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Park it!

Take it from me – it’s not often that it feels like real-true-I’m-melting-it’s-that-hot summer in Amsterdam. So when it’s sunny or warm, drop whatever you are doing or change your plans – and get the heck outside! It may only last this day! Heck, it may only last this hour!

So where do you go? What do you do? And let’s maybe add to it the factor of you wanting to remain within a reasonable or even a low-budget?

Go for a bike ride or walk in Vondel Park!

Drink with a view

– Appreciate the green, the fountains, and the lazy hazy folks hanging out in the grass, sometimes in their undies to maximize vitamin D receival. Count the folks talking to themselves – there will be guaranteed not one, not two, not three! Just keep counting!
– Stop and picnic on the grass with a sandwich or even just your fabulous self and some shades.
– Grab a seat at one of the cafés in the park – my fav is Vertigo. For its view, its laid back atmosphere, and it’s sun. Have an Aperol Spritz (3 parts prosecco, 2 parts Aperol, and 1 part soda water over ice) – this bitter orange-flavored drink is the perfect colorful accessory as you sit and watch the people skate by, ride by, walk by, run by.

Vertigo Cafe in Vondelpark

– Buy an ice cream at one of the park stands and sit on a park bench with a book and a hat and smile :)
– Or check out one of the free Open Air Theater concerts that are held in the park during the summer.

Go for a boat ride!
– Find some lucky soul in the city who owns a boat and trade them time on the boat for some time as their dish-washer or whatever it takes!
– If that fails, find a buddy who is willing to share the rental of a pedal boat with you and cruise around the canals and get your work out on at the same time (I would highly recommend option one instead!) For info on where to rent them: http://www.canal.nl/bike/en/

Go for a drink on a cute terrace!

Cafe Riva’s chic deck

– A new terrace worth mentioning (or maybe I shouldn’t mentioned it so that I don’t lose MY seat there!) is Café Riva on Amstelboulevard. A gorgeous and inviting new space, RIGHT on the water, it’s the perfect spot to nurse a glass of cold white wine or a cup of mint tea. So take a bike ride along the Amstel to this quite corner and enjoy. Just watch out for the water splashing from passing boats if you sit on the edge of the dock!

– Close by Café Riva is Café Blooker, at the foot of the Rembrandt Tower. A little ‘island’ in the midst of modern new buildings and high rises, this is a great spot to sit and watch other folks in power suits rush by :)

Go for a bike ride along the Amstel River!

A ride along the Amstel is totally worth it!

– Hope on the bike and cruise down the Amstel: feel the breeze on your face, smell the water, wave at the boats passing you by, marvel at the fact that there are cows and sheep and goats less than 15 minutes outside of Amsterdam, and check out the giant villas along the road.
– When you get tired, grab a bench along the water somewhere and have a picnic. Or stop in Ouderkerk a.d. Amstel for a fortifying drink in one of the cafés lining the river.

Along the Amstel…