genres and locations. The city of Amsterdam, from east to west and from north to south, serves as the festival playground.
Explore the city by Hop-on Hop-off boat
While Amsterdam is a very walkable city, some times you just want to get off your feet, especially on warmer days. Luckily you can also move between different parts of the city with the City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off boats. With this boat tour you can hop off at eight stops around the city and hop back on when you are ready to move on to the next part of the city.
You can choose between a ticket that is valid for 24 hours or 48 hours. There are stops near some of the best attractions in the city, including the Rijksmuseum, the Amsterdam Icebar and the Anne Frank House. With the free app, you can see exactly where the stops are and where the boats are as well.