Legions of locals flock to Vondelpark during spring to enjoy the park’s wonderful ambience, bask in the sunshine or catch an evening show at its open-air theatre. As the largest green space in central Amsterdam, there’s always plenty of great spots to relax inside Vondelpark.
Although Keukenhof is a little further afield than other items of this list, it’s definitely worth making a trip to the park during spring as millions of colourful tulips burst into full bloom throughout its gardens over April and May. Known as the Garden of Europe, this iconic destination is a true horticultural wonder.
📍 Keukenhof, Stationsweg 166A +31 252 465 555
While Amsterdam-Centrum certainly has its fair share of awesome hangouts, when it comes to terraces Roest totally surpasses all competition. This laid-back bar resides within an old industrial complex and features a huge, canal-side beer garden alongside an artificial beach and adult-sized jungle-gym. For obvious reasons, Roest is particularly popular during sunny spells.
📍 Amsterdam Roest, Jacob Bontiusplaats 1, Amsterdam +31 20 308 0283
During the warmer months this sandy peninsula in IJburg turns into Amsterdam’s most popular urban beach. A large resort-like bar overlooks Blijburg’s golden sands and shimmering waters, where beach-goers can pick up refreshments or enjoy live performances by local musicians.
Brouwerij ‘t IJ
This excellent brewery is located underneath the tallest windmill in Amsterdam, which is featured on many of their beer labels alongside an ostrich. In springtime, Brouwerij ‘T IJ opens its massive terrace in order to accommodate countless beer aficionados.
📍 Brouwerij ‘t IJ, Funenkade 7, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, +31 20 528 6237
During springtime the sun shines straight through Pllek and illuminates the restaurant’s huge, beachside terrace, which overlooks the river IJ. Pllek organises parties throughout the season and hosts live performances on the first Thursday of every month.
📍 Pllek, Tt. Neveritaweg 59, Amsterdam +31 20 290 0020
Nothing beats spending a sunny spring afternoon biking through Amsterdamse Bos’ winding cycle paths or exploring its impressive woodlands by foot. There are also several lakes inside the forest where visitors can swim, chill out or even hire small boats.
This remarkable green belt lies just beyond Amsterdam-Noord and is around the same size as the city’s historic centre. Many rare fauna inhabit Het Twiske’s diverse landscapes, making the forest an absolute haven for nature lovers.
Located in the heart of Amsterdam’s canal belt, Torensluis is the oldest surviving bridge in the city. Torensluis is noticeably wider than other similar bridges in central Amsterdam and several bars have turned spots on its wings into terraces.
Natura Artis Magistra
Commonly known as Artis Zoo, Natura Artis Magistra is located just outside of Amsterdam’s city centre, inside an exceptionally green neighbourhood called Plantage. While it is possible to visit Artis’ colourful menagerie throughout the year, the zoo is open an hour longer during spring and summer.
📍Natura Artis Magistra, Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, Amsterdam, +31 900 2784796
Gaasperplas is an artificial lake in Zuidoost Amsterdam that is surrounded by thick woodlands and recreation grounds. Due to its impressive size and depth, it is possible to sail or row on Gaasperplas, and there are several boating clubs located on its banks.
The north-western quarter of Amsterdam’s canal belt trails into Westerpark – a serene, urban park which features large landscape gardens, an expansive cultural centre called Westergasfabriek and a charming petting zoo that is inhabited by many adorable farmyard creatures. Wondering through Westerpark is always a treat, especially during springtime.
Thanks to their wonderful open-air nurseries and flower patches, Amsterdam’s botanical gardens are absolutely breathtaking during spring. Millions of exotic plants flourish inside the gardens and several of Hortus Botanicus’ greenhouses serve as butterfly sanctuaries.
📍 Hortus Botanicus, Plantage Middenlaan 2a, Amsterdam +31 20 625 9021
The canal belt
A constant stream of recreational boats pass through Amsterdam’s canal belt over the warmer months of the year. While many people in Amsterdam own private vessels, it is also possible to rent out boats from several organisations in the city, or simply experience the city’s canal culture by relaxing on the banks of Prinsengracht, Herengracht or Singel.