As the weather heats up in Amsterdam to a pleasant 70-something degrees, there’s no need to go indoors for your daily dose of culture. It’s the best time of the year to be outside in this picturesque Dutch city, and these are our favorite ways to do it come summer.
Vondelpark Open Air Theatre
An Amsterdam institution now in its forty-first year, the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre (Openluchttheater in Dutch) brings a dose of al fresco culture to the city’s most central park. Over the summer months, the outdoor stage hosts 150 free performances (though a donation is suggested) featuring a range of music, theater, and dance, from classical to avant-garde. There’s a large, open-air bar with drinks and food, but you can also bring your own picnic. Program highlights for August include the acclaimed modern dance company Scapino Ballet (August 21, 9 p.m.) and jazz saxophonist Candy Dulfer (August 23, 4:30 p.m.). Events are ongoing daily until September 13; check out the calendar for the full range.
World Cinema Amsterdam
As part of the excellent annual World Cinema Amsterdam festival, there are outdoor screenings of feature films from Peru, Cuba, India and Colombia in various locations around the city (the Vondelpark, Marie Heineken Plein, the Q-factory and even on the 16th-story roof of the VU university). There’s a chance to grab a bit to eat, too, thanks to the event’s ample mobile kitchens. If the weather should disappoint, there’s also an indoor program running from August 14 through August 23 at the Rialto Cinema. This year’s festival has a special focus on films from the Caribbean. Various dates until September 4; check out the full program for more information.
Jane Szita is on the Netherlands beat for Travel + Leisure. She lives in Amsterdam.