5 Best Waterside Terraces in and around Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a city built on water and its myriad waterways are the very essence of this ‘Venice of the north’. During the summer months, we all yearn to be by the waterside, enjoying its soothing effect and perhaps catching a light breeze. Here are 5 of our own favourite waterside terraces – each one with its own special something and all with stunningly beautiful views.

‘T Smalle: lekker relaxed in De Jordaan
A gorgeous pontoon terrace on one of Amsterdam’s most picturesque canals in the heart of the Jordaan. ‘T Smalle, a traditional ‘eetcafe’, is perfect for snacks, pre or after dinner drinks or an after work tipple. More on T’Smalle

'T Smalle, a traditional brown café with a terrace on the canal
Magical ‘T Smalle, traditional brown café with a terrace on the canal

Wilhelmina Dok: Evening Suntrap with views across the Ij
Head to Amsterdam Central Station, (ideally with your bike), take a short free ferry ride across the Ij to Amsterdam Noord where Wilhelmina Dok awaits, with its spectacular views across the Ij, relaxed atmosphere and honest, down to earth cuisine. Open for lunch, dinner or just drinks, Wilhelmina-Dok is perfect for watching passing ships & yachts, admiring the Amsterdam Bimhuis directly across the water and enjoying the afternoon / evening sun.
Wilhelmina-Dok Noordwal 1, 1021 PX Amsterdam, Netherlands. Tel: +31 20 6323701

Wilhelmina-Dok is perfect for watching passing ships & admiring the Amsterdam’s skyline
Wilhelmina-Dok is perfect for watching passing ships & admiring the Amsterdam’s skyline

De Oude Taveerne: on the banks of the Ijsselmeer dyke
On the Buiten Ij (or outer Ij), a mere 7 km east from Amsterdam city centre, lies the exceptionally pretty village of Durgerdam. De Oude Taveerne, originally built in the 1760’s, is a well frequented watering hole for the cyclists, sailors, walkers and nature lovers in general who come to take in the charms of this scenic village. De Oude Tarveerne has its own little wooden marina, complete with tables & chairs so if you come by boat, you can just moor up at Pier 73 and enjoy some refreshments. Full bar and restaurant.
De Oude Taveerne, Durgerdammerdijk 73, 1026 CB Amsterdam. Tel: +31 20 4904259

De Oude Taveerne – view from the marine overlooking the Ijsselmeer
De Oude Taveerne – view from the marine overlooking the Ijsselmeer towards Amsterdam

Cafe Restaurant Riva: Sunset Boulevard
With its magnificent large sunny terrace overlooking the Amstel River & innovative glass walls, Cafe Restaurant Riva is all about sophisticated cuisine in a chic urban setting. Enjoy the friendly buzzy ambiance and the conversation stopping views across the mighty Amstel River. This is a destination restaurant for a special occasion. Open for lunch, dinner and drinks. Reservations required.
Cafe Restaurant Riva Amstelboulevard 1 1096 HH Amsterdam. Tel: +31 20 7602030

Cafe Restaurant Riva at night with views over the Amstel River
Cafe Restaurant Riva at night with waterside views over the Amstel River

REM Eiland: the wow factor!
Dine on the water in true Amsterdam style! REM Eiland is housed in an old pirate radio station, cleverly recycled of course, and sits in the Haparandadam in the West Docklands area of the city. Good food, great ambiance and a truly spectacular location. For lunch and dinner. Reservations required. More on REM Eiland

REM Eiland –  Dine in style on the water in a recycled pirate radio station
REM Eiland – Dine in style on the water in a recycled pirate radio station

More bars and restaurants in Amsterdam:
Check out some of Amsterdam’s best bars, including the ancient Café Chris. See also Private Dining Venus in Amsterdam.