The Best Canalside Terraces in Amsterdam

Café van Zuylen | © Moyan Brenn / Flickr
Café van Zuylen | © Moyan Brenn / Flickr
Photo of Tom Coggins
26 April 2017

Finding first-rate outdoor seating in Amsterdam is rarely a chore, thanks to the city’s famous café culture and impressive roster of superb bars. Although most terraces in Amsterdam are already awesome, some are a little more impressive than others. The following bars, for example, allow their guests to sit back, relax and share a drink with friends whilst marvelling at Amsterdam’s most iconic feature — namely, its 17th-century canal belt.

Waterkant

Bar, Restaurant, South American, $$$
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Waterkant
Waterkant is a popular summer locale | © Kirsten van Santen

Waterkant really goes the extra mile when it comes to outdoor seating and has an incredible waterside terrace which trails alongside Singelgracht canal. The bar is actually built into the ground floor of huge multi-storey carpark, which provides its terrace with shady spots and a downright incredible ceiling. Besides beer, wine and cocktails, Waterkant also serves a tasty selection of Surinamese specialities, such as gado gado with tempeh or chicken roti rolls.

Café de Jaren

Bar, Restaurant, Cafe, European, Vegetarian, $$$
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Café de Jaren, Amsterdam
Café de Jaren, Amsterdam | © dutchgrub / flickr

Considering the notorious lack of space inside central Amsterdam, it is something of a small miracle that Café de Jaren exists at all. This classy establishment has unbelievably high ceilings and one of the largest floor plans in Amsterdam. More importantly, Café de Jaren has two outdoor seating areas, with its ground floor leading onto a large, canal side terrace, whilst its upper deck has its very own balcony that also looks onto Amsterdam’s charming waterways.

Roest

Bar, Contemporary, $$$
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This wildly popular bar in Amsterdam-Oost is blessed with a huge canal side terrace, which features an urban beach, ample seating and even an adult-sized climbing frame. Everything at Roest looks like it was lifted from a second-hand furniture store or simply hammered together by its staff members, giving the whole bar an eclectic, DIY vibe that matches perfectly with its industrial surroundings.

Hannekes Boom

Bar, Contemporary
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Hannekes Boom is a beach hut-style bar in the centre of Amsterdam
Hannekes Boom is a beach hut-style bar in the centre of Amsterdam | © Hannekes Boom

Despite being located in central Amsterdam, Hannekes Boom resembles a beachside café, complete with sun-bleached picnic tables and sand covered decking. Its terrace looks directly onto Oosterdok harbour and is surrounded by some of the most impressive buildings in Amsterdam, including NEMO, Scheepvarthuis and ARCAM. The bar regularly organises parties and is open until at least 1AM every night of the week.

Café van Zuylen

Cafe, Contemporary, Pub Grub, $$$
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Torensluis
Torensluis | © Moyan Brenn / Flickr

Café van Zuylen is lucky enough to be located on the eastern wing of the oldest bridge in Amsterdam, de Torensluis. This prime position means that Café Zuylen’s is actually able to set up its terrace seating area on the bridge during the warmer months of the year. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks are all available on this historic part of Amsterdam, and for obvious reasons, Café van Zuylen is particularly popular during sunny spells.

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