Things to do in and around Amsterdam this summer

Things to do in and around Amsterdam this summer

Whether you’re new to the Netherlands, have been here for some time, or have yet to arrive here, your home away from home has a lot to offer this summer for all ages. We’ve picked six of our favourites.


There’s nothing like seeing Amsterdam from the water. In the waters near Central Station, a range of boats await your pleasure. Tour boats, hop-on-hop-off boats, and canal cruises from where you can enjoy a summer evening dinner by candlelight.

Take a cruise along the many canals crisscrossing through the entirety of this UNESCO heritage site. Marvel at the amazing gables, tilting houses or the five bridges canal view. See where Rembrandt walked, or merchants of the Golden Age did business. Take your pick!


Enjoy three unique, typically Dutch experiences and learn more about your new home.

Zaanse Schans: To the north of Amsterdam is the world famous Zaanse Schans. A residential area that is still lived in today, it brings to life 18th- and 19th-century Dutch life. It is a quintessential Dutch village of colourful wooden houses, mills, workshops, and barns.

A day out in a historical setting that is both enjoyable and educational.

Volendam/Marken: Head to the Markermeer for another enjoyable trip into Dutch history; in this case, the country’s fishing heritage. With an authentic harbour of fishing boats and a museum of traditional consumes, it is a delight to wander the streets of Volendam that have attracted artists since 1880.

Don’t miss the museum dedicated to Dutch folk music called the Palingsound (Eel sound), where you can also witness—and sample—traditional eel smoking.  

From Volendam, take a half-hour trip on the Volendam Marken Express to the village of Marken. Separated from the mainland during a storm in the 13th century, Marken is another traditional fishing village, this time with colourful Dutch houses built on mounds and stilts to withstand the regular flooding of bygone times.

Bollenstreek: Everyone has seen the pictures of the fields of tulips for which the Netherlands is so famous. Just a 40-minute drive south of Amstelveen, you can find yourself surrounded by this uniquely colourful form of Dutch farming. From March to May each year, the Bollenstreek is full of blooming colourful flowers and stalls selling bulbs. From August to October, you also can enjoy the Dahlia show gardens.

Join a sightseeing tour or cycle along the Bollenstreek Flower Route, a 35 km cycle route that takes you along the beach, dunes and flower villages.


As one of the most bike-friendly countries in the world, there are more bikes in the central area of the Netherlands than there are people!

Amstelveen is one of the greenest municipalities in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. With parks, woods, rivers and polder landscapes, it’s perfect for a sunny summer cycle.  

One of the many nearby bike routes we recommend is the scenic Amstel Ronde Hoeproute. During this 39 km cycle ride, you will meet the Amstel River and Dutch polders.


Htel is (almost) around the corner from a delightful city park, the beautiful Amsterdam Woods. Full of trees and grassy open spaces, take a quiet walk, jog or cycle ride, have a family picnic, or engage in various activities for young and old.

There are special areas for tree climbing, canoeing or horse riding. You can join the annual four-day forest evening walk, a golf tournament, or attend a music or theatre festival. Cool off in one of the paddling or swimming pools.

Don’t miss the beautiful Blossom Park. In 2000, the Japanese Women’s Club donated 400 cherry trees with their own story.

Click here for a calendar of organised events.


Feel like a day on the beach? Just over half an hour’s drive away lies Zandvoort, often called Amsterdam Beach. Take a walk in the dunes, join in with water sports, or lie in the sun with a good book. There are restaurants and beach bars galore if you don’t want to bother with your sandy sandwich on the beach. Also, find the Zandvoort racetrack here, Circuit Zandvoort, where the Formula 1 takes place during the Dutch Grand Prix.

PS Did you know Htel Serviced Apartments has a sister company called Beachhouse Hotel? It’s the only hotel in Zandvoort that is located directly on the beach! Take a look on the Beachhouse Hotel website.


Only a short 10-minute drive from Htel is a gorgeous garden where you can wander amongst a colourful array of summer flowers. Pick a bunch of flowers, take tea on the terrace, or organise a children’s party with a play castle and creative activities.

Pluktuin (picking garden) is located just outside Amstelveen, along the river Amstel. Here, you can enjoy around 50 different summer flowers in their full glory. There are an amazing 10,000 gladioli to take your pick from in August.

Let us inspire you!

You can rent a Htel bike at our Residence Service Desk. They can also help you out with more tips, booking tours or give you some leaflets for fun things to do near Htel Serviced Apartments.

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