After living in a place, you start to find those spots…those places that are perfect for enjoying the atmosphere. I’m not sure if it’s because tourists are usually in too much of a hurry to find these places, or if they just aren’t very noticeable. I won’t complain because that means there’s usually a spot for me.
This is one of those lists that I’m a little nervous to post, because I really do love these spots, but I think the beauty should be shared and enjoyed. To easily find each picnic-perfect place, there’s a Google map included below. Oh, and of course, the side of any canal is a great spot!
This area is outside the center a bit, but completely worth it for being out on the water. This is actually where we watch SAIL Amsterdam leaving the area.
If you are taking public transit, you can easily grab bus 22 at Centraal Station and get off at the end of the line (Koivistokade) and walk 10 minutes. Or you can take a bike if you choose!
Plantage Area Dock
This is just a pretty area to walk around in. So if you end up here, there are a couple of docks in the area you can take advantage of and enjoy a quieter part of the city.
Waterlooplein Boat Watching Dock
The dock looks directly to the Waterlooplein market (where you can grab lunch!) but is on a quiet street and people easily overlook this perfect spot. Wave to canal boat tours as they pass by. If it’s a lovely warm day, you can even dip your toes into the canal.
Herengracht at Leidsegracht
This definitely one of my favorite spots in the city! There are three benches here facing the intersection of Herengracht and Leidsegracht. You’ll see canal tour boats, rowers, and people just enjoying the waterways. You might even see a long tour boat coming right at you to be able to turn. It’s also around the corner from our favorite wine shop, The Library!
Many aren’t fans of this square because it is so touristy. But really, is there anything wrong with that? Bring a blanket and sit on the grass behind the iconic Nachtwacht (Night Watch) statues, and eat some take-away from many of the restaurants nearby, or head to Albert Heijn or Marqt grocery stores for some bread, cheese, and meats to enjoy. The people-watching here is great!
Dock at the Hermitage Museum
Situated on the Amstel River, you will see so many boats! It is a popular spot and is also a canal “bus” stop, so don’t get the way of the boats. But they are used to people hanging out there.
The oldest park in the city is situated on a canal. No surprise, right? I think this spot was made for picnicing! Just picture yourself on a blanket drinking wine out of a plastic cup while cutting sausage and cheese to put it on the bread you just got from the bakery. Ah…perfection.
Between three amazing museum and an impressive concert hall, this spot has it all (except a canal). It’s a huge flat grassy space that just asks to be sat on. Even better, there’s an Albert Heijn (grocery store) right on the corner to grab your snacking needs.