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Drinking with a View: Amsterdam's Best Terraces

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With its picturesque canals, bridges and Golden Age mansion houses, it's natural to find cafes and restaurants that capitalize on magnificent water views. Whether you want a meal, snack or romantic drink with a waterfront view, there are plenty of establishments that will sate your appetite as well as your need for visual interest. Here are a few of the best.
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NDSM-Plein 102, 1033 WB Amsterdam, Netherlands
On a hopping night, Noorderlicht (Northern Lights) blazes with colorful lights visible clear across the IJ River—hence its name. For those drinking and jamming to live music on a waterfront terrace warmed by a roaring bonfire, the setting is...
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Dijksgracht 4, 1019 BS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amazing brew and an even better view—what's not to love about Hannekes Boom, a relaxing beer garden in the revitalized neighborhood surrounding Amsterdam's Central Station? In addition to drinks and hearty nachos, sandwiches, and burgers...
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Marnixstraat 164-166, 1016 TG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Don't dress up to visit this grunge bar tucked on Marnixgracht in Amsterdam's Oude West. Don't be put off by the abundant graffiti covering its gritty exterior, either. Inside, Café Soundgarden is a welcoming, unpretentious pub with a spectacular...
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IJpromenade 1, 1031 KT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Step inside the Eye Film Institute to discover an homage to international cinema replete with interactive displays and perched like an ivory spaceship ready for launch on the northern bank of the IJ River. The striking facility, accessible via a...
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Funenkade 7, 1018 AL Amsterdam, Netherlands
Unexpected surprises abound in Amsterdam. On the city's east side, you'll find one denoted by a tall windmill: Brouwerij 't IJ (the IJ Brewery), a small brewery and pub situated in the former Funen bathhouse, next to the De Gooyer windmill. Opened...
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Scheveningen, The Hague, Netherlands
A four-kilometer seaside promenade is the perfect place for a stroll at Scheveningen, a beach resort in Den Haag's wealthy northernmost district. In addition to a sandy beach, colorful esplanade, pier and the Scheveningen lighthouse, there's a Sea...
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Timorplein 62, 1094 CC Amsterdam, Netherlands
“If I want to know what’s going on, I go to Studio/K, a cool cinema and café. It’s run by students from universities around the city who are really on top of what’s happening in terms of concerts and events. In the...
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Weesperzijde 23, 1091 EC Amsterdam, Netherlands
Supposedly De Ysbreeker ('Ice breaker'), arguably one of Amsterdam's most coveted café terraces overlooking the Amstel river, was formerly an inn for men who broke the ice on the river - hence, its name. Incarnations as a theater and dance hall...
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Jodenbreestraat 1, 1011 NG Amsterdam, Netherlands
You can find cozy Café de Sluyswacht on a bustling street in the heart of Amsterdam, steps away from the Rembrandt House. Originally constructed in 1692 as a home for the sluyswacht, the man who controlled the neighboring lock, the charming...
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Oosterdokskade 143, 1011 DL Amsterdam, Netherlands
This is not a secret to locals, but off-the-beaten path (but still not too out of the way) is a place with a surprisingly tasty dinner for under ten euros. It's the library cafeteria. But seriously: That bowl of Thai noodle soup with...
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Polonceaukade 23, 1014 DA Amsterdam, Netherlands
With its chill vibe, funky decor, warehouse-like interior and spacious terrace, Pacific Parc is a rock 'n' roll bistro with an edge. Situated in a former treatment plant at Westergasfabriek, the café-nightclub on Amsterdam's west side...
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No trip to Amsterdam is complete without a stop in one of the bruine kroeg, or brown cafés. These are the Dutch equivalent of Irish pubs, cozy spaces where people gather to relax over beers and comfort food. And Café Papeneiland is a...
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Marnixstraat 246, 1016 TL Amsterdam, Netherlands
Strolling down Marnixstraat you wouldn't suspect it's there, unless you notice a small sign near a stairwell adjacent to the Q-Park. From Nassaukade, there's no access, but you can see the buzzing venue across Singlegracht canal: Waterkant, a...