Summer in the city

Words byHayley Hayley

Friday was the first official day of summer, and we couldn’t be happier about it. We’ve got until September 23 to soak up all of the wonderful things this season has to offer. That means we’ve got to make the absolute most of the next three months. There’s no time to waste!

Though Amsterdam & Utrecht are bustling, cosmopolitan cities, we are so lucky to have tons of amazing outdoor spaces to sit in the sunshine and enjoy some time with friends. New York may have Central Park, London may have Regent’s Park, but we’ve got so, so much more. 

Here are our absolute favourite places to spend a sunny afternoon and make the most of summer!

Amsterdamse Bos: It’s not exactly a hidden gem, but when the days are nice, it’s infinitely more chilled and quiet here than in any of Amsterdam’s parks. Plus you can swim, kayak and canoe here! What more could you want?

Soho House Amsterdam: If you’re a member (or have a friend with a card that you can tag along with), then we highly recommend spending a leisurely morning splayed out across Soho House’s rooftop. When the weather is particularly good, it’s important to get there as early as possible to ensure you get a sunbed. Because you can order food and drinks here, you’ll end up spending all day on the roof. 

Roost: Right in Utrecht’s Park Paardeveld, just at the bend in the canal, is Roost, one of our top spots for sunning ourselves with a beer in hand when we’re in Utrecht. They’ve got delicious food blazing on the barbecue, so there’s no need to bring your own snacks. 

Pandhof Sinte Marie: This gorgeous botanical garden that’s tucked away next to a music conservatory is really a little oasis in the centre of Utrecht. The old Pandhof (that’s courtyard for the non-Dutch speakers out there) of St. Mary dates all the way back to the 11th century. Come here if you want some real peace and quiet.

Pllek: You’ll wonder at the fact that you’re still in Amsterdam when you’re at Pllek, a fantastic restaurant in Noord that has its very own city beach. Spend your Sunday afternoon here and stay through the evening, watching the sun set over the Amsterdam skyline.

Zandvoort: Though it’s not in Amsterdam or Utrecht, it’s not actually very far away from either. And when it’s summer, one of the very best things you can do is spend the day on a real beach, by the sea.  Once you’re done splashing around (or surfing!) grab a table at Hippie Fish or Tulum for a delicious lunch and a glass of wine.

Op Zuid Bar & Bistro: Craving a bit of bistro food along with your summer sun? Head to Op Zuid Bar & Bistro in Hoograven along the Vaartsche Rijn. It’s a super cosy neighbourhood spot and a wonderful place to go for a quick swim.